Celebrating the Best of American Beer

By Julia Herz

Ssst. This sound, to me, elicits a great example of a conditioned response prompted by the act of opening a bottle of craft beer. Instantly my interest is piqued, sometimes my mouth may even water, and I’m always left anticipating a taste of whatever was just freed into the glass. A picture of a beautiful beer and food pairing engenders the same response as well as when I read a detailed beer description that talks about the aroma, flavor, and color of a beer. Call me presumptuous, but we hope evokes this same type of response, and more.

This new web resource is dedicated to the romance of craft beer, small and independent US craft brewers (see Small, Independent, Traditional), and all that their efforts lend to our culture, our history and our everyday moments of liquid pleasure. These breweries and the innovative full-flavored craft beers they make are celebrated by millions of beer lovers every day (my guesstimate is more than 10 million in the US). Hopefully, helps to answer why so many beer lovers support and love their local, regional and national craft beers. After all, there is a beer revolution going on and many, perhaps even you, are just beginning to get on board. So this new site is for those who are on the journey of craft beer, and for those who want others to join the journey.

The site has many pages of content, which allow visitor comments thus allowing the expansive community of beer lovers including beer beginners, beer enthusiasts, beer geeks, homebrewers and brewers all to share what they love and know about craft beer. As well, videos are displayed to enhance the education and enjoyment components with much, much more to come.

The web areas are organized into categories of information with initial contributing writers including Dr. Charlie Bamforth (U.C. Davis), Stan Hieronymus (Beer Writer), Rick Martin (Executive Chef of Free State Brewing Company), Charlie Papazian (Brewers Association President and National Beer Examiner), Sean Paxton (, and thousands more posts to come as the community of craft beer lovers from beer beginners to beer geeks discover the site.

Key Web Areas

  • Beer & Food: For those who are thirsty and hungry for pairing (serving with) and cooking with craft beer.
  • Stories: Today’s craft beer revolution is all about the more than 1,400 small and independent brewers who have come of age as the U.S. beer culture has matured beyond light American lager to more robust beer styles. Coincidence? We don’t think so.
  • Beerology: This area offers information on everything from beer and health to choosing the right glass for your favorite style of beer.
  • Brewery Tours: Did you know that the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery? Here you can take virtual tours of many craft breweries from the perspective of brewers and craft beer enthusiasts alike.
  • Style Finder: Beer styles can be confusing. This area provides an overview of today’s lagers and ales and divides them into 6 main categories of beer with sub-categories. With visitors’ ability to comment on the individual beer styles (there are more than 50 listed) this is guaranteed to be a primary resource on the Internet.
  • Get Local: Rich with resources including arguably the most extensive directory of the more than 1,500 breweries in the US.
  • News & Events: If you want to know about a craft beer dinner, new beer in the marketplace, and happenings at breweries, this is the area for you.

Ssst. There it is again. Get ready. Pour. Perhaps today you will crack open a pilsener or a stout or a limited release Winter or Fall seasonal?

By all means, quench your thirst and curiosity as you cruise through the new Brewers Association To me the site helps serve my desire to practice informed consumption and responsible appreciation. In other words, what feels good tastes even better, and the more information available on today’s craft brewers and craft beers, the deeper appreciation I, and hopefully you and many, many others, personally gain.

Photo © 2010 Shutterstock, LLC.

Julia Herz is the Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association, co-author of the free Beer & Food Course, as well co-author of Beer Pairing (Voyageur Press). She is a life-long homebrewer, BJCP beer judge and Certified Cicerone®. Despite her extensive experience, she will always consider herself a beer beginner on an unending journey to learn more about craft beer.

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