Julia Herz

Looking Ahead to 2016

Julia Herz of CraftBeer.com asked state brewers’ guild executives what craft beer lovers can look forward to in 2016. The trends they mentioned include session, lager and “easy drinking” beers; the revival of classic styles, some of them in barrel-aged versions; and “farm-to-keg” brewing.

Several guild executives mentioned beer festivals. Phil Platt of Minnesota Craft Brewers expects to see more “festivals in a box”: “festivals (from out of town) with a formulaic approach to their events…but no real connection to the local community.” Rob Caputo of The Brewers of Indiana Guild agrees with Platt. He also points out that proceeds from traveling festivals don’t necessarily stay in the community, and urges festival-goers to choose events that directly benefit local organizations.

In a similar vein, Paul Leone of the New York State Brewers Association warns of “festival fatigue,” saying “[p]eople will grow tired of uninformed volunteers pouring samples, and gravitate towards festivals where the brewers pour the beer.”

Educate Your Palate

The October 10 Friday Mash contained an item about a new beer and food pairing course offered by the Brewers Association. The course, which you can download for free, co-authored by chef Adam Dulye, the Association’s culinary consultant and Julia Herz, the Association’s craft beer program director.

It’s constructed as a five-day-long introduction to craft beer, pairing beer with food, and how to pour and present beer at the table. In addition to lectures and suggested readings, instructors guide students through two tasting sessions of beer styles and a food pairing session.

Spotlight on Michigan

The craft brewing industry in Maryanne, Paul, and Ludwig’s home state of Michigan recently earned recognition from the Brewers Association. An article by Julia Herz has the particulars.

A few facts: The Great Lake Beer State ranks fifth nationally in the number of breweries, and has more breweries than any state east of the Rockies. The brewing industry contributes more than $133 million annually to Michigan’s economy. A number of the state’s breweries have won a national following–not to mention medals at the Great American Beer Festival. And there’s even a beer made expressly for Michigan’s own Kid Rock; appropriately enough, it’s called Badass Beer.

GABF Countdown

Tomorrow evening, the Great American Beer Festival gets underway. And to get you ready…

The beer blogger at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer chooses the top 25 breweries to visit at the GABF.

FoodManufacturing.com interviewed Julia Herz of the Brewers Association about the festival and craft beer in general.

The Colorado Beer Week blog offers an insider’s tip: five lesser-known Colorado breweries to check out on the festival floor.

Denver-based blogger, Jonathan Shikes of Westworld magazine, points Coloradans in the direction of 12 out-of-state breweries that will be pouring in Denver.

Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery has released a schedule of events before, during, and after the GABF.

Todd and Jason Alstrom of BeerAdvocate.com offer survival tips to festival-goers. One worth paying attention to: mind your altitude. When you’re 5,280 feet above sea level, the alcohol in your beer will hit you sooner than you think.

Finally, The Full Pint asked a variety of brewers about their presence at the festival. As you might expect, there was a variety of responses.

Women and Craft Beer

In the provocatively-titled article “Women, Craft Beer and Centerfolds,” Julia Herz gives us facts and figures about the progress women have made in the craft brewing movement. Herz names prominent women in brewing, provides statistics (did you know that 37% of weekly craft beer drinkers are women?); and lists female beer-tasting clubs.

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