John Swartz's Blog (12)

Why it's OK to drink green beer on St. Paddy's day

The more I think about the way I consume beer, the more I think I might not have been too far off back in my 20s when I was drinking swill at house parties. There's no arguing that I get more enjoyment from the beer itself when I drink a crafted brew these days, but when it comes beer as part of a shared experience with friends, that mass-produced canned crap served its purpose back in those days.

I remember when I was young in my journey through the world of craft beer, and I had…


Added by John Swartz on March 17, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

New year, new beer: A resolution you can stick to

So it's been three weeks of the new year, and you're about ready (if you haven't already) to quit those annual resolutions to lose weight, get rich, keep a cleaner house or some other self-improvement plan that will certainly fall apart by February.

I urge you to move past that, and adopt a resolution with me that will be as enjoyable as it will be easy to keep.

New Year. New Beer. New (beer drinking) You.

I've had lots of conversations lately with my fellow…


Added by John Swartz on January 23, 2014 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Check out this Deschutes, Goose Island collaboration coming up

At the beer market these days, there is always a plethora of seasonals available. The winter season, though, always seems special. Maybe it's because of the holidays; maybe it's that the breweries see it as a combination of ending one year on a high note and starting the next on the right foot.

Either way, the winter/holiday season is a favorite for many as they search for the limited release brews. My wife, for example, looks forward all year to Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. She's…


Added by John Swartz on December 12, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Craft beer boom showing no signs of slowing

The craft beer industry is growing, and it seems like there's nothing anyone can do about it -- especially not the massive macro brews that once dominated the U.S. beer market.

Need proof that the craft beer industry has the old guard on the backpedal? Lagunitas Brewing Co. founder Tony Magee says that proof is in the big guys' actions.

"When Budweiser announced the arrival of Budweiser American Ale ... they gave everybody who was a Budweiser drinker, or otherwise a macro beer…


Added by John Swartz on November 14, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Take a beer adventure flight of variety

There are two reasons beer drinkers go to that bar with 100 taphandles -- either to find that one beer they know they'll love, or they want to sample many different beers and send their taste buds on an adventure.

I'm the latter, usually.

That's not to say that I like to go to bars and only walk out after having consumed eight pints, but I certainly wish more tap rooms would embrace taster flights so I could maybe try eight different beers.…


Added by John Swartz on August 22, 2013 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Golden Road Brewing's pint-sized cans measure up

Most craft beer drinkers want only one thing -- variety. Sure, most craft beer fans could name a brew in response to the question "if you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?" They'd probably just name their favorite or their go-to brew. But if actually faced with the situation, they'd likely be miserable after a few toss-back sessions.

I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation ...

BeerFan1: "Where should we go?"…


Added by John Swartz on July 11, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Drink in the American Dream at Beer Army

Even if it's not yours, no distance is too great to travel to see a dream come true.

How far do you live from the Beer Army Combat Brewery? I was lucky enough to visit the newest Eastern North Carolina brewery last month, and I'd wager my 2,941 miles (from San Francisco to Trenton, NC) put me about as far away as you can get in the lower 48. And it was worth every mile.

My wife and I decided to make Beer Army locations key features in our North Carolina vacation -- a pair of…


Added by John Swartz on June 10, 2013 at 4:55pm — 2 Comments

Former homebrewer goes public at Petaluma Hills BrewCo

The guys at Beer Army have something quite in common with Jeffrey Jay, even though he lives 2,986 miles away. I'm not talking about the love of craft beer (that's something we ALL have in common). No, I'm talking about taking a dream born as a homebrewer and turning it into a public brewery so that they can share their craft with the world.

In fact, the guys at Beer Army are going to be pouring their first beer to the public this…


Added by John Swartz on April 11, 2013 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

Moylan's brewmaster Denise Jones offers up amazing West Coast selection

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area leaves no shortage of craft beer tasting opportunities, but would you believe me when I told you that living in Novato gives me one of the best sample chances in the region?

Have you ever heard of Novato? It's home to Moylan's Brewery (and what puts my Marin County city "on the map," as far as I'm concerned), and it's ultimately the first stop anytime I take one of my visiting friends on a beer tour.

It's just a few exits up 101 from…


Added by John Swartz on March 11, 2013 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Russian River's Pliny the Younger is the Star of Winter Beer Fests

Winter is a great time to drink beer. So are summer, fall and spring, obviously. But the wintertime is one of my favorite times for beer festivals in the Left Coast.

We're right smack in the middle of SF Beer Week -- a big-time beer fest that goes far beyond San Francisco but incorporates much…


Added by John Swartz on February 12, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Beer Army Featured On Local TV Station's Website

As online news manager for WCTI-TV, I had the pleasure recently of talking with Dustin Canestorp about the new Beer Army Outpost, and his vision for the future of craft beer in New Bern and the rest of ENC. That same day, I also had to pleasure of trying Lafferty's Hop Grenade IPA for my side gig. Read and enjoy!

Beer Army on WCTI:

Hop Grenade on The Man FAQ:…


Added by John Swartz on April 25, 2012 at 11:39pm — 1 Comment

Five beers that will punch you in the mouth

There is drinking beer, and there is taming a beer beast. Here’s my list of five beers that will punch you right back in the mouth should your dare to tame them. Be careful, they could knock you out.

Pliny the Younger, Russian River: It’s only available for one week out of the year, and when I was there back in 2010 the brewery sold out on the day of release. The massive IPA was…


Added by John Swartz on April 18, 2012 at 4:38pm — No Comments

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