Industry News

The United States of Beer: The Best Brew From Each of the 50 States

December 5, 2012

What's your favorite beer from your home state? Not too long ago, this question would have likely drawn blank stares, as most folks in the country had to make do with macro-brewed lagers and the odd European import at their local bars. But the massive suds renaissance of the past few decades has changed all that, spawning more than 2,000 craft breweries for locals to rally behind, and making cross-country beer hunting a more compelling pastime than ever.

While any "best of" compilation is unavoidably colored by personal tastes, our goal in compiling this nation-wide hit list was to think about the one beer that most fully represents the regional style, heritage, and attitude of brewing in each state. In places with well-developed scenes like California and Pennsylvania, that might mean a gamechanging double IPA or classic pilsner that set the bar for all those that came after. In more up-and-coming states like Missouri or Virginia, it's more likely to be that singular pour that you'd be a fool to miss if you came within striking distance of the brewery.

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British government wants booze price hike

November 28, 2012

Alcohol abuse is one of the U.K.’s most intractable problems. About a quarter of the British population is believed to be drinking to excess and it’s costing the country a packet. The state-run National Health Service spends more than $4 billion a year dealing with the effects of binge drinking and the  overall economic cost -- in booze-related crime, accidents and lost productivity -- has been put at a staggering $35 billion.

Home Office Minister Damien Green says cheap booze is largely to blame. He says the most obvious manifestation is the epidemic of public drunkenness: “City centers on a Friday and Saturday night often become a vision of hell," he says. “And a lot of this is fueled by very cheap, very strong alcohol.”

So he has come up with a plan: a minimum price for alcohol.

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Last Call

November/December 2012

Industry giants are threatening to swallow up America's carefully regulated alcohol industry, and remake America in the image of booze-soaked Britain.

England has a drinking problem. Since 1990, teenage alcohol consumption has doubled. Since World War II, alcohol intake for the population as a whole has doubled, with a third of that increase occurring since just 1995. The United Kingdom has very high rates of binge and heavy drinking, with the average Brit consuming the equivalent of nearly ten liters of pure ethanol per year.

It’s apparent in their hospitals, where since the 1970s rates of cirrhosis and other liver diseases among the middle-aged have increased by eightfold for men and sevenfold for women. And it’s apparent in their streets, where the carousing, violent “lager lout” is as much a symbol of modern Britain as Adele, Andy Murray, and the London Eye. Busting a bottle across someone’s face in a bar is a bona fide cultural phenomenon—so notorious that it has its own slang term, “glassing,” and so common that at one point the Manchester police called for bottles and beer mugs to be replaced with more shatter-resistant material. In every detail but the style of dress, the alleys of London on a typical Saturday night look like the scenes in William Hogarth’s famous pro-temperance print Gin Lane. It was released in 1751.

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