Beer bellies, the traditional male malady, are enough to put either sex off the idea of downing a cold one. But they’re a fallacy, says Charlie Bamforth, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, and author of Beer: Health and Nutrition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004). “This is a silly myth. If folks get fat from drinking beer, it’s because their total calorie intake is too high, and they are not working it off.”
Arenas and stadiums are awash in craft beers as teams and concessionaires seize the opportunity to capitalize on the trend toward specialty brews.
The U.S. now has more than 2,500 breweries, more than at any point in history, and more than 1,600 are in the planning stages, reported USA Today. Almost all of them are craft brewers.
After six years of making this annual list, we had to rethink the definition of a top-notch beer bar. New ones are opening every second, and “good beer bar” no longer equals a zillion taps; there’s just more to it now. We needed to walk out of these places saying, “Now there’s a bar that really, really cares about your experience with beer.” So what does that mean? Having well-cared for, thoughtfully selected beer with an eye toward variety, trends and tradition, in the kind of place you’d want to stay awhile, delivered by someone who knows their stuff. We don’t want to send you to a place where the server doesn’t look up from her texting when you ask questions, or where you’ll be told a saison “is basically a lager.” (And yes, both of those things happened on our visits.) We’d rather you to go to ChurchKey in D.C., where beers are smartly grouped by flavor (citrusy, woodsy, etc.), rather than just by style. We want you to go to Bailey’s Taproom in Portland, Ore., which cares so much about beer freshness, the digital menu says when each keg was tapped and how much is left. We want you to go to all 100 of these places, because they really are a cut above the rest.
It appears that 2014 will be another great year for beer consumers. With more than 2,500 breweries in operation and another 1,500 in planning, there has never been a better time to be a beer drinker. While brewers continue to push the innovation envelope, here are three things beer drinkers can expect to see in 2014.
Lower alcohol in session
Look for more brewers to balance out their portfolios with more sessionable beer offerings in the year ahead.