Krulwich Wonders: U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers to See if They Are Safe to Drink

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Robert offers some practical advice on what to do if you survive a nuclear blast... and really want to drink that beer that made it through with you.

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Beer Talk: Joe Jackson

Monday, August 06, 2012

The English singer-songwriter, composer and pianist Joe Jackson (best known for hits like “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” and “Steppin Out”) recently stopped by to talk about his new album of Duke Ellington songs, called "The Duke." Jackson is also quite the stealth connoisseur when it comes to beer -- and so we invited him to sample a few ales with us in this installment of Beer Talk.

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Transportation Nation

Craft Brewers Work Hard To Get Suds To Thirsty Masses in Sweltering Heat

Friday, July 06, 2012

Beer inside DC Brau's brewery in Washington, D.C.  needs to keep cool. For small brewers in blistering heat, shipping becomes make or break for in the beer business. (Photo by Martin Di Caro)

Hear this story in audio (with catchy music too) at WAMU

(Washington, D.C. -- WAMU) Environmentally aware consumers choose to eat vegetables and meat produced at local farms to avoid foods hauled over long distances by tractor trailers. Buying close to home also helps the local economy. It tastes better, too ... usually. Produce is fresher if eaten the day after it's picked and sold at a local farmer's market, unlike fruits and vegetables hauled across the country on a truck.

In many cities, consumers do not have such options at their liquor store. But the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area's emerging craft beer market is now catering to their tastes.

"The less time the product has to travel the fresher it will be," says Jeff Hancock, the co-founder and head brewer at D.C. Brau, the city's first microbrewery since 1956. Hancock and co-founder Brandon Skall opened D.C. Brau last April.

As small business owners with just five full-time and six part-time employees, they face formidable tasks of coordinating the shipments of their ingredients over long distances, and then getting their finished product to the market fresh.

"One of the big issues related to transportation that we have... is making sure that the beer stays cold from the time it leaves here to the time it gets to the account," says Skall. "It's really, really important to us since our beer is unfiltered that our beer stays cold."

Keeping D.C. Brau's four flagship beers (named Corruption, Citizen, Public, and Penn Quarter Porter) cold while they are at the brewery is not a problem. Hancock and Skall lose control the moment the brews leave the brewery.

"So you want to make sure your distributor has refrigerated trucks, your distributor has a working cold box, things that are going to keep your beer the way it needs to be as it goes through that transportation stage to finally arrive at the account," says Skall.

Before D.C. Brau can brew an ounce of beer, the ingredients need to arrive on time from hundreds of miles away. Hancock orders his barley (to make malt) from the Midwest and hops from the Pacific Northwest. It takes days for shipments to get to D.C.

"We mainly get our barley out in the Midwest because of the plains out there," says Hancock. "It's great for growing barley, wheat, and rye; a lot of the grains used in brewing, and hops come from a moist climate like the Pacific Northwest. Hops take five days from Washington state."

(Ror more on Washington, D.C.'s growing microbrew industry, see the full story from WAMU)

Port City Brewing Company opened last year in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Founder Bill Butcher says, "Really, nobody has enough cold space," referring to sellers. "They will end up putting a display out of 15 to 20 cases where it is not refrigerated. That doesn't make the beer go bad. It's just not going to stay as fresh as long. We deal with it by keeping inventories short and making sure nobody buys too much that they can't sell in a very short period of time."

D.C. Brau and other brewers have to coordinate the import of ingredients over long distances.

"We search over the globe for our ingredients, and quality is the first concern," he says. "Our pilsner malt comes from Germany. The hops come from England, Germany, and the Pacific Northwest." It takes six weeks for hops ordered in Heidelberg, Germany to arrive in Alexandria.

When Butcher opened last February, he ordered what he thought would be a three-month supply of packaging, bottles, labels, and six-pack carriers, among other items. He used them up in two weeks, causing an unexpected logistical dilemma difficult for a small business to overcome, especially since there were no other microbreweries around.

"It wasn't like we could call our neighbor up and borrow some supplies," he says.

Butcher was motivated to found a brewery for the same reasons someone may only eat vegetables sold at a local farmer's market.

"It was about four years ago when we realized that we buy all of our groceries from local producers, our meat from local farmers, but the beer we were buying was coming from the west coast," he says.

Butcher's brewery lost power during the severe storm that hit the D.C. area on June 29. More than 2 million people were without electricity following the storm. Fortunately, Butcher was able to save 13,000 gallons of beer he had on the premises, thanks to a generator he snagged for the brewery. He did, however, cancel Fourth of July-related beer tastings.

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It's A Free Country ®

Who Had the Better Week—Cuomo or Christie?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Andrew Cuomo ensures New York will have beer for years, and Chris Christie reaches the 50 percent approval mark.



End of Tax Breaks Leaves Bitter Taste for Brewers

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Fans of locally brewed beer will likely pay higher prices, unless brewers can convince lawmakers to create new tax advantages for them, after a court threw out two tax breaks that have fueled rapid growth in beer production in New York State.


The Leonard Lopate Show

How to Make Beer

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Erica Shea and Stephen Valand of Brooklyn Brew Shop demonstrate how to make your own beer! They're the authors of Brooklyn Brew Shop's Beer Making Book: 52 Seasonal Recipes for Small Batches.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Land of Beer and Honey

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tim O'Neal, blogger, who does honey bee outreach and education through Added Value Farm, talks about the first annual New York City Honey Festival, which takes place Saturday on the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk; Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, discusses the craft brew industry in New York City and its subculture. 

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The Takeaway

Why is the Cost of Beer Skyrocketing?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We asked our listeners recently what is the one thing you can't live without. One Takeaway listener, named Mike said, "I absolutely could not live without ice cold beer. God bless America!" Indeed, God bless America, where if you're a beer drinker like Mike, you might find the cost of your pint going up. Is that because of the rice in global food prices? Or an increased supply because of down in the dumps recession times?



Beer Lovers Drink Homemade Brews in Brooklyn Living Rooms

Friday, May 20, 2011


In recent years, home beer tours have become more popular in New York City, as has the number of beer enthusiasts who have pushed their dining room tables aside to make space for yeast-fermenting carboys in their tiny living rooms.

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Niche Market | Brewing Supplies

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New York is a city of specialists from foodies to academics, laborers to shopkeepers. Every Wednesday, Niche Market will take a peek inside a different specialty store and showcase the city's purists who have made an art out of selling one commodity.

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The Takeaway

Beer Summit Reactions from Detroit Bars

Friday, July 31, 2009

President Obama, Sgt. James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates Jr. met for a long anticipated beer last night outside the Oval Office. The Takeaway covered reactions to this from bar-goers in Boston and now talks with Detroit News Reporter Charlie LeDuff about what people said in the bars in Detroit.

"We've got a professor with an over-inflated opinion of himself, a cop who's a bigot, a president who shouldn't have put his foot in it, and in the end we're in the same place we were yesterday."
—Charlie LeDuff on Detroit's reaction to the beer summit

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The Takeaway

The Weekly Wrap-Up: Beer and Health Care

Friday, July 31, 2009

For The Takeaway's weekly wrap-up we talk about two stories that dominated the headlines all week—health care and beer. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden sat down with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley for a beer at the White House to try and settle their differences. And a new health care deal got closer to passing through Congress this week, but it won’t happen before the recess as the president had hoped. Here to analyze the week’s events is The Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich, and Callie Crossley, media analyst at Harvard University and media critic for Meet The Press on WGBH Boston.

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The Takeaway

Last Call: Reactions to the Beer Summit

Friday, July 31, 2009

As President Obama and Vice President Biden welcomed Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr and police Sergeant James Crowley to the beer summit, people were joining them in spirit at bars across Boston. Radio Reporter Philip Martin was there to get a take on what people hoped the meeting would accomplish.


The Takeaway

The Audacity of Hops

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As the president prepares to host a kegger to smooth the feathers ruffled over the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, the nation's beer drinkers are paying close attention. The Takeaway's Femi Oke has hit the bars (for research, naturally) to find out whether conflict is best resolved over a beer. Then Brooklyn Brewery's Beer Master, Garrett Oliver, adds his thoughts on the president's beer selection: Budweiser, Blue Moon, and Red Stripe. No Brooklyn Lager, Mr. President?


The New Yorker: Out Loud

Strange Brews

Monday, November 17, 2008

Burkhard Bilger talks about the rise of extreme beer.