Upcoming Events for Great American Craft Beer…

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So now that we have a few weeks of interviews behind us, now comes the fun part: celebrating Great American Craft Beer. The lovely folks at Cambridge Common will be hosting the book release party for Great American Craft Beer on Thursday September 2, 2010, from 6-8pm. There is some information on Facebook and a little more about this event on BeerAdvocate. Everyone is welcome to join us and beer will be pay as you go.

Great American Craft Beer Book Release Party.

Come join us for the release party for beer writer Andy Crouch’s new book, Great American Craft Beer. He’ll be leading one of Cambridge Common’s Beer Skools, talking about selections from his book (all available on tap at the Common), and also will be signing copies of the book. There will be snacks, great beers, a wee bit of education, and a great night celebrating American craft beer.

Gordon’s Culinary Center and Beer Education.

Starting next month, I will be hosting a series of beer related events at the Gordon’s Fine Wine and Culinary Center in Waltham. We’re calling it “The Art, Beauty and Complexity of Beer; A Series of Not-So-Serious Discussions.” I will be hosting “a revolving lineup of engaging craft beer personalities as they dish out their opinions on everything from the state of American craft beer to the preposterous amounts of facial hair in the industry. As any good beer discussion must be, these intimate conversations will take place over samples of beer from the brewers themselves.”

The first installment of the series, “Brew to the Future,” first event will be held on September 8, 2010, and will go from 7-8:30 pm. I am fortunate to be joined by two of New England’s most interesting and exciting brewers: Dann Paquette, co-owner and brewer of Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project and Jon Curtis from the Haverhill Brewery. These two experienced and adventurous brewers will be discussing the impact of traditional brewing cultures on their work, from Jon’s modern take on German classics to Dann’s roots in English methods. With Jon and Dann, there will be no shortage of opinion, hilarity, and (of course) period costumes.

From the folks at Gordon’s on the venue: “Gordon’s Fine Wine and Culinary Center is the preeminent venue for beer education in the Boston area. Through trips, classes, festivals and electronic media, our knowledgeable beer staff is constantly busy championing the necessity for respect and admiration for mankind’s original beverage of choice.”

Great American Beer Festival – The Great American Craft Beer Experience.

We of course will be holding an excellent beer education and tasting event in Denver during the upcoming Great American Beer Festival. Join us for the Great American Craft Beer Experience, a tasting event featuring three of America’s most exciting and talented brewers.

Part book-release party, part celebration of American craft beer, the event will give attendees an excellent opportunity to taste beers from around the country and interact with the brewers.

Brewers will be attending from Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery (Paul Philippon), Firestone Walker Brewing Company (Matt Brynildson), and Odell Brewing Company (Doug Odell).

Beers: Duck-Rabbit: Milk Stout and Wee Heavy Scotch Ale; Firestone Walker: Double Barrel Ale, Union Jack, and Parabola; Odell: IPA and 90 Shilling. Other beers may be added.

Sponsored by BeerAdvocate, the event will feature at least six beers from these breweries, selected from Great American Craft Beer, in a tutored tasting event with the brewers themselves. Andy Crouch will moderate a panel discussion and attendees will be able to ask questions of the author and the brewers.

Limited to 50 tickets, for a more intimate event, so get yours while they last.

Ticket price is $45 and includes beer tastings, a signed copy of Great American Craft Beer, light appetizers, and a 6-issue subscription (just a taste) to BeerAdvocate magazine.

Buy Tickets

Please note tickets will be “will-call” (physical tickets will not be shipped; guest list at the event). And sorry: No refunds. No door sales. No media passes.

Newly opened, Stoney’s Bar & Grill is located at 1111 Lincoln Street in downtown Denver, Colorado.

Published in August 2010 by Running Press, Andy Crouch’s Great American Craft Beer takes readers on a passionate and informative journey through the most palate-pleasing ales and lagers produced by American craft brewers today. A personal guide and companion to the exciting world of American craft beer, this unique book also touches upon several related subjects including food, travel, history, and the stories and personalities of America’s best brewers. More than 60 styles and 350 beer profiles are accompanied by full-color photographs and illustrations of the beers and beer labels. It also includes perfect pairing recipes and profiles of 25 of the best beer bars in the country.

Andy Crouch, an award-winning freelance writer, has provided articles to Ale Street News, American Brewer, Celebrator Beer news, New Brewer Magazine, Yankee Food News, and through his website, BeerScribe.com. He writes columns for both Beverage Magazine and BeerAdvocate Magazine. In addition, Crouch’s first book, The Good Beer Guide to New England, was published by the University Press of New England in May 2006. He resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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A Passion for Beer: Suzanne Schalow and Kate Baker…

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While beer bars such as the Toronado, Brickskeller, and The Publick House captivate beer geeks and the media, hundreds of lesser known publicans endeavor everyday to spread the gospel of better beer to their customers. In the Boston-area, beer lovers need look no further than the Cambridge Common for such an underappreciated beer bar, where several dozen beer dinners, tastings, and other special events happen every year. At the heart of the Common beats the passion of its managers, Kate Baker and Suzanne Schalow. This beer-dedicated pair presents thirty taps, fifteen regularly rotating, selected from their deeply cultivated relationships with like-minded local breweries. “I love the fact that we have so many local crafts on tap,? says Baker. “New England is full of so many amazing craft breweries and it’s an honor to be able to showcase them at the Common.? They recently spent their vacation traveling to breweries and festivals throughout New England trying new beers.

Education, access, and experimentation are the big three secrets to their enthusiastic operation. Schalow and Baker treat regulars like family and help nudge some of these relatives to transition from macros in ice cold glasses to new craft beers. “Well, as we say around the Common, ‘changing the world, one beer at a time,’? says Schalow. Under their leadership, the Common also promotes a philosophy of fair pricing on food and beer, a rarity in price challenged Boston. Baker, the Common’s beer buyer who is also known as the Keg Shaker, also oversees the kitchen and its use of beer in cooking, having previously cooked at the Boston Beer Works brewpub.

The pair half-jokingly dreams of turning the Common into a brewpub. But until that day, Schalow and Baker just look forward to learning more about beer to aid their teaching efforts. In addition to their pub work, they recently helped found Women in Beer, a group of dedicated beer lovers, including men and women, who work to celebrate the contributions of women in the beer business. While Cambridge Common may not be on most beer geek radars, it should be. As Schalow notes, “Those of us that love craft beer are really all in this together, just a bunch of geeks on an incredible journey.?

–Article appeared in Issue 31 of BeerAdvocate Magazine.

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