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HOPS to It

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New Partnership Between The University of Maryland and
Flying Dog Brewery Hopes to Grow High-Quality Hops in
The Old Line State

The vast majority of hops in North America come from the Pacific Northwest, primarily the Yakima Valley.  Maryland is hoping to be the next great fertile region for these flowers, which are used inthe flavoring and production of beers and craft beers. To this end, Frederick-based Flying Dog Brewery has formed a partnership with the University of Maryland's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources to study the potential for high-quality hops grown in the Old Line State.

The partnership has launched a trial of two dozen varieties of hops planted at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center in Washington County. The first 12 varieties were planted after having been chosen from discussions with both industry and academic experts on what might perform well. The second 12 varieties were picked based on an informal poll of Maryland-based growers and brewers to establish what might be most marketable.

Bryan Butler, extension agent for the University of Maryland and the de facto point man on this project, remarks, "I've approached this in a very critical way.  I'm really only looking at this from the horticulture and test management side.  I'm not going to promote something that's going to cause people harm down the road in that they invest and lose money in something just because they think it'll be cool and fun.  We're in the business of providing growing information and then harvest handling information to give brewers a stable product."

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Beverage Media Group's Annual Bartenders To Watch

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A lot has changed in the world of bartending since Beverage Media’s firat "Bartenders to Watch" feature more than a decade ago. First and foremost is the increasing awareness that professional bartending is a legitimate hospitality career choice, one with challenges and pitfalls as well as great opportunity.

Included in the profession’s evolution is the constantly raised bar of cocktail competitions, giving the industry a greater chance to help discover talent and highlight their achievements. Competitions like these have become an essential component in the timeline of bartenders looking to make a national name for themselves, advance their careers and potentially move from behind the bar into sought-after jobs such as brand ambassador. Today, simply holding down a shift and ringing high numbers on the register while creating a welcoming bar atmosphere isn’t enough; 21st century bartenders need to possess deep ingredient knowledge, a mental rolodex of historic and trending recipes, and if they plan to go far, presentation skills at media-trained levels...

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Bourbon Q & A

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Bourbon: Seize the Month

by Jeff Cioletti

Bourbon, which has settled nicely into the role of America’s native spirit, has history, style and brands with colorful back-stories. While its spiritual home is Kentucky, craft producers have spread bourbon about as wide, geographi-cally, as ever in history. At the same time, established distillers have dipped into their warehouses and conjured up sundry other ways to create new bottlings and limited editions.In short, it’s a great time to sell bourbon in general, and with September being National Bourbon Heritage Month, now is the time to encourage even more experimentation within this corn-driven, barrel-aged whiskey subcategory...

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Israel Gets Real

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Association Spreads the Message of Israeli Wine Quality as a Baseline

By Jack Robertiello

Whatever the situation and whatever the season, there’s a wine made in Israel that fits the message of the Israeli Wine Producers Asso-ciation’s (IWPA) American representative, Joshua Greenstein, who these days spends half his time out on the road visiting retailers and restaurateurs, persistently proselytizing about the merits of wines from the country.

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