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Holiday 2010, Issue 5

Holiday 2010, Issue 5

In the grand scheme of things, a year is really only a blip in time. But for The Beer Connoisseur, it’s been an eternity.  

The planet has made one more of its long, steady trips around the sun since our inaugural issue went on sale in December 2009, and now we’re blowing out the one fat candle on our fresh-baked birthday cake. Considering all that’s gone into getting us to where we are today, we feel warranted in taking a minute to step back and celebrate a bit. But as we do, we’re of course constantly reminding ourselves of the simple fact that really, we’d be nowhere if it wasn’t for you, dear reader.

When we set out to bring you as rich a report on the world of beer as we could possibly muster, we knew the path before us would be as steep and twisting as Lombard Street in that beer-loving burg. But as Henry Ford’s famous line goes, “The airplane takes off against the wind, not with it,” and so boldly we pushed ahead, certain of our goal and filled with the clear vision to carry us through. Our journey has still only just begun, yet here we stand one year in. And we have to say, that feels damn good.

Many of you jumped on The Beer Connoisseur train before it even left the station, subscribing online and at events like the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, where, to our wild surprise, we received a tremendous outpouring of support without even having a single issue to show for ourselves. Since then, we’ve gradually picked up steam, and with an ever-growing crowd of passengers we’re now chugging along, sipping some beautiful beer as we go.

Thanks to our group of marvelously talented contributors, we’ve brought you a year’s worth of issues full of stories springing forth from what is undoubtedly the most vibrant beer landscape the world has ever seen. And now we’re charging ahead, stronger than ever.

This latest issue that you  hold in your hands is the beery product of all the effort that has gone into filling our figurative fermenter over the past 12 months. In it you’ll find stories that speak to the passion and creativity that bubbles up through the beverage we all love, like our latest Innovators Series installment on Rogue Ales’s pioneering spirit, John Maier. We bring you the first appearance of something we plan to make a yearly habit of – a close look at our Beers of the Year, the eight brews that landed at the top of our first four reviews. We head to Italy to chart the recent explosion in the country’s brewing scene for our latest international travel guide, and we explore the tradition of women in brewing that the Pink Boots Society works to make sure is never overlooked.

Also in this issue, we delve into the increasingly popular mingling of fine beer and fine chocolate, and we sit down for a beer at one of the world’s most beloved watering holes, Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia. Plus, we again take you with us as we visit popular breweries from coast to coast. We study the finer points of four winter-friendly beer styles. We continue to chronicle the evolution of our own house beer. And we offer some tips for those just starting down the road to beer connoisseurship.

So uncap one of your favorite brews and dig into this, our first anniversary issue. I’ve said it before, but it certainly bears repeating – we couldn’t do it without you.


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