Breweries, wineries, distilleries; Portland, Oregon has them all. Its craft beverage scene is the envy of cities around the nation. But sake? Yep: I visited SakéOne in Forest Grove to view the sake-brewing process firsthand and learn what distinguishes Oregon sake from Japanese.
The Los Altos highlands of Jalisco are known for their iron-rich red soil and high altitude: we're talking about 7,000 feet above sea level. (Take that, Mile High City!) This is where Olmeca Altos tequila is produced. Join us on a tour behind the scenes...
If you walk into any bar, anywhere in the world, odds are high that you'll be able to count on one thing—a bottle of Angostura Aromatic Bitters ready to season your cocktail. I went to Trinidad and Tobago to see how these bitters (and the House of Angostura's rums) are made.
With just two pairs of hands and three 30-barrel fermenters, Matt Monahan and Sam Richardson of Other Half Brewing can only brew so much beer. But they have their eyes on the prize. Take a peek behind the scenes at the new Gowanus brewery.
Switchel, also known as switzel, swizzle, or Haymaker's Punch, refers to the apple cider vinegar, water, and ginger-based drink found throughout America and the Caribbean during the 17th century and beyond. Both Laura Ingalls-Wilder and Herman Melville were fans, the latter mentioning it in the story "I and My Chimney." Unlike a shrub, switchel is mostly been consumed as a stand-alone drink, not a cocktail or bubbly-water addition. And while the switchel dates back several hundred years, it's on the rise again in Brooklyn thanks to Ely Key and Garrett Riffle's Up Mountain Switchel.
Known best for its bitters, Fee Brothers has been around for 150 years. We had a chance to go behind the scenes at the company's Rochester, NY headquarters.
Join us for a virtual tour of Herradura's operation in action—from the agave nursery to the harvest, the giant clay ovens to the fermentation tanks, the stills to the barrels, and everything in between.
Grappa can be thought of as the final production of a grape, as it is made from the pomace—skins, seeds, and stems—after the fruit has been used to make wine. The tradition of grappa finds its truest home in the Northeastern regions of Italy, where farmers turned the leftovers of their harvest into what was then seen as a healthful elixir.
2013 has been something of a banner year for Washington DC's food and drink scene and there's little sign of slowing. One of the latest additions is the fourth major brewery to come online in the District.
I visited the brewery to see how Pilsner Urquell is made today, as well as to see some of the equipment and methods that were used in the past. Barrel-fermented, unfiltered pilsner? Don't mind if I do...
95% of the world's bourbon is made in Kentucky—and more than half of that is made by Jim Beam. Come take a look inside the distillery.
2Bar Spirits is one of the few grain-to-bottle operations that have opened in the three years since the easing of laws gave birth to Washington State's fledgling craft distilling industry.
This was my second trip to Belgium, but my first as a brewer. I went looking for inspiration, to taste some of the best beers in the world in their native land, but also see what's new, what's developing, what direction Belgian beer is taking.
The most popular tourist destination in Ireland? Nope, not the Book of Kells at Trinity College or the Blarney Castle. It's the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Situated on St. James Street in an industrial complex overlooking the rest of the city, this is where Guinness has been brewed since the stout's inception in 1759. But to clarify, the Guinness Storehouse that's open to visitors is not the physical brewery; it's a six-story (pint-shaped!) museum full of interactive exhibits explaining the Guinness brewing process and its Irish heritage.
Since the debut of its Original Label Gin, Letherbee has unveiled a limited-release gin for autumn; a unique "absinthe brun," which aged in a charred oak barrel; and R. Franklin's Original Recipe Malört, an ode to the (in)famous Chicago-centric and wormwood-driven bitter liqueur developed in collaboration with Robby F. Haynes, bar manager at Chicago's first modern craft-cocktail destination, The Violet Hour.
Rather than purchase raw neutral spirits, which is common practice for many manufacturers, Absolut takes control of the process from beginning to end—from seed to glass—and it's all done locally in Sweden. I traveled there to tour the distillery and learn about how vodka is made—I also got a sneak peek at some new Absolut products that are coming down the pipeline.
Alex has partnered with Jay Goodwin, former Head of Barrel-Aging at Orange County's sour-happy The Bruery, and Jay's father, Brad, to create the Rare Barrel. On the verge of licensing approval, they will produce exclusively barrel-aged sour beers. Their first stainless fermentation tank is arriving as I type this.
Over the last 20 years New Glarus has gained its cult-favorite status by doing two things: producing delicious and inventive beers inspired by old-world recipes, and playing hard to get. Currently the beer is only available in Wisconsin, and they plan on keeping it that way.
It's all too easy to talk about Utica, New York as the industrial town past its prime. Where have all the jobs gone? What's keeping this place alive? Utica's hardly the manufacturing hub of central New York that it used to be. But asking those questions as condemnatory rhetorical remarks ignores some truths. It ignores the locals who've developed small businesses to revitalize the community they love. It disregards the people who've moved to the area to start new companies. And it forgets about those who never left, like the 124 year-old FX Matt Brewery, the home of Saranac and Utica Club beers and the second oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S.
As part of an effort to revitalize local agriculture, the planning firm that Brian Ellison worked for purchased 25 acres of land on Washington Island, Wisconsin to begin growing wheat. But they began to run out of places to sell that wheat, and that's when Ellison, founder and president of Death's Door Distillery, got the idea to start distilling it.