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The KegWorks Blog

Beerography – The Study of Beer Geography

April 14th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

We live in an age of information. With modern technology, it’s so easy to gather data and then visualize it in new and exciting ways. In this way, we can answer the important questions of our time. Who are we? Why are we here? And what is our favorite beer?

Consider the project undertook by Matt Zook and Ate Poorthuis, two geography professors with the University of Kentucky. In an attempt to uncover specific regional trends in the beer world, the two men stumbled onto a novel idea: utilizing geotagged tweets to hone in on any discernible patterns regarding beer tastes in our fair country.

The resulting information is featured as a chapter in the new book The Geography of Beer and serves as a compelling jumping off point for any discussion of how beer tastes differ throughout the country.

Below, you’ll see several of the maps that Zook and Poorthuis produced through their research. If you love beer, novel information, or both, then you’ll love looking at these maps.





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Introducing the World’s First Traveling Beer Fest: Beer Camp Across America

April 11th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Beer Camp Across America Sierra Nevada Traveling Beer FestivalThere’s nothing worse than a concert or festival that’s out of town. You’re favorite band or brewery holding an event that’s just too far away. You gotta buy tickets, find a place to stay, take time off from work, and pay travel expenses. Oftentimes, it’s just out of the question.

Imagine a traveling beer festival. Your favorite breweries, your favorite beers, your favorite event, and it all comes to you. They do the travelling. You stay right where you are. You’re imagining Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America.

The California craft brewery announced this week that they’re inviting every craft brewery in the country (that’s close to 3,000 breweries) to take part in a two-week traveling beer festival this summer, from July 19th – August 2nd.

Siera Nevada's Beer Camp Across America Traveling Beer Festival


“We’re about to open a second brewery in North Carolina, and while that’s exciting for us, it’s an even greater reason to celebrate the future of craft brewers everywhere,” Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder told Beverage World. “We’ve watched and learned from each other for decades, and together we’ve seen tastes change and craft’s momentum snowball. Beer Camp Across America is our way of reflecting on this—with thousands of brewers, fans and great beers. It should be pretty fun.”

They’re hitting seven cities, each for a day. The schedule is below:

  • Sat, July 19th: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
  • Sun, July 20th: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
  • Fri, July 25th: Rocky Mountain Edition at Sculpture Park in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
  • Sun, July 27th: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
  • Fri, August 1st: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
  • Sat, August 2nd: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA, 12-5 p.m.
  • Sun, August 3rd: Southeast Edition in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.

Each festival will feature up to two beers per brewery, food vendors, and live music by  the 
MarchFourth Marching Band spectacle.

As part of the celebration, 12 brewers from across the country are brewing 12 collaboration beers to be released in one special, mixed 12-pack. The dozen breweries featured include Ninkasi, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ballast Point, 3 Floyd’s, Bells, Allagash, Russian River, Asheville Brewers Alliance, and Russian River in 12oz bottles. Then in 12oz cans will be Oskar Blues and Cigar City.

Beer Camp Across America 12-pack

Proceeds from the festival will go to the state brewers guilds in the festival host states and to hop and barley research to foster the development of new types of hop varieties and barley crops to fuel the pursuit of new flavor experiences for the ever-expanding tastes of craft drinkers.

Tickets are now on sale at the Beer Camp website and are limited to 5,000 per venue. Tickets cost $65 for general admission. That price includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings (in most locations, see the website for full details). A designated driver ticket is available for $30. How sweet is that?

Sure, it’s only seven cities, but hey, it’s better than one city right? One of those seven cities could be  a lot closer to you than just Chico, CA. And let’s be real, it’s the first year for the traveling edition of Beer Camp. 20 years from now, they could hit all 50 states.

For those that can’t make the festival, the Beer Camp Across America 12-pack will be available throughout the U.S. this summer. If anyone reading does go, be sure to send us some pics!

Check out the Beer Camp Across America trailer below:

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Ready for Golf Season? You’re Gonna Love This…

April 10th, 2014 by Collin Wittman


This morning, I woke up and saw sunshine. Like, genuine, bright sunshine that seemed capable of delivering warmth. Birds were chirping. I was able to climb into my car, turn it on, and drive away. No scraping. No shoveling. No warming up the engine block. I thought “Is this Heaven?” But of course it’s not. It’ just spring. And it’s finally (FINALLY) here.

That’s the good news. And here’s the better news: where there’s spring, there’s golf. In fact, today is the first round of one of spring’s most anticipated annual rites of passage, a tradition unlike any other, the Masters.

It’s awesome to see the world’s finest golfers revving up their games and going after a coveted green jacket. On the course, these guys are all about precision shot making, honed athleticism, and nerves of forged steel.

Needless to say, that’s not how I am on the course. I’m more about trying to avoid quadruple bogeys and making sure that I’ve got a cold beer always at the ready. Does that sound like you too?

Then you’re going to love the Par 6 Golf Bag Can Cooler!

Par 6 Golf Bag Can Cooler

This unique cooler is made from durable polyester with a layer of insulating foam. It’s specially designed to fit into the shoe pocket of most standard sized golf bags and can hold up to 6 cans of brew. It comes with a convenient reusable gel pack that freezes quickly and stays cold so that your beers are frosty and refreshing.

Par 6 Golf Bag Can Cooler

If you like beer, and you like golf, this is a hole in one. Get yours before you hit the links. You’ll be glad you did.

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“Bills and Brews” Pairs Craft Beer with Politicians to Rid Washington of Partisanship

April 9th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Bills and Brew Logo

There’s plenty of talk these days about the seemingly impenetrable partisanship in Washington. “The country is divided,” “Our lawmakers can’t get anything done,” “We need to change the conversation in Washington.” These are statements we read in the press and hear on the news on a daily basis. But what are we – what is anyone – doing about it?

Is there any way to tamp down the rhetoric and toss out the talking points? Matt Laslo, a veteran Washington reporter, believes there is, and he aims to do just that with his Kickstarter Campaign for a web video series called “Bills and Brews.”

The premise is simple: “By taking politicians outside of the typical media bubble and putting a local craft beer in their hands, Bills and Brews is aiming to rid Washington of partisanship one sip at a time.”

By creating an informal atmosphere where both the interviewer and the interviewee are enjoying a beer, Laslo hopes to cut through the bullshit. And since craft brewing policy is a hot new political subject, every discussion on the series will cover craft beer and the policies surrounding it.

Check out the video below for more on the premise of the show.

Matt Laslo is definitely the man for this job. He has a Master’s degree in Government and Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote his thesis on the impact of hyper-partisanship on contemporary lawmaking. And he’s been covering Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court since 2006 – his stories frequently appearing on NPR and countless other political print publications.

Laslo has four days before he reaches his funding deadline. He’s about $19,000 away. So if you’re interested in backing “Bills and Brews,” head on over to his Kickstarter page.

If you’re still not sure, check out the first episode with Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon, who just so happens to be the head of the Congressional Small Brewers Caucus.

Good luck, Matt! We hope to see many more episodes of “Bills and Brews” in the future.

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National Beer Day Meets World Health Day: The Top 8 Health Benefits of Beer

April 7th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Today, April 7th, 2014, is World Health Day. On this day, the World Health Organization urges the global community to take the proper steps to educate themselves on some of the more potentially impactful health risks in our world. This year, the chief message of World Health Day revolves around the threat of vector borne diseases (think malaria, dengue, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and many others that are spread through the bite of common pests like mosquitoes, ticks, and more).

Now, coincidentally, today is also National Beer Day. Of course, beer can’t do much for helping protect us from mosquito bites, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a key contributor to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Beer is basically a medical marvel that (when consumed in moderation) does a body good in countless ways.

In honor of today being World Health Day and National Beer Day all at once, please enjoy this list of the top 8 ways beer has been proven to be a boon to health and happiness.

1. Beer-Marinated Meat Helps Fight Cancer

health benefits of beer

Meat cooked at high temperatures develops Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These PAHs are also found in car exhaust and cigarette smoke and have been proven to be carcinogenic to lab animals (though still inconclusive for humans). Marinating meat in pilsner helps cut the development of these PAHs so you can eat your meat with a worry-free mind.

2. Happy Hearts

health benefits of beer

A pint of beer per day can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 31%.

3. Vidal Sassoon Eat Your Heart Out

health benefits of beer

Beer makes a great deep conditioner that helps reverse sun damage to your hair.

4. No One Wants to be Prooxidant

health benefits of beer

More antioxidants than wine? Oh beer, we love you so much.

5. B (Vitamin) Kind to Your Body

health benefits of beer

A single bottle of beer contains up to 12.5% of your recommended dosage of Vitamin B6, as well as trace amounts of other B vitamins.

6. Bones of Steel

health benefits of beer

Silicon, a crucial ingredient for developing strong bones, is found in beer.

7. Take a Pass on Kidney Stones

health benefits of beer

A recent study found that moderate beer consumption helped lower the risk of developing kidney stones by up to 41%.

8. Put A Hop In Your Step

health benefits of beer

Hops contain polyphenols which help lower cholesterol and fight cancer. So go ahead and sip that IPA with a guilt-free conscience.

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Craft Beer is Now Soaring Sky High

April 4th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

No, I’m not talking about these amazing new 2013 stats from the Brewers Association (seen below). I’m talking about craft beer on airplanes.

Brewers Association 2013 Craft Beer Stats

That’s right. According to the USA Today, Southwest Airlines began selling cans of New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire on over 700 planes earlier this year. JetBlue started offering cans of Sam Adams over the summer, Alaska Airlines and their sister carrier, Horizon Air, offer craft beer from the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii, and last month, regional carrier, Sun Country, partnered with Minneapolis’ Surly Brewing Co. to sell craft beer on their planes.

This isn’t an entirely new thing. Some Delta shuttle flights have offered bottled Sam Adams for over 20 years, and Virgin America has been offering a selection from 21st Amendment Brewery for a few fears, but that was really it. Now, all of the airlines seem to be jumping on board.

So, what’s the reason for all of this? Well, a lot of it has to do with that infographic pictured at the top of this blog post. There’s more craft breweries, more craft beer, and more craft beer drinkers than ever before. And if people are drinking it on the ground, chances are, they’d like to drink it in the air as well.

Virgin Airlines Craft Beer

Image courtesy of

In fact, airline customers have apparently been asking for it, according to Sonya Lacore, the senior director of base operations for Southwest Airlines. “We’re running out of Fat Tire right now. It’s clear that they are really going all out for it,” she told Michael Felberbaum from the Associated Press.

The general acceptance of canned craft beer has also helped the cause. For years, canned craft beer was seen as taboo by many drinkers. Of course, this perception has changed, and it’s great news for the airlines, as cans are lighter and easier to store on drink carts.

SweetWater Beer on Delta

Image courtesy of

I personally don’t go for beer when I’m flying. I usually ask for a neat whiskey, or maybe a vodka with a splash of cranberry. But I do that for two reasons: first, I’m deathly afraid of flying, so I’m trying to tie on a buzz as quickly as I possibly can, but also, they don’t typically have a beer selection that I’m interested in.

I’m not alone in that. According to the USA Today article, “Passengers aboard six North American airlines spent more than $11.3 million on beer during a five-month period last year, according to GuestLogix, which processes about 90 percent of onboard credit card transactions for North American carriers. By comparison, liquor sales neared $38 million and wine sales topped $14 million during that same period.”

Price may play a large role in those stats, however. On Southwest, where all of the alcohol is priced equally, beer sales are neck-and-neck with liquor and wine.

Either way, it’s encouraging to see airlines making a concerted effort to cater to popular tastes. Jim Koch, co-founder of Boston Beer Co. said it best: “This is one more step for craft beer becoming a more widely accepted experience for people.”

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“Bloody Mary. Extra Spicy Please.”

April 3rd, 2014 by Collin Wittman
Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

So Sunday morning rolls around and it’s glorious, right? It’s all Netflix marathons and sleeping in, or soccer practice and yard work, or golf and cigars, or if you’re really lucky, brunch. Sweet, sweet brunch. I mean, can we talk about that for a second?

It’s breakfast. It’s lunch. It’s pancakes. It’s cheeseburgers. It’s quality time spent with friends or family or some All-American mixture of the two. But most of all, it’s a chance to turn to the waiter and say my five favorite words, “Bloody Mary. Extra spicy please.”

Yes, friends, I crave the heat. I desire the fire. Nothing gets my tastebuds cranking like a few bold sips of a burning Bloody Mary. Talk about turning up the heat on a Sunday Funday, you know what I mean?

Well, if you’re like me and you want an explosion of fiery flavor with each Bloody sip, today is your lucky day. We just started carrying some unique items that are going to set your brunch aflame. Check them out below.

(Hint: click the pictures if you want to add these bad boys to your cart ASAP).

(Another Hint: click here to check out our whole line of awesome mixes, ingredients, and accessories that will help set your Bloody Mary bar apart)

1. Powell & Mahoney Sriracha Bloody Mary Cocktail Mix

Sriracha Bloody Mary

Yeah, you read that right. Sriracha. Sure, it’s hot, but its also flavorful as hell. Not for the faint of heart, but perfect for anyone who enjoys delicious things.

2. Benny’s Smokin’ Chipotle Bloody Mary Snack Straws – Pack of 5

Chipotle Beef Straws

You’ve had the regular Benny’s Bloody Mary beef straws. Now it’s time to spice things up with these straws made of a perfect combination of beef, pork, and smoky chipotle heat.

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