Box Brew Kits Craft Beer and Homebrewing Blog – Tagged "craft beer" – Page 2
Know Your Craft: What to Know about Vegan and Gluten-Free Beers

Know Your Craft: What to Know about Vegan and Gluten-Free Beers

What’s the Deal with Gluten-Free Beers?

If there’s one thing you should teach your children or future children, it’s this: don’t trust every click-bait list they read on Buzzfeed. That said, every time we see headlines like the ones below on our newsfeed showing how delish gluten-free food is, we tend to take it with a grain of salt:

  • 25 Gluten-Free Desserts That’ll Make You Forget All About Flour
  • 23 Of Your Favorite Comfort Foods, Without The Gluten
  • 19 Ways To Stay Gluten-Free This Holiday Season

The truth is, some things are very difficult to replicate in the gluten-free form. When it comes to beer, though, we've found a growing, and pretty solid collection on shelves and taps. Gluten-free beer can actually be good.

March 10, 2016 by Michael Langone
2 Budweiser Ad Campaigns That Are Best Left in 2015

2 Budweiser Ad Campaigns That Are Best Left in 2015

Craft beer may be taking over bars, shelf space, and market share, but Budweiser isn't one to back down from a fight. As usual, the brewing giant AB InBev poured massive amounts of money into ad campaigns this year, some of which didn't work out too well.

Two ad campaigns in particular got tons of attention, and not necessarily the kind you want from beer lovers, women, and other huge groups of consumers. Let's discuss below, and then erase them from our minds as we move into 2016.

December 31, 2015 by Michael Langone
Lewis Kent: A Q&A with the World's Fastest Beer Mile Runner

Lewis Kent: A Q&A with the World's Fastest Beer Mile Runner

This summer, the internet was buzzing when, Lewis Kent, a 21-year-old University of Western Ontario student, broke the beer mile world record. On August 8, 2015, he made history by finishing the beer mile in 4 minutes and 55.8 seconds. He's since broken that record twice.
December 17, 2015 by Mike Roberts
Know Your Craft: 4 Things to Know About Face-Puckering Sour Beers

Know Your Craft: 4 Things to Know About Face-Puckering Sour Beers

For many people who hear the words “sour beer,” the first thing that comes to mind is Belgium—with the most famous, of course, being the Lambic. But styles extend well beyond that. Brewing the tart, fruity, complex, and unique flavors is a difficult—often unpredictable—process and, as a consequence, the beers have been hard to find in recent years.

In a short period of time, though, things have changed, and it’s become common to find sour beers on beer menus and store shelves. As of right now, sour beers may still be just slightly unpopular enough for hipsters to drink, but not for long. Major brewers like Sam Adams are releasing sours and, to be honest, we’re pretty happy about it. Sours are the funkiest beers around and a welcomed change from time to time.

In this post, we’re going to run down four things you should know about sour beers, so you’ve got something to talk about the next time that tang tickles the back of your throat.

September 17, 2015 by Mike Roberts

Boston Brewer Panel: On the Journey to Becoming a Professional Brewer

How did your friends and family react when you told them you wanted to be a brewer? 

Dann Paquette 
Brewer at Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Somerville, MA 

Well, it was 1990 and I had recently graduated from college with a degree in journalism. I hit it just right, though, as jobs in journalism seemed to wane and brewing as a career wasn't yet viable. After a few years of suffering from poverty while working in breweries full-time, I eventually made it work. These days most everyone I know wishes that they had made this sort of career move a long time ago.

Bryan Doran
Test Batch Brewer at Clown Shoes Beer
Ipswich, MA

My friends think it is cool. My family is happy that I am following my passion. They tolerate the pay.

April 02, 2015 by Michael Langone

Boston Brewer Panel: On the Rise of Women and Beards in Craft Beer

In this post--the second in a five-part series--you’ll hear from brewers at Jack's Abby Brewing, Clown Shoes, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, Nightshift Brewing, Idle Hands Craft Ales, Enlightenment Ales, and Aeronaut Brewing Co. on women's rising interest in craft beer and homebrewing and why beards are so prevalent in the industry.

In case you missed the first post on changing consumer tastes and preferences and the creative process, you can read it here.

To get notified when the next post is published, sign up here.

How have you seen the role of women in craft beer and homebrewing evolve in recent years? And what do you think the future will be like for them?

Jack Hendler
Brewer at Jack's Abby Brewing
Framingham, MA 

Even in the few years that Jack's Abby has been open, we've seen a staggering change in the mix of applicants that apply for jobs at the brewery. It's reassuring how many women are interested in positions at our brewery.

March 22, 2015 by Michael Langone

Boston Brewer Panel: On Evolving Tastes and the Creative Process

In this post--the first in a five-part series--you’ll hear from brewers at Jack's Abby Brewing, Clown Shoes, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, Nightshift Brewing, Idle Hands Craft Ales/Enlightenment Ales, and Aeronaut Brewing Co. on evolving beer tastes and the creative process for coming up with a new beer.

To get notified when the next post is published, sign up here.

How are your customers’ tastes evolving? And where do you feel the craft beer movement is headed next? 

Jack Hendler, Brewer at Jack's Abby Brewing, Framingham, MA (@JacksAbby)

That's the million dollar question. I've believed for years that as craft continues to attract mainstream beer drinkers, craft would need more "gateway" or mainstream beers. So far I've been wrong as very hoppy beers continue to grow at a staggering clip. It's hard to tell if extreme hoppy beers are a fad or will continue their upward trend.

March 17, 2015 by Michael Langone
Is this Bud for us? Budweiser Slams Craft Beer in Hail Mary Super Bowl Ad

Is this Bud for us? Budweiser Slams Craft Beer in Hail Mary Super Bowl Ad

Budweiser was doing just fine with its horse and dog commercials for the past year, but out of nowhere decided to stir up some major controversy in the craft beer world during last night’s Super Bowl. Its “Brewed the Hard Way” ad depicted a proud American brand that stood by its “macro” approach to mass-producing beer.

In the aftermath of Budweiser's third quarter Hail Mary, craft beer enthusiasts and Bud drinkers have been butting heads like never before--this all happening as craft beer sales have officially surpassed those of "big beer" in several American cities.

See it for yourself here:

“It’s Brewed for Drinking Not Dissecting”

What’s interesting is the ad went out of its way to separate Budweiser drinkers from craft beer drinkers, as if the bustling craft beer scene was some fad created by the mutton-chop and mustache wielding micro-brew-loving hipsters shown over the course of the minute spot. If that was true, we’d like to hear InBev (the company that owns Anheuser-Busch) explain its acquisition of Goose Island, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Elysian.

Speaking of Elysian, another thing to point out is the part that said, “Let Them Sip Their Pumpkin Peach Ale.” Barlow Brewing said made a great observation that's been retweeted more than 500 times now:

By that logic, InBev is (doing quite a pitiful job at) making fun of people who enjoy beer brewed by companies it owns. The whole thing just doesn't make sense. During the Super Bowl no doubt, we couldn't help but thinking Budweiser was trying to say we should be sticking with old faithful. That all of the stuck-up craft quaffers out there were un-American.

Not according to InBev reps, who were quick to play defense before the big game had even ended. "This is an affirmation of what Budweiser is, not an attack on what it isn't." Budweiser's social media team was in macro-mode as well, doing battle with Bud fans and craft beer lovers alike by replying to hundreds of Facebook posts before the sun had risen…or perhaps they were working directly from Inbev's Belgium headquarters.

What do you think? The commercial has certainly garnered quite a bit of attention by beer lovers of all types, though it remains to be seen whether the resurrected #thisbudsforyou hashtag hits home for those of us who feel that a good beer is worth fussing over, dissecting, and yes--drinking.

As for us, we'll be waiting out the storm while working on a killer recipe for a Pumpkin Peach Ale.

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February 02, 2015 by Michael Langone

Talking Beer This New Year’s Eve? Keep These 2014 Stories in Mind

As lovers of both beer and the internet, we tend to look at the r/beer subreddit just about every day. It’s got news, discussions, blog posts, some beerporn—anything and everything related to beer. We thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the top ten beer news articles for this year, in case you missed some of them. If nothing else, you might find some good talking points for this New Year’s Eve.

10. Brewpub in Minnesota Stayed Open By Offering Free Beer for Life for $1,000

A struggling brewpub in Minnesota’s Twin Cities did something even Gordon Ramsay wouldn't suggest on Kitchen Nightmares to save its business—it offered patrons to make a one-time payment of $1,000 in exchange for free beer for life, or as long as the place stays open. The brewpub hit its goal of $220,000 pretty quickly. Read more.

9. Craft Outpaced Big Beer in Sales in Portland for the First Time

Portland has been a leader in the craft beer market for years, and it’s no surprise to see this news coming from the Northwest. Craft beer sales rose in Q1 of 2014, taking over 45.8% of the retail market, while Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors dropped to a 40.6% share. Keep in mind these are just retail numbers—if draft numbers were included, the spread would likely be even greater. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in other places around the country in 2015. Read more

8. Seattle Seahawks Got Busted For Selling Watered Down Beer

People have complained about beer tasting watered down at sporting events before, but not many have gone so far as to test the actual ABV. KOMO news put the Seahawks on the spot, revealing the following:

  • Shock Top:
    5.2% advertised ABV
    4.7% tested

  • Bud Light:
    4.2% advertised
    3.9% tested

  • Redhook Brewery "No Equal":
    5.2% advertised
    4.8% tested

7. Florida Bartender Fights Back Against the State's 64 Ounce Jug Ban

Craft beer lovers are well-aware of what growlers are—jugs used for transporting fresh beer ranging in size from 32 ounces to a gallon—with the most typical size being 64 ounces. In Florida, it’s legal to fill a 32 ounce growler and a one gallon growler, but filling the 64 ounce growler is illegal. Consequently, bars have to tell growler fillers they can fill up two 32 ounce jugs, but not one 64 ounce jug, which makes people think they’re getting taken advantage of. One bar owner in Florida is suing the state, saying the ban is unconstitutional.

More info here:

6. Southwest Airlines Brought Craft Beer to 30,000 Feet

Craft beer being served on a plane isn’t all that shocking now, especially with the recent news of Delta expanding its in-flight offering. But Southwest topped the headlines earlier this year, as it became one of the first to take craft beer into the skies. Its massive presence at 30,000 feet coupled with its new partnership with New Belgium Brewing may have changed the commercial airline industry forever. We hope so, anyway. Read more

5. A Russian Brewing Company Announced Intentions to Acquire Pabst

First introduced in 1844, Pabst Brewing Company was one of the oldest-running American-owned breweries—that was until Russian brewer Oasis Brewers and a private-equity firm announced intentions to acquire it back in September. This shrinks the already small number of large American-owned breweries left (Yuengling, Boston Brewing Company, and a few more). Read more

4. More Tumult Between Big Beer and Microbreweries in Florida

Florida made the news again in 2014, as a bill advanced in the Sunshine State’s senate that would require craft brewers to sell their beer to distributors, and then buy it back to sell at their own breweries. According to the Florida Senate's website the bill seems to have died in May, after a social media uproar by both beer enthusiasts and craft brewers alike. Read more

3. Pub in Galway Offered a World Cup Deal That Almost Ran It Dry

As part of a promotion, a pub in Galway decided to reduce the price of a pint by 50 cents for each German goal scored against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semi-final. Germany got out to a strong start, scoring five goals in the first half, and went on to win seven to one. For the last 11 minutes of the game, customers could purchase a pint for just 50 cents. Apparently customers flocked from nearby bars to get the deal. Read more.

2. Local Restaurants Set to Deliver Pizza and Beer in Pennsylvania

Pizza eaters have been talking about how great it would be to have beer delivered with their pie since the dawn of pizza delivery. Fortunately, it was recently decided that pipedream will soon become a reality in Pennsylvania. Some local restaurants are already projecting to double the volume of their sales. Read more

1. Michigan Changes State Law in Favor of Smaller and Startup Microbreweries

The topic of multi-tier distribution for microbrewers was a hot one in many states in 2014, especially because it tends to act as a barrier for smaller brewers trying to make their mark. Michigan took steps to alleviate those pressures, allowing microbreweries making less than 1,000 barrels per year to circumvent wholesalers and sell directly to restaurants, bars, and other retailers. Read more

Happy New Year from Box Brew Kits!

December 31, 2014 by Michael Langone

A Beer Lover's Guide to Reddit

There’s just about something for everyone on Reddit—people who love food, news, tech, GIFs, porn, Taylor Swift’s armpits, you name it. And beer lovers are no exception.

Whether you’re a serious beer drinker, a homebrewer, or just interested in the topic, you can find a variety of interesting and related communities if you take the time to look through the site.

Or, you could just continuing reading.

What is Reddit Anyway? Here’s a Brief Explanation

If you already know what Reddit is, then just grab your warp whistle and move onto the next section.

The homepage of Reddit is duly known as “the front page of the internet,” because its democratic approach enables users to find what content’s trending on the web at that point in time. Users submit links and start discussions, and then other users “upvote” or “downvote” which submissions they like. Because of this setup, good links and discussions tend to rise while the blah ones just fade away.

Every link or discussion has to be submitted to a specific community on Reddit, which are known as subreddits. Depending on how highly subscribed to and trafficked those subreddits are, the more dynamic the content on them tends to be. If you’re interested in a specific topic, you can easily find a subreddit that you’ll end up checking just about once a day.

We probably didn’t do it justice, but that’s kind of Reddit in a nutshell. Here’s Reddit’s own quick overview of what it is:

Reddit's Top Beer Subreddits

There are actually a lot of subreddits dedicated to beer, but we’re only going to highlight the highly trafficked ones. For instance, the subreddit r/beergeek gets about as much use as the Bing search engine, so we’ll leave that one out. Hopefully Redditors reading this will learn about a new sub. And all of you newbies out there, just sit back—you’re about to get learnt.


With over 150,000 subscribers, r/beer tops this list. It’s got beer news and related articles, and it’s also a place to start general discussions/ask questions about beer. For instance, in the screenshot below, a user asked “What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done to get a special beer?” 253 people commented. That’s what this place is for. And, the content changes daily.


For those who don’t know, beer trading is a practice where beer lovers exchange local craft beers with others who don’t have the same access to them. With the booming craft beer market, it’s common for some beers to only be available in a specific region. And for that reason, the swap is typically done through the mail. This subreddit has almost 10,000 beer traders, along with packing tips and a reputation list (so you know who’s going to deliver). Post what you want or got to get started.


r/beerporn is pretty straightforward. You post pictures and—if you want—reviews of the beers you’re drinking. With over 26,000 subscribers, it’s a place you can go to make tons of people jealous—especially if you’ve got a whale.


By far the most bizarre beer subreddit, r/showerbeer is a place where you can post selfies of you drinking beer…in the shower. There’s a few rules here. First, the beer label must be predominantly displayed in the photo. And second, if you’re going to show some extra skin, give your post a NSFW tag. With 25,000 subscribers, there’s probably more people than you expected imbibing under the faucet.


/rbeerreviews is less trafficked (under 2,000 subscribers) than the previously mentioned subs, but it’s still a good place to learn about and discuss new and old beers. Most of the posts are from bloggers like Bruguru and Brew Review Crew providing their take on specific beers. Posters are encouraged to format reviews based on appearance, aroma, palate, and taste. If you’d like to take a stab at reviewing beer, this is the spot.


r/craftbeer is similar to r/beer, but there’s a geekier vibe. With over five thousand subscribers, there tends to be a few more beer-related discussions rather than mostly outbound links to blog posts and articles. We’ve actually participated in a few discussions there and the people are generally pretty informative or eager to learn when it comes to craft.


Arguably saving the best for last, we love r/homebrewing and its 100 thousand subscribers. There are tons of passionate homebrewers that frequent this sub, many of them ready to answer your questions and provide encouragement along the way. There are answers and articles here for both novices and homebrewers who have been at it for years. If you happen to be into homebrewing, also check out r/hbl, a fairly active sub dedicated to homebrew labels.

Bonus: r/holdmybeer

Other than the name, this sub doesn’t have much to do with beer but it’s funny. As the description says: "Hey man, hold my beer. Check this out, the classic words that end in either awesomeness or injury.” The sub’s filled with GIFs of what ensues after someone says those famous last words.

Here’s a Few More Subreddits You Might Like

If you're still reading this, you clearly like fermented drinks. So, here’s a shortlist of other active subreddits you might like:

Interested yet? If you want to start participating, just create an account by clicking here. If you’re more of a watcher, that’s fine, too. You don’t need an account to view the site.

Got a beer lover to buy an awesome holiday gift for? Check out our selection of handcrafted homebrewing kits

December 05, 2014 by Michael Langone
Tags: Craft beer