Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the rise of extreme beer

this week's new yorker featured an interesting article called "A Better Brew: The rise of extreme beer" covering how Sam Calagione and Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head breweries started producing "extreme beer" before extreme beers even existed.

Sam Calagione at Dogfish breweries. “I’m frustrated that one beer has been hammered down people’s throats,” he says. Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

Elephants, like many of us, enjoy a good malted beverage when they can get it. At least twice in the past ten years, herds in India have stumbled upon barrels of rice beer, drained them with their trunks, and gone on drunken rampages. (The first time, they trampled four villagers; the second time they uprooted a pylon and electrocuted themselves.) Howler monkeys, too, have a taste for things fermented. In Panama, they’ve been seen consuming overripe palm fruit at the rate of ten stiff drinks in twenty minutes. Even flies have a nose for alcohol. They home in on its scent to lay their eggs in ripening fruit, insuring their larvae a pleasant buzz. Fruit-fly brains, much like ours, are wired for inebriation. (continue reading)

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