Jeff Alworth

Brewing the American Black Ale

Whether you call it black IPA, Cascadian dark, or something else, this unholy union of hops and darkness enjoys a cult following that continues to watch the style evolve.

The Soul of Wit

One of Belgium’s most broadly appealing styles is a reincarnation and a reinvention, inspired by a tradition that disappeared more than 60 years ago. Today it’s enjoyed around the world and ubiquitous in its home country—and in Maine.

Schwarzbier: The Enigmatic Dark Lager

Like a social chameleon, Germany’s unusual black lager—easy-drinking yet richly flavored—seems to adapt to your needs depending on the weather or the season. Jeff Alworth looks closer at the style and its story.

The Reinvention of the American Amber Ale

A ruddy ’90s pint is reappearing with modernized flavors—and it has a lot to say about the evolution of American craft brewing.

Fruit Without Fear: Embracing Natural Inoculation

Borrowing a page from winemakers, some brewers are pitching freshly picked fruit instead of slurry, taking advantage of the natural yeast and bacteria on their skins—a process that requires a leap of faith and the best, ripest fruit you can find.

From Pub to Pastry: The Surprising Evolution of Porter and Stout

Adjuncts and oak are nothing new to the world’s darkest beers, whose twists and turns over the past three centuries tell a story of constant—and ongoing—reinvention.

The Great American IPA Convergence

The American taste in IPA is surprisingly uniform for such a big country with so many disparate regions and climates. Meanwhile, the hazy and the West Coast styles appear to be reuniting on familiar ground.

The Everyday Pintje: Searching for Belgian Pils

Overshadowed by the global fame of Belgian ale and lambic, pils is nevertheless the country’s most popular kind of beer—light, inexpensive, and available at every corner café. It’s also uniquely Belgian, with many independent breweries making distinctive versions worth seeking.

Lost, Stock & Barrel: The Forgotten Funk of Old Ales

It was once indispensable to their refined character, but Brettanomyces is rarely involved with oak-aged barleywines these days—and that’s not all they’ve lost since the 1800s.

Style School: Examining the Czech Pale Lager Tradition

The world’s most influential beer style is also one of the most misunderstood outside its birth country. “Pilsner” took over the world, but the Czech source material is strikingly different and far more alluring.