Friday, April 03, 2009

Raise a Stein to the Craft Brewers! (4/18/07)

Humans have been brewing beer for over 8,000 years. The basic ingredients of water and grain haven't changed, but the past few decades have seen the mass production of barley soda give way to artisanal brews, hand-crafted in flavors from sweet to bitter and all points in between. Today's tastes include ingredients as diverse as chocolate, corn grits, and apples. But no brew -- no matter how tall or frosty -- is perfect, so this weekend, hundreds of microbrewers will converge on Austin, Texas, for the annual Craft Brewers Conference to enjoy four days of seminars (and hospitality suites) all in the name of building a better beer. The days when Grandpa had a still in the cellar to foil the authorities are long gone, now replaced by friendly brewpubs where, even if everyone doesn't know your name, they'll still serve you a cold mug of suds and listen to your troubles.

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