5 Underrated Wine Countries Around the World

Alex Andrawes knows good wine.

As co-founder of Personal Wine, the country’s largest private label wine service, he oversees the delivery of thousands upon thousands of bottles per year to everything from brands like Lexus to people planning weddings or retirement parties.

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Americans Throw Away 4 Vacation Days A Year

vacation

Call it obsession or call it dedication, but Americans have a lot of trouble taking a few days off.

A new survey from Expedia finds that American workers typically leave four full days of vacation on the table each year – averaging just 11 of the 15 days available to them. Multiply that by the 122 million full-time workers in the country and it works out to 500 million days left unused. Put another way: Every year, we collectively ignore more than 1.3 million years of available vacation.

Source: Americans Throw Away 4 Vacation Days A Year – Fortune

Low-alcohol session IPA is the hot beer trend for summer

Memorial session ipasDay might mark the unofficial start to summer, but the solstice marking the official beginning of the season takes place on June 21 at 12:38 P.M. EDT. That also marks the beginning of prime beer drinking time for a lot of people.

Summer holidays are the most beer friendly – and it’s when macro brews from Budweiser and MillerCoors really make hay. The appeal of those middle of the road lagers isn’t necessarily the taste, it’s the ease at which they go down on a hot summer day – and the fact that you can generally enjoy a few without having to worry about side effects the next morning.

 

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Craft beer makers win a victory over prohibition-era laws

Craft Ga Beersbeer makers in Atlanta have their work cut out for them.

For one thing, they’re pouring in a city with sophisticated beer tastes—which has long had its pick of quality national craft options, meaning the learning curve for brewers is especially short.

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Craft brewers wrestle with selling — without selling out

It firemans-redhead-alehappens every time a craft brewer is sold to a macro brewer: Fans groan. Select other brewers grumble. And the beer, no matter how beloved it was just a few weeks before, loses some of its cool factor. That’s, in part, because of the fiercely independent nature of the craft community—drinkers and brewers who feel they’ve helped revolutionize the beer industry in America (and they have). But because the craft beer world is still so immature, many supporters—and brewers—haven’t starting thinking long term yet.

It’s relatively easy to start a brewery these days — certainly much more so than five or 10 years ago. And few craft brewers have reached a level where they’re thinking about what happens to the brewery when they decide to retire. Some have, of course. In 1999, Full Sail Brewing became an employee-owned facility. New Belgium followed suit, moving from 41% employee-owned to 100% in late 2012. And last year, Harpoon Brewery hopped on the employee-owned bandwagon.

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How I tracked down those elusive, trophy craft beer “whales”

I jester-king-encendiabagged my first trophy beer completely by accident. It was Westbrook Brewing Company’s Mexican Cake – an annual release that has historically seen people flock from out of state to line up hours before the Charleston, SC brewery opens. This year, seemingly in an effort to avoid that sort of mayhem, the company released the beer with no fanfare, catching many fans off guard.

While some (well, many actually) raged in the online forums – and others shouted triumphantly about finding it in their city – I happened to notice a small sign at my local Total Wine store, acknowledging they had a small amount in stock – one bottle per customer. I grabbed it quickly – with no wait. Less than an hour later, the store had sold out.

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Craft breweries feel the impact of California’s drought

The stigmataholy trinity of craft beer states is a pretty easy one to call: Oregon, Colorado and California have led the charge for years. But as the Golden State enters its fifth year of drought conditions, with little sign of change on the horizon, some beer lovers are wondering if California brewers will be able to maintain their position of dominance.

There are some reasons to worry. Last November, Bear Republic Brewing, located in Cloverdale, which has been particularly hard hit, announced it was pulling out of the Massachusetts market directly because of the drought. On June 1, it will no longer sell beer in Texas. In fact, over the past two years, the company says it has pulled out of 26 markets – as it tries to keep up with local demand. Bear Republic is one of the higher profile breweries to be impacted by the drought so far. Other craft beer kings say though they’ve been able to avoid significant cutbacks so far, they’re keeping a cautious eye on the situation.

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Is craft beer in a bubble?

Over san-deigo-pale-ale-394the past six years, the number of craft breweries operating in the U.S. has more than doubled. By the end of the year, experts say, there will be a new craft brewery opening in the U.S. every 12 hours.

For beer lovers hoping to try something new, that’s seemingly good news. But brewers and other insiders are growing increasingly concerned about the state of their industry. Expansion, after all, is good – but uncontrolled expansion could be a warning sign of a craft beer bubble.

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5 beers to enjoy during American Craft Beer Week

You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning if you want a can of Second Fiddle Double IPA. And if you want a glass of Pliny the Younger, you may just want to forego sleep altogether.

Roughly every two weeks, Matt Cohen, owner and brewmaster of Fiddlehead Brewing, sells cans of Second Fiddle from his Vermont brewery. It’s one of the biggest up and coming beers in the craft scene today – and is increasingly being sought by beer lovers.

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The democratization of craft beer

Craft brewers are members of a fairly inclusive club.

With a handful of exceptions, the players in this field generally enjoy working together, collaborating on special brews and sharing recipes with each other. And that largesse isn’t restricted to the fraternity of professionals. In many cases, brewers are happy to share their secrets with home brewers.

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