The term barleywine is used throughout the craft beer industry and is a well-respected and represented style brewed by most breweries in the U.S. It is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and it is a category at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). None of this is news to 99 percent of the people reading this, but how the style and name barleywine came about is not as well known.
In the craft beer world stories of people abandoning their chosen careers midlife to brew beer have become almost commonplace. In the case of Dave and Quynh Rathkamp, there leap of faith to start Save the World Brewing Co. trumps them all.
No-Li Brewhouse was started in 1993 by Mark Irvin under the name Northern Lights Brewing Co.Evidently, someone else had staked a claim to the use of the name Northern Lights forcing Mark to change the name to the shortened No-Li. Which I assume is supposed to be pronounced as “no-lie."
Coming up on its sixth year in the brewing business, Clown Shoes Beer has carved a seat firmly in the craft beer market producing some great bold, high ABV beers at price points lower than most of their competitors. The beers are contract brewed by Mercury Brewing Co. in Ipswich, Mass.
Barleywine.The word alone will make a beer nerd salivate and a macro beer drinker cringe. These big aggressive beers have a long history and a have become one of the more sought after styles of American craft beer. The term barleywine dates back as far as the 18th century when it was used by European brewers to attract wine drinkers to their brews.
Looking back over many of my past reviews, I realized that I often gush over the various reasons I love craft beer and the craft beer culture. The reasons have been well documented, but today it is time for me to vent on one of the things that truly bothers me about the always changing craft beer community. The never ending hunt for the newest, rarest and hardest to obtain beers often leads us away from what we truly love about craft beer in the first place. Delicious beer.