A Summer Dispatch From the United States of Beer

August evenings are for baseball, and for appreciation of our nation’s brewing greatness.

Beer in foreground; in background, bamboo (James Fallows)

Back in the Golden Age of Blogging, running from maybe a dozen years ago to maybe the past two or three years, personal sites often consisted of informal, incremental personal chronicles. Andrew Sullivan captured this spirit of this form, at its prime, in his 2008 Atlantic story “Why I Blog.”

There’s less of that now, and the rise of social media is the main explanation. No one has time to follow items other than what someone else points out on Facebook or Twitter. Those items are more likely to be circulated if they offer a standalone argument (or chart or video or photo), rather than assuming any background awareness of outlook or previous views.

I believe that The Atlantic is working on some features that will recapture some of the golden aspects of the lost golden age. In the meantime, I’ve decided to start recapturing at least the beer-blogging elements of those days.

So because it’s summer, and because I feel like it, here is the beer scene this early-August afternoon, looking out toward the backyard in D.C. All entrants are from the IPA family, which is not the only thing I like but tends to be what I like best.


In the flanker positions on the outside, two I found on a quick trip to Nashville in the past three days. On the far left, Hop Jack from the Blackstone Brewery, which I did not visit. On the far right, Hop Project IPA from Yazoo Brewing Company, which I did. This is how its outside wall looked on Friday evening.

Friday night, on Division Street in Nashville, Yazoo Brewing Company (James Fallows)

In the next positions working toward the middle, on the left is canned Hopsecutioner from the Terrapin Brewing Company in Athens, Georgia, which we enjoyed during our reporting last year in St. Mary’s, Georgia. And on the right, the famed Centennial IPA from Founder’s Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which we also enjoyed during our reporting in Holland, Michigan, and which is a subject of Patrick Evans’s book Grand Rapids Beer.

—In the center, the pride of the same D.C. in which the photo was taken: from the DC Brau brewing company, “The Corruption” canned IPA. Some of DC Brau’s other products are “The Citizen” and “The Public.” Personally, I am waiting for “The Heat” and “The Humidity,” followed by “K Street,” “This Town,” and then “Why Won’t Snyder Sell the Team?” I think The Corruption is great—and I am relieved to see, when checking for the first time on Beer Advocate that the BA Brothers gave it a “93 / Outstanding” rating. To be precise:

This beer straddles the line between IPA and Imperial IPA and has a supportive malty backbone with an assertive hop presence that smacks your mouth with a dank, resinous bitterness followed by pleasant aroma's of pine sap and burnt spruce.

Check for yourself, when you come to town. Now, it’s time to watch a baseball game. This is what summer and August 2 are for.