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The State of the Beer Podcast

The State of the Beer is a weekly podcast discussing home brewing, brewing and beer news, trends and culture. Hosted by Tony Russo and Doug Griffith, the show is a great way to learn the language of beer and to participate remotely in the larger beer community.
Homebrewers will be an important part of the show. Each week, Doug and Tony will taste and review a home brew submitted by a listener. If the brewer is available, we will have them on for the beginning of the show. If not, we'll still record the tasting and initiate a conversation on our blog about the beer. If you are interested in being on the show, we record at 11 a.m. You can reach Tony socially on TwitterFacebook, by posting to the show's Google+ page or commenting below. 

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What is in a name?

In this week's Beer with Strangers podcast, Doug Griffith of Xtreme Brewing in Laurel and I discussed the recurring news story that craft beer is running out of names. Among the concerns is that it makes it harder for new brewers to break in and it prevents smaller brewers from having big breakout beers. Craft beers allegedly have kooky names because they are the product of one brewery making many, many beers.
It makes sense, at some level, to have weird names for beers. Brewers like to be distinctive, to set themselves apart. And people who like craft beer get a kick out of kooky names.  Raging Bitch made national news when there was a fight over whether it was an obscene name. Beyond that, as shelves get more crowded with bottles and cans, and as breweries continue to try and push the envelope with tastes and flavors, brewers want a name that is as distinctive as their beers. Plus, in absence of any other knowledge or review, lots of beer drinkers simply judge the beer book by …

Into the past

I went to college as a 30-year-old and, as I made for the graduation finish line, my first marriage came apart. If I ever write that story it will read like the lamest version of the poor man's Fear and Loathing. Come to think of it, Fear and Loathing in Delmar would be an awesome title. Doing primary source, original research was a graduation requirement, so I combined my appreciation for a good tavern with the fact that I had to write about something. While researching taverns in colonial Maryland I discovered that there was such a place a Castle Haven. More than a decade later, that paper became the first chapter in my first book, and the second installment in my blog about writing the book. This is the story of our attempt to breach Castle Haven in search of photos.