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The Drinkable Week: Beer! Beer! Beer!

The U.S. brewery count passes 4,000, Jim Koch writes a book and unveils the Sam Adams Nitro line and Red Robin doubles down on craft beer.

• One of the big pieces of news to come out of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) last week was that the number of breweries in the U.S. crossed the 4,000 mark. 4,011 to be exact, but, since a brewery’s opening every 18 hours or so, that number probably already past, 4,020.

• Jim Koch always manages to have a bit of news to share each year at GABF and at this particular edition, he unveiled the new line of Sam Adams nitro beers. The line includes Nitro Coffee Stout, Nitro White Ale and Nitro IPA. The beers come in 15.2 ounce cans with nitrogen widgets, giving them nitro’s signature creaminess.

• One more bit of GABF news, but its not from a brewery. It’s actually from, of all things, a chain restaurant. Red Robin kicked off a three year sponsorship of the festival with a couple of burger pairing sessions in the beer and food pavilion. The chain also sampled some soft pretzel bites and beer cheese dipping sauce at its booth, matched with Sam Adams Honey Queen braggot and New Belgium 1554. Craft beer’s not the first thing that pops into your head when you think about big national chain restaurants, but I spoke to Red Robin’s senior VP and chief marketing officer Lee Dolan and he says the company is committing to going all in with better brews and boosting beer culture at its restaurants.

That wraps up this beer-centric edition of The Drinkable Week. Next week I’ll shift back to a more multi-beverage focus, just like my book, The Year of Drinking Adventurously, available for pre-order at Amazon and

Pabst, the Great American Beer Festival & Stoli in the latest Drinkable Week

Pabst returns to its roots, the Great American Beer Festival expands and (partially) rebrands and Stoli celebrates a space age milestone—all in the latest edition of the Drinkable Week. Drinkable2image

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Top 5 Things That Will Make Me Smack You at GABF

The Great American Beer Festival is once again upon us and if you’re heading to Denver this week to join in the revelry (as I am) and you don’t want me to beat you up on sight, these are the behaviors from which you should refrain:new gabf

5. Applauding when a glass is dropped. Seriously, how old are you?

4. Wearing a Utili-kilt: If you’re actually Scottish, you get a pass, but if I see you, I will make you confirm it with A. a believable accent and B. by making disparaging comments about the English in said accent.

3. Spending two hours in line waiting for Pliny the Elder/Younger when you could be sampling at least 10 other beers of equal quality (though with less hype): No disrespect to Russian River; Pliny’s an incredibly good beer. But is it worth spending half the session waiting for it? Read the rest of this entry