Imbibing

Microbrew Nation

The New Yorker's seasonal “Food Issue” includes a delightful Burkhard Bilger report about the rise of artisinal beer breweries in America, a return to the flowery, experimental brews of ancient times (apparently, Egyptians liked their ale with saffron and honey). Bilger profiles Sam Calagione, the male model-turned-rogue-beerman and owner of Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, a madcap chemistry lab of hops experimentation. For his “Palo Santo Marron” brew, Sam imported the rare Palo Santo wood from Paraguay for an aging cask—it is one of the most fragrant and impenetrable woods on the planet (a gun can’t even break through the bark) and nearly impossible to find. “Extreme beer,” Bilger writes, is again on the rise—with over 1,500 craft breweries in the States, chocolate stouts and pumpkin ales may have a chance against classic Bud.