Not sure how long this program will remain available to worldwide listeners so you might want to listen in now:
From barrel ageing beer to sourcing intensely bitter hops, Dan Saladino reports on the latest trends in American brewing that are starting to influence British beer styles. The US "craft beer" scene started to take shape 30 years ago. Prohibition in the 1920s and post-war industrialisation brought an end to one of the world's most diverse brewing cultures. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter made home brewing legal again, and soon after, a network of adventurous brewers started to emerge. Known as craft brewers, they operate on a small scale and use traditional brewing techniques but also place great emphasis on experimentation and innovation. American brewer and editor of The Oxford Companion to Beer, Garrett Oliver puts their quest for new flavours down to the US losing its own brewing culture and so being free to explore all others. Now a young generation of brewers in the UK are looking at these new US styles and discovering techniques like barrel aging as well embarking on experiments with new, intensely flavoured, hop varieties.
Garrett Oliver and Pete Brown are generously featured in the story but most alarmingly shocking is the reference to beer bloggers not located in a joke or rant. The only quibble I have is the perpetuation of the 1979 Jimmy Carter home brewing law story as primarily foundational to today's good beer. Lew has noted this as well. Good beer was well established in the English speaking world even if in the US you were looking at an import if you wanted another taste. Further, the concept of home brewing and control of what you drank had been well established in the UK. Early US craft brewers were as much trained in the UK as came from home brew circles. The wheels were already turning.
But... a quibble. You may disagree. Never mind. The radio program is seriously presented and tightly comprehensive in scope. Have a listen and let me know what you think.