Alastair Bland, Marin IJ

Alastair Bland

Marin IJ

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • Marin IJ
Past:
  • Vallejo Times-Herald
  • San Jose Mercury News
  • East Bay Times
  • Pacific Standard
  • News Deeply
  • YubaNet
  • GreenBiz
  • Smithsonian Magazine

Recent articles by Alastair:

Aluminum can shortage may stifle beer production

Local brewers are hustling to find enough cans to package and sell their beer, thanks to yet another economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. “We’ve been in scramble mode since May,” says Rob L… → Read More

America’s ‘best beers’ also happen to be strong – Marin Independent Journal

People love strong beers, and a running industry joke suggests that imperial stouts are suitable as a breakfast stand-in. Those are two of my impressions from reviewing the current best beers in th… → Read More

IPAs are turning sour, and not always by accident

The first sour IPA was almost certainly made by accident when bacteria fouled a fermenting batch of hoppy beer. Now, though, the style — the latest, if not greatest, formulation of the India pale a… → Read More

Will climate change affect the way beer tastes?

The heatwave that broiled California for two weeks nearly killed my lone Cascade hopvine. While I hustled to keep up with the rest of my garden, watering the greens, tomatoes, zucchinis and fig tre… → Read More

Do pale ales pale in the shadows of trendier brews?

Remember the pale ale? Of course you do. It hasn’t gone away, after all, and it remains a classic style that helped launch the craft beer boom 30 years ago. Heck, you probably used to drink them. I… → Read More

Brewers shaking it up with cocktail-inspired beers

When I first heard that Adobe Creek Brewing had a painkiller-inspired IPA, I wondered for a moment if the brewer had dosed the beer with Ibuprofen or Motrin. I guess I don’t drink enough cocktails.… → Read More

New California rule requires meals with beers but not wine. Why?

Want to go out for a beer? If so, you’ll have to order a meal with your drink, thanks to a state order issued last month. The rule is intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging b… → Read More

New California rule requires meals with beers but not wine. Why?

Want to go out for a beer? If so, you’ll have to order a meal with your drink, thanks to a state order issued last month. The rule is intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging b… → Read More

New rule requires meals with beers but not wine. Why?

Want to go out for a beer? If so, you’ll have to order a meal with your drink, thanks to a state order issued last month. The rule is intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging b… → Read More

7 Marin County beers to drink right now

Many breweries have slowed their pace of production as the pandemic disrupts consumer patterns and supply chains. Still, many of our favorite breweries are getting creative and innovative, or just … → Read More

Marin breweries do their best to keep afloat during pandemic

As COVID-19 cases surge, the governor has ordered another economic shutdown — salt in the wounds of small business owners who made it through the last shutdown, which ran roughly April through June… → Read More

Cracking the code for beer freshness

Freshness in beer has become a focal point for many breweries in the relatively recent past as IPA culture has advanced and matured. Hops — the key aromatic ingredient in IPAs and other styles — ta… → Read More

For growing Ace Cider, apples just aren’t enough – Marin Independent Journal

Apples alone just don’t cut it for Sebastopol’s Ace Cider, which was conceived decades ago in south Marin, is growing rapidly, and is now the third-largest cider producer in the country. The compan… → Read More

Homebrewers kick off the summer with a fruit beer

Ripening plums recently brought together a group of homebrewers in Novato for the first time in two years. In late May, two core members of the Marin Society of Homebrewers met in a suburban Novato… → Read More

Brewers have been dumping their kegged beer; here’s why – Marin Independent Journal

Just about nobody wants to see good beer go to waste — but should bad beer be dumped? It’s a question many breweries have been facing after months of slow sales have caused backlogged beer su… → Read More

Marin brewpubs with patios open cautiously

As I drink a can of East Brother Beer’s double IPA on a calm and, at least here, peaceful evening, I think back to March, when the world seemed to collapse into a state of panic. COVID-19 was ascen… → Read More

Marin brewery among those joining Black is Beautiful initiative

It may be summer, but at this moment, the best beer to drink is bold and black. A campaign against police violence is taking flight as brewers nationwide sign up for a collaborative initiative call… → Read More

Summer is here, and so are some great beers to drink now

Beer news has been dominated for months by the impacts that COVID-19 will have on the industry. Many breweries are struggling to survive, and many will probably crumple under the economic stress of… → Read More

Restaurant reopening plan a ‘Black Plague’ for brewpubs – Marin Independent Journal

For brewpubs in Marin County, it’s almost time to get back to business — but it won’t quite be business as usual. After a two-month statewide lockdown that has taken a heavy financial hit on the fo… → Read More

That hand sanitizer you’re using may once have been beer – Marin Independent Journal

Thanks to a small spirits company in Petaluma, beer is becoming hand sanitizer, now in high demand as Americans wage war on deadly germs. “We’ve probably distilled 100 kegs, and we’ve got another 1… → Read More