A Texas barbecue shootout I was judging a few years back. Unsurprisingly those were not kegs of Sip of Sunshine

As cult beers go Three Floyds’ Dark Lord is at the top of the scrap heap. Once a year the Indiana brewery throws a big Dark Lord party where people get drunk and lose their everloving minds. Of course you can’t throw a party based on one beer so the brewers batch up a handful of “variants” on the original and people go berserk trying to lay their hands on them.

Dozens of people waving fists of cash were eager to offer hundreds of dollars to people with those variants, as they exited the production facility with their bottles. As much as $500 was being offered for some variants.

Illinois brewery Mikerphone was on hand selling 4 packs of their Barrel-Aged S’More Cowbell at $60 a pop. link

Croatia is beautiful. Croatia is dirt cheap. The last time we ventured to Croatia there was no craft beer, but barbecue, cooked by Serbian women, was plentiful. If you’re planning a summer break in Europe, Zagreb is one of the best bang for the buck cities on the mainland.

Claire Bullen crisscrossed the country recently and filed this report.

In the evening I head to a local bar, where a bartender tells me about the cherry trees at his grandmother’s house, and the rakija brandy that she makes with them, before offering me a bump of cocaine.

link

We somehow manage to find ourselves in Chattanooga at least a couple times a year. Zarzour’s is a must visit as is Niedlov’s Breadworks and starting this fall we’ll add 5 Wits Brewing Company to our itinerary. The men opening the concern are Great Divide alumni, and that’s all we need to know. link

The same ‘ol same ‘ol days of Houston’s St Arnold Brewing are long gone. What used to be a plain, safe beer-maker slowly evolved into a contemporary brewery that steadily puts out killer brews not afraid to color outside the lines.

They had to. 25 years ago when St Arnold opened up, competition was slim, but as the aughts progressed dozens of new breweries were coming along, and the old maker had to gird their loins to stave off the assault from the young lions. It worked. Nowadays in the nuclear arms race that is Texas beer, St Arnold’s is right near the top of the heap playing lieutenant to Real Ale’s general. Sit down with founder Brock Wagner here

We’ve never been within spitting distance of Tijuana in spite of the fact that we’ve visited Mexico nearly a hundred times. But if we go, we’re hitting Border Psycho Brewery good and hard, and studying up on Matthew Suarez’s article in the San Diego Reader where he writes:

Hong Kong, the most famous of the area’s brothels, built a 12-story building this year in less than five months. A palace of orgies and intense depravity where they sweep the floor with thousands of dollars

Our kind of place. link

Tijuana is also bloody and violent as you’ll find out over the course of Suarez’s excellent piece.

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