1. Plenty of brewery patios are dog-friendly, but Littleton, Colorado’s Coal Mine Ave. Brewing Company (formerly Off-Leash Ales) might be the first to design an entire play yard for canine visitors. The brewery hopes to open in the coming months, so it will likely be a bit of a wait before the weather is warm enough for dogs—and their human friends— to take advantage of the outdoor wiggle room.
2. A new app called Beat The Brewmaster (free in the iTunes App Store and Google Play) pits your tasting skills against professional brewers: Find the beer you’re drinking; answer questions about flavor, bitterness, aroma and more; then see how your answers match up against the beer’s brewer.
3. Big booze, tiny package. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you; these cans are teenie. Flat12 Bierwerks in Indianapolis rolled out Lilliputian 8-ounce cans of its 10.5% seasonal imperial stout Pinko! this year, moving it from 22-ounce bottles to a much more manageable serving size. The Cooper Spirits company also recently debuted 100 mL, 84-proof Rock and Rye canned cocktails made with rye whiskey, honey, dried navel orange, rock candy and Angostura bitters. These little guys make great stocking stuffers—hear that, Santa?
4. Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have created a wearable electronic patch that can determine your blood alcohol content and send it wirelessly to a phone or laptop. The device, which consists of a temporary tattoo and a small, flexible circuit board, senses sweat to give BAC readings more accurate than a breathalyzer and less invasive than having blood drawn.
5. Contributing editor Joe Stange rounded up pretty much all of the new beer books you could want to read, but we’re especially smitten with the following:
- “Hophead Harry Goes to the Brewery”: Have you had “The Talk” with your kids? (About beer, of course.) This rhyming children’s book follows the brewing process from field to keg with characters like Bobby Barley and Wendy Water.
- “Complete IPA: The Guide to Your Favorite Craft Beer”: Hopheads, this is your bible. Author and DRAFT contributor Josh Bernstein walks readers through the rainbow of new and traditional IPAs with picks for the best brews and commentary from pioneering IPA brewers.
- “Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die”: Journalist and fisherman Chris Santella taps contributors including Boston Beer Co.’s Jim Koch and author Joe Wiebe to create this global bucket list of beer destinations in places like Prague, Denver and Munich.
- “Brewing Local: American-Grown Beer”: Explore how brewers use cultivated and wild nuts, herbs, plants and flowers to create distinctly American brews with this guide from homebrew expert and DRAFT contributor Stan Hieronymus. Then, get foraging.
- “Beer FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s Most Celebrated Adult Beverage”: DRAFT contributor Jeff Cioletti weaves travel, history, a bit of technical brewing knowledge and plenty of straight-forward, practical info into this book you’ll want to gift to an aspiring beer drinker.