"Half of Americans haven't tried decent beer," says William Brand, the Oakland Tribune's resident beer columnist and local brew expert. Back in the sixth grade, Nebraska native Brand was himself weaned on the likes of Budweiser, Hamm's, and Coors, wan beverages he now refers to as mere "alcohol vehicles" — brewed with rice and corn, cheaply made, and lacking any real taste. "That's not beer," he says, "that's just crap."
Brand encountered his first crap-free beer during a stint in the Navy, when he was stationed near Washington, DC. Read more »