So you're going to a craft beer festival for the first time! Well, don't go wearing your two-beer-can hat and stretchy pants, expecting to wander around eating peanuts or jerky and siphoning off first one beer then the other by bendy straws.

There are many craft beer festivals popping up all around the country, and once you've chosen the one you want to attend, there are some procedures you can follow which will give you the best experience possible - so you'll return year after year - and not just for the beer.

For many people, beer is the beverage of choice for backyard barbeques and sporting events, and is synonymous with casual,  even unsophisticated entertainment. But today, the paradigm has changed, and beer is becoming more and more chic, as beer making becomes more refined.

As in the past a Sommelier was consulted in fine dining establishments to pair wines and food appropriately, now, with beer recipes evolving, a “Cicerone” is becoming more popular to pair beer and food in the same way.

Beer steins have long been considered collectible by many enthusiasts around the world, but its origins have more to do with simple survival than decor.

Man cannot live by bread alone - so that's why he created beer!

"Beer turns thirst into a beautiful thing," goes an old German saying, as shown by the German Beer Institute's website, and it is hard to dispute a country whose beer making history spans centuries, being one of the oldest beer traditions in the world, with the largest number of varieties.

How did the fifth bestselling beer in the world come to be the number one best-seller in Brazil? Skol, the "drink that goes down round" according to its advertising jingle, is also one of the biggest beers in Africa, from Algeria to Guinea to Rwanda, and is also sold in Asia, from India to Malaysia to Hong Kong.

However, it's a little known fact among Brazilians that it originated 6,000 miles away 50 years ago in a small Scottish town called Alloa.

Beer drinkers and cocktail drinkers sometimes are as likely to mix as oil and water. Or to put it another way, beer drinkers are from Venus and cocktail drinkers are from Mars.

 US brewing company has delayed the launching of its new “Kali-Ma” beer amid outcry from the Hindu community that its name is inappropriate.

The Portland-based company has apologized for naming the beer after a Hindu deity and is now desperately trying to come up with a new name for its release.

n Britain, sales in pubs were down 6.0 percent quarter on quarter, but off-trade (off-premise for those of us in the States) sales were up 4.7 percent. Most analysts blame the Beer Tax hikes and unfortunately it looks like it could have lasting damage.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is asking the public to sign an online petition to stop the tax increase.

Here is the press release from the (BBPA).

When you’re lining up at the bar, waiting to be served, do you always go for your usual brand or are you tempted to try other beers while you’re there?

If you do like to choose a different brand now and then, what’s making you do that? The chances are that it’s the advertising behind the brand that makes you think you’ll try something different.

Well it was another up and down year for beer producers in the states with beer consumption down slightly.

The big brands are still losing market share, but the craft beer and import markets showed very slight increases in sales.