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Chris Hernstrom was brewing in the craft beer mecca of Bend, Ore., when an ad caught his eye: Want to live somewhere gorgeous and make beer for a small community?

"It just seemed like an interesting challenge to come out to basically the exact opposite of Bend, some place where the brewing industry is still in its fledgling stages," Hernstrom says.

That place, Hernstrom's new home, is the cattle ranching hub of Valentine, Neb., population 2,700, tucked into the Niobrara River valley in the Sand Hills.

If you crack open a beer this Fourth of July, history might not be the first thing on your mind. But for Theresa McCulla, the first brewing historian at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the story of beer is the story of America.

"If you want to talk about the history of immigration in America, or urbanization or the expansion of transportation networks, really any subject that you want to explore, you can talk about it through beer," McCulla says.

From Texas Standard:

The cooler in your local gas station or grocery store is now a much more colorful place than it once was. Texans who like to bend the occasional elbow are still riding the wave of the craft beer boom.

From Texas Standard:

If you attended the Texas Craft Brewers festival earlier this year, you saw the work of more than 60 of those craft brewers. It was an opportunity for these breweries to get their brands and their beers in front of the drinking public because many haven’t been around for very long.

The Beer Mile World Championships were held this week just off the shores of Lady Bird Lake. One Austin company is hoping to parlay the beer mile into bigger and better things.

I am attempting to run only a mile, in a contest of fitness and guts – beer guts. But before I finish, let’s go to where it all started.


Breweries Sue State For 'Stifling Texas Craft Beer Renaissance'

Dec 10, 2014
MaxyM / Shutterstock

Three Texas breweries filed a lawsuit against the state on Wednesday seeking to overturn a 2013 law they say violates the Texas Constitution by forcing them to give away their territorial distribution rights for free.

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In this edition of Vital Signs – beer. It has health benefits, provided you don’t drink too much of it. Navin Hariprasad, a dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, has details.

The drought has tested industries across Texas in the last few years -- and it's even had an impact on beer.

MaxyM / shutterstock.com/gallery-715492p1.html

In the past few years, North Texas has gone from a brewery desert to one of the country’s hubs for craft beer.

Credit new state laws and imaginative brewmeisters who are getting creative and creating tasty pints. A few North Texas beer scientists recently discussed the craft beer craze on “Think,” KERA’s midday talk show.

Texas Motor Speedway

NASCAR is bringing home the bacon.

Want some bacon beer milkshake with your NASCAR?

Get ready for the Shake ‘n Bacon Brew beer milkshake at the Texas Motor Speedway. The frothy beverage includes six ounces of Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Black Lager, six ounces of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and two ounces of bacon-infused maple syrup.

Amazing Acro-Cats Fan Club / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: acrobatic cats are in town, a majority of Texas fast-food workers rely on public assistance, the Texas Motor Speedway invents a bacon beer milkshake, and more:

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Five stories that have North Texans talking: Your gut can make beer, the suspected Navy shooter hoped to become a monk in White Settlement, have you seen the amazing Chipotle ad, and more.