Traditional recipes

More Proof Your Life Plan Is Off: You Can Major in Beer Now

More Proof Your Life Plan Is Off: You Can Major in Beer Now

North Carolina college redefines the term 'drinking school'

In our day, drinking was exclusively an extracurricular activity.

File this one under "kids these days have it so easy": Blue Ridge Community College will be offering a new two-year degree program, one that focuses on various aspects of… beer. Just in case your fine arts degree in mixed media and textiles didn’t depress your parents enough, you can now tell your kid brother that his life plan should be to earn a degree in craft brewing.

The Shelby Star reports that the program will be open for registration this fall. But don’t worry if you’re concerned you wasted your college years too much: the courses don’t actually look that fluffy — the program, which is an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science, is called "Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation," and it looks like students will have to be knowledgeable in both the theory and practice of beer-making: they’ll learn about the science behind the craft, and develop the ability to brew beer in a commercial facility.

In more enviable news, the school is currently seeking funding to purchase a brew house, nullifying the need for students to even walk to the bar to get their drink on. At this point, you have options: you can send hate mail to the upcoming class regarding their enviable life choices, or you could just forward this article to your mom with the subject line "Look, it could have been worse."

Dean Ornish's Spectrum Diet

Maybe you want to lose 15 pounds -- or 100. Maybe you've had a heart attack and you're overhauling your diet. Or perhaps you've already lost weight and want to keep it off.

Forget all-or-nothing approaches, Dean Ornish, MD, says. It's not about banning foods on his latest diet plan, The Spectrum.

He ranks foods from healthiest ("Group 1") to the most indulgent ("Group 5"). In general, the more you stick with foods toward the Group 1 end of the spectrum, the more benefits you'll reap in terms of weight loss and overall health.

Besides food, Ornish also emphasizes how active you are, how you respond to stress, and how much love and support you have in your life.

Miller High Life Is Looking for a Champagne of Beers Ambassador Who’ll Get $20k and Free Beer

Think you’re the biggest fan of Miller High Life? I have the *perfect* job for you! The beer brand is looking for an official ambassador, and trust me, with the type of perks it’s offering, you’ll want to at least consider taking on the role.

The Champagne of Beers is taking its title to the next level by petitioning the Milwaukee Common Council (its HQ is Milwaukee!) to have its own region right there in Wisconsin…and it plans to name it the “Champagne of Beers region,” according to its website. It even wants to have the council “declare that only beers invented within its strict borders—around the Miller Brewery—will be considered the Champagne of Beers.” But what does an ambassador have to do with it wanting its own region? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Miller High Life is looking for an ambassador because it needs someone to be on the ground while things are getting settled. So basically, the brand needs you to show up, be seen, and crack a smile (and presumably, a beer from time to time)! And it’s not like you’d be doing it for free. If you’re lucky enough to nab the title of Ambassador of the Champagne of Beers region, Miller High Life will pay you $20,000, load you up on free beer for a year, and give you an all-expenses-paid trip to Milwaukee. Like…what?!

Buyers guide: Bear canisters || Comparison of volume per weight & cost

During the day, properly protecting food is as simple as not leaving it (or a backpack full of it) unattended.

The conversation about overnight food protection is longer and more nuanced. Multiple techniques can be used regulations vary by location and misinformation and poor practices are abundant.

In this post I will focus on one specific food protection technique: hard- and soft-sided canisters and sacks that are resistant to bears and/or “mini-bears,” a term that I believe originated at Philmont Scout Ranch and that refers to the mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, marmots, pikas, racoons, porcupines, gray jays and other small animals that seem to take up residence in popular frontcountry and backcountry campsites.

Hard-sided canisters vs. soft-sided sacks

Hard-sided canisters like the BearVault BV500 are heavy and cumbersome. But they have proven to be the most effective protection technique against both bears and mini-bears.

I carry a hard-sided canister when I am required to. I don’t enjoy it, but do I appreciate the peace of mind that it affords. It also doubles as a decent camp chair.

Canisters are not immune from human error, however. Bears have been “rewarded” by:

  • Finding canisters that were accidentally left unlocked
  • Breaking open canisters by rolling them off cliffs and,
  • Walking into camp during dinnertime, hoping that everyone runs away and leaves behind unlocked canisters.

Go ahead, laugh — it wasn’t your canister. But don’t repeat these mistakes.

When camping in areas with a bear/mini-bear risk but without canister regulations, I often carry a wildlife-resistant food sack like the Ursack Major (formerly S.29 AllWhite). This form factor is much lighter and comfortable than hard-sided canisters.

Sadly, Ursacks are generally not accepted as an approved food storage technique, even though the Major has passed the gold-standard Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee test. Read this interview with the CEO of Ursack for additional performance and regulatory insight.

The BV500 and Ursack AllWhite S29.3 are both about 650 cubic inches in volume. But the Ursak is 60 percent lighter and is soft-sided. Which would you rather carry?

Where are canisters required?

Hard-sided canisters are increasingly the go-to solution for land managers who want to reduce wildlife/food conflicts. They are now required throughout or in specific parts of:

  • Adirondack High Peaks
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • John Muir Trail
  • Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park
  • Sierra National Forest and,
  • Yosemite National Park.

This list may not be exhaustive. Check local regulations before you go.

Purchase or rent?

Canisters and sacks can be purchased online and at local outdoor retail stores. Most cost $50-$80, although carbon fiber models will run $255 to $350.

Canisters can also be rented. At Yosemite National Park, for example, they cost $5 per week, though you’ll be stuck with one of the clumsiest canisters on the market. The aforementioned pricey carbon fiber canisters can be rented from Wild Ideas for $5-6 per day plus round-trip shipping.

If you regularly backpack in an area where canisters are required, owning a canister is probably more cost-effective in the long run. And it’s certainly more convenient — you can arrive at the trailhead with your canister packed and ready to go.

Renting may be more economical if you rarely backpack in areas where canisters are required. The break-even points given the rental prices cited above are 98 days (at $5/week for a $70 canister) and 51 days (at $5/day for a $255 canister), not including shipping or taxes.

Canister and sack comparison

If you are in the market for a wildlife-resistant storage container, this section will be very helpful. I have collected the key specifications for each canister and sack currently available (i.e. no discontinued models) and compared their performance stats.

There are two useful calculations in comparing canisters:

If you are debating between two models that have comparable specs, consider the ease of opening, commercial availability, and opaqueness.

The options

By my count, there are 19 hard-sided canisters and soft-sided sacks currently available. Sorted by brand and then volume, they are:

Comparison: Volume per weight

In the table below, I have sorted the canisters and sacks by their volume-per-weight calculation (specifically, cubic inches divided by ounces). A high number is more desirable than a low number.

By this metric, the Ursacks are the hands-down winners. They provide up to 122 cubic inches per ounce, which is nearly five times better than the top-rated hard-sided canister.

Among hard-sided canisters, the Bearikade models — which are made of carbon fiber — have more storage volume for their weight than other models. For example, the Weekender is 22 percent larger for its weight than the BV500, which is made of transparent polycarbonate.

Notice that larger canisters and sacks perform better than smaller ones. This is due to the relationship of surface area and volume: a doubling of surface area triples the volume. For example, the Bear Vault BV500 offers 30 percent more volume per ounce than the smaller Bear Vault BV450, even though they are identical construction and materials.

The Lighter1 models may be unfairly represented in this chart, because the 6-oz lid and 1-oz handle can double in a kitchen set, saving the weight of a pot and pot grip. Adjusting for this use, the volume-to-weight ratio of the Lil’ Sami and Big Daddy are 14.3 and 18.1, respectively. This puts the Big Daddy ahead of the BearVault 500. In actuality, they are probably about even, since a conventional pot and pot grip weigh less than 7 oz.

Comparison: Volume per price

In the table below, I have sorted the approved canisters by their volume-per-price calculation (specifically, cubic inches divided by $USD). A higher ratio is better.

Here, we can see the cost of the Bearikades — $1 buys only 2.0 to 2.6 cubic inches, making them about four times more expensive per volume as, say, the BearVault BV500.

Buying advice

Purchase a carbon fiber Bearikade model if you:

  • Have a generous budget
  • Obsess over every ounce in your pack and/or,
  • Backpack regularly in areas that require hard-sided canisters.

Purchase a BearVault or Lighter1 model if you:

  • Have a smaller budget and/or,
  • Are willing to carry about 10 extra ounces to save about $200.

Finally, purchase an Ursack if hard-sided canisters are not required where you backpack regularly.

Personally, I own a BearVault BV500 and Ursack Major. I use the BV500 when it’s required, and the Ursack Major in areas with bears and/or mini-bears but without canister regulations.

Disclosure. I strive to offer field-tested and trustworthy information, insights, and advice. I have no financial affiliations with or interests in any brands or products, and I do not publish sponsored content

This website is supported by affiliate marketing, whereby for referral traffic I receive a small commission from select vendors like Amazon or REI, at no cost to the reader.

Here's How to Tell If an Avocado Is Perfectly Ripe

If you like to eat avocados, then you know they are one of the most universal ingredients in the kitchen. Not only are avocados perfect for a wide range of recipes at any time of the day, but eating the vibrant, green fruit also does so many beneficial things to your body upon consumption. That said, it's ideal to incorporate the single-seeded berry native to Mexico into your diet. So how exactly do you tell if an avocado is at its peak ripeness, ready for you to eat?

We get it—they can be a little pricey in grocery stores, and sometimes it's hard to tell if they are ripe upon purchase or even days after they land in your at-home fruit bowl, so we understand your frustrations that come with buying avocados. That's why we checked in with Claudia Sidoti, Principal Chef at HelloFresh, to provide us some tips and tricks for determining if an avocado is perfectly ripe and ready to eat whether you're shopping or already in the kitchen.

Here's your dependable guide to deciding whether or not an avocado is ripe and ready-to-eat. And if you're looking for the perfect way to add more avocados to your life, here are the 30 Best Avocado Recipes for Every Meal.

How can you tell if an avocado is ripe in the grocery store?

According to Sidoti, there are two in-store methods to detect a perfectly ripe avocado (because sometimes we just don't have a few days to wait to make guacamole).

"Check the outside skin and if one is darker than others, it's likely riper than those with lighter skin," she says. "Or place the avocado in the palm of your hand, squeeze it without your fingertips, and if it's slightly soft but not mushy, it's ready-to-eat."

What is the best way to check if your avocado is ripe at home?

Sometimes cutting into an avocado at home can be risky. If it's not ripe enough, you've wasted the couple-dollar gem. If it's too ripe (you'll be able to tell by the brown color all over it), you are forced to toss it. But wouldn't it be ideal if you could cut into a glowing green avocado every single time?

Fortunately, Sidoti has recommended some foolproof at-home methods in an effort to achieve that goal. First, she says to feel for ripeness.

"If firm, it's not ripe, so wait another four or five days," she says. "Firm is great when you plan to use them a few days later."

You can also see a ripe avocado by looking at the color.

"If it's ripe and ready to eat, it'll yield firm but gentle pressure and have a darker color skin," Sidoti says, while noting that feeling is overall a better method for detecting ripeness than color.

The stem trick is one more method for determining if an avocado is ripe. Simply peel back the small stem cap on the top of the fruit. If the stem comes off easily and you see green, it's good to eat. If the stem is fussy and won't come off, it's likely not ripe. And if you pull it off and you see brown, that probably means it's overripe, and you will, unfortunately, open up the avocado to see more brown than green.

If you've already cut into an avocado and are still not sure if it's ripe, there's a way to tell.

"If cut, you'll know it's unripe if the seed is difficult to remove and the inside is mostly firm," she says. "They will take another day or two to ripen."

How can you store avocados both cut and uncut?

When you purchase whole avocados, they will do just fine on the kitchen counter or in a decorative fruit bowl. However, if you detect a ripe avocado by feeling it, Sidoti recommends storing the entire piece of fruit in the fridge if you plan to eat it in the next day or two so it doesn't over-ripen.

The process is a bit different for cut avocados, and because we're only up for eating half sometimes, these storing techniques will give the other half another day of life and are important to consider.

"Already sliced avocados will naturally start to oxidize if left unattended," she says, referring to that brown coloring they develop after being cut. "Add an acidic aid like lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar, and limit exposure to the air. Tightly cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container."

An extra little tip? "Leave the pit or seed to help it last longer," she says. And for more avocado tips, don't miss The Simple Trick That Keeps Avocados Fresh.

What are some everyday uses for ripe avocados in the kitchen?

Once you finally identify the perfectly ripe avocado, it's time to enjoy the delicious fruit! Fortunately, avocados are the perfect substitute in many recipes and can be eaten at any time of day with foods like eggs, tortilla chips, meat, bread, and more.

"You can use avocados instead of common spreads or dips, in baking to add richness and smooth texture, you can also blend it with natural fats in smoothies, slice up in a salad, or top it on any protein for dinner," Sidoti says.

Now get shopping for your (perfectly ripe) avocados, and when you get frustrated by deciding if they're ready to eat, just be patient and remember how good they are for you!

And the next time you're grocery shopping, don't miss these 30 Cheap Costco Buys That Make the Membership Worth It.

The 8 Least Fattening Ways to Get Drunk

We hate to break it to you, but the calories in booze count. According to Alcohol Aware the humble pint contains as many of them as a large slice of pepperoni pizza. But that doesn't mean you have to quit booze completely if you want to lose weight. You just need to learn the difference between low-calorie alcohols and the stuff that goes straight to your beer belly.

It&rsquos the start of the new year after all: the perfect time to cut back and go down a healthier path. Maybe you&rsquore doing Dry-ish January after a heavy month of pub piss-ups / office parties / Christmas gatherings /sipping beers in front of old re-runs of Dinner Date. Maybe you just want to drop a few mince pie-induced pounds, but can&rsquot bear to embark on another laborious 5k-a-day fitness routine. We get it.

The key is to be careful about what you're drinking. Cocktails often have the highest level of calories because of the sugary goodness that make them taste so delicious &ndash a Manhattan has around 160 calories per drink and a Cosmopolitan around 200 calories per drink.

Your favourite beer isn't far behind either, with an average of 149 calories per pint. Don't forget also that when we drink our blood sugar levels struggle to stay balanced so in addition to the booze you'll probably want to devour something nasty on the way home. And this is on top of the calories you consume for the same reason whilst hungover. Life is hard.

But fret not! You can still enjoy a drink (or six) without consuming the equivalent of 14 Krispy Kreme. Here are seven easy ways to enjoy yourself.

High alcohol/ low sugar cocktails

Feel like treating yourself but don't want to blow the six-pack plan? Not all cocktails are created equal. Many of the concoctions you get served up in bars are basically desserts, packed with sugars and calories. (And they're usually delicious for it.)

Get to know the ones which are either short and strong so have a high percentage of alcohol with few sugary additions or those which you can substitute the sugar added for lower calorie options.

A mojito without sugar or sugar syrup - just soda, lime, mint and rum - is better for you. Other classics of the low-fat genre include:

  • Martini (vodka/gin, vermouth, lemon peel)
  • Negroni (Gin, vermouth, Campari, slice of orange)
  • Old Fashioned (Whiskey/bourbon, Angosturan bitters, orange slice)
  • Bloody Mary (Vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, splashes of Worcestershire sauce and smoked Tabasco, celery stick)

But to be honest, there are loads of great options. Vodka, soda and lemon for example, and even kombucha with vodka (although it might be a stretch to refer to any of those as cocktails. More on low-fat mixers further down the page.)

With the above, ensure that you&rsquore pulling them together yourself. Shop-bought cocktail mixes, even supposedly healthy ones, are often laced with a completely unnecessary sugars and sweeteners. They usually don&rsquot taste as nice, either.

If you really want to get granular, you can lessen your calorie intake by choosing the right spirit brand. The less the alcohol percentage, the less calories appear in the drink, so a bottle of 80 proof vodka (40% alcohol) has 64 calories per 1oz, while a bottle of 100-proof (50%) arrives at 82 calories per 1oz.

Just make sure you eat something first.

It goes without saying that the internet is full of low-fat cocktail recipes, but BBC Good Food is always a brilliant resource for simple, affordable options.

Practise mindful drinking &ndash and drink some water

Why is it that we&rsquore able to down pint after pint of beer over a short period of time, when the prospect of doing so with any other drink feels weird and slightly nauseating? Well, it&rsquos because alcohol is a diuretic, and stronger booze can have a dehydrating effect on your body. It&rsquos not just FOMO keeping you out for one more drink and the promise of a weekend-ruining hangover &ndash it&rsquos science, too. This is especially the case if you&rsquore drinking on an empty stomach, and alcohol takes a while to metabolise, so you&rsquore not feeling the full impact of your pint immediately.

But there&rsquos a solution. Mindful drinking is the practise of taking more time over your drink &ndash sipping and savouring the complexities of it, rather than chucking it down your throat in an unnecessary rush. Think of it as a much more enjoyable version of the raisin technique espoused by wellness practitioners the world over. Your attitude to drinking will soon change &ndash not just the amount of unit you get through in a night, but also your order at the bar. You&rsquod be hard pressed to produce tasting notes on a pint of Fosters, so you&rsquoll naturally gravitate towards drinks you genuinely enjoy. It&rsquos not always easy, and it takes discipline, but it&rsquos worthwhile.

Regularly alternate between pints of beer and water, too. (Ditto water with wine, cocktails etc). It will naturally limit the amount of booze you drink, keep you hydrated and protect you against the most hellish of hangovers (though it won&rsquot stop them altogether, of course). Bars, pubs and restaurants are legally obligated to provide free drinking water to customers, though many people still feel awkward asking for it come Friday night. Get a beer and a glass of water at the same time, and you&rsquore set.

Get out of the round system

You arrive at the pub to meet your friends, and someone immediately asks you what you want from the bar. You don&rsquot want to complicate their order with an obscure light beer or expensive cocktail, so you just go along with the crowd. A pint of non-specific lager, please. And now you&rsquore trapped in a high calorie round-cycle, trying to keep pace with everyone out of politeness and buying endless drinks that you never even wanted in the first place.

Ducking out of the round system is not the cardinal sin you think it is. It&rsquos annoying having to go up to the bar every time, of course, but it&rsquos worth it for the sake of exercising full control over your evening. Free yourself from that sense of obligation and just be honest about what you&rsquore trying to achieve. If your friends are in any way decent, they&rsquoll pay it no mind. If they&rsquore not, they&rsquoll soon be too drunk to pay attention anyway.

Once you&rsquove done that, try to stay aware about how fast you&rsquore drinking. Follow the mindfulness tips above. Savour the taste with greater intervals between sips. You&rsquoll end up drinking less and enjoying it more.

Take your spirits with low-sugar mixers

Unsurprisingly, straight spirits contain the least amount of calories as are nearly entirely ethanol without added sugar. Vodka is the alcohol with the lowest calories, at around 100 calories per shot (that's a 50 ml double-measure). Whisky is slightly more, at roughly 110 calories a shot. Gin and tequila are also 110 calories a shot. More sugary spirits, like sambuca, come in around 160 calories a shot (another reason to avoid them, besides the taste). That said, those calorie values are for the neat spirit &ndash you need to ensure you don't mix your spirits with high-sugar mixers like Coke, Red Bull or lemonade, which you can get through at a rate on a night out without realising you're drinking hundreds of calories.

If you can't face endless shots of vodka then substitute your soft drink mixer with soda water or diet tonic which have very little sugar. Even water if you're feeling particularly bulgy post-dinner.

Embrace Prosecco

Prosecco is around 70 calories per 100ml glass, compared to its more glamorous cousin Champagne, which comes in at roughly 95 calories per glass (it's less expensive, too). Prosecco or champagne cocktails usually mask the sharpness of the sparkling wine with sugar, so avoid these and just drink the bubbly stuff on its own.

We're not talking about the kind of cheap and not-so-cheerful Prosecco that you'd get included with an Oceana birthday table booking, either. Plenty of independent luxury booze brands, including Fiol Prosecco, are working hard to improve the reputation of the long-lamented drink. So give it a go.

Avoid sweet wines

Wine varies depending on the sweetness of the grape you choose, but a glass of red or white wine ranges on average from 84 to 90 calories. Dry wines contain minimal sugar and commonly have less than one gram of sugar per ounce. Comparatively, sweeter wines can be in excess of 2g per ounce, which will make a difference if you're picking a bottle. Or three. Dry red grapes include Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry whites include Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.

If you're really committing to the new year's diet, then there are plenty of low-calories options, too. Non-alcoholic and light wines, which generally come in at 0.5% ABV per glass, are improving in quality and are widely available from supermarkets (although you might have a harder time at restaurants).

Swallow your pride and buy light beer

If you can't resist a cheeky pint (you #lad) then light beer is on average around 100 calories per can. This retains some of that flavour whilst saving about 50 calories compared to regular beer. However, a lot of diet beer also cuts out the alcohol meaning you need to drink twice the amount the get the same buzz - a fairly pointless idea. Check the alcohol percentage on diet beers don't drop off dramatically or you may end up consuming more calories by drinking more quantities. There are plenty of brilliant craft options, but you're more likely to find a Heineken Light (3.3%. 99 calories) or Coors Light (4.2%, 116 calories) in pubs and bars. If you can't bring yourself to order a diet beer, Guinness is only 126 calories &ndash slightly less than other beers which are usually around 150. Food for thought.

That's not to say you shouldn't turn to 0% beers if you're just after the taste without any of the trouble. When it comes to varieties that are widely available in pubs, we'd opt for BrewDog's Nanny State (0.5%) or Heineken 0.0. There's been a rise in the amount of alcohol-free bars in the capital, too, but they mostly trade in high-sugar mocktails.

Stay disciplined

In other words, just drink less of the same alcohol of your choice. Sounds simple, but we all know how our desire for booze can snowball with each fresh, thirsty-making glass.

If the aforementioned mindful drinking approach doesn&rsquot work for you, then draw up a strict drinking plan for the week ahead &ndash what you&rsquoll be drinking, in what quantity and on what day. Don&rsquot let one glass of wine in front of the TV turn into two, and make sure your stick solidly to any routine you set out.

Discipline is the name of the game, but you can also make things easier on yourself. Don&rsquot overstock your fridge and cupboards with unnecessary booze, as it will only prove to be a temptation. Instead, perhaps stock up on a weekly basis, only buying the amount written out in your schedule. It may seem like an extreme or overzealous approach to take, but you&rsquoll only need it until you&rsquove carved out a healthier routine for yourself. Alternatively, an alcohol diary will help you better understand your drinking diet, and identify any unhealthy patterns.

The most important thing of all, of course, is to have a healthy attitude towards alcohol consumption. Drinking less alcohol is not only beneficial to your waistline, but also your general health, sleep quality and state-of-mind. Your bank account will thank you, too. Taking a break from booze isn&rsquot just for Sober October &ndash everyone could do with a break every now and again. Whether it&rsquos refreshing stretches of alcohol-free days or whole months on the wagon, everyone deserves a reprieve from hangovers. The NHS has tips on cutting down alcohol intake, which you can find here, and there are plenty of other invaluable resources online.

How to get started on the Dukan diet

Before starting the Dukan Diet, you must establish your goal weight, which Dr. Dukan refers to as your &ldquoTrue Weight.&rdquo The True Weight will determine how long you&rsquoll stay on each of the first three phases of the diet.

To prepare for the Attack phase, be sure to stock your kitchen with approved foods. It&rsquos also helpful to use the Dukan Diet website, diet book, cookbook, and Facebook page for high-protein, low-fat, and low-carb recipe ideas and social support. The Dukan Diet site is a great resource for more details of each phase of the diet, and it includes a robust FAQ section, as well as customized coaching for the first three phases of the diet.

Before starting the Dukan Diet, it&rsquos important to consult with a primary care physician, especially people with pre-existing conditions including diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or anyone prone to kidney stones. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid this diet. Visit the Dukan Diet site for more information and resources.

Go here to join Prevention Premium (our best value, all-access plan), subscribe to the magazine, or get digital-only access.

Share All sharing options for: What Will You Eat When the World Ends?

It could happen at any time. Maybe an asteroid will hurtle toward Earth or a storm will cover the world in ice. A bite from a particularly angry monkey could start a viral zombie plague. The Internet could even shut off. Things could go to hell because of monsters or uncomfortably sentient robots, nuclear war or a terrorist attack. The question you should ask yourself is: What will you eat and drink when the world ends?

The people answering this question aren't scientists, the military, or NASA (though maybe there's a secret apocalypse science division in the government). They're known as "preppers" and are usually everyday folks with normal jobs — teachers or bankers or candlestick makers. The only difference between you and them is that they want to be ready when, in prepper jargon, SHTF because it's TEOTWAWKI ("the end of the world as we know it"). While FEMA's guide advocates for having a disaster kit consisting of a 72-hour supply of food, water, and clothing packed and ready to go, that's just a baby step for preppers. Come back when you've stored up enough to last you a week, a month, or a year.

"It sounds hokey, but I had a gut feeling that I needed to take steps to protect my family."

"Hurricane Katrina proved to a lot of people that everything you have can be wiped out very quickly," says Pat Henry, founding editor of the Prepper Journal. He explains that everyone has to focus on four categories of survival — food, water, security, and shelter. Since 2008, Henry has been slowly stockpiling backup supplies . He's used rain barrels, water filtration, and bottled water to amass "hundreds of gallons" of H2O. "It sounds hokey, but I had a gut feeling that I needed to take steps to protect my family," he says. While one Daily Mail UK article estimates "there are three million preppers in the U.S. alone," no one knows who estimated that number, and it's unlikely that there are actually solid statistics on the subject — thanks to an inherent secrecy within the prepper community.

But despite prepping's mysterious exterior, everyone seems to agree on the basic principles of planning, buying, and storing food, water, and cooking utensils one needs to survive a disaster. According to the experts, there are three rules that will help you prepare for the end of the world.

Rule One: Keep Your Groceries Hidden

Though preppers are very active behind screen names on the Internet — on groups like the American Preppers Network or websites like the Survival Blog — they stay under the radar in real life. It's not because they think their hobby is strange, but because when the end of the world comes, they don't want the entire starving neighborhood to know that their house is the one full of potable water, heat, and enough food to last a full calendar year. "The first rule of prep club is you don't talk about prep club," says Lisa Bedford, a mother of two teenagers and a prepper also known as the Survival Mom. As a result, there's not much in the way of hands-on education. "The community is online because people want to be very careful and cautious about who they talk to," Bedford explains. Bedford says that she has cultivated a small group of neighboring preppers who she could rely on if SHTF ("shit hits the fan," naturally). "But I have no idea how much they actually have."

"The first rule of prep club is you don’t talk about prep club."

Overall it seems like the secrecy is directed toward non-preppers: No one wants to get themselves into an ant-and-grasshopper situation where they're sharing supplies with the non-prepared deadweights of the neighborhood. Within the prepper community, however, there are websites like Prepper Dating and Survivalist Singles (just because it's the end of the world doesn't mean you have to be alone). Other forums facilitate people who want to either connect with neighbors or actually gather enough strangers to fill a home with like-minded survivalists.

Survivalists come in all shapes and sizes. Like any subculture, the people involved fit somewhere on a spectrum of intensity. On the one hand, you might have someone like Bedford, who began prepping as a backup plan if her family lost their primary source of income. On the other end are the types of people who build underground bunkers and whose security plans look like a mini National Guard.

Survive the Apocalypse in Five Easy Steps

Eater combed through FEMA, CDC, and prepper blog survival intel so you don't have to. Now get packing:

1. Stock Up on Clean Water
It's hard to overstate just how important access to clean drinking water will be to your post-apocalyptic survival chances — and you'll need about a gallon per person per day, which is a lot. Have water at your home or wherever you plan to hunker down. Have water in your vehicle. Study up on where to find safe water (drained water from an undamaged water heater = safe, water from the toilet's bowl and flush tank = unsafe). Do some practice rounds of boiling and oxygenating water.

2. Create a Pantry
Canned and freeze-dried foods are your new favorites. So are properly-stored whole wheat cereals, nuts, dry pasta, corn, and various other dry edibles. To further build out your pantry, focus on high-energy options like peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, and trail mix. Get some powdered milk, powdered potatoes, and other powdered foods onto the shelf. Whenever possible, stock up on foods that are low in salt, so as to avoid getting unnecessarily thirsty and wasting your precious water. And stock up on canning supplies so that when you encounter fresh fruits and vegetables, you can make them last.

3. Don't Forget a Manual Can Opener
You might even want to stock a few of these because, let's face it, canned food is now a major part of your life. Do not lose them, or entrust them to someone you think might lose them.

4. Break Out the OverallsSomeday, your stockpile will run out, so get farming. Plant a diverse survival vegetable garden, and make it as huge as possible. Do be warned your vegetables might be an attractive nuisance, so consider camouflaging it as a "food forest." Raise chickens. Chickens are pretty easy to take care of and will provide you with a valuable source of protein via eggs. Also, raise rabbits if you are down to do butchering and slaughtering.

5. Quit Stalling
If you really want to survive, start working on your game plan before the world goes totally to shit. Things like tilling a garden, stocking up on food, and learning how to properly can all take time to get right. Might as well get a head start while the power grid still works. Good luck.
— Hillary Dixler

But while outsiders familiar with prepping have a tendency to think survivalists have a streak of insanity, it's actually not all that different from the practice of homesteading. "They call it something different and do it a different way, but the end goal is the same," says Henry. He specifically references the local food movement where many people have taken to knowing their farmer or growing their own produce because they don't feel like they can rely on the government, big food corporations, or other overseers to adequately check the quality of what they're eating. "A large part of both movements is the concept of control," Bedford says. This is one reason why interest in prepping seems to increase after natural disasters, economic crises, or another traumatic event. It allows people to feel like, at least next time, they'll be prepared.

Rule Two: Don't Store What You Can't Eat

Though tents and bunkers might suffice for backup shelter, storing food and water is a much more involved process. It's not quite as easy as running to the local grocery store the day before a storm and buying up all of the bread and kale left on the shelves. People who are getting into prepping often treat food and water storage as the true first step. While water can be stocked in the form of water bottles or rainwater-capture systems, food is not as easy as following a pre-made grocery list off the Internet.

When Bedford began preparing for the possibility of economic disaster in 2008, she quickly fell on food storage as a place to focus. She says that a lot of people do their own food storage — particularly homesteaders or people who live so far from the grocery store that it's inconvenient to go more than once a month — but that as a "typical suburban stay-at-home mom" she initially felt out of her depth. "It was a whole new world," she says.

The main issue is that stored food is only as useful as your willingness to eat it. "Food fatigue is a real thing," Bedford explains. If all that's in the pantry is rice and beans, the monotony of the diet would eventually make anyone lose their desire to eat.

To get a varied diet, Bedford advocates a three-layer approach to stocking the pantry. The first layer takes place at the grocery store — specifically in the canned food aisles. "The reason canned food is so important is that it's shelf stable," Bedford says. That said, don't just purchase whatever is on sale. "Focus on things you'll eat and your family members will eat," she adds. And don't forget the spices: Adding new flavors to the same base ingredients is an easy way to combat food fatigue while sticking to a few pantry staples.

Next are the bulk foods which Bedford believes are where most of a prepper's time and money should be spent. Opening a can of ravioli might get you a meal, but there's not much in the way of choice. With freeze-dried meat, shrimp, yogurt, and cheese (almost every food seems to have been freeze-dried) and a healthy stockpile of various pastas, dried beans, and grain, "you can make hundreds of recipes," according to Bedford. For people who don't feel up to DIY recipe development, there are a number of resources to turn to. Many preppers blog and post individual recipes and tips on their websites. Prepping is also a (small) cookbook genre with titles like The Survivalist Cookbook or The Prepper's Cookbook that speak directly to their intended audience. Plenty of other cookbooks focus on things like canned soup, jerky, or campfire recipes.

Finally, a good prepper wants to invest in some ready-to-eat meals. They're not all that different from the field rations given to soldiers and, as a result, are not something the average person wants to survive on entirely. "You'll get tired of them pretty quickly," Bedford says. She recommends that the RTE meals comprise no more than 20 percent of total food supplies.

But it's important to remember that even long-lasting foods can go bad. Henry doesn't just stock a pantry and forget about it, but rotates through the food during normal, non-emergency meals. "You don't want to find out when the power's out and the grocery store is closed that all your food expired five years ago," he says. "That's another reason why buying things you eat all the time is important." It also would ease the culinary transition into end-of-the-world dining if the family is still eating mom's beef stroganoff but with freeze-dried beef, powdered sour cream, and dehydrated mushrooms.

"Right now if there was a massive power grid failure, millions of households will only have a couple weeks of food. They have no margin."

Bedford stresses that food storage does not have a one-size-fits-all approach. A city dweller simply doesn't have room to store a year's worth of food and water. Others can't afford to buy extra bulk and freeze-dried food — much less expensive gadgets or survival cooking gear. Even if someone could have a flock of goats and chickens doesn't mean they can take on that responsibility. "Not everyone can live that lifestyle and a lot of them don't want to," Bedford says.

Rule Three: Get Out of the Pantry

Unfortunately even the best-stocked food supply doesn't last forever. Bedford points out that food storage doesn't exist in a vacuum. "You'll open that can of beans and then what?" she says. "The purpose of stored food is to buy you time." In her family's case, the year or so their supply could carry them for would be enough time to connect with other families, work together, barter, and so on. "Right now if there was a massive power grid failure, millions of households would only have a couple weeks of food," she explains. "They have no margin."

Henry supports the idea of keeping chickens both for meat and eggs as well as investing in the time to learn about technology like aquaponics or even hydroponics, which can both create comparatively large amounts of food in small spaces. Surprisingly, he doesn't advocate relying too much on hunting. "If you're out there looking for food and things are that bad, chances are hundreds and thousands of other people are doing the same thing." There are only so many deer and pheasants to go around. That's why in the process of increasing their food supplies, many preppers also teach themselves how they could grow more.

Prepping is just as much about creating a sustainable source of food as squirreling it away. Because the end of the world doesn't just last a week or month or even a year — it's forever. And we all have to eat to survive.

Extract with Grains

In this article you'll learn how to use steeped grains, pellet hops and yeast to modify an extract beer to closely match a popular style of pale ale. Brewing with specialty grains, your own choice of hops and yeast takes a few additional pieces of equipment and some added work. However, using the techniques described here, you can modify an extract-based beer to brew virtually any style of beer you want.

In our recipe (at the end of this article), we'll add some caramel sweetness and color with the use of crystal malt. We'll add hop bitterness as well as hop flavor and aroma to our wort from an aromatic variety of American hops. And finally, we'll pick a yeast strain that gives us that clean, neutral fermentation character found in most American pale ales.

Choosing Your Extract and Specialty (Steeping) Grains

When brewing extract-only beer, you must find a malt extract formulated to yield your desired style of beer. When brewing an extract beer with specialty grains, you will start with a base of malt extract and add in certain specialty grains to fine tune the beer. If you are choosing to brew a darker beer like a porter, then you may choose to start with a dark malt extract as your base, then add in specialty grains to acheive certain nuances. There are a wide variety of malt extracts available in the marketplace, so we encourage beginning brewers to find reliable recipes to get familiar with the array of ingredients first. We have a wide selection of recipes found here. Once you find your extract base, you can then add flavors, aromas and colors to your beer by adding one or more specialty grains.

Specialty grains are any grain that is not a base grain. So, what's a base grain? Base grains are the grains — usually lightly kilned malted barley or malted wheat — that provide the bulk of the fermentable sugars in a beer. Specialty grains are most often darker grains that are added to beer in smaller quantities. Although they add a small amount of fermentables, the flavor, aroma and color of these grains are the main reasons they are added to beers. There are many different kinds of specialty grains. Adding them singly or in combination yields a large range of possible flavors and colors.

What Grains Can I Steep?

There are two basic types of specialty grains home brewers should be using when steeping (not mashing), those that have been prepared by stewing (crystal malts) and those that have been produced by roasting (dark roasted malts). Stewed grains are heated such that the liquid inside them cannot escape. The upshot is that in the center of a stewed grain most of the starch has been converted to sugar. In contrast, roasted grains are heated so they are dried quickly. In a roasted grain, the center of the grain is mostly starch. The most common types of stewed grains are crystal malts. Common roasted grains include chocolate, roasted barley, and black patent. If you plan to use grains that are outside of these two categories, then you should consider trying a partial mash.

We'll use crystal malt in our beer. Different crystal malts are kilned to different degrees. The more kilned the malt is, the darker the color. The color of a crystal malt is usually expressed in degrees Lovibond (°L), the higher the Lovibond, the darker the results. For our pale ale, any crystal malt from 30° to 40 °L will suffice.

You can steep large amounts of stewed grains in an extract beer since it is mostly just sugar inside the grains. Although some brewers load their beers up with specialty grains, most extract homebrewers try to keep specialty grains under 10 to 15 percent of the total grain bill. You should limit the amount of roasted grains that you steep. The starch in roasted grains can create a haze in your beer that can serve as a source of growth for bacteria. Using less than 5 percent roasted grains in an extract beer is a good rule of thumb. In order to use larger amounts of roasted grains, we advise that you mash the grains.

Using Specialty Grains

Specialty grains must be crushed before they are steeped. Most homebrew stores either sell crushed grains or have a grain mill and will crush the grains for you. To do it yourself, simply use a rolling pin and a fairly light touch. You want to crack the grain and open the husk, but not pulverize it.

Specialty grains should be steeped at temperatures in the range that base malts are mashed. This range is usually 140° to 170° F (60 to 77 °C). If you steep the grains at higher temperatures — for example, if you boil them — you risk extracting too many tannins from the husks. A beer with too many tannins will be astringent, meaning it will have a drying sensation on your palate not a desirable trait in beer.

To steep the specialty grains, place the grains in your nylon grain bag. If the bag has a drawstring, close it. If not, tie off the end of the bag. Heat 3 gallons (11 L) of water to about 160° F (71 °C), then turn off the heat. Place the grain bag in the water. (This should drop the temperature a couple of degrees.) You can tie the bag's drawstring to the handles of your pot or use string to tie the bag to the handles. This will keep part of the bag out of the liquid and make it easier to pull out. Stir the water a few times while you steep, and stir the water one final time before you remove the grain bag. Stirring will cause water to flow through the bag and release colors and flavors from the grain.

After the grains have been steeped for 15-30 minutes, pull them out and set them in the sink. The grains will be hot, so be careful handling the bag of grains. Now it's time to add the extract and proceed towards the boil. During the boil, you'll further alter the flavor of your base malt extract by adding hops, the spicing of the beer.

Bring In The Hops

Your local homebrew shop probably has a large variety of hops. Hops come in two basic forms: leaf hops and pellet hops. Pellet hops are the most convenient and most widely used form of hop among homebrewers. Pellet hops are made by compressing shredded hop cones (the female hop flower) into small, cylindrical pellets. Leaf hops are the unprocessed form of the hop cone. Some homebrewers prefer the unprocessed form, while some prefer pellets. Over time, you will find which you prefer. We'll use the pellet form of hops in our West Coast pale ale.

Although there are a large number of different varieties of hops, you can use the country of origin as a guide to what type of beers to use it in. Our Resource Guide has a chart found here if you want to explore what hops may be fitting for certain styles of beers. But in general, British hops, such as Fuggles and East Kent Goldings, go well in bitters, porters or other beers traditionally brewed in the region. Hops from the European continent, such as German Hallertau or Czech Saaz, go well in continental lagers such as helles or Pilsner. Here in the U.S., craft brewers frequently use American hops grown in the Pacific Northwest like Centennial, Cascade and Willamette to name a few.

We'll load up our pale ale with Cascade hops. Cascade has a citrus-floral smell that is prominent in many traditional West Coast pale ales, including Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the quintessential West Coast pale ale. You can decide which hop you would like to add if want to explore some of the new aromatic varieties such as Citra®, or Galaxy, or Amarillo®.

Regardless of what region they come from, hops are rated for their bittering strength. Bittering strength is given in percent alpha acids. Many homebrewers use high alpha-acid hops early in the boil to provide bitterness. In beer recipes, the amount of hops required is often given in AAU (alpha acid units). AAUs are the alpha-acid rating of the hop times the weight of the hops in ounces. To calculate how many ounces of hops you need for a recipe, divide the value of AAU given by the alpha-acid rating of the hops. For example, if you need 12 AAU of hops and you choose hops with a 4% alpha acid rating, you need (12/4) = 3 ounces of hops. Bitterness also can be expressed in terms of International Bitterness Units (IBU), a more complex measurement.

Bitterness is affected by the AAUs of the hops and the length of time the hops are boiled. The longer hops are boiled, the more bitterness is extracted from them. Another major factor that influences how much bitterness gets extracted from hops is wort concentration. The more concentrated a wort is, the less bitterness gets extracted from the hops. If you want to increase the hop flavor and aroma of the beer, then you will want to increase the amount of hops added late in the boil (15 minutes or less left in the boil). You can also add dry hops to really give a boost to the hop aroma. See here for more information on the basics of dry hopping.

Conducting the Boil

Heat the steeping water to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, turn off the heat and add the malt extract. Turn the heat back on until the wort begins to boil. Often, wort will foam a lot at the beginning of the boil. A couple quick stirs with a clean spoon should calm the foaming down. If it doesn't, lower the heat until the foam subsides. A product called Fermcap can be invaluable for brewers who are trying to maximize the capacity of their brewpot. It keeps the foam reduced to almost nothing and does not have any affect on the final beer.

Generally the first charge of hops are added right after the wort comes to a boil. These hops will boil for an hour and add to the bitterness of the beer. If you want to keep the hops separate, you can add the hops to a hop bag and tie the hop bag to the handle of your pot. Aroma and flavor hops will be added in the final minutes of the boil.

Try to maintain a rolling boil and always try to keep adding hot water to keep the level around 3 gallons (11.4 L). If your wort is only simmering, cover the pot partially with its lid. If the wort is boiling fine, leave the cover off. Never cover the pot completely no matter how weak the boil is. There are compounds in the wort that need to boil off or they will add off-flavors or aromas to your beer.

Choosing Yeast

Be sure to chill the wort all the way down to an appropriate temperature for the yeast before you consider adding in the yeast. For beginners, we recommend using a sachet of dry yeast. To find an appropriate yeast for a recipe you are working on, we have a full guide with up-to-date info on dozens of strains in our Yeast Strains Chart. For our American West Coast pale ale, we recommend you opt for Safale US-05 or Lallemand Nottingham or Mangrove Jack M44 US West Coast yeast. All these strains produce very clean yeast profiles and come in sachets that are ready for pitching direct into the fermenter once thw wort is cooled. Sometimes it is recommended to re-hydrate the dry yeast, but this adds steps that we find unnecessary. If you do want to rehydrate your yeast, we recommend reading up on the steps found here.

There are advantages to buying liquid yeast. They come in a wide variety of strains for dozens of different beer styles, a much greater variety than dried yeast. Since liquid yeast should be grown in a yeast starter immediately before being pitched, it takes little or no time for it to adapt to new surroundings. Dry yeast, in contrast, goes from being desiccated to soaking in hot water to swimming in cool wort. It takes the yeast some time to adapt to the wort before it can start moving wort sugars across its cell membrane. If you do opt for a liquid yeast strain, we recommend making a yeast starter. Instructions for a starter are found here.

Secondary fermentation (optional)

After fermenting for a week, our procedure calls for an optional secondary fermentation to aid with beer clarity. If you don't want to transfer the beer to a secondary vessel, then simply leave the beer in primary for two weeks and proceed straight to bottling.

The term secondary fermentation is a bit of a misnomer as it implies that fermentation begins again. Secondary fermentation is really just a settling stage. The fermented beer is racked off the layer of dead yeast from the primary fermentation. Yeast and other particles still in suspension are allowed to settle out. Removing the beer from the yeast ensures that it doesn't pick up any off-flavors from these materials.

To conduct the "secondary fermentation," clean and sterilize a carboy and a racking cane. Rack the beer from your primary fermenter (bucket) to your secondary fermenter (carboy). Splash the beer as little as possible to avoid oxidation. When racking, keep the end of the hose beneath the surface of the beer in the carboy. One benefit of a carboy is that you can see what's going on with your beer!

After secondary fermentation is finished, bottle the beer. Your beer should be a little clearer as a result of the secondary fermentation.

Ready For More?

Here is a popular article to help take your extract brewing to the next level.

West Coast Pale Ale

(5 gallon/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.050 FG = 1.015
IBU = 40 ABV = 4.9%

6.6 lbs. (3 kg) extra light liquid malt extract
0.50 lb. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (30° to 40° L)
10 AAU Cascade pellet hops (boil 60 min.)
(2 oz./57 g at 5% alpha acid)
5 AAU Cascade pellet hops (boil 15 min.)
(1 oz./28 g at 5% alpha acid)
10 AAU Cascade pellet hops (0 min.)
(2 oz./57 g at 5% alpha acid)
Safale US-05 or Lallemand Nottingham or Mangrove Jack M44 (US West Coast) yeast
3/4 cup priming sugar for bottling

Step By Step
Heat 3 gallons (11.4 L) of water to 160 °F (71 °C). Steep crystal malt for 30 minutes, then remove the grain bag. Bring water to boil, then stir in malt extract. Bring wort back to a boil and add the first round of hops, the bittering hops. Keep adding water to try to maintain at least 3 gallons (11.4 L) of wort. With 15 minutes left in the boil, add second flavor addition of hops. When the boil is over, remove the brewpot and add the final charge of hops. Let sit 5-10 minutes, then remove the hop bags and place the brewpot in an ice bath. Once the temperature drop below 100 °F (38 °C), pour the wort into your fermenter and add cold, aerated water to your bucket fermenter until you reach 5 gallons (19 L). Wait until the temperature reaches about 70 °F (21 °C), then it is time to pitch your yeast. Take a sample of wort and record your original gravity with a hydrometer. Ferment for 1 week, trying to hold the ambient temperature around 68 °F (20 °C). After one week you can transfer the beer via racking cane into a carboy to help clear the beer. Optional: If you want to add dry hops, you can toss in 1-2 oz. (30-60 g) of hop pellets in a sanitized hop bag directly into the primary or secondary fermenter after the first week. This will give a big boost to the aroma of the final beer.

After two weeks, check the gravity with a hydrometer to see the final gravity. Bottle the beer with priming sugar and condition the beer for 2 weeks at room temperature. One month after brewday, your beer should be carbonated and ready to drink.

Reader Interactions


Since the pandemic I cannot loose weight. I go up a little, then down, etc., for the last year. Since I have a lot of medical bills And live on my pension, i couldn’t afford the $42 a month. When I left I lost all my recipes, points for food, and weight history. I feel totally lost without meetings and miss the other members. I’m trying to stay on program but it’s hard without the accountability of tracking. I feel like a failure.

Barbara, Have you thought about trying iTrackBites? With the Corona Virus and social distancing Their in-app community may be the answer for you. iTrackBites allows you to stay on track for a fraction of the cost of myWW. You get all the perks of WW without the cost. Check them out and let me know what you think. There are thousands of members in the community who are there to help you accomplish your goals. Let me help you get some of the recipes back as in my group I am sure we can recover quite a few of them. I recommend keeping a journal for tracking weight loss history as apps can crash they go through updates and the like. These things can cause you to lose your important historic events. I find writing them down to be satisfying when I reach certain goals. I also find it to be eye-opening when it comes to goals not met as I can look back and see where I can improve. I truly hope this helps you continue your journey and I hope to help solve some of your issues. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you succeed.

Congratulations for being successful on Weight watchers. I’ve been a lifetime member for 48 years believe it or not. I would suggest remembering and writing down every recipe you can remember and every food that you loved and those points
A lot you can find by just googling the title such as Weight watchers egg roll in a bowl. Good luck, Yes you can be in control even when the Weight Watcher price is too much of an extravagance. And there is always the goal of being a lifetime member for free, I haven’t paid for probably 45 of the last years. Haven’t tried the other programs but there are some good ideas here

Well. Looks like they DID CHANGE the program. Effective yesterday. WW+

Is W.W. Still honoring the Lifetime memberships?? Will there be upcoming meets in Huntington, In, 46750?? WE miss you. Sincerely, C.

Is the new program honoring Life Time Members? I would like to join Zoom and I’m from Sequim Washington. How do I connect with my local group? Where do I pay my $14.95 Fee to join Zoom?

I heard after June, I think, Lifetimers will have to pay for the tool. But not the meetings.

Why have you messed up the plan. There are so many unnecessary and irritating things on there now. There are so many things that take away and confuse the program. My husband and I will be looking for another plan to join. We can’t even find anyone to talk to.

What are the charms milestone intervals?

WW milestone charms are given out at various weight-loss intervals starting at five pounds and up to 200 pounds, plus when you reach your goal weight. I know that if you are in the studio program you receive one at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, and Lifetime.

I have read that extra virgin is now 1 point per tablespoon. Is that correct

Fizzy Beer Stocks Are Due for a Bar Fight in China

Jacky Wong

Beer connoisseurs are living it up again in China—and getting more discerning about their ale. Barflies can celebrate as their drinking options expand, but an imminent brawl for control of the premium segment could weigh on already-fizzy beer shares.

Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC, the Asian unit spun off by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2019, said its revenue in China last quarter grew 93% year over year while its earnings there before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization more than tripled. In other words, beer drinkers are tossing back pints (or cans) again with gusto: Both metrics are higher than the same period in 2019. The company sells beer brands like Budweiser and Stella Artois in Asia. Revenue and profits at rival Tsingtao Brewery, which reported earnings last month, have also moved above pre-pandemic levels.

Since China has largely put the pandemic under control, beer sales in pubs and restaurants have also returned to normal. Such on-premise consumption accounts for 63% of premium beer sales, according to an April report from Bernstein.

But investors have already priced in the recovery, especially for local brewers. Tsingtao’s Hong Kong-listed shares have gained 38% since the beginning of last year while shares of state-owned China Resources Beer have gained 48%. Budweiser APAC shares, on the other hand, are down 3%, partly because the company’s other markets, such as South Korea, offer slower growth.

Investors may also be worried that Budweiser APAC’s leading market share in the premium segment will be chipped away by its Chinese rivals. It is easy to see why every brewer wants to crack into the higher-end segment: China’s beer market by value expanded 21% from 2016 to 2019 even though sales by volume only grew 0.6%, according to Euromonitor International. Chinese consumers may not have drunk more beers, but they are definitely becoming pickier.