August 25, 2014 |
A day in the life of a Philadelphia pop-up beer garden begins hours before the suds start to flow. At 11:30 on an overcast Sunday morning, Jason Blacketer was doing battle with mulberries, clearing the spiky orange-reddish fruits that had fallen from a giant tree in the once-fallow lot tended by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society at 15th and South streets. Blacketer wiped the remnants of the early morning rain, from the tables and chairs. More unwelcome weather was forecast.
August 24, 2014 |
Like to finish your race with a beer? You may want to add the Flying Fish 5K to your calendar. The race, which will be held on Sept. 6, begins at Flying Fish brewery in Somerdale, Camden County, and finishers 21 and over will get a beer at the finish line. The race is part of Great American Brewery Runs, a new series being put on by local breweries and Carl Ewald, who puts on the ODDyssey Half Marathon, a race held in Philadelphia in June. This race series started in May of this year with the Foxtrot 5K, which was held on the grounds of Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown.
August 16, 2014 |
Luke Bryan, the country-pop superstar headlining Friday at Lincoln Financial Field, is unashamed of all the reasons behind his surging popularity. People magazine in May declared him "Country's Sexiest Man. " On ABC's Good Morning America last week, the 38-year-old native of Leesburg, Ga., easily joked with co-host Amy Robach about his butt's having its own Twitter account. That broadcast also featured Bryan playing four songs in Central Park for smitten fans, some of whom had been waiting since 2 p.m. the day before.
August 15, 2014
FOUR YEARS ago, when she launched the first Sour Fest, at South Philly's Devil's Den, owner Erin Wallace was happy to offer a modest list of about a dozen sour ales, including the highly regarded likes of Petrus Aged Pale Ale , Cantillon Kriek and Russian River Consecration . At the time, the existence of these quirky, tart varieties seemed nothing more than a blip in the growth of artisan brews. Most craft brewers were focused elsewhere - on hops or high alcohol. Sour beer, by contrast, didn't seem to have much of a future - not just because of its off-putting name and unconventional flavor, but because of its somewhat complex and time-consuming brewing methods.
August 8, 2014
HERE'S ONE more for your beer-drinking bucket list: RAGBRAI. It stands for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. No, you don't see the word "beer" in that title, but this seven-day, two-wheel tour can stand up there with Munich's Oktoberfest, Philly Beer Week or a night in an Irish pub as a quintessential celebration of our favorite adult beverage. Pedaling across the corn-filled countryside is the ostensible focus of the annual event, launched 42 years ago by two columnists at the Des Moines Register . This year's ride, held during the last week of July, stretched 418 miles and climbed 11,000 feet through 90-degree heat and one brutal day of windy thunderstorms.
August 1, 2014
DO NOT SHAKE your head in disgust or pity when I tell you that today's column is about beer floats. Instead, grab some real ice cream and try one for yourself. Just pour half a bottle of any decent brew into a glass, plop in a scoop and dip in with a spoon. Believe me - it's that simple. True, the beer float seems a desecration. Deflowering a perfectly innocent bowl of vanilla ice cream with an adult beverage is likely illegal in several states. But beer and ice cream were destined for each other, as underscored by a fortuitous development this year that saw new dessert brands from two local breweries, Yuengling and Victory.
July 25, 2014
DID YOU hear about that special, new collaborative beer from the brewmasters at Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors? Yeah, never gonna happen. Which says less about mega-breweries than it does about one of the remarkable traits of America's small breweries: the enthusiasm for working together. Or, more accurately, having fun together. Collaborative beers have become one of the hallmarks of craft brewing - a factor you might be tempted to shrug off as the shared esprit de underdog.
July 18, 2014
WANT TO open a bar in Pennsylvania and avoid the standard six-figure price tag for a liquor license? The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, through its extraordinarily lenient interpretation of the state liquor code, lets you do it for as little as $500. All it takes is a one-page application with none of the lengthy red tape and criminal background checks applicants normally face. The discount license is an unforeseen product of a 2012 liquor code amendment crafted by the Legislature to make it easier for licensees to cater one-day private events.
July 17, 2014 |
Just across from the Liberty Bell, another homage to America's roots opened Tuesday afternoon: a beer garden highlighting the country's own brews. Independence Beer Garden, located on the west side of Independence Mall at the foot of the Dow Chemical building, served its first glass just before 4 p.m. Michael Schulson, a 41-year-old chef who also owns Philadelphia's Sampan restaurant, always wanted to open a beer garden. Now, after a few hiccups that delayed the opening, he finally has. With 20 American beers on tap, the "garden" is big - approximately 22,000 square feet.
July 11, 2014
OK, NEVER MIND. Last week's column urging brewers to consider new ideas, from vending machines to malt-centric recipes, led me to a weekend of experimentation with some of the newfangled beer-improvement contraptions that are already on the market. After several hours in the Sixpack Test Kitchen, I concluded that maybe we'd all be better off just leaving well enough alone. Because as appealing as the Ultimate Aromatic Experience sounds, as one product promises, it's really hard to improve on the simple enjoyment of cracking open a bottle and pouring a fresh beer into a clean glass.