December 12, 2014
IT'S JUST A WAFFLE, but Brian and Andrea Polizzi's newest product is the next step in the maturation of American small brewing. The couple's 13-month-old, West-Chester-based company, Waffatopia, last month unveiled Sweet & Stormy, a ready-to-heat waffle flavored with Victory Storm King Imperial Stout . The waffle is sweet and chocolaty and, even if it doesn't contain a trace of alcohol, it's probably not on my breakfast diet. But that's not the point. What catches my eye is the waffle package's familiar, blue-and-red V-for-Victory logo - a sign that, after successfully carving a niche in the beer biz over the past 18 years, the Downingtown brewery's brand is strong enough to carry more than sixpacks.
December 9, 2014 |
TOM SHERIDAN'S parents separated when he was a child, so he grew up with a dual citizenship in the river wards - splitting every week between his mom in Kensington and his dad in Port Richmond. So last year, when Sheridan had his Do Good Brewing epiphany while eating tomato pie and drinking his homemade beer at Tacconelli's Pizzeria, in Port Richmond, he wasn't shocked to realize that his life's dream was rooted in his childhood streets. "My whole business plan was to be a neighborhood kid with a neighborhood brewery, selling only to neighborhood bars, and donating a percentage of the sales to neighborhood charities," said Sheridan, 26. The Do Good Brewing Co., on Amber Street near Westmoreland, in Port Richmond, produces small batches of cream ale that is on tap from Cheers Cafe around the corner to the Kensington Pub, the Bridesburg Pub and neighborhood bars throughout the river wards.
November 21, 2014
G UINNESS is one of the greatest, most valuable brand names in beer. From its familiar harp logo to its stenciled typeface to Arthur Guinness' famous signature, everything about it is immediately recognizable. Even its bubbles have a trademark look. You think of Guinness, you think of rich, dark, smooth Irish stout - the biggest-selling, most famous dark beer on the planet. The problem is, that's the only thing you think of. As good as Guinness is, it's really only good for one thing.
November 20, 2014 |
In Paddy's Old City Pub, where neon beer signs gleam through the cigarette smoke, Mick Kae has a decision to make. "I don't know if I should write to my exes or what," Kae says, plucking an envelope from a stack provided by Casa Papel, a stationer in Northern Liberties. "I'm debating whether to actually kick a dead horse. It seems to make them angry when I communicate with them, no matter what the form. " He decides to give it a shot. After all, making connections is the point of Publetters, a series of free letter-writing events held at bars around the city.
October 31, 2014
LADIES and gentlemen, I give you 10 beer things you never knew existed: The Crowler If a growler is a large bottle of draft beer to go, what's a Crowler? That's a large can of freshly tapped suds. Oskar Blues Brewery, in Colorado, a pioneer in modern canned craft beer, developed a machine to fill and seal a 32-ounce can right at the bar. Locally, Village Idiot Brewing Co., in Mount Holly, N.J., has one and says it'll keep its contents fresh for 3 months. The Knockout It's a bottle-top attachment that makes it possible to chug beer and smoke weed at the same time.
October 29, 2014
You say you've got mad beer-making skills and you'd go pro if only you had the time to step up your game? Send the old ball-and-chain out of town. It worked for John Wible, who went from a complete noob to head brewer at 2nd Story Brewing, in Old City, in just five years. He looked almost sheepish as he recounted the story Monday afternoon, as the first customers streamed into his new brewpub, operating out of the space that Triumph Brewing had occupied for the last seven years.
October 17, 2014
WHEN LAST WE heard from Hohenadel Brewery, the 19th-century East Falls landmark was wincing under the weight of a wrecking ball. It was 1997. Just one look at the stubborn but crumbling brick structure at Conrad Street and Indian Queen Lane told you it was time to pull the plug. The brewery that once proclaimed its "Well Earned Supremacy" could only sigh as it joined the likes of Gretz and Esslinger and Erlanger in the great Philadelphia pile of brewery dust. Indian Queen Ale . . . Rival Porter . . . Trilby Export - the brands that Hohenadel brewed till it closed in 1952 were gone and mostly forgotten.
October 10, 2014
THE GREAT American Beer Festival awards are such a tease. Like brazen tarts, the judges tempt us time and again with medals for seductive, mouthwatering brands that just beg you to take a drink. But we can only look, never taste. These award-winners are one-offs. Brewpub seasonals. Special blends. They come and go, peeking out at you like a Maxim magazine nip-slip. Beers like Two Brothers Sour Beer #2 , from Illinois, named the best wood-aged beer in America. I'm sure it's a fine beer; it outpolled more than 100 other entries in the category.
September 19, 2014
DON'T ASK for a pint of pumpkin beer at South Street's Brauhaus Schmitz. One of Philly's few bastions of Bavarian beer purity doesn't serve the spice stuff because the Germans already have a perfectly fine autumn beer, thank you. It's Oktoberfestbier, also known as Marzen, that copper-colored beauty, rich in malt with a smooth body for endless guzzling. "Personally, I'm OK with pumpkin beer," Brauhaus Schmitz owner Doug Hager said. "But as a card-carrying German beer snob, we kind of laugh at it. " He's in the minority these days.
September 10, 2014 |
The list is long of the perfect accompaniments to beer: hot dogs, pizza, peanuts, and pretzels, to name just a few. Most definitely not on that list: pediococcus and lactobacillus. Consider them beer buzzkills. These are types of bacteria that often hitch a ride into breweries aboard grain. If they make their way into the beer itself, they can spoil taste by producing lactic acid, a chemical compound most commonly associated with sore muscles after exertion and first refined in 1780 from sour milk.