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.
September 5, 2014
"DID YOU know," Jon Lyons, a sales rep for New York's Southern Tier Brewery, was saying the other night, "that the first person to run a marathon actually died at the end of the run?" Yo, I'm as big a fan of Greek tragedy as the next guy, and I'm somewhat familiar with the fable of the heroic messenger, Pheidippides, who collapsed upon reaching his destination. But this bit of trivia was not what I needed to hear 10 minutes before sprinting into the deathly heat and humidity of a Philadelphia summer evening.
September 4, 2014 |
This fall shoe-booties have moved sooo beyond the weathered, the chunky, the basic, and the black. Instead, they are sexy as slingbacks, serious as suedes, and classically colorblocked. "What other shoe transitions so well from day to night?" asked Elena Brennan, bootie aficionado and owner of South Philly's Bus Stop boutique. "It's one of the most versatile: cute with a dress, cute with jeans. Just cute. " After making its functional fashion debut in the 1920s to protect women's feet from dusty streets, the rugged and reliable shoe walked into high style in the 1980s with punk rock.
August 29, 2014 |
It's fizzy. It's fermented. It makes you feel wonderful. And it's brewed right here in Philadelphia. But it's not beer - it's kombucha, the mystical elixir whose colorful origin stories could pass as Indiana Jones sequel treatments. Long the dominion of clean-living DIYers with an affinity for alternative products (read: hippies), the tea drink has officially cracked the worldwide mainstream, inspiring both global companies and local upstarts to claim their piece of the cultured culture.
August 29, 2014
IF YOU haven't gotten your tix yet for October's Great American Beer Festival, in Denver, too late. The world's largest beer-judging event is sold out. But here's an insider's tip that will give you a taste of some of the champions: The last week of August is when local breweries deliver their bottles to Colorado for the medal competition. That means that specialties brewed especially for the event - the very best of their portfolios - go on tap locally over Labor Day weekend. Which means that, come October, when you hear that a local brewpub like Stewart's, in Bear, Del., or Round Guys, in Lansdale, has won a gold medal, you'll be kicking yourself if you don't get out there and taste 'em this weekend.