July 26, 2013
Although Pennsylvania has benefited from the national microbrewing renaissance, outdated state laws favoring beer wholesalers are threatening to kill the buzz. The state's wholesalers enjoy exclusive distribution rights in their territories and ironclad commitments from brewers, limiting the growth potential of the craft breweries that helped make Philadelphia one of America's premier beer cities. Giving brewers more autonomy could foster the emergence and success of more breweries in a city and state with a rich beer heritage.
July 26, 2013 |
Avram Hornik has dabbled in dining, but his Four Corners Management has largely thrived on a roster of bars and nightclubs, from Drinker's Pub to Union Transfer, that cater to a more raucous side of hospitality. A pair of Hornik's latest megaprojects, however, star in a citywide trend of new beer gardens built on the lower-key notions, he says, of "just being together" among birds and "spending hours just talking. " And drinking beer, too, naturally. Lots of it. Because like so much in ale-obsessed Philadelphia, the lure of craft brew has shown an almost transformative power in helping to make the newest gardens a success, from the deck of Hornik's riverside hit, Morgan's Pier, in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge, to the leafy pop-up garden he collaborated on with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in a once-vacant lot on South Broad Street, where as many as 1,000 visitors have turned out over the course of an evening, lounging, munching, and sipping on a pleasant summer night.
July 19, 2013
WE PAUSE now to raise a beer in commemoration of Belgium's independence from the Evil Empire of the Netherlands. 'Twas 182 years ago this Sunday that a ragtag band of Belgies dressed like Indians clambered aboard Dutch ships and dumped barrels of Hollandaise sauce in the Harbor of Brussels. This heroic act of rebellion ignited the infamous Battle of the Bulge, where corpulent gourmands from Antwerp faced down round upon round of Edam cheese. The Dutch army, unable to march in wooden shoes, quickly surrendered and returned to Amsterdam to resume smoking pot. Or something like that.
July 13, 2013 |
Need a quick getaway? May I suggest a stroll over to South Broad Street? Look for the opening in the crape myrtles, follow the juniper-lined path down to the grove, then take a seat in one of the vintage patio chairs, grab a beer, and settle in with a book. You might actually mistake the whoosh of city traffic for the lapping of waves. It seems only right that an instant vacation should be held in an instant space. The hideaway in question is the latest addition to Philadelphia's growing collection of pop-up parks, an increasingly popular and low-cost way for cities to carve out green retreats amid the crowded hardscape desert.
July 12, 2013
GOT A BEER mule in the family? You know, someone traveling out of town this summer who's willing to lug back a few bottles? Then, I have a list for you. These are the gems you can't buy in the Philadelphia area - top-rated brews that you might've read about but never tasted because they're simply not shipped our way. Unless, of course, you have your own mule. Where's yours headed this summer? Northwest The no-brainer from this region is Alaskan Smoked Porter , the rich, smoky dark beer from Juneau that makes its way as far as Texas, and no farther east.
June 21, 2013
ROB ZARKO'S two-story brick home, on a lazy shaded road in suburban Wallingford, Delaware County, looks much like every other home in the neighborhood. Well-tended lawn, check. Couple of bikes in the grass, check. Portable basketball hoop in the driveway, check. Thirty-gallon mash tun in the garage. Uh, check? Welcome to Ship Bottom Brewing, the area's newest and tiniest new brewery. If you blink, you'll miss it. Fully licensed and operational, Ship Bottom is brewing up minuscule batches of two barrels each, or enough to fill just over 100 sixpacks - if it had a bottling line.
June 14, 2013
MY FAVORITE BEER of Philly Beer Week 2013? I'll get to that in a few lines, but first, I asked my fellow elbow-benders, and their responses underscore two important features of Beer Week: 1. It's still all about bold, diverse flavor, with an emphasis on new brands. 2. All the naysayers who believe that no one will drink "big" (high-alcohol) beer in the summer's heat are just plain wrong. Just check out some of their faves; there's not a so-called session beer in the bunch: * Allagash Coolship , a mouth-puckering, American-made spontaneously fermented ale. * Yards George Washington Tavern Porter , aged in a bourbon barrel.
June 11, 2013 |
HOPEFULLY, what happened to Philly's most famous hammer doesn't start a "You can't touch this" policy. The Hammer of Glory, symbol of Philly Beer Week, was returned safely yesterday after it was stolen at a Beer Week event the previous day. The hammer, which had gone missing about 4 p.m. as it was being passed around for photo ops at the FestivALE, in Fishtown, was returned to Frankford Hall, said Joe Sixpack, a Daily News columnist also...
June 7, 2013 |
This is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of June 4, 2013: Craig LaBan: Welcome to our annual Beer Week/Brew-vitational Edition of the Philly Food Chat. Check out Brewvi coverage at www.inquirer.com/food to find out which of the 49 beers won Best New Beer, and also Best Pilsner, a focused category added this year. Two guests today: Steve Wildy (a.k.a. @Sommillionaire), beverage director for the Vetri family restaurants, instrumental in bringing Italian brews to the city at Alla Spina, and a Brew-vitational judge.
June 6, 2013
Buzz: Hey Marnie, it's Philly Beer Week. Does that mean you whiners get the week off? Marnie: Not exactly, Buzz. Wine and beer have so much in common that most wine stewards are beer enthusiasts, too. For example, I'm particularly proud of Pennsylvania's German brewing heritage. I support our local lagers, weizens and bocks whenever I can. Buzz: I love German beer. Do you know where I can get a good maibock weizen lager dubbel pilsner? Marnie: Buzz, it sounds like you know as much about beer as you do about wine.