April 3, 2014 |
For bar owners facing heat from the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, no problem was too large to handle with Deputy Commissioner Dominic Verdi on your side, federal prosecutors say. Failed an inspection? Not a problem. Running a gambling operation or a strip club? Don't sweat it. Implicated in the beating death of one of your patrons? No reason to shut your doors. As long as you bought your beer in the right place. A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday pulled back the curtain on an alleged long-standing arrangement between the former L&I official and dozens of bar and restaurant owners, all of whom say they received special treatment for buying their alcohol from Chappy's Beer, Butts and Bets, a South Philadelphia beer distributor in which Verdi held an ownership stake.
March 28, 2014
TURNABOUT is fair play, but in the case of Philly Wine Week it's also long overdue. The inaugural grape-juice jag, which continues through Sunday, was modeled on the city's original bacchanal, Philly Beer Week. Never mind that the winos have stamina for only 8 days of festivities while the suds set goes 10 - that's close enough. After all, beer has been plagiarizing wine for years. The Everyman's drink, aiming to claw its way to the rarefied height of the vine, has adopted wine's expensive corked bottles, its aged and blended casks, its boorish Robert Parker ratings and lavish "pairing dinners.
March 21, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Restaurateur Michael Schulson's vision for the city's most historic spot calls for Independence Hall, Independence Day, and lots of local beer. "Where does it become more American than that?" he asks. It doesn't, he answers. With that in mind, he's trying to make a beer garden out of a patio and part of the ground floor of the Rohm & Haas building at 100 S. Independence Mall West by the Fourth of July. "Philadelphians love their beer. I thought I would do a beer garden in Philly if I got the right space," Schulson said in an interview.
March 19, 2014 |
Harry C. Broadley, 89, of Springfield, Delaware County, a longtime engineer for the Christian Schmidt Brewing Co. who turned the key in the lock on the brewery's final day, ending an era, died Wednesday, March 12, of heart disease at Riddle Memorial Hospital. From 1955 to 1989, Mr. Broadley was the director of engineering for Schmidt's brewery, at Second and Hancock Streets in Northern Liberties. In its heyday, the plant was a Philadelphia institution. Started in 1860, Schmidt's grew until by 1970 it was producing more than three million barrels of beer annually.
March 14, 2014
IT SHOULD not pass without acclaim that Monday marks the 100th anniversary of one of the great achievements in the history of beer. On St. Patrick's Day 1914, a New York City coroner named Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin stood before his associates and others at a Bronx social club and unveiled his wondrous invention: Green beer. Never before had anyone laid eyes on such a spectacle. Beer, the color of shamrocks, filling the mugs of hundreds. "Everything possible was green or decorated with that color," an eyewitness reported.
March 12, 2014 |
It's a love letter to her hometown of Cádiz, Spain. As a highlight of the 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, Rosario Toledo presented Vengo (Coming Back) Sunday night in the Forum space at WHYY's building on Independence Mall. The intimate setting became a theater in the round, with the artist just a few feet away from the overflow audience. Toledo's half-hour performance piece (assisted by the wonderfully deadpan Salva Calderón) highlighted her physical fearlessness, expert flamenco technique, and brilliant comedic timing.
February 28, 2014
THERE'S something new and familiar awaiting Phillies fans heading down to the central Florida Gulf coast for spring training, and I'm not talking about Bobby Abreu. It's beer, and I mean the good stuff like we're used to finding in Philly - not the cases of Coors Light that college kids on spring break haul up to their beachfront hotel rooms. In the past two years, the region has seen an explosion of new brewpubs, breweries and craft-beer-pubs. From the newly expanded Sea Dog brewpub, just up the road from the Phils' home at Bright House Field, to new breweries in nearby St. Petersburg, small-batch beer has finally arrived.
February 27, 2014 |
Last May, a Brooklyn-based do-it-yourself craft school and "makerspace" called 3rd Ward came to Philadelphia. The 27,000-square-foot temple to DIY in Northern Liberties was hyped as a new creative engine for the city, and the first step in the New York institution's nationwide expansion. Then, five months later, it shut down. But those who long for a place to brew beer, screen-print T-shirts, sew aprons, build terrariums, and make pickles have a second chance - albeit on a much humbler scale.
February 21, 2014
A PAIR OF upcoming local beer-drinking events has me thinking out of both sides of my brain. My left side - controlled and analytical - is focused on Saturday's Bierfest at the German Society of Pennsylvania. I'll sit on a panel of beer experts to discuss classic, old-world lager styles. My right side - freewheeling and emotional - is preparing for Beer School at the Loft at Iron Abbey, in Horsham, next week. I'll lead an advanced class on unconventional beer ingredients that produce inventive, newfangled flavors.
February 14, 2014
FORGET those chocolate beers that are all the rage on Valentine's Day. Those are for lovey-dovey sweethearts. If you want to get into the libidinous spirit of Cupid's heart-piercing arrow, there's only one brew for you: Blood Beer. Yeah, I'm talking about really red ale. Straight from the vein. Plasma Porter. Clot Rot. A transfusion on tap that'll have you all hopped up on hemoglobin. This is no fictional brand out of "True Blood," either. Blood Beer is a real thing.