January 16, 2015
GOOD OL' Charlie Brown. Always out there on the mound, even in the rain, ready to give his best for the rest of the "Peanuts" gang. That's what I think of brown ale, the Charlie Brown of beer. It's a dependable, go-to glass; crack open a bottle of Newcastle Brown or Smuttynose Old Brown Dog , and you pretty much know you're going to get a malty, mildly hopped easy-drinker. Nothing over the edge. A satisfying, honest, even-tempered pal. Unfortunately, like the newspaper comic strip, brown ale is increasingly a thing of the past.
January 9, 2015
YOU KNOW that resolution you made to cut back on beer in 2015? Yeah, me neither. But for those who did, here are 16 brand-new resolution-breakers from area breweries. * 2nd Story Wet Hop Pilsner. Owner Debbie Grady has two acres of hops planted on her farm in Pottstown, and they'll be used for a fresh hop flavor when they're harvested next autumn. * Baconator . The garage-based, Media-based Ship Bottom nanobrewery is hoping to expand to a larger space in 2015. Meanwhile, it's begun bottling this whiskey-barrel-aged oatmeal stout flavored with coffee, chocolate, maple syrup and, yes, bacon.
December 30, 2014
D.G. YUENGLING & Son made it through the Civil War, Prohibition and untold skirmishes with the giants from St. Louis and Milwaukee. But those were nothing like the challenge it faces in the age of endless choice. These days, the shelves are filled with everything from Lime-A-Rita to triple IPA. Samuel Adams has a TV commercial boasting that it makes more than 60 styles. Yuengling, meanwhile, is still plugging away with a portfolio of just seven full-time brands and three seasonals.
December 25, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - 'Tis the season to be . . . hoppy. Consider it a holiday gift of sorts from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which has made it officially legal to get a six-pack - or two - delivered to your front door when ordering food. The LCB, with little fanfare, issued an advisory opinion this month clarifying that restaurants, grocery stores, pizza and sub shops, and other outlets that serve food and beer can also deliver up to two six-packs of beer. This being Pennsylvania, which has some of the strictest alcohol regulations in the country, there are catches.
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.