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.
February 7, 2014
OVER the years, beer enthusiasts have chronicled some remarkable pursuits in the name of their favorite adult beverage. Some have managed to drink a different beer every day for a year. There was the guy who visited a different bar every night of the year. There was another who lived on nothing but bock for the six weeks of Lent. Scott Clendaniel is putting them to shame. In 2014, he is painting 365 different beers. It's no digital trick. He's doing it old school, with a brush and oil paints, laying down imaginative, original portraits on panels.
February 5, 2014 |
Frederick W. Hess Jr., 82, of Dresher, a basketball standout in high school who went on to become a beer wholesaler and basketball official, died Wednesday, Jan. 30, of pneumonia in Abington Hospice at Warminster. A Philadelphia native, Mr. Hess had a passion for sports. At St. Timothy Catholic School in Philadelphia, he was first recognized as an outstanding basketball talent. He received an academic scholarship to La Salle College High School, where he played on three city championship teams.
January 24, 2014
GOD ALMIGHTY - an American-made Trappist beer? That's the news that stunned beer drinkers last month, as St. Joseph's Abbey, about an hour west of Boston, revealed that its Spencer Trappist Ale had been certified as the first Trappist beer brewed outside of Europe. The monastic brewery will carry on the ancient Benedictine principal that monks should "live by the work of their hands. " It all seems so quaint and holy, especially considering the near-sacred regard for other Trappist beers, including Chimay and Orval . We've come a long way since the days when a community of beer-making Catholic monks in western Pennsylvania were a national scandal.
January 3, 2014
JUST BEFORE the end of 2012, the Brewers Association, the Colorado-based organization that represents small breweries across America, issued a fatwa against poseurs in the beer world. The campaign, called "Craft vs. Crafty," sought to expose breweries that did not meet its definition of "craft" brewers: "small, independent and traditional. " Its hit list included the likes of Blue Moon and Shock Top, because they're fronts for big, bad Coors and Anheuser-Busch, respectively. Yuengling, Lion and Straub were outted because, although they're more than a century old, their use of adjunct ingredients, including corn and rice means that they're not traditional enough for the organization.