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.
December 27, 2013
MY FAVORITE beer of 2013? You're going to have to wait a week till I make that announcement. In the meantime, there were lots of other notable newcomers throughout the year. BEST CANNED BEER: Grisette . Named after the drab factory-class women of 17th-century France, this lemony wheat beer from Sly Fox might be considered "saison light. " Thirst-quenching with a bit of peppery yeast, it's the perfect can to pop on the beach or at a barbecue. Runners-up: St. Feuillien Saison and Manayunk Dreamin' . BEST NAME: Sweet Baby Jesus.
November 15, 2013
TRIA TAPROOM, on Walnut Street just off Rittenhouse Square, opened this week with a newfangled web-based beer-auditing system that may finally solve that most niggling of First World Beer Geek problems: Who's pouring what? Called Bevchek, it's part of a POS (point of sale) system that monitors beer and wine sales and tracks inventory. Nearly every bar or restaurant you've visited has some type of POS, relaying waitresses' orders to the kitchen and spitting out credit card receipts.
November 8, 2013
BY MY count, 152 brands will be pouring during Saturday's Craft Beer Express, a crosstown pub crawl that visits a dozen fine bars. Maybe that's why bus tickets (at craftbeerexpress.com) are just 10 bucks. It may very well be impossible to drink 'em all. So, with a nod to Philly Tap Finder, which compiled the day's tap lists, here are 12 can't-miss beers on the Craft Beer Express: _ New Holland Philly Wild Ale, at Kraftwork (Fishtown). Theme: Taste of the Great Midwest.
November 1, 2013
* The History Channel's Gary Monterosso will be the featured guest at "Beer for Babes," a ladies-only program (men can be put on a waiting list) that also will feature food and beer pairings by Chef Kevin Cronin at Atlantic City Bottle Company (648 Albany Ave., Atlantic City, 609-348-6400, acbottlecompany.com ). 2 p.m. Sunday, $30. Reservations: email@example.com * Day of the Dead celebrations are in order this week. Union Taco (712 W. Girard Ave., 267-455-0445, uniontaco.com )
October 25, 2013
* Contemporary Mexican cuisine, expertly made, is the topic for a class with Garces Group chef Gregg Ciprioni from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Greensgrow Community Kitchen, at St. Michael's Lutheran Church (2139 E. Cumberland St., 215-427-2780, greensgrow.org ). Learn about masa de maiz, the basic corn dough used for tortillas. And learn how to butcher a duck, which will be used for Duck Barbacoa with Queso Fundido. $35. * The Victoria Freehouse (10 S. Front St., 215-543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com )
October 25, 2013
THERE'S a brewery in Malvern making superb beer that you can't buy - not for all the money in the world. The ales are fermented with unusual yeast strains, then meticulously aged for months in wooden barrels and often blended before bottling. Those few who've been lucky enough to get a sip say that they're on par with some of the most highly rated sour ales of Belgium, beers that often sell for $30 a bottle or more. But put away your credit card. The only sure way to get a sip from La Cabra Brewing is if you get your name on an exclusive mailing list.
October 18, 2013
A TWEAK in New Jersey beer regs is paying immediate dividends for Garden State beer drinkers. Under longstanding rules, breweries had been prevented from selling beer for consumption on their own premises. That meant no tasting rooms, which are a significant source of revenue for breweries in practically every other state. The law was changed last year, however, to allow breweries to sell pints to those who tour their facilities. As a result, small brewers are opening what amount to quasi-brewpubs that sell only house beer (no food)
October 11, 2013 |
Beer drinkers, take note. That brew you're quaffing might not be from where you think it came from. Red Stripe, the lager associated with Jamaica, is now brewed in Latrobe, Pa., birthplace of Rolling Rock, which is now made elsewhere, namely Newark, N.J. The Red Stripe label now says Jamaican Style Lager. It's hardly alone. The Becks Bier on sale here arrives on trucks from St. Louis, not by boat from Bremen. Bottled Guinness Stout - not the draft style in bottles and cans - still carries an "imported" label, but that's only because it is made in Toronto, not Dublin.
October 10, 2013
E D STROJAN, 29, of West Philadelphia, co-owns the Victoria Freehouse, a pub/restaurant on Front Street near Market, in Old City. The business, which took over a space in March previously occupied by the Swanky Bubbles bar, serves all-British draft beer, including casks, and all-British food. It sells 200 pints of Wells Bombardier beer a week. Q: What made you decide to open this place? A: We always wanted to be in the city and have a liquor license, and thought it would be awesome to do really good English beer.