February 5, 2016
No doubt you've caught the Shock Top commercial with comedian T.J. Miller. The spot, a fast-paced insult swap between the star of the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley and a wiseguy talking tap handle named Wedgehead, has been floating around the Internet for the last week in advance of its TV debut Sunday during the Super Bowl . What you haven't seen is the original version - the one featuring Joe Sixpack. Or maybe that was a bad dream. In any case, it went like this: Wedgehead: Yo, beer boy, over here.
February 4, 2016
The line formed before dawn. The revelers wore Hawaiian shirts and top hats. They had come from near and far this mild winter's morning to the Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philly, driven by a shared devotion to a weather-prognosticating marmot. And to drinking really strong beer for breakfast. And to maybe even doing the limbo. Welcome to Philly's arguably most spirited - and possibly only - Groundhog Day celebration. For 14 years, the Grey Lodge has hosted a Groundhog Day bash defined by great company, flowing beer, and lots of activities that, well, do not find their roots in the 130-year-old tradition.
January 29, 2016
There was a time in this city when everyone knew the name - and not just those who drank his family's famous beer. He raced in the Indianapolis 500, got into fistfights with cops, flew a Wright brothers biplane, and joined Pancho Villa's rebellion in Mexico. He was a rogue, a draft dodger and a fugitive. And 50 years ago yesterday, he died a madman. Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, heir to one of the city's greatest beer empires, never worked in a brewery. But the so-called Playboy of the Eastern Seaboard was surely the most notorious character in Philadelphia's long, sudsy beer history.
January 25, 2016 |
Joseph B. Farrell, 85, of Mount Laurel, a former beer distribution executive, died of pneumonia Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice Inpatient Center in Mount Holly. Services, initially set for Saturday, have been rescheduled to Wednesday, Jan. 27, because of the storm. "He just doesn't want to leave us," his wife, Mary, said. During his career as a salesman, she said, "he was a very outgoing person. He loved talking to people, so he just loved what he did. " Born in Schuylkill County, he was known there as Tuffy.
January 22, 2016 |
A lot of bad decisions are made in bars. Dancing with your pants on your head . . . Bingeing on a second cheesesteak . . . Drunk dialing . . . Sex with your ex . . . But, c'mon, let's give barrooms their due, for without them there'd be no libraries, no credit cards and no NASCAR. Here are 10 great things that were born in bars. 1. The United States Marine Corps Jarheads, who have been known to pound a few beers, take special pride that their beloved USMC was founded at Tun Tavern near Philadelphia's waterfront on Nov. 10, 1775.
January 15, 2016
You know Woody Chandler, or at least you do if you've ever gone to a beer festival around these parts. He's the character with the Rasputin beard wearing a monk's robe and a beer-mug hat. Oh, right - we're talking beer freaks, so maybe that doesn't completely narrow it down. I'm talking about the dude who just posted his 7,000th unique check-in on Untappd, the popular social networking app for beer-lovers. That means he's tasted 7,000 different beers since 2011 - 2,000 of them in the last 12 months alone, a pace of more than five new beers every day. No, that's not the top of the leaderboard; there's one guy with more than 24,000, though skeptical observers wonder how he could have actually tasted 'em all so quickly and in so many places around the world, given the constraints of the space-time continuum.
January 8, 2016
You know that feeling you get when you're in a bar and feeling totally one with your time and your place? The right music, the perfect dish, your favorite friends, the best beer - a feeling of comfort or excitement? The Germans call it gemütlichkeit . The Irish refer to it as the craic . In Spanish it's la chispa . And in Denmark it's called hygge , which is the inspiration for Bar Hygge, the new brewpub opening in about two weeks on Fairmount Avenue near 17th.
December 31, 2015 |
On the final day of 2015, I'm still not certain which was the worst beer development of the year: that sickly sweet root beer posing as an ale or a beer made with, I kid you not, semen. Swallow hard: Here's my year in review... and my predictions for 2016. February Anheuser-Busch InBred, I mean InBev, releases Bud Light Mixxtail Firewalker, a high-alcohol premixed cinnamon-and-apple cocktail designed to be poured over ice. Coming next: Bud Light Syringe. Stone Brewing pulls the plug on its poor-selling low-alcohol Levitation Ale . Coming next: The end of the stupid session beer fad. March Desperate to hold off State Store reform, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suddenly decrees that - after 82 years on the books - the law requiring distributors to sell 24-bottle cases actually means they can carry popular 12-packs.
December 24, 2015
Makes 1 serving 3 to 4 ounces stout beer, preferably Guinness 3 to 4 ounces champagne 1. Fill a champagne flute halfway full with the stout so that it has a foamy head. 2. Gently add the champagne by pouring it over the back of a spoon and through the foam; this will create a visually pleasing effect as the champagne and beer mingle gradually in the flute. Per serving: 87 calories, 0 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, None g sugar - Adapted from Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion (M. Barrows, 1941)
December 18, 2015
2SP Delco Lager: Brewer Bob Barrar is known for hop monsters and imperial stout, but this easy-drinking amber lager deserves to be the new Delaware County brewery's flagship. Conshohocken Harbinger of Change: It's a solid choice on draft, but in a 16-ounce can it emerged as my go-to IPA of the year. Forgotten Boardwalk Funnel Cake: The cream ale with a smooth vanilla flavor was a summertime treat from the Cherry Hill, N.J., brewery Jolly Pumpkin Ursae Majoris: A complexly flavored sour brown ale with cherry and wood notes, brewed specially for the mail-order Rare Beer Club.