May 30, 2014 |
After four hours of concentrated sipping, after 52 local beers had passed our lips, it came down to one last vote for the best new brew. And judge Brendan Hartranft could barely contain himself: "We know these brewers and their families and their beers - but not like this," said Hartranft, co-owner of the Memphis Taproom, Strangelove's, and two other gastropubs. Each beer had been coded and served blind to the eight judges in several flights of clear cups. The identities of three of the winners of The Fifth Annual Brew-vitational competition were about to be revealed.
May 16, 2014
JOSEPH Spearot sure went to a helluva lot of trouble just to drink beer on Arcadia University's dry campus. Undergrads might be expected to dodge vigilant RAs at the school's historic Grey Towers Castle residence hall by simply stuffing a suitcase with cans of Natty Light. Spearot? He built an entire brewhouse in his organic chemistry classroom, then spent months to obtain permission to "test" his experimental ale on human subjects. It was all part of the chemistry/biology major's unique senior project that also took him to a winery in Australia, the quality-assurance laboratory at Yards Brewery and - next month - a prestigious national brewing conference in Chicago.
May 12, 2014 |
Mary Harris needed a steady stream of income to help pay the cost of sending her young son to Chestnut Hill Academy. So she found a property to buy and renovate, one where she could become a landlord for the first time. When she had her first child at 40, Harris said, she realized that "I had the entrepreneurial drive, and I wanted a property I'd be excited to see everyday. " "Plus, my son was born in 2006, and I needed to pay his tuition" starting in 2012. "From an investment standpoint, I need the income for the next 16 years, and being a landlord makes a lot of sense as passive income.
May 9, 2014
SIXTY YEARS ago this week, Englishman Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4-minute mile. In a tribute that could be dreamed up only by a beer drinker, Californian James Nielsen pulled on his running shoes, headed to the track, stretched a few times . . . And cracked open a can of Budweiser . Make that four Buds. One for each lap of a quarter-mile track in Marin County. In an achievement that - even if it's not quite as historic as Bannister's - lit up YouTube and Facebook, Nielsen became the first man to run a sub-5-minute beer mile.
May 2, 2014
OUT IN western Pennsylvania, just up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh, brewer Matt Gouwens has a green thumb and a dream: One of these days, he'll be brewing fresh beer with Pennsylvania-grown hops. He's so certain of that dream, he's planted almost an acre of hops on his own property and boldly named his company Hop Farm Brewing Co. "Local hops, local beer," Gouwens vowed. For now, it's just a dream. His acreage is nowhere near enough to provide enough hop for his small-batch brewery.
April 25, 2014 |
THERE WAS the famous Neil Diamond story. Family legend had it that the singer-songwriter showed up at the concession stand at the Spectrum one day and, without introducing himself, told Madeline Forte, who ran the stand, that Neil Diamond was soon to perform. "I wouldn't pay any money to see him," she snorted. A humbled but still anonymous Neil Diamond skulked away. But that Saturday at his concert, he told the story about his run-in with the "hotdog lady. " He had arranged with management to have her brought up to the stands and put a spotlight on her. He provided free tickets for her and her family for his next show, which they attended.
April 25, 2014
THE DAFFODILS are sprouting, the grass is growing. It's time to hire some kid to mow the lawn so you can dive into beer-drinking season. Put these events and beers on your springtime to-drink list. Events Arbrew Day, tomorrow TreePhilly and Yards Brewing will encourage beer drinkers to exercise their green thumbs with a pint and a spade. Get planting with a cold glass of Yards ale and a free yard tree and T-shirt at these participating bars: Bourbon Blue (2 Rector St., Manayunk)
April 18, 2014 |
A Montgomery County man is facing charges over serving alcohol at his daughter's Sweet 16 party at his home last month, authorities said. Whitemarsh Township police arrived at Arthur Blumenthal's house about 10:30 p.m. March 21 and found an underage boy lying in the grass and vomiting, county District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Whitemarsh Police Chief Michael Beaty said. The teen was hospitalized and treated for an alcohol overdose. In the basement of the home, officers found more than 60 minors, and a large amount of beer and empty cans.
April 18, 2014
SWEET BABY JESUS, it's Holy Thursday! The end of Lent is upon us, and so is your 40-day fast of beer, chocolate and/or peanut butter. What better way to celebrate your penance than with, yup, a chocolate-and-peanut-butter beer? I'm talking about one of the hottest brands on shelves right now: Sweet Baby Jesus from Baltimore's DuClaw Brewing. Store owners can barely keep sixpacks in stock, and the unusual brew has suddenly and surprisingly become 18-year-old DuClaw's top-selling brand.
April 11, 2014
A LOCAL brewpub operator once told me that he always kept at least one Irish beer on tap, even if he didn't have any actual Irish beer in the house. Brown ale, rye beer, pale lager, whatever. He'd just plug the word "Irish" into the beer's name (e.g. Irish pale ale), and, like magic, it became an Irish beer. "In this town," he reasoned, "if it says 'Irish,' it sells. " Years have gone by and that brewpub is no longer in operation. But now there's a new version of the old trick: the fake IPA. India pale ale, of course, is one of the classic, noble styles of world brewing heritage.