July 1, 2016
IF THERE IS a local amateur breeding ground for the professional brewers of tomorrow, it could be the six-year-old South Jersey home-brew club with a catchy name. Barley Legal Homebrewers can lay claim to producing no fewer than a dozen full-time brewers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including several who have opened their own breweries. Think of it as the Silicon Valley of brewing, with malt instead of microchips. Surely other home-brew clubs have their success stories, but I can't name another that has had such a vital, immediate impact on a region's beer scene.
June 17, 2016
You remember your father's beer, don't you? Piels, Schmidt's, Ortlieb's. When I asked friends on Facebook recently to name their pop's favorite, they had no problem recalling those days gone by. "Löwenbräu dark for fancy occasions and Budweiser for every day," said Rebekah Nault. "Every Friday afternoon, when I was a kid, a truck would deliver a case of Schmidt's for my parents, and a case of Frank's soda for me and my brothers," said Joe McDonnell. "Colt 45. Dad had soul and said it had 'More Flava!
June 15, 2016 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie on Monday suggested that he wasn't ready to support a proposal to revise New Jersey tax policy, including a hefty gas tax hike and phaseout of a levy on estates of the deceased. His remarks came as a coalition of Democratic and Republican lawmakers - backed by organized labor, business, and other groups - heralded the plan as game-changing legislation that would fund critical investments in roads and bridges while also saving taxpayers about $1 billion annually through other policy changes.
June 3, 2016
THE CONTENDERS KEY: N = New-Beer category S = Sour Beer category *= Finalist (voted into the final round, shown in bold ) Winners are noted with place in bold. Percentage is alcohol content. IBU = International Bitterness Unit 2nd Story Brewing 117 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, 267-314-5770; 2ndstorybrewing.com N Daisy Point Pils, German Pilsner, 4.7%, 40 IBU N Perpetua Crusher, Session IPA, 4.9% 2SP Brewing Co. 120 Concord Rd., Aston, 484-483-7860; 2spbrewing.com *N Second Place, The Russian, Russian Imperial Stout, 9%, 75 IBU N Bellcracker, Double IPA, 8.2%, 80 IBU Barren Hill Brewery Lafayette Hill, RECENTLY CLOSED; beer available at Devil's Den, 1148 S. 11th St., Phila.
June 3, 2016 |
There is a beauty to the meritocracy of a blind beer tasting. There's no slick marketing to influence decisions. No brand loyalty tugging at judges' sympathies. No extra points for history or the geography of state lines, as this year's winners would prove. At The Inquirer's seventh annual Brew-vitational competition for local beers, our biggest yet with 64 entries from 35 breweries divided into two categories ("new" and "sour"), every beer had an equal opportunity to impress the panel on its own virtues.
June 3, 2016 |
Of the 64 beers from 35 breweries on The Inquirer's tasting table, judges crowned three champs in two categories: the "new" beers of 2016, and "sour" beers in various styles. New Beers 1. Bell Buoy, Belgian Blonde Ale (7.3%), Slack Tide Brewing Co. From one of the newest, smallest breweries, this is a well-made Jersey Shore take on a classic Belgian blonde that the judges found "clean and biscuity" with a lean golden body, good balance, fruity banana and clove notes on the nose, and a nice, grassy hop finish.
May 27, 2016 |
In Philadelphia's thriving craft-beer scene, where hundreds of bars with formidable tap lists vie for the dollars of discerning drinkers, one of the toughest tasks has become to find a way to stand out. Though competition tends to breed excellence, there's also a by-product: collaboration. Increasingly, Philadelphia bars, stalwarts and upstarts alike, are teaming with brewers to create proprietary products - special beers exclusive to specific venues, often made to the nitty-gritty specifications of the people buying them.
April 24, 2016 |
An affiliate of Philadelphia developer John Wei has purchased the 200,000-square-foot Red Bell Brewing Co. building at 31st and Jefferson Streets in the city's Brewerytown section. Brewerytown Investment L.P. paid $1.85 million this month for the vacant 1870s brewery building on 70,000 square feet of land, according to Ken Wellar, a managing partner at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, which marketed the property. Brewerytown Investment shares an address with other ventures connected to Wei, whose affiliates also own the Independence Press Building at 525 N. 11th St. and the Church of the Assumption at 1131 Spring Garden St. in the West Poplar neighborhood.
April 10, 2016 |
Much like the tequilas from Siembra Azul, the new line of Siembra Metl mezcals just introduced by David Suro-Piñera's locally based spirits company speak to his love of unique terroir and ancient Mexican artisan techniques. The rapidly growing category of mezcal - a wider family of agave spirits from which tequila sprang - tends to be more rustic and idiosyncratic than the now highly commericalized tequila field. But these bottles from master mescalero Jose Emilio Vieyra Rangel in Michoacán show a little more finesse than some of the campfire-pungent Oaxacan mezcals that first charmed the American market.
March 11, 2016
I'm a firm believer that there's no better way to discover a new town than from a bar stool, and that was never better illustrated than my trek last weekend to north-central Pennsylvania. This big-city boy has lived in Philadelphia nearly his entire life, never bothering to venture a mere two hours to the small towns that cling to the Susquehanna River and its western branch. Places like Berwick, Shamokin, and Mifflinburg. But offer me a beer and, well . . . That's the idea behind the River Rat Brew Trail linking nine breweries in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, and Union Counties - the state's midsection, where old coal mines give way to rolling farms and game lands.