June 3, 2016 |
In the quest for new beer styles to compete with popular IPAs, American brewers have begun to pucker up. Sour beers of all sorts have become the hottest trend in the craft beer world, inspired by old styles from Belgium and Germany that embrace the kind of bacterial "bugs," both wild and lab-grown, that more familiar styles of "clean" beers like pilsners and IPAs strive to keep out. Sour-beer fans praise the complexity, variety, and food-friendliness of...
April 29, 2016 |
In 2005, the last time the Brewers Association held its annual conference here, a few local brewers thought it would be a swell idea to expose the conventioneers to a unique slice of Philly's growing craft-beer scene. So they trooped the visitors down to a seamy stretch of Delaware Avenue and held what was surely the city's first-ever cask-ale event at a topless bar. As dancers jiggled over the tap handles for dollar bills, visitors drained glasses from a freshly tapped firkin.
August 17, 2015 |
At Kennett Brewing Co., the lights are low, the tables are long, and the community, seemingly, is organic. Owners Jossy and Mark Osborne - who live in Little Britain, Lancaster County, a dry township - said locals and friends pitched in to create everything from the company's signs to its bathroom sinks. The sociable spirit transferred to the pub, a cozy but warehouse-like space tucked off South Broad Street in Kennett Square. Customers "say it's [like] coming into somebody's house or living room," said Mark Osborne.
July 17, 2015
MY BAR TALK podcast partner, Glen Macnow, and I got to yapping about my suggestion of a couple of weeks ago for a Philly beer museum. The WIP sports talker came up with even better idea: A Beer Hall of Fame. To get things started, here are my nominees for the first class. You can vote for your favorites or add your own nominees at www.joesixpack.net . The Inventors * Louis Pasteur. In 1858, the French chemist discovered that heat kills the bacteria that turns beer sour.
March 7, 2014
IT TURNS out, corn isn't so bad after all. After decades of pounding the cob, the solons who represent America's small brewers now say it's OK to lighten beer with corn, rice and other so-called adjunct ingredients. In other words, the days when craft beer distinguished itself as all-malt are all gone. The change came as the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association this week announced several revisions in its "core values and beliefs," including its troublesome definition of "craft brewer.
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.
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.
August 9, 2013
TO THE roll call of venerable U.S. foreign diplomats, we can now add this signature name: Joe Sixpack, beer emissary. I've just returned from my first mission on behalf of the U.S. State Department, a beer-soaked education and cultural exchange tour of Lithuania. I'm happy to report that I did not ignite any international incidents. In fact, judging from my reception throughout the Baltic countryside, I may have a future as a diplomat, spreading world peace one beer at a time: _ In Vilnius, the capital, members of the local chapter of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the worldwide gastronomic society, agreed that the Philly beers served with a gourmet menu were at least as good as wine.
March 15, 2013
News item: The Brewers Association has updated its Beer Style Guidelines, with definitions of 142 separate styles. The newest additions are Adambier and Grätzer. SO, THE authoritative organization of small American brewers has reached back a few centuries and turned up a pair of thoroughly obscure smoked European wheat beers for its comprehensive directory. They join a list of everything from Leipzig-style Gose to good ol' American malt liquor. I'm a big fan of style guidelines (heck, I wrote an entire book about 'em)