May 25, 2012 |
YOU THINK WE have a pretty good beer scene now? You should've seen this town back in 1879. Every neighborhood had its own brewery, and every corner had a saloon. In the preceding 30 years, more than 250 breweries had opened — many of them closing quickly, but others becoming national powers. A census by Western Brewer magazine counted an astonishing 94 breweries up and running. The city's population was barely half of today's, and yet it had 12 times the number of breweries we boast of in 2012.
June 16, 1994 |
Firefighter Don Pearl cools off at a fire at American and Poplar Streets in North Philadelphia. A one-alarm fire yesterday damaged a five-story, vacant building at the old Ortlieb's brewery. Officials said there was a strong smell of gasoline, and arson was suspected.
April 11, 1987 |
Fred Von Czoerning, vice president and treasurer of C. Schmidt & Sons, Philadelphia's last remaining brewery, told salaried employees yesterday some of the business is being sold and that John F. Connelly, the firm's largest creditor, is forcing the sale because he wants his money, sources said. Von Czoerning told 100 Schmidt's employees that William H. Pflaumer, the company's owner, has signed a letter of intent with G. Heileman Brewing Co., of La Crosse, Wis., to sell Schmidt's brands.
October 5, 1987 |
A little bit of Philadelphia's brewing history goes on the block Thursday. At 11 a.m. the old Ortlieb brewery, on Poplar Street between Second and Third Streets, will be sold at auction. The owner, Joseph W. Ortlieb, a member of one of the city's best-known brewing families, said the proceeds will go to his new venture, a boutique beer called Trupert American Pilsner. "I'm basically liquidating assets here," said Ortlieb, known to Philadelphians for his "Joe's Beer" ads. Real estate sources said Ortlieb's prospects are unclear.
May 26, 2010 |
William H. Pflaumer, 76, the last of the local beer barons, died of heart failure on Saturday, May 22, at Pennsylvania Hospital. Mr. Pflaumer was a quintessential Philadelphia character widely known as "Billy" or, more grandly, "Billy the Beer King. " The final owner of the brewery that produced Schmidt's - Philadelphia's best-known beer - he was sentenced to federal prison in 1983 for evading more than $125,000 in excise taxes. The Christian Schmidt Brewing Co., between Second and Hancock Streets south of Girard Avenue, was the city's last independent brewery and had been a local institution since 1860.
March 21, 1987 |
Christian Schmidt Brewing Co., Philadelphia's last remaining independent brewery, may be negotiating a buy-out from one of the nation's larger brewers, sources in the beer industry said yesterday. The prospects of such a sale were reported in Beer Marketers' Insights, a Nyack, N.Y., industry newsletter. In its article, the newsletter identified Pabst Brewing Co. of Milwaukee, Stroh Brewing Co. of Detroit and the G. Heileman Brewing Co. of La Crosse, Wis., as possible buyers. William T. Elliott, Schmidt's president, would not comment yesterday on any possible sale.
January 11, 2009
People might say they'll drink an herbed medieval ale brewed with mugwort and bog myrtle, but when it comes time for the barkeep to actually pull the tap handle, they're more likely to fall back on the familiar. Or so posits Tom Baker of Earth Bread + Brewery, who skeptically named his "black gruit" beer "The Bradley Effect" after the flip-flop voter syndrome often cited during the recent election. This ancient brew, which predates the use of bitter hops and uses herbs instead, is a great example of the esoteric styles Baker loves to create.
December 21, 2012
BUDWEISER - FIZZY, yellow Budweiser - now makes a bourbon-and-vanilla-flavored amber lager. If that's not a sign of the impending apocalypse, I don't know what is. Not to worry. The End is precisely why we drink beer to begin with. Drinking is all about enjoying life. It is hedonistic and intemperate. We drink for the moment, not the future. We drink because we know someday we won't. We drink because, as the polka laureate tells us, in heaven there is no beer. The people who make our beer certainly know this.
October 24, 1986 |
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which licenses the state's breweries, is studying a number of options outlined in a legal memorandum that could affect the future of C. Schmidt & Sons' brewery now that its owner, William F. Pflaumer, is in prison for a felony conviction. Robert Ford, a LCB spokesman, said the three-member board of Mario Mele, Daniel W. Pennick and Ralph O. Barnett is weighing whether it can force Pflaumer to sell his shares in the brewery or resign as the company's chairman and manager.
June 1, 2012 |
PHILLY BEER WEEK is about the city's beer scene — its breweries, bars and restaurants, pub-friendly neighborhoods and Belgian cafes. It's a celebration of the city's long beer-drinking history, its unrivaled diversity of beer styles, its festivals and beer dinners. It's a chance to meet your favorite brewer, raise a glass with the mayor or carry the vaunted Hammer of Glory. More than anything, though, Philly Beer Week is about the beer. I'll make a rough guess that more than 2,000 brands of beer will be poured across the city and suburbs starting Friday.