January 17, 2015 |
Is America's oldest lager non grata to Pennsylvania's newest governor? Yuengling, from the Pottsville-based brewery, appears to have been left off the list of beverages to be served at next week's inauguration for Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. State Rep. Mike Vereb (R., Montgomery) said he learned from constituents and others that inauguration planners had specifically declared Yuengling not to be served. Vereb said Thursday he was not sure why, or if Wolf knew, but added that he didn't think it was accidental.
December 30, 2014
D.G. YUENGLING & Son made it through the Civil War, Prohibition and untold skirmishes with the giants from St. Louis and Milwaukee. But those were nothing like the challenge it faces in the age of endless choice. These days, the shelves are filled with everything from Lime-A-Rita to triple IPA. Samuel Adams has a TV commercial boasting that it makes more than 60 styles. Yuengling, meanwhile, is still plugging away with a portfolio of just seven full-time brands and three seasonals.
October 3, 2014
SPLASHING down a cold one in the tasting room at the new Forgotten Boardwalk Brewery, in Cherry Hill, you can't help but wonder: Why wasn't this place built on an actual boardwalk down the Shore? The curved funhouse mirrors, the wheel of fortune, the Skee-Ball machines . . . the only thing missing is the smell of salt air. So, I asked Jamie Queli, the brewery's 30-year-old owner, why she didn't open it in Asbury Park, whose aging, largely vacant boardwalk gave this brewery its name.
September 26, 2014
IF STEVE HINDY looks a little uncomfortable on Monday when he and a panel of local brewers gather for a talk about the "craft-beer revolution" at Yards Brewery, don't blame me. The founder of Brooklyn Brewery is an experienced journalist - a former Mideast correspondent for the Associated Press - and he can handle the grilling I'll dole out as moderator of the event. No, if he's squirming in his seat, it's because Philly hasn't always treated him so well. He has bad memories of one guy in particular - the man whom the Inquirer once called "the shadowy lord of the Philadelphia beer business.
July 3, 2014
FOR ALL their innovation, American craft brewers are starting to grow stale. Over-hopped beers? Yeah, they were novel . . . about 15 years ago. Now everyone brews a double IPA. Wacky flavors? Used to be we couldn't wait for pumpkin beer each autumn. Now, because there are so many of them competing for shelf space, the pumpkin season starts in two weeks and you'll be sick of them by Labor Day. Barrel-aged beer? Because it takes months and years to properly age and blend beer, barrel-aged beer was once a rarity.
June 26, 2014
ERIN WALLACE, 36, of Lafayette Hill, owns Devil's Den in South Philadelphia and Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk. In fall 2013, she opened Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery in the old General Lafayette Inn in Lafayette Hill. Wallace, a native of Baltimore, is one of the few female brewery owners in Philly. Q: How'd you get into the tavern biz? A: I graduated from Moore College of Art & Design and while I was there I waitressed at Cherry Street Tavern. They offered me some bartending shifts, which led to other roles.
June 20, 2014
SUMMER HAS returned and so, I'm surprised to report, have Bavarian-style wheat beers. Surprised because, for a while there, it was looking like American brewers couldn't make a warm-weather refresher that wasn't hopped out the wazoo. Lately, even when the Americans have dabbled in wheat, it was only as a means to unleash yet another hop monster, the so-called white IPA. But as Philly gears up for another run of the three H's - hazy, hot and humid - it can cool down with the fourth H, hefeweizen.
May 30, 2014
T IM PATTON, 37, of Fishtown, is the founder of Saint Benjamin Brewing Co. in North Philadelphia. Patton bought an old warehouse and, after several years of planning, he and co-brewer Christina Burris hope to open a nanobrewery during Philly Beer Week, which begins today. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Saint Benjamin? A: I and a friend started an online coupon-and-deal website in 1999 that offered discounts on Amazon, pet food and other stuff. I was there until 2009 but wanted a different career path.
May 23, 2014
EVAN FRITZ, the head brewer at Manayunk Brewing Co., was smiling but looking kind of shell-shocked one afternoon this week. Around him lay twisted pipe, a disassembled boiler, stacks of muddy beer cans, a pile of electronic point-of-sale equipment. All ruined. "I keep joking that this storm didn't even have a name," he said. "What are we going to put on the plaque?" That would be the marker to show how high the waters from the May 1 flood rose. Irene in 2011 and Floyd in 1999 - the high-water marks from those devastating hurricanes are remembered with small signs behind the bar. This one, the storm with no name, came with no real warning.
May 23, 2014 |
When distiller Sean Tracy and brewer Andrew Knechel cosigned for a lease on a warehouse in Bucks County, it was supposed to make starting their respective businesses easier. Instead, the arrangement ended up taking them into a maze of bureaucracy that nearly derailed both projects. The key to unlocking the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board licenses needed for the side-by-side craft brewery and distillery? Construction of a 4-foot-high wall. Sean Tracy first had the idea for Hewn Spirits about two years ago. He runs Bucks County TimberCraft, a construction firm that refits old barns into high-end homes, and as he ran across dense beams of rare and ancient woods - white oak, American chestnut, hickory, ash - he realized they'd be perfect for aging liquor.