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 14, 2010
Back in the days before refrigeration when beer-makers still had real seasons, the farmhouse brewers of Alsace would make their very first ales of the year from the freshest hops and malt, then set them down to age in the January chill for a slow, lagerlike fermentation. When they were finally ready by March, that initial crop known as "bière de Mars" would appear like a frothy beacon of spring to launch the mild weather brew-chugging season. Long Island's stellar craft brewery, Southampton Publick House, has revived this obscure rite of beer with a delightful rendition typical of the balanced, elegant saisons that have earned brewer Phil Markowski a national reputation.
February 16, 2010 |
Developer Bart Blatstein has been a powerful force in refashioning the old working-class, beer-making neighborhood of Northern Liberties into a hipster enclave studded with galleries and cafes. Now, he is about to push that bohemian district in a tonier direction with the construction of an immense, 21st-century retail-and-residential hive on the former Schmidt's brewery site. Blatstein's company, Tower Investments, will hold a formal groundbreaking today for the first phase of that project, a $30 million retail complex anchored by a Pathmark supermarket.
August 16, 2009 |
You can count on a thunderstorm to pump up business at a brewpub. Especially at the shore. So it was no surprise in the founding manger of Dogfish Head Brewing here, beneath canoes suspended from the rafters, that regulars stayed put, ordering extra rounds, when the skies opened up last week. On this particular day, they included a vacationing industrial engineer from Boeing, a gray-haired fellow who'd biked up from Ocean City, Md., and a guy in a Beeriotic Table T-shirt, each one a Dogfish disciple - each one in a small way responsible for an extraordinary craft-beer success story being played out in the ugly teeth of the recession: Dogfish Head was doing a bulletproof business.
June 11, 2009 |
Ask developer Bart Blatstein when he'll stop construction in Northern Liberties, and he replies: "Never. " His latest is the Piazza at Schmidts, a collection of apartments and retail along Second Street south of the old Schmidt's brewery. It's just east of Liberties Walk, his first major retail-residential project in the neighborhood. Last month, the Piazza saw the opening of three restaurants, and in three weeks, there will be a fourth. Free parking is just north of the Piazza in a dirt lot at Second Street and Germantown Avenue, where the brewery once sat. Blatstein plans to develop a supermarket there.
June 8, 2009 |
Charles Richard "Dick" Arenschield III, 70, of Center City, a bottling-industry consultant, died of complications from leukemia Tuesday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Mr. Arenschield grew up in Radnor. He graduated from Staunton (Va.) Military Academy, and attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania while working for the Schmidt's brewery, founded by his great-great-grandfather Christian Schmidt in 1860. By his early 20s, Mr. Arenschield was a brewmaster, and he later became vice president of marketing.
May 21, 2009 |
William T. Elliott, 84, of Media, president of Christian Schmidt Brewing Co. when it closed in 1987, died of heart disease Monday at Lankenau Hospital. Schmidt's was Philadelphia's last major brewery. Its brands were sold to G. Heileman Brewing Co. of La Crosse, Wis., with the loss of 250 to 300 jobs. Three years before, the brewery had employed 1,400. The brewery, at Second Street and Girard Avenue, was not included in the sale. Besides its own brand, Schmidt produced beers that were formerly made by other firms and were labeled Ortlieb's, Reading, Knickerbocker, Rheingold, Coqui, Erie, and Kohler, as well as McSorley's Ale. In a statement, Mr. Elliott said at the time, "Many smaller brewers, such as Schmidt, have suffered substantial losses of volume and market share, while marketing and manufacturing costs have soared.
May 15, 2009
SCHMIDT'S is back. Not the grand old Northern Liberties brewery, which shut down in 1987. And not the beer, which these days exists only as some generic fizzy yellow liquid that's brewed God-knows-where. S-C-H-M-I-D-T-S, the actual stainless-steel letters that once looked down at 2nd and Girard from the mammoth brewery's brick facade, the letters that greeted hundreds of brewery workers, the word that once stood with "Stetson" and "Whitman" and "Fels Naptha" as a classic, universally recognized Philadelphia brand name - that Schmidt's is back.
February 27, 2009
A NEW BEER from Yuengling - can you believe it? After 180 years, it's about time. It's Yuengling Bock , the Pottsville brewery's first seasonal, and it'll be released in town next week. Brewery boss Dick Yuengling told me he was reluctant to brew the springtime brand because "I hate running out of things. " But he acknowledged that, thanks to the likes of Boston Beer, seasonal releases are a hot trend. Yuengling's retailers and wholesalers told him he had to jump into the game, especially this year as America's oldest brewery celebrates the big one-eight-oh.
February 1, 2009 |
ADAMSTOWN, Pa. - More for the novelty of it than out of necessity, Elizabeth Stoudt commuted to work last week in her underemployed snowshoes, crunching down the hill from her big, old farmhouse here to her bread bakery a snowball's throw away. On her way she fed the sheep - Jacob's Sheep, a breed of varying colors, tending toward dark - and the Toulouse geese, who in less tranquil settings might find themselves being fattened for foie gras. There was a nod to the neighboring emu and the shaggy Angora goat.