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 4, 2012
RESEARCH AT Joe Sixpack Central is a never-ending occupation. Here are a few of my recent findings. * Dundee Oktoberfest (Rochester, N.Y.): Dundee Ales & Lagers is one of those margin-dwellers that has been glomming onto the craft beer renaissance for years. Because it is priced cheaply (low $20s per case), it grabs a lot of drinkers who are after something other than BudMillerCoors but don't want to shell out an extra 10. The entire brand is nearly doomed by its flagship, Original Honey Brown , a decidedly dull, thin amber lager with an unfortunate metallic aftertaste.
September 30, 2012
A meal of "bread and water" sounds like a harsh sentence. Change that to "bread and beer" at Ardmore's Tired Hands - their crusty loaves baked in cast-iron pans with ale yeast - and I'll have fun all night. Jean Brouillet IV's formula for a brewery-cafe is simple, where the local fare is in service of his inventive beers. And that sturdy bread, served with a rich yellow Trickling Springs butter, sea salt, and fennel pollen, is all the sustenance I'd need. As one of the brightest entries in our current micro-brewery boom, Tired Hands beers are worth the spotlight, with numerous interesting variations on hoppy American ales and Belgian-style saisons, my favorites, anchored by funky and bubbly FarmHands.
August 23, 2012
YOU HEAR ABOUT these collaboration beers by guys from competing breweries, and you can just imagine the unique creative process - the artistic inspiration, the sharing of ideas, the dynamic environment that feeds their invention. But first things first. "Are we measuring in Fahrenheit or Celsius?" Tim Roberts, a longtime area brewer now at Yards Brewing Co., dropped by Iron Hill Brewery's Maple Shade, N.J., brewpub for a collaborative brew with its head brewer, Chris LaPierre.
June 21, 2012 |
A 3 1/2-barrel handmade batch of pale ale is simmering just over his shoulder, filling the garage-size brewery with the sweetest aroma known to man, when Tim Hanna, one of four partners in the brand-new Tuckahoe Brewing Co., mentions the unfortunate gorilla in the room: "We're never going to totally get past C oors Light and M iller Lite down here. " "Down here" is the Jersey Shore, land of Snooki and Smirnoff Ice. Down here, "good beer" means it's cold, wet and half-price during happy hour.
June 8, 2012 |
OCEAN VIEW, N.J. - Matt McDevitt spent years living the dream of every grown-up Jersey Shore kid: teach high school during the year, work the beach patrol during summer; in his case, the Sacramento beach in Ventnor. But this year, McDevitt and three buddies, two of them also teachers at Mainland Regional High School, will spend summer chasing an even more tantalizing beach dream: presiding over their own brewery, the Tuckahoe Brewing Co., creating recipes inspired by everything from warm summer days (Marshallville Wit)
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.
June 1, 2012 |
Scott Rudich got a text one November night from his pal Rich DiLiberto, who was in a bar drinking bad beer and listening to a bad cover band. "We should either start a brewery or a band," DiLiberto wrote. Rudich's reply: "Neither of us play instruments. " And so it was that the grains of Round Guys Brewery were set to steep. Of course, that dream would ferment for nearly 31/2 years before these two pharmaceutical workers would finally open the doors to their Lansdale brewery in early March, when Rudich could legitimately pick up the phone and say with a wink: "Hello, I am the yeast whisperer.
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.
April 19, 2012 |
IT'S A MOONLESS Thursday night in North Wales, Montgomery County. Down a dead-end street just past the giant Merck & Co. pharmaceutical plant, tucked along the SEPTA R5 railroad tracks, a darkened industrial building attracts a young crowd. The unpaved parking lot is full, light sounds of live jazz seep from the rear door, and the air carries the familiar aroma of malt. Welcome to Prism Brewing's Tap Room, one of the region's best-kept beer-drinking secrets and, it turns out, a harbinger of a remarkable surge of suburban breweries.