August 15, 2014
FOUR YEARS ago, when she launched the first Sour Fest, at South Philly's Devil's Den, owner Erin Wallace was happy to offer a modest list of about a dozen sour ales, including the highly regarded likes of Petrus Aged Pale Ale , Cantillon Kriek and Russian River Consecration . At the time, the existence of these quirky, tart varieties seemed nothing more than a blip in the growth of artisan brews. Most craft brewers were focused elsewhere - on hops or high alcohol. Sour beer, by contrast, didn't seem to have much of a future - not just because of its off-putting name and unconventional flavor, but because of its somewhat complex and time-consuming brewing methods.
July 29, 2014
Around midday recently at Spruce Street Harbor Park on Penn's Landing, families picnicked along the edge of the promenade, young adults and children swung lightly in hammocks or played games, and couples sat side by side reading in Adirondack chairs shaded under the trees tinseled with color-changing LED lights. Spruce Street Harbor Park was created by the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. and Groundswell Design Group with a $310,000 grant from the nonprofit coalition ArtPlace America.
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 1, 2014 |
SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. - Mayor Lenny Desiderio is waxing poetic about white cosmopolitans and sidewalk dining in Sea Isle. What? Yes, in Sea Isle, a place buoyed for decades by such sturdy traditions as No Shower Happy Hour, $1.50 Coors Light mugs (no purchase of mug required), and phone booths that doubled as urinals more often than you'd like to think about. "Martinis, Manhattans, white cosmos, red cosmos," Desiderio says of what people are drinking at SideKix, the urbane little offshoot of his landmark party bar, Kix McNulty's, designed for, say, a more sophisticated Sea Isle drinking experience.
April 4, 2014
EVERYONE in the beer industry is talking about the damn bubble. They're either worried that it's going to burst, or vowing that it will continue to grow. Like the earlier dot-com and housing bubbles, the craft-beer bubble is the product of what pessimists say is unsustainable growth, with about eight new breweries opening nationwide every week. The bubble can't help but explode, they say. Here are three reasons we're all gonna get soaked: 1. There are too many breweries There are about 2,800 breweries nationwide, with as many as 1,000 more on the horizon.
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.
November 8, 2013
BY MY count, 152 brands will be pouring during Saturday's Craft Beer Express, a crosstown pub crawl that visits a dozen fine bars. Maybe that's why bus tickets (at craftbeerexpress.com) are just 10 bucks. It may very well be impossible to drink 'em all. So, with a nod to Philly Tap Finder, which compiled the day's tap lists, here are 12 can't-miss beers on the Craft Beer Express: _ New Holland Philly Wild Ale, at Kraftwork (Fishtown). Theme: Taste of the Great Midwest.
November 1, 2013
YOU MIGHT remember the Daily News report a couple of months back about my diplomatic mission to Lithuania, where I spread the good word about American craft beer through the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius. Well, there's a second chapter in my efforts to spread peace through beer. I'm happy to report that Lithuania is coming to Philadelphia. Specifically, it's arriving in the form of next week's 37th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the guest-artist program of which this year highlights 23 Lithuanian artists.
September 20, 2013
CRAFT BEER on tap. Filet mignon on the grill. Foie gras in the cooler. Aged Gouda on the cheese board. Yep, they've come a long way since the Vet days. "We did the most horrible tailgates back then, man," said Curt Decker of his Eagles pregame get-together in its nascent years, established well before the 2003 opening of Lincoln Financial Field. In those days, Decker, owner of Nodding Head, and his buddy Peter "Bear" Brett, a sales rep with Stockertown Beverage, would drain plastic Budweiser beer balls and heat up franks on "Lil Smokey" grills so low to the ground that meals often came with a side of spinal conniption.
September 20, 2013
BREAK OUT your beer bong, the fall semester is in full gear. College is all about frat parties and tailgaters and suitcases of Natty Light . Right? Not so fast. For one small group of students at Temple University, beer is not just something to chug-chug-chug. The fledgling Temple Craft Beer Enthusiasts Club actually sips. Well, not always. "If PBR is on special and someone else is buying, I wouldn't say no," said the group's president, Alyssa Montgomery, a fifth-year senior business major from Bethlehem.