August 17, 2015 |
At Kennett Brewing Co., the lights are low, the tables are long, and the community, seemingly, is organic. Owners Jossy and Mark Osborne - who live in Little Britain, Lancaster County, a dry township - said locals and friends pitched in to create everything from the company's signs to its bathroom sinks. The sociable spirit transferred to the pub, a cozy but warehouse-like space tucked off South Broad Street in Kennett Square. Customers "say it's [like] coming into somebody's house or living room," said Mark Osborne.
June 12, 2015 |
The can-cracking crowds at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's new beer garden at Ninth and Wharton have some of South Philly's favorite sons watching over them. We may never know how the famous "Sound of Philadelphia" crooners on the mural feel about pale ales and pomegranate margaritas being poured right under their noses, but it's clear this pop-up's creators appreciate the music heritage. That much is evident from the menu alone, featuring "Al Martino's dry-rub pork ribs," a grilled chicken sandwich named after Frankie Avalon, and a bacon/peanut butter/banana dessert called the "Chubby Checker.
June 12, 2015 |
TWO AUTHORS dominate the beer section of my bookshelf: the late-British newspaperman Michael Jackson, and Randy Mosher, the Chicago-based author whose Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer are bibles for any beer enthusiast. When Mosher stopped in town last week with his latest, Beer for All Seasons (Storey), I couldn't pass up a chance to sit down for a couple of beers. Here's an edited excerpt of our conversation. Q: Your latest book looks at the tradition of seasonal beers.
June 5, 2015 |
WHEN PEOPLE ask me to name my favorite beer, I usually say, "My next one. " But beer drinkers can be a nostalgic sort (you still know the words to the Schaefer jingle, right?), and sometimes I find my thoughts drifting back to beers of the past - beers that are gone but not forgotten. We've got a lot of them in Philly, of course: Schmidt's, Esslinger, Gretz, Ortlieb's and so on. A couple weeks ago, WIP sports talker Glen Macnow and I asked listeners of our weekly "Bar Talk" podcast what beers they'd like to see brought back from the dead.
May 15, 2015
NEWS ITEM: A California beer drinker has filed a class-action lawsuit against MillerCoors for deceptive advertising in marketing its Blue Moon label as a craft beer. This is possibly the stupidest beer-related lawsuit since a California lawyer went after Anheuser-Busch a couple of years ago for watering down its beer. A judge eventually tossed the case because everyone knows Bud is supposed to taste that way. I have no doubt the Blue Moon lawsuit is headed for the same fate.
March 27, 2015
UNDER a leaky roof in a tired corner of Camden, there's a single barrel of whiskey quietly aging and mellowing toward what might be the next frontier for American craft beer. It's marked "IPA-skey. " James Yoakum, the owner at Cooper River Distilling, pulled a sample for me the other day and handed it over. It was smooth and a bit smoky, with the delicate yet unmistakable bitterness of hops. The spirits began life as a batch of India pale ale from North Philly's Saint Benjamin Brewing.
February 20, 2015 |
Thirsty Philadelphia has more than its share of beer festivals to dive into. But few get to the heart of the region's beer brewing soul - both its history and its future - as much as the Philly Bierfest, being held Saturday, Feb. 21 at the German Society of Pennsylvania. Yes, the "arm wrastlin' roller girls" are a draw for some. There will be tuba-popping Polkadelphia funk, and beer-and-cheese pairings from nationally known cheese master Max McCalman. But the most pressing focus of this fourth annual event will be an exploration of the state's deepening relationship with the German beer tradition, whose current growth is described by Victory Brewing founder Bill Covaleski as nothing less than "the end game of craft beer.
December 25, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - 'Tis the season to be . . . hoppy. Consider it a holiday gift of sorts from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which has made it officially legal to get a six-pack - or two - delivered to your front door when ordering food. The LCB, with little fanfare, issued an advisory opinion this month clarifying that restaurants, grocery stores, pizza and sub shops, and other outlets that serve food and beer can also deliver up to two six-packs of beer. This being Pennsylvania, which has some of the strictest alcohol regulations in the country, there are catches.
December 12, 2014
IT'S JUST A WAFFLE, but Brian and Andrea Polizzi's newest product is the next step in the maturation of American small brewing. The couple's 13-month-old, West-Chester-based company, Waffatopia, last month unveiled Sweet & Stormy, a ready-to-heat waffle flavored with Victory Storm King Imperial Stout . The waffle is sweet and chocolaty and, even if it doesn't contain a trace of alcohol, it's probably not on my breakfast diet. But that's not the point. What catches my eye is the waffle package's familiar, blue-and-red V-for-Victory logo - a sign that, after successfully carving a niche in the beer biz over the past 18 years, the Downingtown brewery's brand is strong enough to carry more than sixpacks.
November 14, 2014
LOOKING BACK on the takeover of a tiny Oregon brewery last week by Anheuser-Busch InBev, some years from now we may remember it as a turning point. Or maybe we won't remember it at all. But right now, it feels like the Day the Music Died - the day when craft brewing took the inevitable step from the adolescent innocence of selfless idealism to the maturity of just another bottom-line business. The moment came, fittingly enough, with the posting of an Internet video showing the owners of 10 Barrel Brewing, in Bend, Ore., gleefully announcing that they had sold their 8-year-old brewery to ABI. This was not the first small brewery to be gobbled up by the international conglomerate.