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.
March 20, 2011
In a wonky world like craft beer, where small-batch is often most sexy, it's easy to overlook a pioneer that's grown large with success. But don't snooze when walking past those piles of Sierra Nevada in your local beer store. This trail-blazer of the peppy pale ale, now in its 31st year and the second-largest craft beer producer in America (after Sam Adams' Boston Brewing), can still bring the flavor when it comes to seasonals and special offerings. Their Southern Hemisphere Harvest last year was one of the freshest hops-forward brews I've sipped.
December 1, 2010 |
Bruce Nichols, 62, a longtime champion of quality beer in Philadelphia and cofounder of Philly Beer Week, died Tuesday, Nov. 30, of leukemia. Mr. Nichols had started an annual dinner and beer tasting in Philadelphia with renowned British beer expert Michael Jackson in 1991 that lasted until Jackson's death in 2007. Philly Beer Week started in 2008, and now boasts that it is the largest beer celebration of its kind in the country. Mr. Nichols was chair of the nonprofit that ran the annual 10-day event.
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.
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.
October 22, 2009
Saturday, Oct. 24 Brewer's Reserve tasting , featuring hand-crafted beers from Flying Fish Brewing Co., including Exit 4 American Tripel and Belgian Imperial Cru, and Iron Hill Brewery, including Heywood Tripel and 2004 Barleywine. Pay for what you drink. 1-5 p.m. at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, 124 East Kings Hwy., Maple Shade, 856-273-0300, www.ironhillbrewery.com . Sunday, Oct. 25 Craft beer lovers singles night , featuring craft beer tastings, hors d'oeuvres, and entertainment.
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.
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.
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.
March 24, 2013
Remember when wine became popular enough to be "the new beer"? And then it flipped when craft beer became "the new wine"? It was inevitable the two would collide someday into one crazy fermented creature, and now we have it, an all-out "Bine" Revolution with everyone from Sonoma (Russian River) to Portland, Maine, (Allagash) aging beer in wine barrels. Victory is the latest to go grape guns on their brews, with the recent limited release of White Monkey, their popular Golden Monkey tripel aged three months in used chardonnay casks from Wente Vineyards.