Yearly Archives: 1996

’96 a vintage year? Not in a beer column

To hell with doctor’s orders. I’ve been jabbed, probed and dosed, and they still can’t knock this flu. After three weeks of phlegmy coughs and other horrible bodily secretions – a period in which I faithfully avoided all malt refreshment – I’m plunging head-first into the Joe Sixpack Winter Blahs Treatment, certain to cure whatever ales you:

Take one bottle … Read the rest

State price controls skunk the consumers

Get ready to pay more for your beer, Pennsylvania.

The Legislature just revived an old law that almost certainly will jack up prices to fatten the wallets of beer wholesalers.

Wholesalers are the select middlemen who, under state law, “import” beer from brewers and re-sell it to retail distributors. Each has exclusive rights to brand names within geographic regions, so … Read the rest

The Khyber passes on

A good pub is like a good dog. Friendly and honest, it never fails to cheer you up or bring you back down to earth. And when it dies, don’t mourn its passing. Just remember the good times and go find another.

One of my favorites died a couple of weeks ago. Before  Joe Sixpack moves on to his next … Read the rest

Brewery buff has a thing for the past

You walk the streets of the old neighborhoods and sooner or later you start to hear the sounds of a city’s forgotten past. Buried like 300-year-old cobblestones ‘neath layers of asphalt, the ghosts are still alive . . . if you know how to listen.

In Fairmount, you hear the creaking of a wooden wagon wheel coming down Poplar Street. … Read the rest

Micro contractors spark big brewhaha

So it’s Sunday night and I’m trying to find an Eagles score on the tube when I hear possibly the worst news a guy could hear under any circumstances, but especially those circumstances under which, having just consumed, oh, about two dozen different brews at a local beer festival, that fella has assumed a face-down position on the couch of … Read the rest

Let’s tap into the spirit with Sixpackerfest!

Sunday marks the end of Oktoberfest, the 16-day Munich beer-drinking celebration that honors the 19th-century marriage of some Bavarian crown prince. The fest is a sanctioned citywide event in which the government encourages its citizens (and tourists) to consume mass quantities of excellent lagers served by large-busted women. They shut down schools, close offices and run naked through the streets.… Read the rest

You can’t keep it at home for long

Saturday morning around my place frequently is accompanied by the sweet smell of malt and cigar smoke. But this isn’t the morning after a Friday-night poker game. It’s Joe Sixpack’s rowhouse brewery, hard off Girard Avenue in historic olde Fishtown.

Just a few blocks from the spookily vacant Christian Schmidt & Sons brewery, I cook up some of the meanest … Read the rest

A real hollow leg launched 20 years of foamy memories

A note from Don: This is the first Joe Sixpack column. It was named the best column of the year by the North American Beer Writers Guild. Second place went to Michael Jackson, who was my beer-writing idol. He congratulated me and we remained friends till his demise.

Twenty years ago, on a cold night in a central Pennsylvania college … Read the rest