Yearly Archives: 1999

Fashioning the world’s strongest beer

Sooner or later, anyone who brews beer is struck with a spark of devious inspiration, a slightly slurred voice from within that cajoles:

Yo, let’s try to brew the World’s Strongest Beer.

It’s the same voice that urges you to throw a snowball from the 700 level, or pick up that supermodel at the end of the bar. You know, … Read the rest

What all good bars need: Something to read

You hear a lot of complaints these days about the lack of decent textbooks in our city’s public schools. Ancient science books and graffiti-filled history books apparently have parents, teachers and kiddies whining for more tax dollars.

Schools, schmools – speaking as the voice of the drinking public, I think it’s high time the city paid a little more attention … Read the rest

Ban last call

Last call for drinks, I’ll have another stout. -Tom Waits, from his album, “Closing Time.”

In the city, last call is a social anachronism, as out of place as a choir boy in a go-go bar.

Here we are, in the last days of the millennium, and we are evolving into a fully hot-wired, 24-hour-a-day, no-doze town, instantly interconnected with … Read the rest

In Bethlehem, there’s plenty of room at the bar

“Drink, pilgrim, here. And if thy heart be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh thy spirit.” – Stone marker, Bethlehem, Pa.

“Dallas sucks” – Cotton T-shirt worn by fans at Eagles training camp, Bethlehem, Pa.

Drinking beer and watching football may be two of the best ways to waste an autumn afternoon, but as any seasoned pro can tell you, … Read the rest

On hot days, taste finds a watery grave

You know what they say about summer in Philadelphia: It’s not the heat, it’s the lousy lagers.

These tongue-wagging temps bring out the worst in beer. We should be swimming in a pool of tasty, thirst-quenching suds. Instead, nearly every back-yard barbecue, every Delaware Avenue deck bar is a reservoir of weak-butted light American lager.

It’s as if the afternoon … Read the rest

Go ahead, Dad, try out that kit

And now, the post-Father’s Day melancholy settles in.

The li’l buggers, bless their hearts, gave you – what, another necktie? A dozen golf balls? A cordless weed-whacker?

Sure, the kiddies will inevitably grow up and either get arrested or cost you a hundred grand for college. But at least you can be fairly confident that the whiners love you. After … Read the rest

A fitting beer tribute for these three mugs

“Everything’s fine when you’re looking through a foaming stein.” – The Three Stooges, “Beer & Pretzels,” circa 1933.

Speaking as one of the millions of kids who spent a disproportionate number of his formative years glued to Sally Starr’s “Popeye Theater,” I’d say it’s about time we all lifted a mug to Moe, Larry and Curly.

Soitenly, they’ve already received … Read the rest

A beer safari to Reading

We’re in some crowded neighborhood in Reading, Pa., that looks like Manayunk, only with slightly wider streets. It’s taken me 15 minutes to find a parking spot, and a few of the locals are giving me menacing looks for the South Philly tap I applied to one of their cars. You know, when you’re backing in, and you nail the … Read the rest

Two locals reach Win-a-Pub finals

Maybe it’s the water, or maybe it’s the beer. Whatever. We’ve got two local finalists in the Guinness Win Your Own Pub in Ireland contest. The two stout fans are among 10 U.S. suds-sippers who will make the trip to Newcastle West for a chance to win J. O’Sullivan’s Pub.

Imagine: Competing for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bounce sodden drunks … Read the rest

A homebrew judge needs a nose that knows

I’m a beer-drinker, but after 47 different American light lagers crossed my palate a couple of Saturdays ago, I can assure you that Joe Sixpack is not a beer-taster.

My tongue just can’t take that kind of abuse.

The occasion was the regional judging of the American Homebrewers Association annual national competition, a prestigious event that brings to mind the … Read the rest