Schmidt’s is still alive

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A small scare rattled some pockets of the city recently when word filtered down to neighborhood taverns that Miller might stop carrying its Schmidt’s label in kegs.

The Philly favorite – which actually hasn’t been made in the city since its Girard Avenue brewery closed in 1987 – would still be packaged in cans and bottles. But gone would be those cheap 7-ounce glasses of the yellow lager.

“They wanted to kill the kegs,” said Dave McShane, owner of the Philadelphia Bar & Grill, a block from the now-demolished brewery in Northern Liberties. “Apparently they thought it wasn’t cost-effective to continue selling it in kegs. “

But bar owners griped to Schmidt’s main distributor, Clement & Muller, which reportedly made a last-minute appeal to Miller to save the draft.

“It was just a scare, a lot of rumors,” said a Clement & Muller spokesman.

“We got a stay of execution,” said McShane, who boasts that his is the only bar in the city that carries “all three versions of Schmidt’s: bottles, cans and draft. “

“If they kill the draft, you gut the brand,” McShane said. “That would be a shame. In Philadelphia, Schmidt’s is like pretzels and cheesesteaks. “

Beer radar

How good do we have it in Philly? Two of our local craft breweries finished 1-2 in the 25th annual Great British Beer Festival. HopDevil IPA, from Downingtown’s Victory Brewing, was named “Best American Beer. ” Right behind it was Perkuno’s Hammer, from Heavyweight Brewing in Ocean County, N.J. Of course, area beer freaks didn’t need the Brits to tell us what we already knew . . .

Caledonian Brewing Co.’s Deuchars IPA, from Edinburgh, Scotland, was named the festival’s Supreme Champion . . .

Jersey beer fans can start looking for 12-ounce bottles of Yards Love Stout on the shelves by next month. The Kensington brewery is expanding its bottle sales in Maryland as well . . .

Heading to Eagles training camp in Bethlehem for today’s final practice? Cool off at Bethlehem Brew Works (569 Main St.) in the center of town. After 4 p.m., the downstairs Steelgaarden Belgian-style bar is open . . .

At least those American West pilots who got busted last month for trying to fly after an afternoon at the bar had good taste in brew. Courtesy of, a copy of the bar bill shows Thomas Cloyd and Christopher Hughes drained seven 34-ounce glasses of Sierra Nevada and seven more 16-ounce SNs. They chased those with a Kettel One martini and an $8.50 burger . . .


Aug. 23-30 – Mead-Fest, General Lafayette Inn & Brewery, (6461 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill), celebrates the birth of Saint Bartholomew, patron saint of mead drinkers. Among the honey brews on tap is brewer Chris Leonard’s Raspberry Mead, with 80 pounds of whole raspberries. At 9.6 percent alcohol, this one will make you forget about the heat. Info: 610-941-0600.


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