Yearly Archives: 2004

The return of Hop ‘n Gator

BEFORE THIS WEEK, the last time I tasted Hop ‘n Gator, the fruit-flavored beer from the makers of Iron City, it was spewing the wrong way over my teeth. I know that doesn’t speak well of the malt beverage, so let’s just say that I was young and Pittsburgh Brewing was ahead of its time.

It was 1974.

I can’t … Read the rest

Want to sell more beer? Pick up a broom

THE MAY numbers are in and, despite my best efforts, beer consumption in Pennsylvania is down for the 17th consecutive month.

As reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, we’re drinking less than 23 gallons per person a year. That’s about 3 1/2 pints a week, sports fans – the lowest rate since 1947.

Naturally, Keystone beer sellers are getting nervous. But … Read the rest

Henry A. Ortliev, 56, dies. “Beer was in his blood”

Raise a glass tonight to Henry A. Ortlieb, friendly scion of Philadelphia’s beloved but defunct Ortlieb Brewing Co. The 56-year-old heir, who always dreamed of rebuilding his family’s famed Northern Liberties brewery, died suddenly over the Fourth of July holiday while deep-sea fishing off the coast of Costa Rica.

“He was a ball of energy who was always full of … Read the rest

Dogfish Head beefs up malt taste in Liquor de Malt

SAM CALAGIONE makes all those brews that “regular” beer drinkers like to make fun of.

His Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware makes beer with honey and chicory and pumpkin and grapes and apricots. These beers come with the kinds of goofy names – Raison d’ Etre and Au Courant, for example – that Schwarzeneggers pounding Coors Light mock as “girly” … Read the rest

Feeling experimental? Try a one-off

CERTAIN BEER drinkers could sip the same bottle of suds every day for the rest of their natural-born lives, and that would be OK.

To them, there is nothing better than the familiar comfort of the Usual.

And then there are the Attention Deficit Drinkers.

These are the beer freaks who are always savoring the new, the exotic, the┬ájust … Read the rest

Victory’s switch to a Bud distributor angers some

A SAD, NASTY bit of business erupted behind the Philadelphia beer-drinking scenes this week, and I wouldn’t bother interrupting your pint, only it could have some impact on the future of local craft brew.

Downingtown’s Victory Brewing has switched its main distributor in town, from the small, family-owned Edward I. Friedland Co. to Penn Distributors Inc., the Anheuser-Busch house.

Now, … Read the rest

This beer-and-cheese joint does the wine thing, too

Until Tria opened its doors, I thought the best cheese and beer restaurant in Philadelphia was Jim’s Steaks at 4th and South: Mouth-watering cheesesteaks and plenty of cold beers in the cooler to wash them down.

But Tria is something completely different. The trendy little room is a celebration of funky fermentation, with a menu that explores the wide range … Read the rest

Here’s a way to drink your beer and enjoy art, too

GOOD NEWS FOR obsessive-compulsives who save their bottlecaps.

(And, strange as it sounds, there are more of these sad cases out there than you might think, frantically separating them by beer type, stacking them in perfectly symmetrical piles, cataloging them in Excel spreadsheets, counting them over and over again into the wee hours of the morning . . . Sigh.)… Read the rest

Singing the praises of Grolsch’s swingtop cap

IF YOU CAN’T judge a book by its cover, can you judge a beer by its bottle?

Grolsch is betting you already do.

In an effort to increase its share of the U.S. import market (currently ranked No. 21 in imports), the Dutch brewery is launching a big-money ad campaign that will focus not on the flavor of its beer, … Read the rest

Dock Street Bohemian returns to its roots

OLD BEERS never die. They just slowly lose their fizz.

Red Bell, Ortlieb’s, Independence – these favorite Philadelphia beers had a good run, then kicked the keg . . . and still somehow climbed out of the recycling bin for a second (or third) round.

Now, it’s the return of Dock Street.

You remember Dock Street: classy brewpub on Logan … Read the rest