Yearly Archives: 2010

Stein-lugging and other beer records

LAST WEEK’S COLUMN about the world’s strongest beer had me thinking about some other classic beer records. The fastest chugger, the biggest can collection, the most pints balanced on a man’s head – you know, the fun, occasionally idiotic achievements that could only be inspired by, well, beer.

Like, how many beer steins can a person carry while walking across … Read the rest

Craft gone daft? No, and they have the proof

HAS CRAFT beer jumped the shark?

If you’ve listened to the collective drone of the beer cognoscenti in recent weeks, it sure sounds as if it has. They have their knickers in a knot over a continuing quest to produce the world’s strongest beer.

The battle was reignited last November with the release of the hilariously named Tactical Nuclear Penguin, … Read the rest

How to add refreshing spice to beer? Gingerly

THE PURIST in me is gagging even as I write this, but the other day I took a perfectly good Sam Adams Boston Lager, poured half of it into a pint glass, then topped it with a can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale.

Gassy and sweet, with the lager’s classic noble hops now completely masked by sugar, it could only … Read the rest

For some, craft-beer makers getting too crafty with marketing

CRAFT-BEER drinkers are falling prey to the same mindless “lifestyle marketing” that they reject in mainstream beer. Instead of the inane “taste the cold” TV advertising of Coors, they’re getting suckered by the unfounded hype that surrounds rare, expensive, high-strength beers.

That’s the indictment leveled by the authors of a new ratings book, The Beer Trials (Fearless Critic Media, $14.95).… Read the rest

Tapping systems bring the bar to your back yard

DRAFT BEER at home? What will they think of next?

Actually, the newest thing in beer has been around for as long as fathers have sent their kids down to the local saloon for a bucket of freshly tapped suds.

New, high-tech tapping systems, though, make that task even easier.

This summer, Coors Light became the first domestic brewer to … Read the rest

No-calorie beer? It’s not a fat chance anymore

SOMEDAY, someone is going to make a zero-calorie beer. It’ll look, smell, taste and feel just like the real thing, but it won’t contain an iota of caloric content.

I know this because:

1. The leading segment in the beer world is light – aka diet – beer. People want fewer and fewer calories, even if it means dumbing down … Read the rest

Joe Sixpack answers your questions

AS A REPORTER, I’m the one asking the questions. This week, I’m giving the readers a chance.

Q: I read your article about the hard-to-find Pliny the Younger. Please recommend something of a similar taste that one may be able to get hold of – just so I can have an idea what people think is the best beer in … Read the rest

Try porter: It’s perfect for July Fourth

THIS FOURTH of July, celebrate the holiday with the beer style that defines America’s independence from the British: Porter.

Yes, I know it’s a bit dark for warm weather. Don’t worry. Its alcohol is fairly low (about 5-6 percent) and its roasted flavors pair wonderfully with hamburgers or grilled chicken.

But there’s an even bigger reason to enjoy porter this … Read the rest

New bar tap gadget lets you pour it yourself

FIRST THEY made us fill up our own gas tanks, and I didn’t speak up because I ride the bus.

Then they forced us to scan and bag our own groceries, and I said nothing because my wife does the shopping.

Then they told us to pour our own draft beer and . . . um, hey that’s not such … Read the rest

Pilsners debuted to a hostile crowd

PALE YELLOW lager – it’s as ordinary as white boxer shorts.

Imagine telling that to the Munich brewers who gathered a few weeks after their beloved Oktoberfest in 1895 to gripe about this newfangled brew called Helles Lagerbier. That kind of talk would have had you facing the wrath of Hans and Fritz, clicking their heels and railing about the … Read the rest