Yearly Archives: 2012

Hopped up on new hops

SAN DIEGO — The loneliest guy at BrewExpo America had to be Ales Kopecky, a Czech farmer who came to the annual beer-making trade show to promote his old-world Saaz hops.

The Saaz variety may be the noblest of the so-called “noble hops,” providing the distinctive flavor and palate-cleansing bitterness to pilsners and other styles. Yet few brewers lined up … Read the rest

Does beer make you smarter?

LAST MONTH’S media reports that beer consumption makes you smarter ranks up there as one of the no-spit revelations of all time.

The “revelation” stemmed from a paper called “Uncorking the Muse: Alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving,” by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It concluded that test subjects solved certain problems more quickly after reaching a … Read the rest

Beer week: Wouldn’t it be great if…?

FIVE YEARS AGO, the whole notion of a “beer week” was as unknown as a black IPA. There simply was no such thing.

Today, if you plug the term into Google, you’ll get more than 2.3 million results. There’s an entry on the subject in the new Oxford Companion to Beer. San Francisco beer writer Jay Brooks, who wrote the … Read the rest

A brewing scene grows in the northwest burbs

IT’S A MOONLESS Thursday night in North Wales, Montgomery County. Down a dead-end street just past the giant Merck & Co. pharmaceutical plant, tucked along the SEPTA R5 railroad tracks, a darkened industrial building attracts a young crowd. The unpaved parking lot is full, light sounds of live jazz seep from the rear door, and the air carries the familiar … Read the rest

The Phillies have this one in the can

Sadly missing their big guns at the plate, the anemic Phils are at least entertaining fans this season with some power in the beer stands.

For the first time, Citizens Bank Park is selling 24-ounce aluminum “Tall Boy” cans of Bud, Miller Lite, Yuengling and other brands for 11 bucks a pop.

And “pop” is the operative word under the … Read the rest

A Victory at the South Philly sports complex

A $60 MILLION mega-drinking/partying complex named after a wallet-soaking cable TV company and developed by a monster real estate developer in the heart of South Philly’s isolated sports complex — man, I really wanted to hate Xfinity Live!

A fresh glass of St. Boisterous bock, poured at a rocking Victory Beer Hall, softened me. A burger from Broad Street Bullies … Read the rest

A brief session on session beers

“I will make it felony to drink small beer.” – Henry IV, Part 2.


If he had his way, Shakespeare – or at least his memorable character, Jack Cade, who declared his contempt for weak beer (and lawyers) – would be filing criminal charges on the first-ever Session Beer Day this Saturday.

The day is intended as a nationwide … Read the rest

A wheat beer that’s perfectly clear

Kristall weiss: A filtered version of hefeweizen.

IF THAT DEFINITION doesn’t just make your skin crawl, well, you are a cold, heartless turtle. Why would anyone intentionally take one of the world’s most-treasured beer styles – a variety whose unique beauty is in its murky, unfiltered body – and intentionally “cleanse” it?

It’s as if a brewery imagined that it … Read the rest

In the Southwest, they take the beer and run

IN MOST OF AMERICA, “beer run” means darting out to buy beer for the night. It is a common term understood by pretty much everyone. Except in the Southwest.

In the Southwest, “beer run” means heading to the nearest convenience store, grabbing a 30-pack from the cooler and walking out the door without paying.

This is not just some regional … Read the rest

The makings of a good Irish pub

ON ST. Patrick’s Day, nearly every bar pours Guinness and cloaks itself in shamrocks. But is that enough to be an Irish pub?

This is no matter for idle pondering while the foam drops from your stout. In fact, it was the central theme of the first American conference of Irish Pubs Global, held in Center City last spring.

That’s … Read the rest