Yearly Archives: 2014

Lagers, not lanyards, get made at this camp

DID YOU hear about that special, new collaborative beer from the brewmasters at Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors?

Yeah, never gonna happen.

Which says less about mega-breweries than it does about one of the remarkable traits of America’s small breweries: the enthusiasm for working together.

Or, more accurately, having fun together.

Collaborative beers have become one of the hallmarks of craft … Read the rest

How those new pop-up bars exploited an LCB loophole

WANT TO open a bar in Pennsylvania and avoid the standard six-figure price tag for a liquor license? The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, through its extraordinarily lenient interpretation of the state liquor code, lets you do it for as little as $500.

All it takes is a one-page application with none of the lengthy red tape and criminal background checks … Read the rest

That stuff I said last week? Uh, forget it


Last week’s column urging brewers to consider new ideas, from vending machines to malt-centric recipes, led me to a weekend of experimentation with some of the newfangled beer-improvement contraptions that are already on the market.

After several hours in the Sixpack Test Kitchen, I concluded that maybe we’d all be better off just leaving well enough alone.… Read the rest

Hey, craft brewers, freshen up and prosper

FOR ALL their innovation, American craft brewers are starting to grow stale.

Over-hopped beers? Yeah, they were novel . . . about 15 years ago. Now everyone brews a double IPA.

Wacky flavors? Used to be we couldn’t wait for pumpkin beer each autumn. Now, because there are so many of them competing for shelf space, the pumpkin season starts … Read the rest

And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the gardens

A FEW years ago, I pitched what I thought was a great idea for the city:A beer garden at LOVE Park. I could just imagine the lunchtime crowds, the evening diners with their families, the skateboarders and foodies, people just hanging out – all of them coming together and enjoying the city’s finest, freshest beer at one of its most … Read the rest

Local wheat brews come time for 4-H club

SUMMER HAS returned and so, I’m surprised to report, have Bavarian-style wheat beers.

Surprised because, for a while there, it was looking like American brewers couldn’t make a warm-weather refresher that wasn’t hopped out the wazoo. Lately, even when the Americans have dabbled in wheat, it was only as a means to unleash yet another hop monster, the so-called white … Read the rest

This beer fest’s a flesh mob

WHEN word spread earlier this spring about the upcoming Bare Beach Beer Bash at a Poconos nudist resort – where attendees must get nekkid for a microbrew sampling-the reaction was predictable.

There were the eww-yucks: Victor Fiorillo at Philadelphia magazine said he’d never met anyone at a beer festival he’d want to see naked.

There were dumb jokes: How do … Read the rest

From England, a sour tale with a sweet ending

ELGOOD’S Coolship #1 is in town this week, and, no, that’s not the name of the official tour bus for ParliamentFunkadelic.

It’s a sour ale that has been drawing lots of interest since its release earlier this year as the first spontaneously fermented commercial beer made in England in perhaps 100 years or more.

I’ll be pouring it at happy … Read the rest

Philly Beer Week: The debut

YES, YOU heard it right: New Belgium Brewing is coming to town for Philly Beer Week. And, yes, that means Fat Tire, the smooth-drinking amber ale with the simple red cruiser bicycle label, will be pouring from local spigots for the first time.

I mention this development for two reasons.

First, based on the number of questions I’ve fielded about … Read the rest

Brewing beer in the age of climate change

EVAN FRITZ, the head brewer at Manayunk Brewing Co., was smiling but looking kind of shell-shocked one afternoon this week. Around him lay twisted pipe, a disassembled boiler, stacks of muddy beer cans, a pile of electronic point-of-sale equipment (above).

All ruined.

“I keep joking that this storm didn’t even have a name,” he said. “What are we going to … Read the rest