Yearly Archives: 2015

Let’s go back to a few we used to toss back

WHEN PEOPLE ask me to name my favorite beer, I usually say, “My next one. ”

But beer drinkers can be a nostalgic sort (you still know the words to the Schaefer jingle, right?), and sometimes I find my thoughts drifting back to beers of the past – beers that are gone but not forgotten.

We’ve got a lot of … Read the rest

Barreling through new brews and venues

OPENING Tap. Varga Bar’s Pints & Pinups Block Party. Fishtown FestivAle. The Great Beer Expo.

These are the anchors of Philly Beer Week that deserve all the attention they get. But each edition of the vaunted citywide celebration gives beer lovers a chance to dig deeper into the local scene – a new bar, a new beer.

You’ll find plenty … Read the rest

With speed brewing, haste makes taste

MARY IZETT just gave us the book we’ve all been waiting for:a book that teaches us not only how to brew, but how to brew fast.

I’m talking five days from boiled wort to cold brew in your pint glass. That’s, like, 10 days faster than normal, which is a lifetime when you’re thirsty.

Speed Brewing (Voyageur Press) is the … Read the rest

How to tell when big brewers play it craft-y

NEWS ITEM: A California beer drinker has filed a class-action lawsuit against MillerCoors for deceptive advertising in marketing its Blue Moon label as a craft beer.

This is possibly the stupidest beer-related lawsuit since a California lawyer went after Anheuser-Busch a couple of years ago for watering down its beer. A judge eventually tossed the case because everyone knows Bud … Read the rest

In nature, beer’s growing everywhere

YOU AND I walk through the woods and we see trees and bushes and thorny things. Tess Hooper, a young environmental educator at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, in Upper Roxborough, sees the makings of a fine beer.

“This is a staghorn sumac,” she said, nodding toward the kind of tree I’ve seen sprout dozens of times on vacant … Read the rest

Running Broad, carrying memories and a beer

THE FIRST TIME I did the Broad Street Run, I did it with a bottle of Red Stripe in my hand.

I should mention that, by “did,” I mean that I lazily watched from a lawn chair outside the old Daily News building, at Broad and Callowhill, and helpfully shared a swig or two with passing runners.

That was about … Read the rest

Day trippers, beer sippers

LAST WEEK’S column focused on beer travel overseas. Of course, you don’t have to go that far this summer. Right here in the good ol’ U S of A, there are plenty of beer-centric travel destinations. Indeed, regional tourism agencies have set up easy-to-follow travel guides from New England to Southern California.

These ale trails are more than just your … Read the rest

These days, beer-imbibing is a real trip

THIS IS my year for beer travel, with group tours planned to Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria, as well as several Eastern U.S. destinations. I got things started earlier this month by leading about 150 beer lovers on a very cool river cruise to the Netherlands and Belgium.

Eight breweries, two lectures, a beer dinner and many onboard … Read the rest

How alcohol enhances flavor

WOULD YOU enjoy drinking beer as much if it didn’t give you a buzz? Those bitter hops, that toasty malt – do we really need the alcohol to enjoy the flavor of a glass of ale?

It turns out, yes, we do.

In his new, utterly fascinating book, Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat (Scribner), Pulitzer Prize-winning … Read the rest

20 years ago, Philly beer world became Extra Special

YOU HEAR IT at every beer festival – an excited buzz that flashes through the crowd like lightning:Did you try _____ beer, yet? You’ve gotta taste it!

It might be a super-funky sour beer, or an extraordinarily hoppy IPA. It’s always the Next Great Beer.

Twenty years ago this month, the buzz that lit up the crowd at the inaugural … Read the rest