Iron Hill medal machine moves on

Bob Barrar, the GABF and World Cup medal machine at Iron Hill/Media, gave his notice this morning to take the brewmaster’s position at 2SP Brewing in Aston, Delaware County, planned to open late spring, early summer of 2015.

Barrar, whose bald head, bushy beard and approachable personality makes him one of the most easily recognized local brewers, is one of the Iron Hill chain’s key brewers, serving at Media for the past 12 years. In that time, he has collected 19 ...

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Why there are no jocks in beer commercials anymore

WATCH THE beer commercials during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and you’ll see ponies and horses and Pac-Man.

Here’s what you won’t see during breaks in America’s most-watched athletic event: professional athletes.

Though sports celebrities these days endorse everything from underpants to arthritis meds, beer is apparently off limits.

Think about it: When was the last time you saw an athlete touting his or her favorite brewski on TV? I’m thinking it was Lance Armstrong shilling for Michelob Ultra during Super Bowl XLIV in ...

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Great moments in beer advertising: Jock Edition

We’ll start with one of the classics, the Miller Lite All Stars on the links. Among the jocks: John Madden, Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus, Bob Uecker, Billy Martin, Ben Davidson and collegiate diving champ Rodney Dangerfield.

Talk about type-casting: Jon Gruden for flavorless Corona
Jon Gruden for Corona

We now know that Lance Armstrong was consuming more than Michelob Ultra.

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Beer Radar: What the press release doesn’t say about a new Belgian beer

Heverlee, a new Belgian pilsner shows up in Philly this week, with launch events Wednesday (1/28) at Eulogy (Old City) and Garret Hill Ale House (Bryn Mawr, Montco). The promotional materials say it was “created in association with the Abbey of the Order of Premontre” in Leuven, Belgium, by “master brewer” Joris Brams, whose research turned up evidence that medieval monks were brewing light lagers before their “knowledge and craft was almost wiped out when brewing became commercial. The ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra

Dogfish Head (Milton, Del.)
Strong Belgian-style ale
ALCOHOL: 15-18% est.

SIXPACK SEZ: Strong, boozy and port-like, this amped-up version of Dogfish Head’s Raison D’Etre reached a then-world record 20.2 percent alcohol when it was introduced in 2002. The bottles of the fortified, port-like Belgian-style strong dark ale released for the winter of 2015 register a mere 15-18 percent alcohol. That’s right: they turned this unique monster into a session beer. Artwork by Mekons guitarist John Langford.

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Old school craft malt comes to Philly

MARK BRAULT turns one shovel of heavy, water-soaked barley on the slick, painted floor of a 150-year-old timber-framed barn, and then another, and another, as country music plays on the speakers. He’ll turn 3,500 pounds of grain three times this day and for 3 1/2 days total, the essential labor in a process known as floor-malting that aerates and untangles the sprouting grain.

Then he’ll shovel it all into a wheelbarrow and roll it into a wood-lined metal shipping container ...

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Beer Radar: New malthouses, 35 new brands in town this week

My report on the floor-malting operation at Deer Creek Malthouse (to be published Thursday in the Daily News) notes the startup is part of a burgeoning sector of so-called craft malthouses – a trend I’ve been following since 2011. In addition to the Chester County farmhouse facility that’s been malting since October, two other “pneumatic” malthouses, in which barley is germination is controlled in large vats, will go into operation regionally this year:

Keystone Malt (Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County) is ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Green Bullet

Green Flash (San Diego)
Triple IPA
ALCOHOL: 10.1%

SIXPACK SEZ: Green Bullet is what Coors Light in its famous Silver Bullet can would taste like if you somehow compacted the hops content of a entire case of the latter and filled a single bottle of the former. And then added the buzz of 10 percent alcohol content. And a wallop of tropical aroma. And actual flavor. Other than that, exactly the same.

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America’s oldest steam engine once made beer in Philadelphia

In reporting on the burgeoning craft malt movement, I turned to some history of malting in Philadelphia and discovered old dispatches about the grand steam engine that once operated at Francis Perot’s Malt House at 314 Vine St. The contraption was built in 1819 and ran till 1876, then was put on display as the oldest steam engine in America.

The sketch (above left) appeared in a Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce publication, “The City of Philadelphia as it Appears in the ...

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Brown ale (redux)

Yesterday’s column about the demise of brown ale drew a lot of comment, including the observation from Nodding Head Brewery’s Gordon Grubb that part of the style’s problem is its name.

“Brown just sounds dull,” he said. “Look at Yards, Do you think Brawler would be such a big seller if they just called it ‘English Mild?’ It’s got a great name, and so people give it a try and love it. Same goes for just calling your beer ‘brown ale.’ ...

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