Testing the tap apps

WHAT’S ON TAP at your local pub? Who’s pouring your favorite beer?

You could just pull up a stool and, y’know, ask the bartender. But in a day when new releases come nearly every day and bars change their draft handles hourly, many beer lovers are reaching for their smartphones before embarking on a pub-crawl.

With tons of beers in their databases and easy-to-use searches, Web tools are especially handy in tracking down those limited-edition cult beers that hit ...

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Top 10 beer travel destinations for 2015

WHEN THE SUN is swallowed all day by gray skies and gloom, when the streets turn black with week-old slush, when even double IPAs taste like rock salt, a Philadelphian can’t help but think about getting out of town. Here are 10 beer-soaked destinations to consider:

1. Lititz, Pa. This quaint Lancaster County town boasts three brewpubs, including JoBoy’s, where southern barbecue is also on the menu. After a stop at the Sturgis Pretzel House, grab a bite and ...

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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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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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The death (and rebirth?) of brown ale

GOOD OL’ Charlie Brown. Always out there on the mound, even in the rain, ready to give his best for the rest of the “Peanuts” gang.

That’s what I think of brown ale, the Charlie Brown of beer. It’s a dependable, go-to glass; crack open a bottle of Newcastle Brown or Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, and you pretty much know you’re going to get a malty, mildly hopped easy-drinker. Nothing over the edge. A satisfying, honest, even-tempered pal.

Unfortunately, like the ...

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The Baconator and other new beers for 2015

YOU KNOW that resolution you made to cut back on beer in 2015? Yeah, me neither. But for those who did, here are 16 brand-new resolution-breakers from area breweries.

2nd Story Wet Hop Pilsner. Owner Debbie Grady has two acres of hops planted on her farm in Pottstown, and they’ll be used for a fresh hop flavor when they’re harvested next autumn.

Baconator. The garage-based, Media-based Ship Bottom nanobrewery is hoping to expand to a larger space in 2015. Meanwhile, it’s ...

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Beer of the Year 2014 Runners-Up

NARROWING the field to just one Beer of the Year is a daunting task. Here are my other favorite new beers of 2014.

Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose (Boonville, Calif.). Don’t ask me how Gose, a heretofore obscure tart German wheat beer made with salt, coriander seeds and lactic bacteria, became the trendiest new style of 2014. Tasting like a cross between a mimosa and a margarita, this one comes in cans. I’m looking forward to revisiting it down the ...

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Joe Sixpack’s 2014 Beer of the Year is Yuengling Summer Wheat

D.G. YUENGLING & Son made it through the Civil War, Prohibition and untold skirmishes with the giants from St. Louis and Milwaukee. But those were nothing like the challenge it faces in the age of endless choice.

These days, the shelves are filled with everything from Lime-A-Rita to triple IPA. Samuel Adams has a TV commercial boasting that it makes more than 60 styles.

Yuengling, meanwhile, is still plugging away with a portfolio of just seven full-time brands and three seasonals.

“We ...

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Christmas beer celebrates the birth of the sun

WITH NO FANFARE or explanation, Goose Island Brewing this year changed the name of its winter seasonal beer from Christmas Ale to Festivity Ale.

I suppose if I were Bill O’Reilly, I’d go into a spittle-spraying rage over yet another breach in the so-called “War on Christmas.” The pagan in me, however, will instead point out that removing Christ’s name from the beer is not altogether misguided. That’s because Christmas beer is ...

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