When breweries get political

IMAGINE THAT, 40 years ago, Coors brewed a beer called Down With Queers. Or that 60 years ago Falstaff had a beer named Whites Are Supreme.

It never happened because, though both breweries held some strong political views, neither advertised them on beer cans.

Which is why the widely publicized campaign against North Carolina’s anti-transgender law by a group of Tar Heel breweries is a remarkable step down an uncertain path. For, while brewery operators – like any business owner – hold ...

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The Silicon Valley of Brewing is Barley Legal

IF THERE IS a local amateur breeding ground for the professional brewers of tomorrow, it could be the six-year-old South Jersey home-brew club with a catchy name.

Barley Legal Homebrewers can lay claim to producing no fewer than a dozen full-time brewers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including several who have opened their own breweries.

Think of it as the Silicon Valley of brewing, with malt instead of microchips.

Surely other home-brew clubs have their success stories, but I can’t name another that ...

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Pennsylvania still has a long way to go to free the sixpack

“BREAKING: SIX-PACKS APPROVED FOR SALE AT PENNSYLVANIA GAS STATIONS!”

– Headline on Gov. Wolf’s blog

WITH THAT, Pennsylvania, your beer laws have finally entered the 20th century.

And, yes, I do mean last century, for despite the screaming caps, last month’s approval is both meaningless and illustrative of the small thinking that accompanies liquor regulation in this state.

For starters, the approval applies only to nine gas stations statewide, and most are in the boondocks, so . . . next time you’re in Mahanoy ...

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Not your father’s beer

YOU REMEMBER your father’s beer, don’t you? Piels . . . Schmidt’s . . . Ortlieb’s . . . When I asked friends on Facebook recently to name their pop’s favorite, they had no problem recalling those days gone by.

Löwenbräu dark for fancy occasions and Budweiser for every day,” said Rebekah Nault.

“Every Friday afternoon, when I was a kid, a truck would deliver a case of Schmidt’s for my parents, and a case of Frank’s Soda for me and my ...

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Racing down the stretch of Philly Beer Week

WHAT ARE YOU,  a Philly Beer Weakling?

Now is not the time to slow your celebration of America’s best beer-drinking city, for the final four days of Philly Beer Week feature some killer drafts and some typically incomprehensible entertainment.

For example, turtle races.

You have not experienced the thrill of sport until you’ve witnessed two-inch hard-shells in a mad dash across a piece of felt. The glory, the sheer athleticism, the …

Oh, what the hell am I talking about? The third annual Turtle ...

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3 sour beer recipes

Try these fun recipes from Stephen Beaumont, John Holl and Joe Sixpack

Carbonnades de Boeuf a La Flamande from “The Beer and Food Companion” by Stephen Beaumont.

Makes 8 servings

5½ pounds beef cheeks

3 12-ounce bottles Flemish red ale

1 bouquet garni (sprigs of herbs such as thyme, bay leaf, basil, and rosemary tied together in a bundle)

1 pound onions, peeled and chopped

Oil or butter for sauteing

1 quart veal stock

½ ...

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Eat your sour beer

Pucker-faced sour beer lovers can’t get enough gose, Berliner Weisse, fruit lambic, and other distinctive varieties. But if all you’re doing is drinking the stuff, well, you’re missing one of the great joys of these special ales.

Because cooking with sour beer adds a whole other flavor dimension to your favorite recipes.

That’s something I came to learn after cracking open the first beer book I ever ...

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Why do brewers wear beards?

IN THIS WEEK’S column, we ponder the greatest mystery in beer: Why do so many brewers wear beards? (I mean male brewers, naturally, not female, which perhaps is a column for another day.)

I’ve been noticing this for the last couple years, but it came into full light at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia this month. You couldn’t walk three steps without encountering a fur-face.

Now, just so we’re all on the same page, I’m not talking about perfectly groomed ...

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Better gardening: The beer rules

NOW THAT BEER gardens are officially a thing in Philly and – shockingly – the suburbs, it’s time for these outdoor drinking spots to get a few things right.

Because a beer garden is more than just a bar without a roof.

A beer garden is a shared place, in the sun, without solid walls and the typical constraints of a licensed saloon. It is about atmosphere and community and fun.

The Germans, who have perfected the biergarten, call that spirit gemütlichkeit. ...

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Trump vs. Clinton? America’s brewers say neither

DONALD TRUMP for president? Forget about it, say the nation’s brewers. But don’t expect them to line up behind Hillary Clinton, either.

That’s the outlook from a straw poll I conducted among beer makers at last week’s Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia.

Among the 96 brewers and other beer industry members I polled while strolling around the conference exhibition hall, only 15 said they’d vote for Trump in November.

Clinton was backed by exactly half of the brewers – but that support ...

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