The Mr. Coffee of Beer? Save your money and get a manly mini-keg instead

One of the simple yet overlooked joys of beer is that it comes in a bottle or a can, ready to drink. Grab an opener or just yank the pull-tab, and you’re good to go. No assembly required.

Which is why the arrival of any new, high-tech beer-dispensing gadget gives me pause. Put me in the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it league.

That seems to be the case with the “revolutionary” Fizzics portable draft beer system, a Mr. Coffee-like contraption that sucks beer out of ...

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Victory Brewing’s school bus takes a new route

The story is familiar to Philadelphia-area beer drinkers: Two fifth graders named Bill and Ron meet on a school bus, become fast friends, grow up together, learn to make beer, and many years later open Victory Brewing in an old Pepperidge Farm bakery in Downingtown.

Tales like these are part of the hagiography of craft brewing, a backstory that distinguishes Victory Helles Lager from Budweiser, that helps explain why you should pay more for a beer made by small-business entrepreneurs ...

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EXCLUSIVE: Victory sells stake, joins Southern Tier in private equity deal

Victory Brewing, a stalwart of Pennsylvania’s independent craft beer industry, will join New York’s Southern Tier Brewing under a newly formed company managed by a Manhattan private equity firm.

Under a plan announced this morning to employees at the Downingtown-based brewery, Victory’s founders said the new ownership will allow it to grow into “a force in the Northeast.”

Combined, the breweries will produce more than 250,000 barrels (about 3.5 million cases) a year, moving the new company into the top 15 craft ...

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Beer my Valentine

Valentine’s Day is more than hearts and flowers. It’s hops and malt, too. Whether you’re a couple or not, there’s good reason to fall in love this weekend.

Get an early start.

Weyerbacher Brewing in Easton will open at 10 a.m. to unveil this year’s version of Sunday Morning Stout. Yes, it’s a bit of a drive up the Northeast Extension, but that’s time you and your significant other can spend together in deep conversation about the importance of roasted malt ...

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Shock Top vs. Sixpack: The original Super Bowl ad

No doubt you’ve caught the Shock Top commercial with comedian T.J. Miller. The spot, a fast-paced insult swap between the star of the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley and a wiseguy talking tap handle named Wedgehead, has been floating around the Internet for the last week in advance of its TV debut Sunday during the Super Bowl .

What you haven’t seen is the original version – the one featuring Joe Sixpack. Or maybe that was a bad dream.

In any case, ...

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Philadelphia’s fugitive brewery heir

There was a time in this city when everyone knew the name – and not just those who drank his family’s famous beer.

He raced in the Indianapolis 500, got into fistfights with cops, flew a Wright brothers biplane, and joined Pancho Villa’s rebellion in Mexico. He was a rogue, a draft dodger and a fugitive.

And 50 years ago yesterday, he died a madman.

Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, heir to one of the city’s greatest beer empires, never worked in a brewery. ...

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Born in a bar: Intoxication is the mother of invention

A lot of bad decisions are made in bars. Dancing with your pants on your head . . . Bingeing on a second cheesesteak . . . Drunk dialing . . . Sex with your ex . . .

But, c’mon, let’s give barrooms their due, for without them there’d be no libraries, no credit cards and no NASCAR.

Here are 10 great things that were born in bars.

1. The United States Marine Corps

Jarheads, who have been known to pound a ...

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Untappd and checked-in: On the road to 7,000 beers

You know Woody Chandler, or at least you do if you’ve ever gone to a beer festival around these parts. He’s the character with the Rasputin beard wearing a monk’s robe and a beer-mug hat.

Oh, right – we’re talking beer freaks, so maybe that doesn’t completely narrow it down. I’m talking about the dude who just posted his 7,000th unique check-in on Untappd, the popular social networking app for beer-lovers.

That means he’s tasted 7,000 different beers since 2011 – ...

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Bar Hygge and Philly’s newest breweries

You know that feeling you get when you’re in a bar and feeling totally one with your time and your place? The right music, the perfect dish, your favorite friends, the best beer – a feeling of comfort or excitement?

The Germans call it gemütlichkeit. The Irish refer to it as the craic. In Spanish it’s la chispa.

And in Denmark it’s called hygge, which is the inspiration for Bar Hygge, the new brewpub opening in about two weeks on Fairmount ...

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2015: The beer in review… and preview

On the final day of 2015, I’m still not certain which was the worst beer development of the year: that sickly sweet root beer posing as an ale or a beer made with, I kid you not, semen.

Swallow hard: Here’s my year in review… and my predictions for 2016.

February

  • Anheuser-Busch InBred, I mean InBev, releases Bud Light Mixxtail Firewalker, a high-alcohol premixed cinnamon-and-apple cocktail designed to be poured over ice. Coming next: Bud Light Syringe.
  • Stone Brewing pulls the plug on ...
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