Running for beer: The movie

Fishtown, you’re famous in Spain, of all places. And you have a bunch of beer drinkers to thank for that.

Specifically, the Fishtown Beer Runners, the enthusiastic, sneaker-wearing barflies who lace up on Susquehanna Avenue every Thursday night and lope off to different taprooms – all, as they proclaim, “in the interest of science.”

If you’ve ever found yourself rubbing elbows in a bar with 75 or so sweaty suds-slurpers in shorts raising a toast to “the professor,” that’s them.

You could ...

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Rich Palmay’s final brew

The noisy, laughing, tearful, music-filled scene inside Village Idiot Brewery, in Mount Holly, N.J., was exactly what Rich Palmay wanted.

His business partner was tending bar. His family and friends were gathered ’round tables. His son was playing an upright bass.

Everyone’s glass was filled with his beer.

And there was Palmay, cigar stuck in his mouth, taking it all in.

It was just a photograph on the wall, part of a memorial display that Village Idiot installed after its 56-year-old co-owner collapsed and died ...

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Baseball finally dumps the Champagne

Did you catch the raucous St. Louis Cardinals locker-room celebration after they clinched their third consecutive division title in the final days of the regular season?

Yeah, I know – I hate ’em, too. The Cardinals, as comedian/Cubs fan Bill Murray put it, are “Satan’s messengers on earth.”

But you have to give them credit, for, in a little-noticed gesture, the team took a big step toward ending a despicable tradition that has plagued baseball for more than a half-century.

Instead of ...

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Holy hops, Batman! A comic book about beer

What beer needs is a superhero.

One of those comic-book action figures – let’s call him (or her) Sudzzler: Faster than a speeding bar tab. Able to open a wax-sealed cork-and-cage bottle with a single twist. More powerful than a multinational industrial-brewing conglomerate. Pitted in an ageless battle against evil archenemy Dr. Wino.

Superpowers include:

  • Ice-vision, to instantly chill warm beer.
  • Shape-shifting belly.
  • Tapakinesis, the ability to use one’s mind to attract a bartender’s attention when the crowd is three-deep.
  • Invulnerability to excessive hops.
  • Belching. Really big ...
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Beer as an agent of change

IT TAKES BRICKS and people to build a neighborhood, but don’t forget to bring along the beer.

That’s the message from Ken Weinstein, a private Germantown developer who has converted scores of vacant and deteriorated commercial properties, including some of the city’s popular beer-centric destinations. On Tuesday, he’ll lead a fun but wonky pub-crawl in Mount Airy, called “Beer: An Agent of Change.”

I caught up with him last week for a few pints at Earth Bread + Brewery, one of ...

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A brief history of papal beer

WASHINGTON greets the pope with a full session of Congress.

New York welcomes him with the United Nations.

Philadelphia? We tap a keg.

No fewer than 10 specially brewed ales will greet Pope Francis on his visit to Philly this weekend – and what else would you expect from America’s holiest beer-drinking city?

Yes, the mildly irreverent names may have some believers accusing local brewers of heresy. (The folks at Brewerytown’s Crime and Punishment brewery are risking eternal damnation for their salty Jesus ...

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Joe Paterno’s legacy on a beer can

IT’S A THIN line between tribute and hokum.

On one side, the new Paterno Legacy Series beer from western Pennsylvania’s Duquesne Brewing is a heartfelt bow toward the memory of Penn State’s popular yet scandalized former head football coach, Joe Paterno.

On the other, well, who can forget Three Stooges Beer?

Or Harley-Davidson Beer? Or Kid Rock American Badass Beer? Or J.R. Ewing Beer? Or an entire cooler-full of other collectible cans in which the contents were an afterthought to the schlocky ...

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6 things the pumpkin haters get wrong

PEOPLE WHO SAY they hate pumpkin beer remind me of people who say they never watch TV, as if they’re too good for something so unsophisticated. They stick up their noses and piss all over the spicy brew because it’s a gimmick, because it’s crass, because they’re oh-so-busy rereading War and Peace.

So, as they repeat the same, tired criticism (You can’t drink it in this kind of heat!), they’re missing out on some pretty good entertainment.

Well, put down the ...

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Inventing better ways to drink beer

From time to time, I like to check in with the U.S. Patent Office for a progress report on the exciting field of beer inventions.

Over the years, we’ve seen brilliant ideas ranging from tooth protectors on beer bottles to beer pong tables that keep your beer cold. Honestly, if we could channel some of that ingenuity into, say, theoretical aerodynamics, we’d have those rocket packs by now.

So, what’s new? Here’s a handful of recent patent applications.

Shotgun Accessible Beer Can (# Continue Reading →

New Belgium comes to Philly

WELL, IT’S about damn time.

Nearly 25 years after New Belgium Brewing started brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., its beloved Fat Tire Amber Ale is coming to Philadelphia.

That makes Pennsylvania the 39th state to get its hands on the brand, behind the likes of Alabama, North Dakota and, I think, Guam.

Fat Tire, of course, is a near-iconic brand in craft-beer circles.

Brewed by a famously green, socially conscious, employee-owned company, it may not be the highest-rated beer in the world, but ...

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