Category: Style

Hazy beer is no longer a bad thing

Appearance:Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy.


That might be the traditional standard. But these days, some of America’s top-rated India pale ales are as overcast as the airspace above South Philly’s oil refinery on an August afternoon.

Murky, cloudy, and even milk-like are some of the descriptors for the likes of … Read the rest

It’s only reasonable for beer to be seasonable

TWO AUTHORS dominate the beer section of my bookshelf:the late-British newspaperman Michael Jackson, and Randy Mosher, the Chicago-based author whose Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer are bibles for any beer enthusiast.

When Mosher stopped in town last week with his latest, Beer for All Seasons (Storey), I couldn’t pass up a chance to sit down for a couple of beers.… Read the rest

Trying new beers: Let’s not go to the hops

THE CRAFT-BEER world’s fixation with India Pale Ale shows no sign of fading. Just last month, for example, Philadelphia welcomed a new portfolio from California’s Knee Deep Brewing that includes no fewer than five different IPAs, including a double, a triple and a heretofore unknown “Quad IPA. ”

Which is all perfectly fine if you’re a hop addict, craving your … Read the rest

You’re a good brew, Charlie Brown

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 … Read the rest

The pumpkin patch grows wild

IT’S NO longer good enough to make a beer that tastes, crazily enough, like pumpkin pie. Heck, even “imperial” pumpkin beer, whose higher alcohol content offers a decent buzz with dessert, is beginning to blend into the background.

No, if you really want to grab the attention of fickle beer drinkers, you’ve got to come up with something like the … Read the rest

Souring on beer

REMEMBER when “sour beer” was a bad thing?

These days, it’s a bona fide, mouth-puckering trend, and nowhere in Philly is it celebrated more earnestly than at the annual Sourfest, at Devil’s Den (11th and Ellsworth, South Philly).

The event, now it its fourth year, launches Saturday, when 16 tap lines begin spewing the sour stuff. Over the next seven … Read the rest

Is bock beer going the way of polar ice caps?

USED TO BE, spring beer meant one thing, and one thing only: bock. Darkish, sweet, mildly strong, full-bodied lager meant to brace you against the last vestiges of winter and welcome the daffodils.

It was liquid bread, the beer of Lent, of happy, dancing goats celebrating the verdant early days of the season. Paulaner Salvator . . . Ayinger Celebrator Read the rest

The Brewers Association’s missing styles

News item: The Brewers Association has updated its Beer Style Guidelines, with definitions of 142 separate styles. The newest additions are Adambier and Grätzer.


SO, THE authoritative organization of small American brewers has reached back a few centuries and turned up a pair of thoroughly obscure smoked European wheat beers for its comprehensive directory. They join a list … Read the rest

The landmark arrival of Pilsner Urquell

THE INVENTION of pilsner 170 years ago this month might not have been the most important event in modern beer, but it was certainly the most imitated.

And defiled.

On Oct. 5, 1842, in Plzen, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), brewer Josef Groll unveiled his creation. He’d been recruited to run Plzen’s new brewery after city officials – … Read the rest

Malt: The heart of your beer

IT’S HARVEST SEASON, and that brings thoughts of those amber waves of grain, of lively maidens dancing upon freshly sheaved bales, of strong-shouldered lads hoisting them onto horse-drawn carts while singing “Oklahoma!”

In your dreams.

The barley in your beer was likely sown by a robot and harvested by a computer-operated combine the size of a locomotive. It was air-dried … Read the rest