A corny definition of craft beer

IT TURNS out, corn isn’t so bad after all.

After decades of pounding the cob, the solons who represent America’s small brewers now say it’s OK to lighten beer with corn, rice and other so-called adjunct ingredients.

In other words, the days when craft beer distinguished itself as all-malt are all gone.

The change came as the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association this week announced several revisions in its “core values and beliefs,” including its troublesome definition of “craft brewer.”

To outsiders, the changes may ...

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A beer guide for Florida spring training fans

THERE’S something new and familiar awaiting Phillies fans heading down to the central Florida Gulf coast for spring training, and I’m not talking about Bobby Abreu.

It’s beer, and I mean the good stuff like we’re used to finding in Philly – not the cases of Corona that college kids on spring break haul up to their beachfront hotel rooms.

In the past two years, the region has seen an explosion of new brewpubs, breweries and craft-beer-pubs. From the newly expanded Sea ...

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The voices in my head are driving me to drink

A PAIR OF upcoming local beer-drinking events has me thinking out of both sides of my brain.

My left side – controlled and analytical – is focused on Saturday’s Bierfest at the I have beer on my brainGerman Society of Pennsylvania. I’ll sit on a panel of beer experts to discuss classic, old-world lager styles.

My right side – freewheeling and emotional – is preparing for Beer School at the Loft at Iron Abbey, in Horsham, next week. I’ll lead an advanced ...

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For Valentine's Day, this blood's for you

FORGET those chocolate beers that are all the rage on Valentine’s Day. Those are for lovey-dovey sweethearts. If you want to get into the libidinous spirit of Cupid’s heart-piercing arrow, there’s only one brew for you:

Blood Beer.

Yeah, I’m talking about really red ale. Straight from the vein.

Plasma Porter. Clot Rot. A transfusion on tap that’ll have you all hopped up on hemoglobin.

This is no fictional brand out of “True Blood,” either.

Blood Beer is a real thing.

Or, at least it was.

It ...

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Portrait of an artist as a beer drinker

OVER the years, beer enthusiasts have chronicled some remarkable pursuits in the name of their favorite adult beverage.

Some have managed to drink a different beer every day for a year. There was the guy who visited a different bar every night of the year. There was another who lived on nothing but bock for the six weeks of Lent.

Scott Clendaniel is putting them to shame. In 2014, he is painting 365 different beers. It’s no digital trick. He’s doing it ...

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Bud Light: Insert meaningless slogan here

MAN, when did Anheuser-Busch get so lame with its slogans?

The company that gave us the memorable “This Bud’s for you” and “Real Men of Genius” campaigns of yore will spend an unconscionable $28 million on Super Bowl ads to unveil the latest and utterly forgetful tagline for Bud Light:

“The Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens.”

Just rolls right off your tongue, don’t it?

By “whatever,” we can assume they don’t mean “worst-case scenario,” as in, “Too bad your wife has cancer, but at least you’ve got ...

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Praiseworthy beer from American Trappists

GOD ALMIGHTY – an American-made Trappist beer?

That’s the news that stunned beer drinkers last month, as St. Joseph’s Abbey, about an hour west of Boston, revealed that its Spencer Trappist Ale had been certified as the first Trappist beer brewed outside of Europe.

The monastic brewery will carry on the ancient Benedictine principal that monks should “live by the work of their hands.”

It all seems so quaint and holy, especially considering the near-sacred regard for other Trappist beers, including Chimay and Orval.

We’ve come a long way ...

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Pick a team, pick a beer

THE EAGLES’ absence notwithstanding, this should be a pretty decent NFL conference championship Sunday for beer lovers. I mean, we could’ve been stuck with third-tier suds outposts like Green Bay, Arizona and (the gods forbid) Kansas City.

Instead, the four teams vying for a shot at Super Bowl XLIII represent some pretty awesome beer towns. If you’re going to do up a blowout this weekend, you’ll have no problem putting together an appropriate beer list.

I’ve offered suggestions, including “impossible” beers that ...

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16 beers for pot smokers

Federal law requires that beer labels meet a lengthy list of standards enforced by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It prohibits labels that are, among other things, obscene, misleading or “contain any names of drugs, drug terms or slang associated with drugs or any depiction of drug paraphernalia.”

Either the TTB is overworked or it’s hopelessly uncool.

Kind Ryed IPA – The Kind

“The Kind” is slang for marijuana, but even if the ...

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Beer is going to pot

SO, THAT’S what they mean by Miller High Life.

With this month’s ballyhooed legalization of marijuana in Colorado, some beer makers are adding playful drug references to their brand names and labels, and regulators can do little to censor them.

Label oversight, a quirky if contentious area of federal alcohol law, has confounded breweries for years with often capricious standards that bear little on consumer protection.

Federal law, for example, oddly prohibits the use of coats of arms or wording that promises “pre-war strength,” ...

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