A Victory at the South Philly sports complex

A $60 MILLION mega-drinking/partying complex named after a wallet-soaking cable TV company and developed by a monster real estate developer in the heart of South Philly’s isolated sports complex — man, I really wanted to hate Xfinity Live!

A fresh glass of St. Boisterous bock, poured at a rocking Victory Beer Hall, softened me. A burger from Broad Street Bullies Pub served atop a paper napkin reproduction of the Evening Bulletin’s May 10, 1974, front page won me over.

“City ...

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A brief session on session beers

“I will make it felony to drink small beer.”

– Henry IV, Part 2.

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If he had his way, Shakespeare – or at least his memorable character, Jack Cade, who declared his contempt for weak beer (and lawyers) – would be filing criminal charges on the first-ever Session Beer Day this Saturday.

The day is intended as a nationwide effort to encourage bars to serve flavorful yet easy-drinking, low-alcohol ales and lagers ...

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Let’s be perfectly clear

Kristall weiss: A filtered version of hefeweizen.

 

IF THAT DEFINITION doesn’t just make your skin crawl, well, you are a cold, heartless turtle. Why would anyone intentionally take one of the world’s most-treasured beer styles – a variety whose unique beauty is in its murky, unfiltered body – and intentionally “cleanse” it?

It’s as if a brewery imagined that it could improve a Czech pilsner recipe by removing the hops and adding corn or rice. Uhhh . . . ...

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Take the beer and run

IN MOST OF AMERICA, “beer run” means darting out to buy beer for the night. It is a common term understood by pretty much everyone. Except in the Southwest.

In the Southwest, “beer run” means heading to the nearest convenience store, grabbing a 30-pack from the cooler and walking out the door without paying.

This is not just some regional quirk of language. It is a bizarre crime phenomenon that happens with astonishing frequency throughout Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

How ...

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The makings of a good Irish pub

ON ST. Patrick’s Day, nearly every bar pours Guinness and cloaks itself in shamrocks. But is that enough to be an Irish pub?

This is no matter for idle pondering while the foam drops from your stout. In fact, it was the central theme of the first American conference of Irish Pubs Global, held in Center City last spring.

That’s right, Irish pubs now have their own industry association, and why not? Scribble these figures on the back of your ...

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Good for what ales ya

EVERY FEW months, another article hits the news, proclaiming the health benefits of beer.

I’ve always figured this was just the Republicans’ idea of health-care reform: Who needs a single-payer system when you have a sixpack in the fridge?

It turns out, though, that mankind has been studying the therapeutic value of beer for centuries. In the hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt, the Old English of the Anglo Saxons, the prescriptions of Victorian quacks and the scientific jargon of modern medical ...

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Love that imperial stout? We owe it all to Sophia

WHERE WOULD lovers of the world’s strongest, darkest beers be without a thin, pale German teenager named Sophia Augusta Frederica?

One of the great chapters of brewing history might not exist. There’d be no stouts named Old Rasputin or The Czar or Ivan the Terrible.

On the upside, the tiresome debate over whether to call it “double” or “imperial” IPA Young Catherine the Greatwould never have started.

Indeed, no fewer than a third of ...

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16 Things About Foam

WE DON’T pay much attention to bubbles in our beer, unless they’re foaming over the coffee table.

When it comes to beer pleasure, though, bubbles are right up there with color, aroma, flavor, body and buzz. So, with the help of West Chester University chemistry professor Roger Barth, Ph.D., author of The Chemistry of Beer (Owl’s Nest Publishing); Marty Nachel, whose second edition of Beer for Dummies (Wiley) was just released; and the draft beer gurus at Anheuser-Busch, here ...

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Bud Not-So-Light Platinum

BUD LIGHT Platinum is either completely deceptive advertising or evidence that the beer industry is now presided over by postmodern literalists of the Orwellian order.

I’ll grant that there’s some actual Bud in this bottle, though its sweet, fizzy flavor is closer to soda than beer. I’ll even concede there’s platinum in them thar blue bottles.

But light?

Unless they’re practicing Newspeak out there in St. Louis, there is no commonly accepted definition of the word that could possibly include this ...

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IPAs in black and white.

BLACK IPAs are so 2011.

Last year’s hot new style, which exploded in popularity before beer gurus could even settle on a proper name (Cascadian Dark Ale? American Black Ale?), is already getting shoved to the side by a new crop of India pale ales.

Would you believe white IPA?

OK, you saw that one coming – so, how about Baltic IPA?

Those are two of the new styles that found their way into my fridge before I even Black ...</p><a class= Continue Reading →

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