Line up now for Westvleteren 12

COMING TO America in 2012: The World’s Greatest Beer.

It’s Westvleteren 12, a Belgian rarity brewed at the tiny St. Sixtus Trappist monastery by a brotherhood of notoriously secretive monks.

Packaged in a plain brown bottle with no label, Westvleteren 12 has consistently ranked as either the No. 1 or No. 2 brand over the past decade at RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com.

Along with its less potent (but equally delicious) sisters, Westvleteren Blonde and Westvleteren 12 gift pack Continue Reading →

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Philly goes to Belgium, again

NO OTHER American city celebrates Belgian beer like Philadelphia.

I didn’t say that, but one of the nation’s biggest importers of Belgian beer did as Philly Beer Week hammered out details on a first-ever collaboration with one of Belgium’s iconic beer makers, Brasserie Dupont.

The makers of Saison Dupont, regarded by some experts as one of the top 10 beers Philly Beer Week 2012 logoin the world, will brew the official international beer ...

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Mike Royko and the great newspaper taste test

BEFORE THERE was Yelp and RateBeer.com and a million blogs to tell us who’s No. 1, there was the great newspaper taste test.

It was the 1970s, and American breweries were dying left and right. There were barely 100 of them nationwide and most produced the same boring, pale lager. Our favorite was either the cheapest brand or the one that sponsored the home team.

Then came Mike Royko, the greatest American urban newspaper columnist ever, to Mike Royko Beer ...</p><a class= Continue Reading →

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Faro foul?

YOU KNOW those Belgian lambics that are all the rage these days? Beer fans rhapsodize about their complex character, their funky aroma, their tart flavor produced through the vagaries of spontaneous fermentation. The brewers who make them are worshipped as artisans, and bottles valued at $30 or more are collected and traded.

It’s worth noting, though, that lambic wasn’t always so beloved.

As recently as 25 years ago, Belgian lambic was largely regarded as beer gone bad. The Continue Reading →

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Is beer still a man’s world?

“IT WASN’T so long ago that the only women you saw in the beer world were either wearing bikinis on TV or posing nekkid in pinups on the walk-in box at your local beer distributor.

The pinups are probably still there, but I’ve noticed a big jump in the number of women working for small breweries – mainly as sales reps, but as brewers, too. I chatted withFrom left, Suzanne Woods, Wendy Domurat, Megan Maguire. Continue Reading →

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Yellow, the new black

LET’S SAY you own the color black. You make a lot of money selling black stuff. Whenever anyone thinks about black, they think of your name. Your brand, your logo, your corporation are intrinsically linked to the color black.

But now you want to diversify. Now you want to sell something yellow.

What do you do?

If your name is Guinness, you make yellow . . . and then call it black anyway.

Or more specifically, Guinness Black Lager.

Make no mistake, the newest brew ...

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From beer to eternity: REALLY last call

“PLEASE DO not send flowers,” said the Daily News death notice, “the deceased has allergies. In lieu thereof, buy yourself a beer and enjoy!”

And with that, Ward J. Childs, of Society Hill, former city archivist, devoted husband of 50 years and father of two, departed our company and joined so many others whose final wish was only that we raise a beer in their memory.

A few days after her 75-year-old husband’s passing last month, Childs’ widow, Elizabeth, was still chuckling. ...

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Terribly wonderful “Prohibition”

Sure, that cup of bathtub gin might be laced with deadly wood alcohol. But bouts of blindness, leg amputation and sudden death notwithstanding, boozing during the Prohibition – at least as depicted in the new Ken Burns three-part docu-film airing on PBS next week – sure looks fun.

The dandies in tuxedos, the girls in flapper dresses dancing to the raucous music of jazz bands as gallons of lager spray from speakeasy faucets – wow, the beer never tasted as good ...

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A beer for Sukkot

THE HARVEST season typically brings beer lovers classic German-style Oktoberfestbier, newfangled American pumpkin brews and ale made with freshly picked hops. In one small corner of the world, though, harvest time means etrog beer.

Or, as David Cohen, owner of Tel Aviv’s Dancing Camel Brewing Co. and inventor of this unusual style, says, “When you’re done shaking ’em, we start baking ’em.”

Maybe you need to know a little about Jewish tradition to understand the humor, soETROG Continue Reading →

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The other smoked beer

YO, POT HEADS, this bud’s for you!

That’s right, I’m talking about marijuana beer. Stoner suds. Ganja brew. Miller Really High Life.

It’s commercially unavailable, obviously, due to federal drug and alcohol laws. But now that several states have OK’d the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes, it’s cropping up in private circles.

There have been reports of California dispensaries selling behind-the-counter homemade pot beer at 20 bucks a bottle. And there’s a growing discussion about home-brew recipes online.

The emergence of ...

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