Beer on the rocks? Has hell frozen over?

A FEW MONTHS ago, the New York tabloids were in an uproar when Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed during a tour of Brooklyn Brewery that he drinks his beer over ice. “I’ve always done it,” he declared.

Beer on the rocks? Heresy!

Gossip columnists and beer bloggers couldn’t stifle their guffaws over one of the richest men in America – a Boston-born dilettante with a weekend home in Bermuda – falling flat on his face while trying to relate to the ...

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Dreaming and drooling over the summer’s new brews

THERE WAS a time, maybe five or six years ago, that I could walk into a package store and honestly say I’d tasted everything on the shelves. And anything I hadn’t, I could catch up with in a weekend.

Today, forget about it.

In an average visit, I’ll find at least a dozen beer labels I don’t recognize: one-offs from established American microbrewers, unusual ales from obscure European villages, countless collaborations by competing breweries.

It’s not surprising: There are three breweries opening every ...

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The worst beer in the world

ASK ME THE WORST beer I’ve ever had, and the answer was always easy: Stegmaier Gold Medal.

This was back in the 1970s. The case of 12-ounce cans was smuggled into a dorm room inside a leather suitcase, and we began popping them open before they were sufficiently iced.

It tasted like hay. Or, more accurately, hay that had been cut, baled and then used as bedding for incontinent goats. The rancid flavor lingers to this day and, as I ...

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Braggot is a honey of a beer

LAST COLUMN, I mentioned that one of my favorite beers of Philly Beer Week was the homemade braggot that George Hummel of Home Sweet Homebrew served at Opening Tap. That had a few of my readers scratching their heads, “Brag-what?”

It’s not a common beer style, and some will argue it’s not really beer at all.

Braggot is beer mixed with mead. (I’ll assume you already know that mead is fermented honey.)

It’s an ancient drink that, over the centuries, has ...

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Philly Beer Week Continues

THE PHILLY Beer Week suds whirlpool is still spinning through the weekend. Here’s a sixer of events:

¶All Day Wood, today, at Resurrection Ale House (Grays Ferry). A full day of barrel-aged beer.

¶Allagash Happy Hour, 4:30 p.m. today, at Kite & Key (Franklintown). Brewer Rob Tod brings some of his hard-to-find bottles, including his new Vrieden collaboration beer with New Belgium Brewing.

¶Zythos America Belgian Beer ...

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Philly Beer Week 2011: Ten Days of Frenzy

A COUPLE of weeks ago at the Brandywine Valley Craft Brewers Fest in Media, Bob Barrar – Iron Hill’s bearlike, award-winning brewer – waded into the crowd with a giant Methuselah bottle filled with his barrel-aged ale. As Barrar hoisted the bottle overhead, hundreds of eager festivalgoers surrounded him, their small plastic cups raised, hoping for sample of the rare beer.

“Me, me, me . . . ,” they chirped, like baby robins waiting for their mother.

Barrar laughed and ...

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Drinking Down the Shore: Where to Find the Good Stuff

Clarification: Tun Tavern brewer Tim Kelly says he has never been told by management to limit the variety if or dumb down beers he serves. Additionally, he notes he has never brewed a barleywine at Tun Tavern.

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May 20, 2011 | Drinking Down the Shore: Where to Find the Good Stuff

FINDING GOOD beer down the Shore in 2011 is a little like finding good beer down the Shore in 1931. “Boardwalk Empire’s” Prohibition ...

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Philadelphia’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the City of Brotherly Love

“REALLY NICE places make me feel uncomfortable,” says Brian McManus, a Philly journalist and drinker.

Thus, he’s drawn to bars like the Fireside Tavern on Oregon Avenue in South Philly, where the “green Tiffany lamps – all without lightbulbs – look like they were purchased at a Bennigan’s rummage sale.”

Or Billies Boomer Lounge on 52nd Street in West Philly’s drug-dealing turf, where the windows are protected by burglar bars and the jukebox “plays the greatest selection of R&B and ...

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Clearly, a cloudy beer emerges

LATELY, THERE’S been a bizarre struggle over tap handles in Philadelphia. Instead of going at each other’s throats with more spigots that pour clear, yellow lager, the Big 3 have been battling it out with a cache of surrogate brands that are the flavor/style/philosophical opposites of their flagships – namely, witbier.

Budweiser? Forget about it. Anheuser-Busch has hooked up with InBev and now its sales reps are pushing Hoegaarden. The guy in the Miller uniform is rolling in a ...

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Yo, Beer Man! In 140 characters or less

A CITIZENS Bank Park vendor is on Twitter. Tweet him during a game, and he’ll deliver a fresh beer to your seat.

Ladies and gentlemen: I present the first practical use of Twitter.

No more waiting for the beer man to finally wander down your aisle. No more hustling off to stand in line for half an inning. No more “Sorry, pal, I’m sold out.”

Thumb your section, row and seat numbers into your cellphone and, voilà, a cold Bud.

Bill “The ...

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