Irish beer night with Joe Sixpack at McGillin’s Old Ale House

Learn about Joe Sixpack’s upcoming Irish Beer & Whiskey Tour and enjoy some authentic Irish ale from O’Hara’s, Ireland’s independent brewery. I’ll be taking over the second floor of McGillin’s Old Ale House on Wednesday, March 23, at 6 p.m. to talk about Irish beer and the emerging craft beer scene in Dublin, Galway and elsewhere.

We’ll serve light fare plus great O’Hara’s beer, including their new collaboration brew with Virginia’s Starr Hill. Tix are just $10, available online ...

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Coal country brews: A new beer trail in central Penna.

I’m a firm believer that there’s no better way to discover a new town than from a bar stool, and that was never better illustrated than my trek last weekend to north-central Pennsylvania.

This big-city boy has lived in Philadelphia nearly his entire life, never bothering to venture a mere two hours to the small towns that cling to the Susquehanna River and its western branch. Places like Berwick, Shamokin, and Mifflinburg.

But offer me a beer and, well . . .

That’s ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Otter Creek/Lawson’s Finest Liquids Double or Nothing

Otter Creek (Middlebury, Vermont) and Lawson’s Finest Liquids (Warren, Vermont)
Maple-aged barleywine
ALCOHOL: 10%

SIXPACK SEZ: The second collaboration between Otter Creek’s Mike Gerhart and Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids is the mirror opposite of their first, bold, crisp Double Dose IPA. This one’s sweet (thanks to a huge malt bill plus brown sugar, candi sugar and Vermont maple syrup) and smooth. Usually “double or nothing” is the last bet in a bad night of poker. I’m hoping this ...

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Would you have a beer with this man?

POPULAR WISDOM says Americans vote for presidential candidates whom they’d like to have a beer with. That explains how easygoing George W. Bush beat stiff John Kerry in 2004.

Maybe there’s some truth to the adage, but, then again, Bush was a teetotaler who invaded the wrong country, so: Bad way to choose a president.

Which brings me to Donald Trump, also a teetotaler. Last fall, the current leader for the GOP nomination came in first in an NBC News poll that ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Heavy Seas Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout

Heavy Seas (Baltimore)
Barrel-aged chocolate imperial stout
ALCOHOL: 9.5%

SIXPACK SEZ: More than a few hearty sailors have succumbed to the song of the siren, but few of them went down with such a big, chocolatey smile on their faces. This heavy duty stout is well-aged in bourbon barrels spiked with vanilla beans, but it’s the big pop of cocoa that both adds complexity and smoothes out all that alcohol. Crack open a bottle now, but put some aside in ...

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The Mr. Coffee of Beer? Save your money and get a manly mini-keg instead

One of the simple yet overlooked joys of beer is that it comes in a bottle or a can, ready to drink. Grab an opener or just yank the pull-tab, and you’re good to go. No assembly required.

Which is why the arrival of any new, high-tech beer-dispensing gadget gives me pause. Put me in the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it league.

That seems to be the case with the “revolutionary” Fizzics portable draft beer system, a Mr. Coffee-like contraption that sucks beer out of ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Flying Fish Exit 18 Baltic Porter

Flying Fish (Somerdale, N.J.)
Baltic porter
ALCOHOL: 9.5%

SIXPACK SEZ: Exit 18? Isn’t that the N.J. Turnpike off-ramp to the George Washington Bridge? The brewery says this complex version of a traditional strong, dark Baltic porter is a tribute to the eastern European population in north Jersey’s Bergen County. But judging from the size of this bottle, I’m guessing it’s built to last – you know, the next time you find yourself thirsty and bored while stuck in a Bridgegate ...

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Victory Brewing’s school bus takes a new route

The story is familiar to Philadelphia-area beer drinkers: Two fifth graders named Bill and Ron meet on a school bus, become fast friends, grow up together, learn to make beer, and many years later open Victory Brewing in an old Pepperidge Farm bakery in Downingtown.

Tales like these are part of the hagiography of craft brewing, a backstory that distinguishes Victory Helles Lager from Budweiser, that helps explain why you should pay more for a beer made by small-business entrepreneurs ...

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