A roasty collaboration

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They take their coffee seriously at Gran Caffe L’Aquila.

The Chestnut Street cafe and restaurant operates its own second-floor roaster, its co-owner is a medal-winning bean man, and the entire place has been modeled on the stylish grand cafes of the owners’ homeland in the Abruzzi region of Italy. On most mornings, the place is a popular destination for Italian … Read the rest

The sixpack is free, and it couldn’t have come at a better time

We made America great last week.

A populist upheaval swept aside decades of control by elitist power brokers who reaped the rewards of government while the people had borne the cost. But last week, the carnage stopped right here and it stopped right now.

That’s right: Pennsylvanians can now buy a sixpack at a beer distributor.

Amid all the commotion … Read the rest

Philly Beer Week in search of relevance

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Philly Beer Week, which marks its 10th-annual celebration this June, announced this week that it’s evolving into a year-round organization called Philly Loves Beer.

The new organization is “devoted to raising Philadelphia’s global profile as a destination city for beer tourism… independent of a brewer’s guild or business association,” and will be the nation’s first nonprofit business league “dedicated to … Read the rest

A beer drinker’s take on Philly’s new soda tax

Now soda slurpers know how the rest of us feel.

And by the rest of us, I mean beer drinkers – adults who enjoy grown-up beverages. Beverages, by the way, that are taxed way more than the city’s newly imposed penny-and-a-half surcharge that Mountain Dew addicts are griping about.

A quick primer:

If you drink one 16-ounce Coca-Cola – or … Read the rest

New in 2017

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Here’s some of the cool, new stuff to look for in 2017.

Bavaria comes to Philly

Imported German beer is often a dicey proposition because so many of the nation’s traditional styles – especially pils and Helles lager – are quick to deteriorate before they hit American shelves.

However, Liquid Projects, a new Brooklyn-based company, is giving it a try … Read the rest

2016 Beer of the Year: The best of the rest

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Man should not live on one beer alone, and in 2016 I found many other exciting, new brews worthy of attention. These are the runners-up for Joe Sixpack’s Beer of the Year.

Slack Tide Bell Buoy: This sweet, zesty, spicy Belgian blond ale is worth the ride down Rt. 9 to the small Cape May County brewery. It also won … Read the rest

Joe Sixpack’s 2016 Beer of the Year

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‘You wouldn’t know there’s a brewery down Forked Neck Road in Shamong, N.J.

Nestled against the pines of Wharton State Forest and hidden behind a private home, the small, unheralded facility is dwarfed by its big brother, the Valenzano Winery, nearby on busy Rt. 206. There is no tasting room or tours or visiting hours. There is no place to … Read the rest

Lined up at Tired Hands

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It’s only 4 p.m. and already there’s 100 or so outdoor folding chairs that line the sidewalk on Cricket Terrace, a short, yet winding street in Ardmore.

The chairs—and all their vibrant colors—face the street as if awaiting a parade snake for a block, then turn a corner and continue down an adjacent street.

Almost all of them are empty.… Read the rest

This bud’s for you

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Not to harsh your mellow, but beer is suddenly getting some serious competition from cannabis.

Seven states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational weed, and 20 others allow its so-called medical use. An estimated 40 million Americans now enjoy marijuana on a regular basis.

And I do mean “enjoy,” in the same way that people enjoy a good brew. Which … Read the rest

Brewers wear their politics on their labels

IMAGINE THAT, 40 years ago, Coors brewed a beer called Down With Queers. Or that 60 years ago Falstaff had a beer named Whites Are Supreme.

It never happened because, though both breweries held some strong political views, neither advertised them on beer cans.

Which is why the widely publicized campaign against North Carolina’s anti-transgender law by a group of … Read the rest