The fake IPA Improves Profit Automatically

A LOCAL brewpub operator once told me that he always kept at least one Irish beer on tap, even if he didn’t have any actual Irish beer in the house.

Brown ale, rye beer, pale lager, whatever. He’d just plug the word “Irish” into the beer’s name (e.g. Irish pale ale), and, like magic, it became an Irish beer.

“In this town,” he reasoned, “if it says ‘Irish,’ it sells.”
Years have gone by and that brewpub is no longer in operation. ...

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Is the craft beer "bubble" about to explode?

EVERYONE in the beer industry is talking about the damn bubble.

They’re either worried that it’s going to burst, or vowing that it will continue to grow.
Like the earlier dot-com and housing bubbles, the craft-beer bubble is the product of what pessimists say is unsustainable growth, with about eight new breweries opening nationwide every week.

The bubble can’t help but explode, they say. Here are three reasons we’re all gonna get soaked:

1. There are too many breweries.

There are about 2,800 breweries ...

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Wine learns a thing or two from beer

TURNABOUT is fair play, but in the case of Philly Wine Week it’s also long overdue.
The inaugural grape-juice jag, which continues through Sunday, was modeled on the city’s original bacchanal, Philly Beer Week.

Never mind that the winos have stamina for only 8 days of festivities while the suds set goes 10 – that’s close enough. After all, beer has been plagiarizing wine for years.

The Everyman’s drink, aiming to claw its way to the rarefied height of the vine, has Continue Reading →

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Beer in an aluminum can-vas

IT’S OFFICIAL: Canned craft beer is no longer evil.

We know this because Boston Beer, which once trumpeted that aluminum jeopardizes the flavor of beer, is finally canning its flagship Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The company said that it designed its funky-looking wide-lid can after consulting with a sensory expert who conducted an “ergonomic and flavor study.”

The trendsetting brewery, however, is decidedly behind the curve when it comes to cans.

Nearly 900 separate brands from 266 small American breweries are ...

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Hoppy birthday, New Jersey

DRINK UP, Jersey, it’s your 350th birthday.

And Flying Fish – the Garden State’s largest craft brewery – has brewed a fitting pint for the occasion: NJ350 Anniversary Ale.

It’s the Camden County brewery’s version of a traditional English stock ale (this birthday marks New Jersey’s establishment as a British colony, remember), with a brash bite of modern-day American sedition.

“The idea was to pay homage to 350 years of history,” Flying Fish brewery manager Barry Holsten told me when I stopped by ...

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100 years ago, an Irishman invented green beer

IT SHOULD not pass without acclaim that Monday marks the 100th anniversary of one of the great achievements in the history of beer.

On St. Patrick’s Day 1914, a New York City coroner named Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin stood before his associates and others at a Bronx social club and unveiled his wondrous invention:

Green beer.

Never before had anyone laid eyes on such a spectacle. Beer, the color of shamrocks, filling the mugs of hundreds.

“Everything possible was green or decorated with that ...

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A corny definition of craft beer

IT TURNS out, corn isn’t so bad after all.

After decades of pounding the cob, the solons who represent America’s small brewers now say it’s OK to lighten beer with corn, rice and other so-called adjunct ingredients.

In other words, the days when craft beer distinguished itself as all-malt are all gone.

The change came as the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association this week announced several revisions in its “core values and beliefs,” including its troublesome definition of “craft brewer.”

To outsiders, the changes may ...

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A beer guide for Florida spring training fans

THERE’S something new and familiar awaiting Phillies fans heading down to the central Florida Gulf coast for spring training, and I’m not talking about Bobby Abreu.

It’s beer, and I mean the good stuff like we’re used to finding in Philly – not the cases of Corona that college kids on spring break haul up to their beachfront hotel rooms.

In the past two years, the region has seen an explosion of new brewpubs, breweries and craft-beer-pubs. From the newly expanded Sea ...

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The voices in my head are driving me to drink

A PAIR OF upcoming local beer-drinking events has me thinking out of both sides of my brain.

My left side – controlled and analytical – is focused on Saturday’s Bierfest at the I have beer on my brainGerman Society of Pennsylvania. I’ll sit on a panel of beer experts to discuss classic, old-world lager styles.

My right side – freewheeling and emotional – is preparing for Beer School at the Loft at Iron Abbey, in Horsham, next week. I’ll lead an advanced ...

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For Valentine's Day, this blood's for you

FORGET those chocolate beers that are all the rage on Valentine’s Day. Those are for lovey-dovey sweethearts. If you want to get into the libidinous spirit of Cupid’s heart-piercing arrow, there’s only one brew for you:

Blood Beer.

Yeah, I’m talking about really red ale. Straight from the vein.

Plasma Porter. Clot Rot. A transfusion on tap that’ll have you all hopped up on hemoglobin.

This is no fictional brand out of “True Blood,” either.

Blood Beer is a real thing.

Or, at least it was.

It ...

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