Pa’s new sixpack rules

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“BREAKING: SIX-PACKS APPROVED FOR SALE AT PENNSYLVANIA GAS STATIONS!” – Headline on Gov. Wolf’s blog.

With that, Pennsylvania, your beer laws have finally entered the 20th century.

And, yes, I do mean last century, for despite the screaming CAPS, the approval is both meaningless and illustrative of the small thinking that accompanies liquor regulation in this state.

For starters, the … Read the rest

Toast dad with a beer from your generation

You remember your father’s beer, don’t you?

Piels, Schmidt’s, Ortlieb’s. When I asked friends on Facebook recently to name their pop’s favorite, they had no problem recalling those days gone by.

“Löwenbräu dark for fancy occasions and Budweiser for every day,” said Rebekah Nault.

“Every Friday afternoon, when I was a kid, a truck would deliver a case of Schmidt’s … Read the rest

Killer events still brewing for brewing for Philly Beer Week

NOW IS NOT the time to slow your celebration of America’s best beer-drinking city, for the final four days of Philly Beer Week feature some killer drafts and some typically incomprehensible entertainment.

For example, turtle races.

You have not experienced the thrill of sport until you’ve witnessed two-inch hard-shells in a mad dash across a piece of felt. The glory, … Read the rest

Sour beer can add complexity to food

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Pucker-faced sour beer lovers can’t get enough gose, Berliner Weisse, fruit lambic, and other distinctive varieties. But if all you’re doing is drinking the stuff, well, you’re missing one of the great joys of these special ales.

Because cooking with sour beer adds a whole other flavor dimension to your favorite recipes.

That’s something I came to learn after cracking … Read the rest

In pursuit of the hirsute in craft brewing

IN THIS WEEK’S column, we ponder the greatest mystery in beer:Why do so many brewers wear beards? (I mean male brewers, naturally, not female, which perhaps is a column for another day. )

I’ve been noticing this for the last couple years, but it came into full light at the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia this month. You couldn’t walk … Read the rest

Craft brewers draft a candidate

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DONALD TRUMP for president? Forget about it, say the nation’s brewers. But don’t expect them to line up behind Hillary Clinton, either.

That’s the outlook from a straw poll I conducted among beer makers at last week’s Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia.

Among the 96 brewers and other beer industry members I polled while strolling around the conference exhibition hall, … Read the rest

Brewery will make a dry town damp

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There are no saloons in Pitman. No bottle shops or restaurants with liquor licenses, either. This is a dry town, a vestige of its founding as a Methodist retreat.

Yet on Saturday afternoon, with a ceremonial tapping of the first keg, a brewery will open on Broadway, the Gloucester County town’s main drag. A brewery with a tasting room and … Read the rest

Brewers conference returns to Philly

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In 2005, the last time the Brewers Association held its annual conference here, a few local brewers thought it would be a swell idea to expose the conventioneers to a unique slice of Philly’s growing craft-beer scene.

So they trooped the visitors down to a seamy stretch of Delaware Avenue and held what was surely the city’s first-ever cask-ale event … Read the rest

Debating Germany’s 500-year-old beer purity law

SATURDAY MARKS the 500th anniversary of Reinheitsgebot, the German law that simply decreed beer can be made with only water, barley, and hops. Yet there is nothing simple about Reinheitsgebot, starting with its name, which Americans can correctly pronounce only after a liter of lager or two.

For, even after half a millennium, the edict remains a lightning rod for … Read the rest