Win contest, go to Belgium, open a brewery

TWO YEARS ago this week, someone drew Vince Masciandaro’s name out of a hat, and maybe changed his life forever.

Funny thing, he wasn’t even there to see it happen.

It was Philly Beer Week’s annual Belgian collaboration raffle, a contest among beer lovers to accompany their favorite local brewer on an expenses-paid expedition to Belgium. The bar was packed and the decibels were off the chart when Masciandaro’s name was called.

A hand shot up: “Over here!”

A guy jostled his way to ...

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Black Friday means black beer

In the beer world, Black Friday is hardly a day for shopping. It’s a day for sipping, the darker the better.

And it doesn’t get any darker than Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, the rich, barrel-aged stout whose annual release is the equivalent of a midnight door-opening at Toys R Us.

Long lines will be forming at select locations offering treasured bottles of the silkyGoose island bourbon countybut strong (14.5 percent alcohol) ale. This year, ...

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Happy Thanksgivukkah with Shmaltz

LOOKS LIKE Jeremy Cowan and the rest of the team at Shmaltz Brewing are dipping into their own stash again.

America’s least orthodox Jewish brewery is marking the convergence next week of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving with a fairly weird image of an “intergalactic turducken mothership” and a monster edition of its annual holiday ale, this year called Jewbelation Reborn.

The latke-eating turducken is powered by a menorah of nine flame-spouting beerShmaltz Turduckenbottles. The beer is powered ...

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Beer-hunting goes digital

TRIA TAPROOM, on Walnut Street just off Rittenhouse Square, opened this week with a newfangled web-based beer-auditing system that may finally solve that most niggling of First World Beer Geek problems:

Who’s pouring what?

Called Bevchek, it’s part of a POS (point of sale) system that monitors beer and wine sales and tracks inventory. Nearly every bar or restaurant you’ve visited has some type of POS, relaying waitresses’ orders to the kitchen and spitting out credit card receipts.

(Bartenders will often tell you ...

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12 beers you can't miss on the Craft Beer Express

BY MY count, 152 brands will be pouring during Saturday’s Craft Beer Express, a crosstown pub crawl that visits a dozen fine bars. Maybe that’s why bus ticketsare just 10 bucks.

It may very well be impossible to drink ’em all.

So, with a nod to Philly Tap Finder, which compiled the day’s tap lists, here are 12 can’t-miss beers on the Craft Beer Express:

New Holland Philly Wild Ale, at Kraftwork (Fishtown). Theme: Taste of the GreatNew Holland logo Continue Reading →


Ambassador Sixpack hosts Lithuania

YOU MIGHT remember the Daily News report a couple of months back about my diplomatic mission to Lithuania, where I spread the good word about American craft beer through the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius.

Well, there’s a second chapter in my efforts to spread peace through beer. I’m happy to report that Lithuania is coming to Philadelphia.

Specifically, it’s arriving in the form of next week’s 37th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the guest-artist program of which this year highlights ...

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The best beer you haven't tasted, yet

THERE’S a brewery in Malvern making superb beer that you can’t buy – not for all the money in the world.

The ales are fermented with unusual yeast strains, then meticulously aged for months in wooden barrels and often blended before bottling. Those few who’ve been lucky enough to get a sip say that they’re on par with some of the most highly rated sour ales of Belgium, beers that often sell for $30 a bottle or more.

But put away your ...

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New breweries for New Jersey

New breweries coming to New Jersey

Oct. 17, 2013 | New breweries for New Jersey


A TWEAK in New Jersey beer regs is paying immediate dividends for Garden State beer drinkers.

Under longstanding rules, breweries had been prevented from selling beer for consumption on their own premises. That meant no tasting rooms, which are a significant source of revenue for breweries in practically every other state.

The law was changed last year, however, to allow breweries to sell pints ...

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Another new wave of breweries hits Philly

Oct. 10, 2013 | Another new wave of breweries hits Philly


GET READY for yet another wave of new breweries in and around Philadelphia. By my count, up to 20 more should be opening between now and next spring.

Some are tucked in city neighborhoods or borough shopping districts; other larger operations are setting up shop in suburban industrial parks.

Notably, a third of the newcomers are opening on the other side of the Delaware, thanks to recently ...

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New Franklin Museum is a bit dry

TWO HUNDRED ninety years ago Sunday, Benjamin Franklin – Philadelphia’s most celebrated beer drinker – stepped out of a boat on the Delaware and into a tavern.

I was inspired to mark the occasion of the 17-year-old runaway’s arrival in town by visiting the newly reopened Benjamin Franklin Museum in Old City.

That’s the place, tucked in a courtyard off Market Street, that features the steel-beamed “ghost house” marking the outlines of Franklin’s long-gone home. The adjoining museum, dedicated to his life ...

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