Down with tulips, up with beer!

WE PAUSE now to raise a beer in commemoration of Belgium’s independence from the Evil Empire of the Netherlands.

‘Twas 182 years ago this Sunday that a ragtag band of Belgies dressed like Indians clambered aboard Dutch ships and dumped barrels of Hollandaise sauce in the Harbor of Brussels. Down with Tulips, Up with Belgian Beer

This heroic act of rebellion ignited the infamous Battle of the Bulge, where corpulent gourmands from Antwerp ...

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Bring home some 12-ounce souvenirs

GOT A BEER mule in the family?

You know, someone traveling out of town this summer who’s willing to lug back a few bottles?

Then, I have a list for you. These are the gems you can’t buy in the Philadelphia area – top-rated brews that you might’ve read about but never tasted because they’re simply not shipped our way.

Unless, of course, you have your own mule. Where’s yours headed this summer?

The United ...</p><a class= Continue Reading →

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Homebrewers flood Philly

THIS IS a great week to be a beer geek in Philadelphia.

Yeah, I know, we’re still licking our wounds after Philly Beer Week earlier this month. But starting today, the city hosts the geekiest of beer lovers: People who not only know that the IPA you’re sipping was dry-hopped with Simcoe hops, they likely know the farm where those hops were grown, their cohumulone content and whether they were tossed into the conditioning tank by a left- or ...

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Ship Bottom docks in a Delco subdivision

ROB ZARKO’S two-story brick home, on a lazy shaded road in suburban Wallingford, Delaware County, looks much like every other home in the neighborhood.

Well-tended lawn, check.

Couple of bikes in the grass, check.

Portable basketball hoop in the driveway, check.

Thirty-gallon mash tun in the garage.

Uh, check?

Welcome to Ship Bottom Brewing, the area’s newest and tiniest new brewery. If Ship Bottom brewer Rob Zarko in his garage/nanobreweryyou blink, you’ll miss it.

Fully licensed and operational, ...

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Philly Beer Week isn't for the weak

MY FAVORITE BEER of Philly Beer Week 2013?

I’ll get to that in a few lines, but first, I asked my fellow elbow-benders, and their responses underscore two important features of Beer Week:

1. It’s still all about bold, diverse flavor, with an emphasis on new brands.

2. All the naysayers who believe that no one will drink “big” (high-alcohol) beer in the summer’s heat are just plain wrong.

Just check out some of their faves; there’s not a so-called session beer ...

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Marc Summers' Dunkel Dare

EVEN a year later, former game-show host Marc Summers can’t explain the manic excitement that exploded over three wild nights during Philly Beer Week 2012.

It was the return of his 1980s children’s game show, “Double Dare.” Only, in the spirit of the festive week, the live show was called “Dunkel Dare.”

The contestants were brewers, and the trivia questions and physical challenges related to beer. The crowd lined up for hours and rollicked inside as Summers gulped suds and ...

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The 1,098 best events of Philly Beer Week

OPENING TAP . . . the Philly Beer Week Garden . . . the International Great Beer Expo . . . Craft Beer Day on East Passyunk . . . the Haddon Pub Fest . . . the Varga Pin Up Block Party . . . Throwdown in Franklintown . . . the London Grill Dunk Tank . . . Philly Beer Geek . . . Fishtown FestivALE . . . whatever incredibly exotic beer dinner Monk’s Café ...

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Nation-building is thirsty work

THE NEW documentary “Crafting a Nation” spends about an hour and a half fussing over exactly what makes America’s craft beer so special.

It’s hard work by small businessmen.

It’s all-natural ingredients.

It’s fresh, locally made and produced with care for the environment.

It’s about overcoming the odds and the local building inspector.

Apparently, though, it’s not about actually drinking the stuff.

Well-researched, beautifully photographed and set to the meaningful strum of an acoustic guitar, “Crafting a Nation” nevertheless manages to almost completely miss ...

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The can-do spirit

YOU KNOW a microbrewery has stepped it up a notch when it graduates from kegs to bottles and cans – and not just because the beer can be shipped to more drinkers in new destinations.

It’s one thing to fill up a half-barrel with 15.5 gallons of brew. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to spray exactly 12 ounces of those gushing suds into an assembly line of fragile glass and dentable aluminum containers.

It takes a lot of cash, plenty ...

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Will Philly take a shine to Shiner?

AFTER A MERE 104 years, Shiner Bock is finally available in Philadelphia. The Texas lager is already for sale in more than 40 states, so this is not exactly earthshaking news. But it does make you wonder:

What took so long?

And, more importantly, is it too late?

Shiner, made by Spoetzel Brewing, is a lot like Pennsylvania’s D.G. Yuengling & Son. It’s old as the hills (founded in 1909). It’s small compared to Anheuser-Busch but large by microbrewing standards. And ...

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