Brotherly Suds

TOO MANY COOKS may spoil the broth, but too many brewers never ruined the beer.

The proof is all those fabulous one-offs featuring two, three or more brewery logos on the bottles.

These so-called collaborative beers are made by beer-makers from competing breweries who share the brewhouse for a day in the spirit of artisanal camaraderie. That professional friendship is one of the important traits that makes craft brewing appealing to so many.

Once again, Philly Beer Week will show off ...

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Hopped up on new hops

SAN DIEGO — The loneliest guy at BrewExpo America had to be Ales Kopecky, a Czech farmer who came to the annual beer-making trade show to promote his old-world Saaz hops.

The Saaz variety may be the noblest of the so-called “noble hops,” providing the distinctive flavor and palate-cleansing bitterness to pilsners and other styles. Yet few brewers lined up to savor the aroma from the pile of dried hops scattered atop Kopecky’s booth.

They were drawn instead to the ...

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Does beer make you smarter?

LAST MONTH’S media reports that beer consumption makes you smarter ranks up there as one of the no-spit revelations of all time.

The “revelation” stemmed from a paper called “Uncorking the Muse: Alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving,” by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It concluded that test subjects solved certain problems more quickly after reaching a blood-alcohol level of .075 percent.

Alcohol, the researchers proved, helps the brain access remote areas and develop I drink, therefore ...</p><a class= Continue Reading →

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Beer week: Wouldn’t it be great if…?

FIVE YEARS AGO, the whole notion of a “beer week” was as unknown as a black IPA. There simply was no such thing.

Today, if you plug the term into Google, you’ll get more than 2.3 million results. There’s an entry on the subject in the new Oxford Companion to Beer. San Francisco beer writer Jay Brooks, who wrote the section, has compiled an online list of nearly 100 beer weeks worldwide, from Alabama to Yakima. They now celebrate ...

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A brewing scene in the northwest burbs

IT’S A MOONLESS Thursday night in North Wales, Montgomery County. Down a dead-end street just past the giant Merck & Co. pharmaceutical plant, tucked along the SEPTA R5 railroad tracks, a darkened industrial building attracts a young crowd. The unpaved parking lot is full, light sounds of live jazz seep from the rear door, and the air carries the familiar aroma of malt.

Welcome to Prism Brewing’s Tap Room, one of the region’s best-kept beer-drinking secrets and, it turns ...

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The Phillies have this one in the can

Sadly missing their big guns at the plate, the anemic Phils are at least entertaining fans this season with some power in the beer stands.

For the first time, Citizens Bank Park is selling 24-ounce aluminum “Tall Boy” cans of Bud, Miller Lite, Yuengling and other brands for 11 bucks a pop.

And “pop” is the operative word under the stadium’s so-called “crack and go” policy. The cans are popped open before they’re handed to fans, to lessen the chances of someone ...

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A Victory at the South Philly sports complex

A $60 MILLION mega-drinking/partying complex named after a wallet-soaking cable TV company and developed by a monster real estate developer in the heart of South Philly’s isolated sports complex — man, I really wanted to hate Xfinity Live!

A fresh glass of St. Boisterous bock, poured at a rocking Victory Beer Hall, softened me. A burger from Broad Street Bullies Pub served atop a paper napkin reproduction of the Evening Bulletin’s May 10, 1974, front page won me over.

“City ...

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A brief session on session beers

“I will make it felony to drink small beer.”

– Henry IV, Part 2.

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If he had his way, Shakespeare – or at least his memorable character, Jack Cade, who declared his contempt for weak beer (and lawyers) – would be filing criminal charges on the first-ever Session Beer Day this Saturday.

The day is intended as a nationwide effort to encourage bars to serve flavorful yet easy-drinking, low-alcohol ales and lagers ...

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Let’s be perfectly clear

Kristall weiss: A filtered version of hefeweizen.

 

IF THAT DEFINITION doesn’t just make your skin crawl, well, you are a cold, heartless turtle. Why would anyone intentionally take one of the world’s most-treasured beer styles – a variety whose unique beauty is in its murky, unfiltered body – and intentionally “cleanse” it?

It’s as if a brewery imagined that it could improve a Czech pilsner recipe by removing the hops and adding corn or rice. Uhhh . . . ...

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Take the beer and run

IN MOST OF AMERICA, “beer run” means darting out to buy beer for the night. It is a common term understood by pretty much everyone. Except in the Southwest.

In the Southwest, “beer run” means heading to the nearest convenience store, grabbing a 30-pack from the cooler and walking out the door without paying.

This is not just some regional quirk of language. It is a bizarre crime phenomenon that happens with astonishing frequency throughout Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

How ...

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