500 years of Reinheitsgebot purity: Enough already

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 an unsettled argument among beer-lovers – one that pits tradition against modernity.

The traditionalist sees it as the benchmark of beer purity, ...

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Sixpack of the Week: O’Hara’s Barrel Aged Leann Folláin Irish Stout

Carlow Brewing (Carlow, Ireland)
Barrel-aged imperial stout
ALCOHOL: 8.1%

SIXPACK SEZ: You don’t think of barrel-aging when it comes to classic Irish stout, but that’s the way they’re rolling these days at Carlow Brewing. Three months in an Irish whiskey barrel added a smooth, slightly boozy finish to this dark, coffee-like brew. Seems like it would go well with sausages and black pudding.

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Cloudy with a chance of hops

Appearance: Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy.   From the Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines for American IPA.

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A bit hazy?

That might be the traditional standard. But these days, some of America’s top-rated India pale ales are as overcast as the airspace above South Philly’s oil refinery on an August afternoon.

Murky, cloudy, and even milk-like are some of the descriptors for the likes of Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine, Trillium Dialed-In, and the Alchemist Heady Topper, ...

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Happy Hour Yoga: April 15 tax day stress reliever

No, we can’t do anything about your tax return. But Happy Hour Yoga will help you unwind after writing that last check to Uncle Sam. It’s a fun, one-hour, all-levels yoga practice led by Mrs. Sixpack followed by a tutored beer tasting with Joe Sixpack.

This time, we’ll be talking (and drinking) springtime beers: bock, biere de mars, fruity wheat beer and more. Get your tix now!

Happy Hour Yoga

Friday, April 15 – 6: 30 p.m.

Yoga on the Ridge, 493 Domino Lane, Phila. (Roxborough)

Tickets ...

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When America drank Needle Beer

IMAGINE ORDERING a nice, cold pint of beer in a bar, but before the foam has a chance to settle, the bartender pulls out a syringe and gives the glass a squirt of alcohol.

Forget about careful brewing methods or even enjoyable flavor. Just choke down your dose of ethyl alcohol like it’s medicine.

This was needle beer, and it’s the way America drank its suds during Prohibition, whose ban on beer came to a close 83 years ago today.

The practice seems ...

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Sixpack of the Week: River Horse Triple IPA (Brewer’s Reserve)

River Horse (Ewing, N.J.)
Triple IPA
ALCOHOL: 9.7%

SIXPACK SEZ: Over the years, River Horse has used its Brewer’s Reserve label to roll out new flavors, to see what sticks. A wonderfully spicy pumpkin and a smooth oatmeal stout happily made the cut; sadly, an easy-drinking dunkel lager just kinda came and went. Here’s hoping this strong, honey sweet uber IPA finds a permanent home. This one will appeal to hop lovers whose idea of a “session” is spending time ...

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Yards’ Good Fight

EXACTLY WHAT is Yards Brewing selling in its new series of videos, The Good Fight?

It sure doesn’t look like beer.

The 90-second pieces shown online and in social media are part of the Northern Liberties brewery’s ongoing Brew Unto Others advertising campaign that aims to frame the brewery as a solid part of the community.

So far, two Good Fight videos have been posted, highlighting charitable organizations “making our backyard a better place to live and work.” One lauds celebrity chef Jose ...

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Sixpack of the Week: Brooklyn Insulated

Brooklyn Brewing (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Dark lager
ALCOHOL: 5.6%

SIXPACK SEZ: Despite its name and release as a limited, cold-weather seasonal, this lager really deserves to be enjoyed year-round. Yes, it’s dark and warming and worthy of a fireplace snifter on a snowy night. But I could see cracking open bottles of this malty yet well-balanced lager and enjoying it in the heat of a summer bbq. It’s not too heavy and it’s roasty malt dries out with an almost fruity, ...

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A lifetime of beer: The story of Jeffrey Rosenblum and his bottles

ONE NIGHT in 1987, Jeffrey Rosenblum opened a bottle of Whitbread Ale and poured himself a glass. He took a sip and glanced down at the bottle.

Something caught his eye. Something unspoken, something visceral. Something.

He rose from his living room couch and placed the empty on the mantel.

That’s where it all began. With a single bottle of imported English ale, Rosenblum launched a collection that would spread from the mantel, across shelves, into cabinets and every nook in his home ...

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