The rise and fall of mighty bock


The winter has ended, the sun is shining and the sidewalks are packed with milling crowds. A stream of beer trucks parades down the avenue. Celebrities judge a beauty pageant for goats in the city park. Brass bands play Strauss in outdoor gardens.

And a quarter-million barrels of strong, dark, malty lager are about to be tapped across town.

Munich at its finest?

No, New York City, circa 1934.

It was the first spring after the end of Prohibition, and — aside ...

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This St. Patty’s day, forget green – go for Irish red

ST. PATRICK’S DAY is upon us, and you’re going to hear a lot of people insist that if you really want to be Irish for a day, you’ve got to drink black-as-ink stout. Either that, or green-dyed beer.

Here’s another color for you to consider on this holy day of beer drinking: red, as in Irish red ale.

Hundreds of years before Arthur Guinness made his famous stout, Ireland was famousSamuel Adams Irish Red for ...

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Micro malt farms join ‘localvore’ movement

There’s a reason most breweries stopped malting their own grain about 100 years ago: It’s really hard work.

Just ask Andrea Stanley, a 34-year-old mother of three from Hadley, Mass., who partnered with her husband, Christian, last year to open their own micro malt house.

“Sixty percent of what we do,” she sighed, “is seed cleaning.”

They clean the grain when it comes off the field; they separate the seeds by size; they remove the tiny rootlets that grow during germination; they hand-turn ...

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New beer springing up all over

WE’RE JUST two cold, gray months into the year, but 2011 is already showing sunny promise. Here are six signs that better days are on the horizon.

The Grainery

Center City will get a new brewpub as early as next month, at 1113 Walnut St. OK, the owners (the same folks behind East Falls’ candlelit Fork & Barrel) say it’s not really a brewpub because just four of its 26 taps will feature beer brewed on the premises.

Nonetheless, local beer fans ...

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Beer is the key to great chili – the rest is optional

SUPER BOWL Sunday is upon us, and the testosterone of championship-hungry football fans rages nowhere stronger than in the kitchen.

Armies of chefs, fortified with tongue-searing hot peppers, are trash-talking the competition, certain that this year – this year, I tell you! – they have an unbeatable game plan. They boast, they strut and they rant over the proper ingredients: beans or no beans, ground beef or sirloin, habanero or jalapeño . . . or perhaps they’ll break out the hottest ...

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Flavors flow richly at a gourmet beer swap

IT TOOK FEWER than 30 seconds for someone to hand me a bottle that I’d never heard of before: Evolution Rise Up Stout. “If you like coffee,” the guy said, “this is the stout for you.”

I no sooner had it in my mouth when someone else was handing me another: Portsmouth Winter Hefeweizen. It was dark and smooth, like a sultry Billie Holiday ballad.

The scene would repeat itself again and again over the next hour as strangers greeted me with ...

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A neighborhood says no to a brewery


Late last year, a 33-year-old Internet developer named Tim Patton went before the Fishtown Neighbors Association with a proposal for a small brewery in his home on Richmond Street near Marlborough. The company would produce about four kegs a week – so small that it wouldn’t qualify as a microbrewery; instead, it would be classified as a “nanobrewery.”

Patton presented plans that showed the entire operation could fit in a small room in the back of ...

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Brewers dancing with new hops

IT WASN’T ALL that long ago that if you wanted to sound semi-intelligent on the wonkish topic of hops, all you had to do was remember a few key varieties.

Hallertauer is the perfect match for the soft water of Bavaria’s lagers. Cascades gives a grapefruit flavor to West Coast ales. And EKG is not a stress test – it stands for Britain’s East Kent Goldings.

Alas, in the past 10 years, dozens of new hop varieties have cropped up, and it’s ...

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Another giant leap forward for beer drinkers

IN THE ENTIRE history of mankind, there has been only one invention that fundamentally improved life for the beer drinker: the twist-off bottle cap.

OK, two, if you count flushable toilets.

And now there are three, thanks to the Bottoms Up Draft Beer Dispenser. It does exactly what it says: It fills beer cups through the bottom of the cup. A beer vendor simply places a plastic cup on the dispenser, and – without pulling a tap handle or even pressing a ...

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Seductive and perfidious – it must be Scottish

WHEN IN Scotland, don’t ask what’s in the haggis, don’t ask what’s underneath the kilts and, for god’s sake, don’t ask for a Scotch ale.

You’re going to get a strange look from the bartender and then . . . who knows? He might pour you anything from Belhaven 60 Shilling, which at 3 percent alcohol is light-bodied and amber, to Dark Island, which at 10 percent alcohol will have you thinking barleywine.

Scotch ale in Scotland? It’s like asking for a ...

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