Declare love with hops and malt

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Valentine’s Day is more than hearts and flowers. It’s hops and malt, too. Whether you’re a couple or not, there’s good reason to fall in love this weekend.

Get an early start

Weyerbacher Brewing in Easton will open at 10 a.m. to unveil this year’s version of Sunday Morning Stout. Yes, it’s a bit of a drive up the Northeast … Read the rest

Trading insults with a talking tap

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No doubt you’ve caught the Shock Top commercial with comedian T.J. Miller. The spot, a fast-paced insult swap between the star of the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley and a wiseguy talking tap handle named Wedgehead, has been floating around the Internet for the last week in advance of its TV debut Sunday during the Super Bowl .

What you haven’t … Read the rest

Grover Cleveland Bergdoll: A brewery scion turned crazy ex-con

There was a time in this city when everyone knew the name – and not just those who drank his family’s famous beer.

He raced in the Indianapolis 500, got into fistfights with cops, flew a Wright brothers biplane, and joined Pancho Villa’s rebellion in Mexico. He was a rogue, a draft dodger and a fugitive.

And 50 years ago … Read the rest

Born in a barroom

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A lot of bad decisions are made in bars. Dancing with your pants on your head . . . Bingeing on a second cheesesteak . . . Drunk dialing . . . Sex with your ex . . .

But, c’mon, let’s give barrooms their due, for without them there’d be no libraries, no credit cards and no NASCAR.

Here … Read the rest

A mad monk’s brew devotion

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You know Woody Chandler, or at least you do if you’ve ever gone to a beer festival around these parts. He’s the character with the Rasputin beard wearing a monk’s robe and a beer-mug hat.

Oh, right – we’re talking beer freaks, so maybe that doesn’t completely narrow it down. I’m talking about the dude who just posted his 7,000th … Read the rest

Bar Hygge: It’s Danish for comfort

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You know that feeling you get when you’re in a bar and feeling totally one with your time and your place? The right music, the perfect dish, your favorite friends, the best beer – a feeling of comfort or excitement?

The Germans call it gem├╝tlichkeit. The Irish refer to it as the craic. In Spanish it’s la chispa.

And in … Read the rest

Brewers give back to their community

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Maybe it’s because beer makers feel the need to fight the occasionally negative perception of alcohol with acts of kindness.

Or maybe it’s just that brewers are good people.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t take much to find the spirit of goodwill at breweries this holiday season.

One example in Colorado could become a model for brewers nationwide. It’s called … Read the rest

Victory Helles Lager is Joe Sixpack’s Beer of the Year

BEER FREAKS these days remind me of Dug the Talking Dog in the animated movie, “Up,” whose attention was so easily – Squirrel!

Only it’s hops!

Or barrel-aged!

Or sour!

American brewing is thriving precisely because of its brash creativity, so there’s a lot to love in the hundreds of new, offbeat varieties that fill the shelves every week. Yet, … Read the rest

Pabst resurrects Ballantine barleywine, the ‘greatest beer never sold’

NOT TO NITPICK, but if Pabst’s new holiday brew were truly an accurate replicate of the original Ballantine Burton Ale, master brewer Greg Deuhs would’ve spent a couple weeks personally autographing every one of the 144,000 bottles.

And then the sixpack they sent me would’ve been labeled with my name on it.

Because that’s what P. Ballantine & Sons did … Read the rest