A beer lover’s holiday gift list

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IF YOU’RE looking to stuff a stocking with something a little more special than a sixpack (not that there’s anything wrong with a sixpack, hint-hint), Joe Sixpack has just what you’re looking for — from bottle openers to worldwide travel.

For your dog

The gift shop at Victory Brewing (420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown) is fully stocked with glassware, apparel and … Read the rest

Tasty alternatives to shopping today

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BLACK FRIDAY isn’t just about holiday shopping anymore. It’s now the darkest day on the annual beer calendar, when bars flush the light lagers from their spigots and make room for luscious porters, stouts and other black brews.

Here are some of the local highlights.

Special brews

Founders KBS: Though this heavy-duty “breakfast” stout (11.2 percent alcohol) normally shows up … Read the rest

Giving thanks to the Pilgrims

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DO YOU know the first words spoken by Native-Americans to the Pilgrims after they landed at Plymouth Rock? “Welcome Englishmen . . . I’ll have a beer. ”

Or something to that effect, according to an account (see sidebar) of the first visit to the Pilgrims’ village by an Algonquin named Samoset.

The greeting comes to mind this season because … Read the rest

For vegans, Guinness is a liquid menagerie

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NOW THAT Guinness says it will no longer use isinglass, a common gelatin-like beer filtering agent made from dried fish bladders, vegans can finally enjoy a guilt-free pint of the famous Irish stout, right?

Guess again, carrot top.

Look more closely and you’ll find plenty of animals hiding in your glass of suds. Pigs, horses and even bugs are sacrificed … Read the rest

Guild Hall: Anatomy of a brewpub closing

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ON THE MORNING after the last night at Guild Hall, a crew of volunteers mopped floors while the owners held back the tears.

Four months. Just four lousy, four splendid, four heartbreaking months – that’s all the beautiful downtown Jenkintown brewpub lasted before Jennifer McGuire and her husband, Owen Hutchins, decided to close its doors.

With breweries opening at a … Read the rest

Fishtown gives the term ‘beer run’ a new meaning

FISHTOWN, you’re famous in Spain, of all places. And you have a bunch of beer drinkers to thank for that.

Specifically, the Fishtown Beer Runners, the enthusiastic, sneaker-wearing barflies who lace up on Susquehanna Avenue every Thursday night and lope off to different taprooms – all, as they proclaim, “in the interest of science. “

If you’ve ever found yourself … Read the rest

Rich Palmay is gone, but his brew lives on

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THE NOISY, laughing, tearful, music-filled scene inside Village Idiot Brewery, in Mount Holly, N.J., was exactly what Rich Palmay wanted.

His business partner was tending bar.

His family and friends were gathered ’round tables.

His son was playing an upright bass.

Everyone’s glass was filled with his beer.

And there was Palmay, cigar stuck in his mouth, taking it all … Read the rest

No more Frenchy locker rooms – soak ’em with beer

DID YOU catch the raucous St. Louis Cardinals locker-room celebration after they clinched their third consecutive division title in the final days of the regular season?

Yeah, I know – I hate ’em, too. The Cardinals, as comedian/Cubs fan Bill Murray put it, are “Satan’s messengers on earth. “

But you have to give them credit, for, in a little-noticed … Read the rest

A seriously comic-al look at the history of beer

WHAT BEER NEEDS is a superhero.

One of those comic-book action figures – let’s call him (or her) Sudzzler: Faster than a speeding bar tab. Able to open a wax-sealed cork-and-cage bottle with a single twist. More powerful than a multinational industrial-brewing conglomerate. Pitted in an ageless battle against evil archenemy Dr. Wino.

Superpowers include:

Ice-vision, to instantly chill warm … Read the rest

Mount Airy brews build neighborhood unity

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IT TAKES BRICKS and people to build a neighborhood, but don’t forget to bring along the beer.

That’s the message from Ken Weinstein, a private Germantown developer who has converted scores of vacant and deteriorated commercial properties, including some of the city’s popular beer-centric destinations. On Tuesday, he’ll lead a fun but wonky pub-crawl in Mount Airy, called “Beer: An … Read the rest