Yearly Archives: 2005

What makes a Philadelphia beer?

IN A TOWN where craftsmen have been brewing for 300 years, we still don’t have a Beer we can call our own. That’s Beer with a capital B – a beer that we can say is truly Philadelphia Beer.

Oh, there’s Yards and Dock Street and Independence. And before them, Schmidt’s and Ortlieb’s and Esslinger. And before the Prohibition there … Read the rest

Beer drinkers still quaffing craft brews

The so-called death of microbrewing occurred on May 7, 1997. That morning, the New York Times reported the closing of one of Manhattan’s venerable brewpubs, Zip City, and warned ominously that beer drinkers were tiring of “trendy” craft beer.

That followed a “Dateline NBC” expose that reported that Samuel Adams’ handcrafted beer was made in the same brewery that spit … Read the rest

A sixpack of food and beer pairings

BEER. IT’S NOT just for breakfast any more.

Or only for mowing the lawn, playing softball, hazing fraternity pledges and bingeing after work.

Following wine’s success a generation ago, beer – especially handcrafted ales and lagers – is looking for a place at the dining table. Increasingly, restaurants chefs and cooks at home are making everything from pilsner to stout … Read the rest

The Inquirer’s Great Taste Test put Schmidt’s back on the map

NO ONE EVER accused the Inquirer of being a Joe Sixpack kind of rag. It’s a pinkie-extended, wine-sipping broadsheet that prefers to sniff, not guzzle, before enlightening all with its fruity yet (dare we say?) pretentious character.

But credit goes to the Inky for a landmark, though largely forgotten, work of journalism 30 years ago this week, when the ivory-tower … Read the rest

Irish beer? Erin go blah

FOR A NATION whose patron saint annually inspires so much alcohol consumption, Ireland leaves a helluva lot to be desired when it comes to beer.

Maybe it’s last night’s green foam that’s doing the talking here, but with all due respect to St. Patrick, Dylan Thomas and Tullamore Dew, Ireland has been coasting on its rep for way too long.… Read the rest

The Joe Sixpack of Austria comes to Philly

The last time I bent elbows with Conrad Seidl – the Joe Sixpack of Austria – he was extolling the virtues of the elusive Vienna lager, a tasty malt treat that sadly has virtually disappeared in his homeland.

You’ll have to visit America to try our craft brewers’ version of the lager, I told him. After all, the first lager … Read the rest

An Englishman showed that Philly was a beer city

Philadelphia – despite occasional pretensions toward certain corked bottles of purple juice – is and always has been a beer town.

From America’s first ales made 300 years ago along the Delaware to the birth of the Industrial Revolution in Brewerytown to the craft brew renaissance citywide, the truth was always obvious.

But it was an out-of-towner – an Englishman, … Read the rest

Only the lucky ever get a taste from the Secret Keg

Buried in the deepest corner of your favorite beer bar lies a stash of one of the world’s greatest brews.

It’s been guarded jealously, hidden from sight, untouched by meddlesome bartenders. Even regular customers who know the tap list by heart have never caught a whiff.

This fine beer – probably an ale, but maybe a hearty lager – was … Read the rest

The Bud Zone dominates the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXIX should be a gimme for Anheuser-Busch.

Thanks to its hugely popular commercials (the talking lizards, “Whazzzup,” Cedric the Entertainer), the world’s largest beer maker is almost inseparable from the world’s biggest sporting event. Moreover, with Alltel Stadium just a few miles south on I-95 from one of its 15 breweries, A-B has a decided home-field advantage at … Read the rest

2005 State of the Sleaze

Remember the good, ol’ days of beer commercials, when men were men and women were ridiculously endowed sex objects? Viewers drooled (or gasped, depending on testosterone) at the sight of cat-fighting lesbians and we all pondered a threesome with those twins.

That was just two years ago. Sure, those ads were semi-pornographic and exploitive.

But they were also something else: … Read the rest