Yearly Archives: 2010

Joe Sixpack’s 2010 Beer of the Year

It was the Year of the Cult Beer.

Extremely limited production runs of pricey, boldly flavored brews had beer freaks standing in lines for a chance to grab a rare treasure.

At Victory Brewing in Downingtown, Pa., $120 cases of Dark Intrigue bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout sold out in under 45 minutes.

In California, The Bruery – fearing long … Read the rest

Back off Minnesota: We’ve got real snow in Philly

This column appeared on the Inquirer Op-Ed.

They were laughing at us in Minneapolis this week when the NFL canceled the Vikings-Eagles game because of snow.

One Twin Cities columnist mocked, “Oooooo, six inches of snow. Oooooo, I’m scared. Better call off the game and call in the National Guard. Heck, in Minnesota we dump six inches of snow out … Read the rest

Get ready to toast a new/old kind of brew

OUT WITH the old, and in with the new – it’s time for some new beer in the new year. Here are two for 2011.

A national survey for Samuel Adams beers claims that more than 60 percent of men prefer to toast with beer versus champagne, if given the choice. I think it would have been 100 percent if … Read the rest

Cases of brew under the tree & other gift ideas

BEER LOVERS are easy when it comes to holiday shopping. A sixpack will make them happy, a case will have them naming their firstborn in your honor.

Still stuck on ideas? Read on.

FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS: A box of St. Nick’s favorite Oregon-made Christmas beers, including BridgePort Ebenezer Ale, Deschutes Jubelale, Full Sail Wassail, McTarnahan’s Hum … Read the rest

Expand a beer lover’s library this holiday

I nursed my drink but it couldn’t be saved.

Unshaved, cursed,

I got right to work on its doomed replacement.

– J. Robert Lennon

IN HIS collection of drinking poems, “In Their Cups” (The Harvard Common Press, $9.95), A.J. Rathbun reveals how well verse and good drinks go together:

“Both are driven by a love of balance and good taste, … Read the rest

Pucker up to Flemish brown ale

A FEW YEARS ago, during a visit to De Proef Brouwerij outside of Ghent, Belgium, a group of American beer enthusiasts – a couple of importers, a bar owner and one or two others – sat around a table with famed brewing engineer Dirk Naudts to conduct one of the odder tasting sessions I’ve encountered.

The goal was to design … Read the rest

Now we get to try some good old Guinness

GUINNESS STOUT is one of the most well-known brands of any kind in the world.

Its harp logo is as familiar as the McDonald’s arches. Its dark body and tan, cascading head are instantly recognizable from across the bar. Even beer drinkers who’ve never left Port Richmond can tell you it’s been brewed since 1759 at St James’s Gate, in … Read the rest

Skip the wine and pair beer with your bird

FOR MORE THAN a century, American brewers have been pleading with you to serve beer on Thanksgiving.

In 2006, the Brewers Association launched a website (now defunct) devoted to imaginative turkey-and-beer pairings. (India pale ale and Cajun deep-fried turkey! )

In the 1980s, Anheuser-Busch answered health concerns about alcohol abuse with advertisements that portrayed beer as a sacred part of … Read the rest

Get a taste of craft-beer bars on bus tour

“I think we’re witnessing the critical mass of craft beer in this town. ”

Looking around nearly four years ago when I scrawled those words, it seemed clear that Philly was enjoying a surge in neighborhood bars whose focus was good beer. We’d reached a tipping point in which it was too late to go back to the same old … Read the rest

Let’s raise a glass to the drinking song

NOBODY KNOWS who wrote the first drinking song, but it’s a good bet that Zane Lamprey won’t write the last.

The booze hound/TV host is touring the country this fall in “Sing the Booze,” a musical-comedy performance that showcases his decidedly dirty, inebriated songs. (“Beer, I Love You” imagines actual copulation with a cold glass of beer. “Baby, You’re Beautiful … Read the rest