Yearly Archives: 2011

Long lost extinct beers

A LIKE DINOSAURS, the dodo and disco, some beer goes extinct, too.

It’s a result of evolution, of course: The fittest survive while the weak disappear. Typically, the lost ones were obscure regional varieties that fell under the weight of widely distributed brands. Others were best-sellers that simply lost favor as tastes and customs changed.

Dortmund Adambier, Pennsylvania Swankey, Grodziski, … Read the rest

A cold beer primer

A FEW WEEKS ago, as the summer temps first started to rise, I broached the topic of drinking beer on the rocks – a practice that rightly prompted guffaws from most of my loyal readers.

But now that the mercury is soaring into triple digits, things are getting life-or-death serious. Your beer is warm! What’s the fastest way to make … Read the rest

Blue beer

JIM CARUSO, the CEO of Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery, must’ve felt like he was trapped in a rerun of “Leave It to Beaver.”

In 2009, he flew out to Lansing, Mich., to appeal the rejection of the label for his brewery’s Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA. As with all of his company’s products, the label featured a gonzo, ink-splattered cartoon … Read the rest

Green and bear it

I LIKE MY COFFEE black, my whiskey straight and my hefeweizen without a lemon slice. But I’m a total sucker for that green syrup they pour into Berliner Weisse.

It’s called woodruff, made from a sweet, aromatic herb, and it’s usually served as a dessert topping. How anyone thought to spike a wheat beer with the stuff is beyond me. … Read the rest

Happy Belgian Independence Day

ON THE OCCASION of Belgian Independence Day, it’s appropriate to contemplate: What makes a Belgian beer Belgian?

What? You didn’t know that Belgian Independence Day is Thursday? Neither did I till I started getting news releases from Belgian beer importers and bars, announcing special brews and festivals to mark the occasion.

Turns out Belgium was once part of the Netherlands … Read the rest

Beer on the rocks? Has hell frozen over?

A FEW MONTHS ago, the New York tabloids were in an uproar when Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed during a tour of Brooklyn Brewery that he drinks his beer over ice. “I’ve always done it,” he declared.

Beer on the rocks? Heresy!

Gossip columnists and beer bloggers couldn’t stifle their guffaws over one of the richest men in America – a … Read the rest

Dreaming and drooling over the summer’s new brews

THERE WAS a time, maybe five or six years ago, that I could walk into a package store and honestly say I’d tasted everything on the shelves. And anything I hadn’t, I could catch up with in a weekend.

Today, forget about it.

In an average visit, I’ll find at least a dozen beer labels I don’t recognize: one-offs from … Read the rest

The most godawful, worst beer in the world

ASK ME THE WORST beer I’ve ever had, and the answer was always easy: Stegmaier Gold Medal.

This was back in the 1970s. The case of 12-ounce cans was smuggled into a dorm room inside a leather suitcase, and we began popping them open before they were sufficiently iced.

It tasted like hay. Or, more accurately, hay that had been … Read the rest

Braggot is a honey of a beer

LAST COLUMN, I mentioned that one of my favorite beers of Philly Beer Week was the homemade braggot that George Hummel of Home Sweet Homebrew served at Opening Tap. That had a few of my readers scratching their heads, “Brag-what?”

It’s not a common beer style, and some will argue it’s not really beer at all.

Braggot is beer mixed … Read the rest

Philly Beer Week Continues

THE PHILLY Beer Week suds whirlpool is still spinning through the weekend. Here’s a sixer of events:

¶All Day Wood, today, at Resurrection Ale House (Grays Ferry). A full day of barrel-aged beer.

¶Allagash Happy Hour, 4:30 p.m. today, at Kite & Key (Franklintown). Brewer Rob Tod brings some of his hard-to-find bottles, including his new Vrieden collaboration beer with

Read the rest