Yearly Archives: 2013

More new breweries for New Jersey

A TWEAK in New Jersey beer regs is paying immediate dividends for Garden State beer drinkers.

Under longstanding rules, breweries had been prevented from selling beer for consumption on their own premises. That meant no tasting rooms, which are a significant source of revenue for breweries in practically every other state.

The law was changed last year, however, to allow … Read the rest

Another new wave of breweries hits Philly

GET READY for yet another wave of new breweries in and around Philadelphia. By my count, up to 20 more should be opening between now and next spring.

Some are tucked in city neighborhoods or borough shopping districts; other larger operations are setting up shop in suburban industrial parks.

Notably, a third of the newcomers are opening on the other … Read the rest

New Franklin Museum is a bit dry

TWO HUNDRED ninety years ago Sunday, Benjamin Franklin – Philadelphia’s most celebrated beer drinker – stepped out of a boat on the Delaware and into a tavern.

I was inspired to mark the occasion of the 17-year-old runaway’s arrival in town by visiting the newly reopened Benjamin Franklin Museum in Old City.

That’s the place, tucked in a courtyard off … Read the rest

Stoudt’s experiments with a little Fourplay

HERE’S how geeky America’s passion for hops has gotten: Brewers are now using experimental varieties that are so new and untested, they haven’t even been named. Instead, the hops are known by a series of digits and letters – No. 01210, or HBC344, or whatever.

That’s not the nerdy part, though.

Hops-obsessed beer drinkers have become such wonks, they know … Read the rest

Back to school with a beer

BREAK OUT your beer bong, the fall semester is in full gear. College is all about frat parties and tailgaters and suitcases of Natty Light. Right?

Not so fast. For one small group of students at Temple University, beer is not just something to chug-chug-chug. The fledgling Temple Craft Beer Enthusiasts Club actually sips.

Well, not always.

“If PBR … Read the rest

A beer guy in Burgundy

PASCAL WAGNER looked me in the eyes and assured me: “Don’t be afraid. Just put it in your mouth.”

I paused. My companions on this weeklong expedition to the lush vineyards of Burgundy nodded with encouragement. “Go ahead,” one said. “Lick it.”

“You can actually taste the terroir,” said Pascal, a sommelier, cellarman and local wine expert who was … Read the rest

Beer futures are bullish

A handful of rare ales that haven’t even been brewed, yet, are already so coveted that some beer drinkers are shelling out big bucks just for the right to purchase them months from now.

Yes, we’re talking about beer futures.

The beers are sold through clubs operated by small breweries known for unusual, limited-edition styles. With names like the “Reserve … Read the rest

The pumpkin patch grows wild

IT’S NO longer good enough to make a beer that tastes, crazily enough, like pumpkin pie. Heck, even “imperial” pumpkin beer, whose higher alcohol content offers a decent buzz with dessert, is beginning to blend into the background.

No, if you really want to grab the attention of fickle beer drinkers, you’ve got to come up with something like the … Read the rest

A Fat Tire on I-95

SOMEDAY, Fat Tire, the enormously popular amber ale from Colorado, will be available in Pennsylvania. Not this year, and probably not next.

But soon enough, New Belgium Brewing Co.’s flagship will shoulder its way in among the 6,229 brands already registered for sale in the Keystone State.

First, it hits the shelves next door, in Delaware.

Its slow, deliberate rollout … Read the rest

Souring on beer

REMEMBER when “sour beer” was a bad thing?

These days, it’s a bona fide, mouth-puckering trend, and nowhere in Philly is it celebrated more earnestly than at the annual Sourfest, at Devil’s Den (11th and Ellsworth, South Philly).

The event, now it its fourth year, launches Saturday, when 16 tap lines begin spewing the sour stuff. Over the next seven … Read the rest