Yearly Archives: 2015

2015: A spunky year in beer

On the final day of 2015, I’m still not certain which was the worst beer development of the year:that sickly sweet root beer posing as an ale or a beer made with, I kid you not, semen. Swallow hard: Here’s my year in review . . . and my predictions for 2016.


Anheuser-Busch InBred, I mean InBev, releases Bud … Read the rest

Brewers give back to their community

Maybe it’s because beer makers feel the need to fight the occasionally negative perception of alcohol with acts of kindness.

Or maybe it’s just that brewers are good people.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t take much to find the spirit of goodwill at breweries this holiday season.

One example in Colorado could become a model for brewers nationwide. It’s called … Read the rest

Victory Helles Lager is Joe Sixpack’s Beer of the Year

BEER FREAKS these days remind me of Dug the Talking Dog in the animated movie, “Up,” whose attention was so easily – Squirrel!

Only it’s hops!

Or barrel-aged!

Or sour!

American brewing is thriving precisely because of its brash creativity, so there’s a lot to love in the hundreds of new, offbeat varieties that fill the shelves every week. Yet, … Read the rest

A beer lover’s holiday gift list

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

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

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

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

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