Yearly Archives: 2015

The Joe Sixpack beer trivia challenge

GRAB A PENCIL, crack open a cold one and test your beer knowledge.

1. Which one of these TV shows does not have its own official beer?

a. Game of Thrones.

b. The Walking Dead

c. The Simpsons

d. The GOP presidential debates

e. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

2. Which of the following is not an Anheuser-Busch brand?

a. … Read the rest

Honoring the Maytag man who repaired our palates

THE WEEK should not pass without a toast to the 50th anniversary of the seminal event of modern American brewing.

No, I’m not talking about the invention of the beer-can ring-pull.

I’m instead raising my glass to Aug. 2, 1965, the day when a 27-year-old named Frederick Louis Maytag 3rd – a/k/a Fritz – paid “practically nothing” for a controlling … Read the rest

A beautiful brewery vista, even without a beer

PEDALING up the hill to Abandon Brewing, above New York’s Keuka Lake, late one afternoon last week, I shift down to my lowest gear and find the agony and joy of bicycling for beer.

The sky has turned blue with billowing clouds after a late-morning electrical storm. My jersey is soaked, my legs ache.

I am thirsty.

About 100 yards … Read the rest

Is Narragansett a PBR killer?

TEN YEARS ago this summer, Mark Hellendrung and a group of investors sat down with the owners of Pabst Brewing Co. and convinced them to part with one of its many retro beer brands, Narragansett.

“It was worth everything,” said Hellendrung, a former executive with Nantucket Nectars and Magic Hat Brewing Co. “And it was worth nothing. “

Narragansett had … Read the rest

Our nominees for the Beer Hall of Foam

MY BAR TALK podcast partner, Glen Macnow, and I got to yapping about my suggestion of a couple of weeks ago for a Philly beer museum. The WIP sports talker came up with even better idea:A Beer Hall of Fame.

To get things started, here are my nominees for the first class. You can vote for your favorites or add … Read the rest

Beer from a can outside in the summer. Beat that, wine

LAST WEEK, The New York Times tackled the quandary of outdoor wine drinking. Specifically: How does one enjoy a fine vintage on a picnic without the proper glassware?


For starters, everyone knows it’s impossible to balance a crystal Champagne flute on a cashmere blanket. Never mind those pesky bugs swarming that 2005 magnum of Saint Emilion Grand Cru. But … Read the rest

The story behind Not Your Father’s Root Beer

SOMETHING smells about Not Your Father’s Root Beer, and I’m not talking about the heavy dose of vanilla extract that flavors the suddenly popular brew.

Described as “ale with the taste of spices,” it tastes exactly like soda and contains 5.9 percent alcohol. Two other versions sold in large bottles contain 10.7 percent and an astonishing 19.5 percent alcohol.

The … Read the rest

Beer garden varieties, and garden-variety beers

WITH THE LONG Independence Day weekend around the corner, now’s the time to get ready for some backyard (or roof-deck) entertaining.

A few cases of summer ale are a good start, but to make the party even more memorable, get in touch with your inner-Martha Stewart. For inspiration, I tracked down Denise Sabia, an interior decorator from Ambler whose own … Read the rest

How to make Philly an even better beer-drinking city

IT’S HAMMOCK time – the lazy months of summer when a boy can dream. This one’s already got his feet up and his can in the ice bucket, imagining how to make Philadelphia an even better beer-drinking city.

For example:

Bring back the drinking car on SEPTA trains. How much more tolerable would your commute be if you could enjoy … Read the rest

It’s only reasonable for beer to be seasonable

TWO AUTHORS dominate the beer section of my bookshelf:the late-British newspaperman Michael Jackson, and Randy Mosher, the Chicago-based author whose Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer are bibles for any beer enthusiast.

When Mosher stopped in town last week with his latest, Beer for All Seasons (Storey), I couldn’t pass up a chance to sit down for a couple of beers.… Read the rest