Yearly Archives: 2016

2016 Beer of the Year: The best of the rest

Man should not live on one beer alone, and in 2016 I found many other exciting, new brews worthy of attention. These are the runners-up for Joe Sixpack’s Beer of the Year.

Slack Tide Bell Buoy: This sweet, zesty, spicy Belgian blond ale is worth the ride down Rt. 9 to the small Cape May County brewery. It also won … Read the rest

Joe Sixpack’s 2016 Beer of the Year

‘You wouldn’t know there’s a brewery down Forked Neck Road in Shamong, N.J.

Nestled against the pines of Wharton State Forest and hidden behind a private home, the small, unheralded facility is dwarfed by its big brother, the Valenzano Winery, nearby on busy Rt. 206. There is no tasting room or tours or visiting hours. There is no place to … Read the rest

Lined up at Tired Hands

It’s only 4 p.m. and already there’s 100 or so outdoor folding chairs that line the sidewalk on Cricket Terrace, a short, yet winding street in Ardmore.

The chairs—and all their vibrant colors—face the street as if awaiting a parade snake for a block, then turn a corner and continue down an adjacent street.

Almost all of them are empty.… Read the rest

This bud’s for you

Not to harsh your mellow, but beer is suddenly getting some serious competition from cannabis.

Seven states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational weed, and 20 others allow its so-called medical use. An estimated 40 million Americans now enjoy marijuana on a regular basis.

And I do mean “enjoy,” in the same way that people enjoy a good brew. Which … Read the rest

Brewers wear their politics on their labels

IMAGINE THAT, 40 years ago, Coors brewed a beer called Down With Queers. Or that 60 years ago Falstaff had a beer named Whites Are Supreme.

It never happened because, though both breweries held some strong political views, neither advertised them on beer cans.

Which is why the widely publicized campaign against North Carolina’s anti-transgender law by a group of … Read the rest

A homebrew club breeds craft beer pros

If there is a local amateur breeding ground for the professional brewers of tomorrow, it could be the six-year-old South Jersey home-brew club with a catchy name.

Barley Legal Homebrewers can lay claim to producing no fewer than a dozen full-time brewers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including several who have opened their own breweries.

Think of it as the … Read the rest

Pa’s new sixpack rules


With that, Pennsylvania, your beer laws have finally entered the 20th century.

And, yes, I do mean last century, for despite the screaming CAPS, the approval is both meaningless and illustrative of the small thinking that accompanies liquor regulation in this state.

For starters, the … Read the rest

Toast dad with a beer from your generation

You remember your father’s beer, don’t you?

Piels, Schmidt’s, Ortlieb’s. When I asked friends on Facebook recently to name their pop’s favorite, they had no problem recalling those days gone by.

“Löwenbräu dark for fancy occasions and Budweiser for every day,” said Rebekah Nault.

“Every Friday afternoon, when I was a kid, a truck would deliver a case of Schmidt’s … Read the rest

Killer events still brewing for brewing for Philly Beer Week

NOW IS NOT the time to slow your celebration of America’s best beer-drinking city, for the final four days of Philly Beer Week feature some killer drafts and some typically incomprehensible entertainment.

For example, turtle races.

You have not experienced the thrill of sport until you’ve witnessed two-inch hard-shells in a mad dash across a piece of felt. The glory, … Read the rest

Sour beer can add complexity to food

Pucker-faced sour beer lovers can’t get enough gose, Berliner Weisse, fruit lambic, and other distinctive varieties. But if all you’re doing is drinking the stuff, well, you’re missing one of the great joys of these special ales.

Because cooking with sour beer adds a whole other flavor dimension to your favorite recipes.

That’s something I came to learn after cracking … Read the rest