Category: Column

Cannabis seeds ensure new brew’s no rehash

Dude, take a hit of some strange brew.

It’s hemp beer, man. Made with the same seeds used to grow marijuana, it’s nonetheless legal and available in sixpacks (not blunts) at your corner deli. The brew, called Hempen Ale, is a brown ale from Maryland’s Frederick Brewing, the maker of Blue Ridge beers.

And, no, it won’t get you high. … Read the rest

Budweiser’s too big to be Busch-league

You know that nightmare where you’re back in school, sitting in geometry class for the final exam and you’re in a sweaty panic because, geez, you skipped every class that semester?

Well it came true last week for Joe Sixpack, and I’m still shaking with fear.

Somehow, I found myself nervously sharpening my No. 2 pencil at Budweiser Beer School, … Read the rest

A sweet wheat treat will defeat the heat

Attention. The following is an Official Joe Sixpack Heat Advisory:


With temperatures approaching the 100-degree mark, sizzled citizens risk severe health problems unless they drink ample liquids. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the dreaded dry mouth are potentially severe consequences should you ignore this advisory.

If you are reading this from the comfort of a barstool, stay put. … Read the rest

A crafty comeback set for Joe’s beer

Remember Ortlieb’s Beer? I can still taste the gassy belch left over from the last time the warm dregs from a 16-ounce can drained down my throat.

Forget the thin, fizzy taste, though. Mention “Ortlieb’s” around town, and you’re likely to be met with a smile of nostalgia. Old-timers remember when it and Schmidt’s were king in the city; baby-boomers … Read the rest

Hoppy Hour at U-Brew

Contrary to the current headlines, the biggest decision most guys have each weekend is not between the blondes and brunettes at the local strip club.

Instead, it more often involves which beer to drink for the next two days.

Thus, on a Thursday evening not long ago, four healthy, potent males (Joe Sixpack included) headed down Spring Garden Street to … Read the rest

Dreaming of a brew that suits the field

Softball season is here, sports fans, so it’s time to consider one of the great mysteries of the game. And, no, I don’t mean why do girls throw like girls.

Joe Sixpack is puzzled more by the proper beer to consume during and/or after seven semi-sweaty innings of softball.

This is a huge concern for the ballplayer confronted with a … Read the rest

Busch-whacked: But it’s sweet victory for Koch’s Boston Beer

Jim Koch, the brewery owner whose familiar voice is as smooth as single-barrel whiskey, is on the phone after a day of meetings in Boston. A variety sixpack of his Samuel Adams beers sits in front of him, and he can’t wait to sample a few of them – quality control, you know.

“I’ll drink anything. I’m interested in any … Read the rest

The critics’ pick may not be choice

So I’m paging through the latest copy of All About Beer magazine, the trade journal for people with too much time on their hands, and I must admit I’m stupefied by this business of rating beers.

Each month, the magazine painstakingly ranks more than 100 beers as part of a Buyer’s Guide prepared by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago. … Read the rest

Women get crafty about specialty beer

A friend tells me he likes to attend beer-tastings because it’s the only time he can drink without raising a fuss from his wife. Somehow, he’s convinced her that, rather than boozing with his buddies, he’s educating his palate.

Maybe she’s dense or maybe he’s just kidding himself. But I have some sobering news for guys like that: The ladies … Read the rest

Hoops and lambic, party tarty

I wonder how many people attending this weekend’s The Book and The Cook event at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology have seen the latest Miller beer commercial.

Several hundred beer fans will be spending a Saturday afternoon in the middle of March Madness, sipping a selection of 14 Belgian-style ales during a tutored tasting amid the … Read the rest