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Issue 22 | december 2012/january 2013 |


+ The Roots of Christmas

Looking into the History of Christmas Beer



2012 Holiday Gift Guide

fun Gifts for Beer Lovers on Your List

The Other Craft Beverage Beer Cocktail Recipes | Rob Cassell | DIY: Beer Menorah


Take One 1

Make Reservations Online at

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2803 Route 73 Maple Shade, NJ 856-722-5577



december 2012/january 2013

features 60

The Spirits of Philadelphia Philadelphia Distilling & Dad’s Hat are pioneering the craft distilling scene in the City of Brotherly Love.


2012 Holiday Gift Guide Our 4th annual gift guide to the season’s best beer-centric presents.


Christmas Brews Saints, Vikings & a star. The origins of Christmas beers.

on the cover





The Roots of Christmas




2012 Holiday Gift Guide




THE OTHER CRAFT BEVERAGE Beer Cocktail Recipes | Rob Cassell | DIY: Beer Menorah








Photography by Gina Aquaro. Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey and Philadelphia Distilling’s Vieux Carré and Bluecoat Gin are profiled in our December/January issue. Check out the full article from Brittanie Sterner on page 60.



december 2012/january 2013

sections 14 On the Scene

46 Not Beer

Beer events in Philly’s beer scene.

Beer Cocktails By Matt Scheller

16 The Variety Pack

49 Le Fromage

Jonathan Clark, Mat Falco, Joe Gunn,

Doe Run Barn Owl & Love Stout

Jeff Herb, Jared Littman, Megan Maguire

By Ryan Hudak

& Brittanie Sterner

50 From the Cellar

26 Woman on the Scene Drinking with the Elves By Carolyn Smagalski

28 Fun With Beer

’07 & ’10 Pannepot


Beer Menorah

52 Beer Law General Assembly Session By Senator Chuck McIlhinney

30 Homebrewer’s Corner

55 Alterna-Beer

Holiday Brews

Fox Tail Pale Ale

By Steve Hawk

By Dave Martorana

32 Hop Culture

56 local wine

East Kent Golding Hops

Heritage Vineyards

By Joseph Bair

By Keith Wallace

34 Cooking with Beer

59 History

Mad Elf & Foie Gras

Winter Beer Dates

By Chef Robert Legget

By Mat Falco


36 Tunes & Brews Bob Grossman By G.W. Miller III

39 Tapping Into Technology The Can Van


Unique beer destinations for a pint and a meal in and out of the city.

84 The Tasting Room

First Craft Beer Memories

20 beers reviewed by our panel with special guests: Jack Curtin, Brian O’Reilly & Rui Lucas

By Ed Makin

42 Brewmasters Rob Cassell of Philadelphia Distilling

90 Directory Find craft beer near you!

By Brittanie Sterner

44 Beer Travel


Denver, CO

80 Bar & Restaurant

By Mat Falco

40 Discovering Craft Beer


By Phillip Pittore III


98 Beer Events Local happenings in the Philly beer scene.


le t t a B SCENE the-






Brewers February 10th at 1:00pm @ world caFe live 6 Brewery Bands

battle it out on stage to support their favorite charity.

6 firkins and 6 draft

beers to represent the breweries. TickeTs are $20 a piece wiTh 100% going To The winning bands chariTy of choice. TikeTs available aT:



Mat Falco

Art Director Executive Editor Contributing Editors

Contributing Artist Contributing photographers

Web Designers graphic designers special thanks

Melissa Cherepanya Alicia Eichelman Joseph Bair, Lisa Grimm, Joe Gunn, Steve Hawk, Jeff Herb, Chef Robert Legget, Jared Littman, Dave Martorana, Ed Mackin, Megan Maguire, Senator Chuck McIlhinney, G.W. Miller III, Phillip Pittore III, Carolyn Smagalski, Matt Scheller, Brittanie Sterner & Keith Wallace Jonathan Clark Gina Aquaro, Alison Dunlap, Artistic Imagery, Inc., & Shannon Reed Amanda Mitchell & Sarah Whiteman Sarah Coale & Nick Less Natalie DeChico

Philly Beer Scene was founded in 2009 by Mat Falco, Neil Harner, Scott Willey and John Galster. Philly Beer Scene is Designed & Printed in the USA. Copyright Š 2012 Beer Scene Publishing, LLC. Philly Beer Scene is published bi-monthly by Beer Scene Publishing, LLC. 1229 Chestnut Street-PMB 131 Philadelphia, PA 19107 | Phone: 267-997-6201 For subscription inquiries please visit us on the web at




Contributors Lisa Grimm




What is your ideal last beer of 2012? First beer of 2013? Thanks to a Belgian friend, I have a bottle of Westy just waiting to make a New Year’s Eve appearance. I’d like to follow it up with something lower-key but flavorful to ring in a mellow 2013: Yards Brawler is my go-to. What is your favorite locally crafted spirit and why? I’m not a huge drinker of spirits, but I do like a good gin; locally, my favorite is Dogfish Head’s Jin, which has some really nice aromatic touches. (And, running out is always a good excuse to head back down to the beach to pick up another bottle.)

Jared Littman What is your ideal last beer of 2012? First beer of 2013? I’m eager to get my hands on Victory Red Thunder (wine-barrel-aged Baltic Thunder) by the end of year. I would love to start the New Year with a barrel-aged Voodoo Big Black Voodoo Daddy or the 2012 Weyerbacher Riserva. What is your favorite locally crafted spirit and why? Bluecoat Gin without a doubt. It’s a citrusy, well-priced gin. Plus, I’m supporting my local economy with each sip. In fact, I’m drinking a gin and tonic right now.

Chef Robert Legget

Philly’s BEST Homebrew Shop

2011 & 2012

as voted by Readers of Philly Beer Scene

If you could receive anything beer related for Christmas, what would it be? It would definitely be a three day stay in Rehoboth Beach, DE for a two day session with Dogfish. The last several times that I have been there, there has been such an impressive selection of brew house experimentals and exclusives that it was very easy to induce a lost weekend. What is your ideal last beer of 2012? First beer of 2013? My final beer for 2012 will most certainly be Evil Twin Cat’s Piss. Out of all of those pissy, light bodied, outrageously hoppy grapefruity beers that have been flooding the taps, Cat’s Piss killed it by far. As for 2013, I am looking forward to the rise of any and all local session beers! Less means more!

Classes held weekly Brittanie Sterner Montgomeryville, PA - 215.855.0100 Bethlehem, PA - 610.997.0911


Open 7 Days a Week



If you could receive anything beer related for Christmas, what would it be? A full set of Mike Fisher’s hand-blown artisan glasses made for Roy Pitz, and an unlimited gift certificate to Eulogy. Falco, I will also accept these in lieu of next month’s check. What is your favorite locally crafted spirit and why? Dad’s Hat Rye single cask, which I was lucky enough to taste straight from the barrel while writing the distilling piece. The lavender! The pepper! It would tie with Philadelphia Distilling’s Shine, but I’m a rye whiskey girl at heart.

publisher’s Letter

Since the inception of this magazine, I can’t think of a year that’s been more impressive for local craft beer. Great new breweries made an instant impact and gave us new destinations to have a pint. In all, a dozen new breweries have opened in the region in 2012. On top of new breweries, we also saw significant growth in the more established breweries. Tröegs’ new facility in Hershey is up and running and already won them some impressive hardware at the GABF. Sly Fox built a new, larger facility in Pottstown, PA and similarly, Flying Fish moved into their impressively larger brewhouse in Somerdale, NJ. Weyerbacher is also in the process of a multi-million dollar expansion to their existing brewery. Likewise, Victory started work on their second brewery. And, we already received word on at least one more Iron Hill location and a new Triumph. Take this and add in all the great new beer-centric bars and restaurants that have opened and it’s hard to argue the impact this past year has had. That said, I hope you guys enjoy our final issue of the year. In hopes of taking a new look at holiday beers, we are featuring the history of Christmas beers and how this craze of spiced beers began. We also have our annual gift-guide and in a bit of a change, I wanted to use one of the features to introduce you to something I’ve really come to love and want to start including in each issue: craft spirits. And, what would be more fitting than to give you an in depth look into the two local guys: Dad’s Hat and Philadelphia Distilling. There’s a lot in common between small batch spirits and craft beer that deserves a deeper look. Let’s raise a glass to what was a great year and what is sure to be another. Happy Holidays! Cheers, Mat Falco Publisher


on the scene

// event photos

Nick Less of Barry ’s Homebrew drinking beer at Brauhaus Schmit z’s 2nd annual outdoo r Oktoberfest celebratio n.

their first trip Luke Bowen and Trevor Hayward make Evil Genius. ry, brewe their nting out to the GABF represe

Mark Weinmann of Great Lakes dresses as brewery mascot Elliot Ness at the first annual Ba thtub Beer Fest.

Local b eer rep s, L Stone a nd Sha ee Marren a nd Arc ngy’s re GABF hie Kn . spectiv ight, o ely, in f Denver at the

Fran Cattani celebrates Brauhaus Schmitz’s Oktoberfest in style, adorning the traditional lederhosen.

the books. The Another year of Brews For Boobies is in city raising money Center City group poses as they crawl the for breast cancer awareness.

anging out and Mike h e i l ta a N of ps er re Tom Kehoe Weyerbach ABF with G t a ESA. s r e fo bl ta this year behind the rst medal fi is h on w Yards, who



The team from Prism once again representing out at GABF with th eir unique styles of beer.

the nds enjoying e of thousa on s a y b w r on ne st put Ethan Ster t Oktoberfe t the all-ou festivities a Schmitz. Brauhaus


Madeline Rice and Karen N Compan oonan of y dresse Victory d up in a the Bath Brewing bit of Pro tub Bee hibition st r Fest. yle at

galski, took on her usual The Beer Fox, Carolyn Sma food pavilion at the role of MC’ing the beer and tival. Great American Beer Fes

South Philly B rews F carryin or Boo g the bies cra extra wlers h shirts elping to the out, next b ar.

t ki getting wha aster Bill Covales er ch Victory Brewm ba er Wey wet willy from appears to be a n. ilso W ris Brewmaster, Ch

Brauhaus Schmitz ow ner, Doug Oktoberfest Hager, tak with his w ing in the ell dressed son.


the variety pack

// a little bit of everything


Weird Beer #22 Wynkoop’s Ballsy New Stout

The World Atlas of Beer An attempt to fill Michael’s void. By Mat Falco

Two respected beer writers have come together to bring a modern touch to the renowned “World Guide to Beer” and “The New World Guide to Beer,” written by the man who help start it all—Michael Jackson. Despite the timeless pieces of work that they are, the beer world does change; there are always new breweries making must-try beers and even classic breweries putting out new, impressive recipes. Due to that, there is a void to fill following Michael’s books, and “The World Atlas of Beer” is attempting to do just that. Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont, from the UK and Canada respectively, are the authors of this fine coffee-table style book. The book opens with a look into beer itself or the “nature of beer” as they like to put it. This isn’t a guide to brewing beer or the science behind it, but essential background information is given, as well as educational resources on buying, storing, serving and tasting beer, among other useful sections. The heart and soul of the book though, is on the countless hours of research that Tim and Stephen put in to guide the reader through what beers need to be tried in all parts of the world. It is broken down by continent and then into regions and countries. Filled with photography and maps to capture the areas, a look inside of each area’s beer culture is provided and choice beer selections follow. Open up to the page on Sweden and you will learn about the unique challenges of marketing in the most expensive brewing nation in the world when it comes to buying beer, along with a list of ten fantastic beers to find there and what sells best in Sweden, to help give you a better grasp of the culture. With 256 pages, this is sure to end up on any coffee table for quite some time and can often be opened to reference upcoming trips and beer purchases. 16


There are endless amounts of jokes available when a brewery decides to make a beer using certain unmentionable body parts. However, what if the beer, despite its light-hearted intentions, was actually an attempt at a new, regular brew paying homage to regional traditions? A fine line is drawn and consumption may or may not be affected, but this is exactly what Wynkoop Brewing Company set out to do. It may have started out as a joke with a YouTube video that was released on April Fools’Day and quickly went viral, but the video gained such immense national feedback that they had no choice but to make it a reality. Though many are a bit too squeamish to try them, most people are aware of Colorado’s signature culinary treat that is available all over, including their professional sports stadiums — Rocky Mountain Oysters (AKA bull calf testicles) are a Colorado tradition, one of those things that everyone feels they must try when they visit (though many tend to wuss out). This tradition is now a key ingredient in Wynkoop’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, along with a lesser ingredient, a dose of sea salt, that takes the line riding about as far as one can take it. The first batch made was eight barrels and included twenty-five pounds of roasted slices of bull testicle that were added to the mash or as Wynkoop likes to put it: three BPB’s (balls per barrel). The touch of sea salt only enhances that ball-ish Rocky Mountain flavor. Despite the initial batch now being swallowed in its entirety (too much?) during the Great American Beer Festival, this creamy stout will live on past this eight barrel batch and soon will be filling cans.

Voodoo Magic A cultural myriad of labels. By Brittanie Sterner

Matt Allyn often receives the question, “So, who’s the Primus fan?” It’s in reference to Wynona’s Big Brown, a Voodoo beer and label inspired by the beaver in the Primus song known only to Primus fans. “Once they make a connection, they start to notice the nuances,” Allyn says of the label’s subtle work of drawing in like-minded people–who in fact, vary across the board, considering the myriad cultural tenets to which the Voodoo bottles allude. There is the swirling Love Child, a Hendrix connotation; Big Black Voodoo Daddy, which boasts a label drawn from the jazzy album cover of a similarly named swing revival band; and amongst others, Pilzilla, crafted in liquid and label form as homage to the radioactively mutated lizard. “We’re kind of hoping to get sued by Japan,” Allyn jokes. “We thought that’d make for good media.”

Since launching in 2007, Voodoo labels have stood not only as subculture shout-outs but as billboards of “beer geek” information, extending from basic ingredients to style descriptors to the story behind each beer. They go beyond the visual beckon to provide a solid and brief education. Allyn says of the labels, “The more you know about something, the more comfortable you are with it.” Personal familiarity is another strong aspect in the Voodoo marketing platform. “I’ve lived a lot of places. I try to put those into a liquid format and come up with a total package that has all of those experiences in it.” It shows through, especially in the photo that Allyn took for the Four Seasons IPA, depicting his friends canoeing in winter. “That’s kind of what us rednecks do up here [in rural PA]. Just because it’s snowy and icy out doesn’t mean we’re not going to go canoeing.” Ultimately, what seems like a visual hodgepodge of personal experience and cultural influence is what forms the ineffable and heartfelt personality of Voodoo as a whole. While the bottles do successfully strut their collective personality, it’s soon time for a slight makeover. “Subtle changes reach into the subconscious and bring the eye back to the brand. You don’t want to change it so it’s not recognizable, but just make small changes that get second looks on the shelf.” For starters, the Voodoo logo is coming up to the front of the bottle. For five years it’s lived on the back, but moving it will generate those second looks. “And we’re due for that. Once we get caught up with the pub we just opened, we’ll be able to concentrate on redoing the labels.” And since Voodoo labels have featured the work of several student artists at Allegheny College, it’s only suited that the pub will host their art. “It’s all about creating a culture,” Allyn says of the brewery’s magic philosophy.

By Jonathan Clark 17

the variety pack


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For classic pub fare and a bit of American nosh as well, visit The Whip, Chester County’s traditional English Pub. Taste what all the talk is about and treat a friend to our fine selection of beers.

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// a little bit of everything

I on Beer Jingle Balls. By Joe Gunn

The other day, while my kids were watching some of their favorite commercials, we started discussing what they wanted for Christmas and I brought up the idea of writing to Santa in hopes of making their dreams come true, because God knows, I’m not getting them anything. Tough year betting on the ponies. Anyway, after I explained that we can’t text message our list to Santa, we grabbed some paper and crayons and had some family commercialism time. I was planning on posting all of them, but the three kids’ letters were very poorly written. Didn’t even have words in a couple of them, just stickers. Here’s mine for your holiday pleasure. Yelp. Yelpers seem to think their presents Dear Santa, ’t take a little long to arrive, and you don Let me start out by thanking you for ew smile enough when they bitch at you. Revi as istm Chr time long my on ering deliv finally s” highlights include “fat guy in baggy pant list request of stripping Star Wars from (8 shit” like (12 reviews), and “smells ard George Lucas. I’m really looking forw sound a puppy makes how reviews). A yelp is a to Episodes VII-XXXIII now. I also like it happen. e when it’s dying. Make you rubbed his nose in it when you mad rt. I’m sure at some -Ma Nothing from Wal e him give it all to charity. Anywho, thes to point it’ll prove to be more cost effective are the things I want most in 2012. ter shel to feed and 2. shop here than to have A Roomba. Been on the list since 200 ’s the case, I will that en Wh s. your elf slave Don’t know why you’re being such a dick , toiletries, or food , toys no longer include ’re about this one. I know in real life they anything Like guns on the big Xmas list. elf about $300, but it probably takes an my that takes deep thought or any effort on about 90 seconds to build one. Maybe up part, I generally don’t get too worked you’re confused about what it is; it’s a the are os yaho e thes but , over big business little round thing that runs around the get gs thin and r worst. Now, as you get olde room sucking everything it can. It’s like ter gree a as tight, and you start working there Mrs. Claus, but expensive. to or whatever, I understand, and I’ll try More respect for Rochefort. One of ’t stop by to say hi, but those a-holes aren et the most sought after beers on the plan they se, cour Of getting a dime from me. the is Westvleteren 12. People treat it like a couple dimes off ally probably, somehow, get Holy Grail, but harder to find. You liter whenever they open ent, me in local tax breaks have to fly to Belgium, make an appointm s. Luckily for me, sitie stro one of their mon r and they give you a case of one of thei ican food with Mex d, they don’t sell delicious three beers they make. As far as I’m concerne a great beer selection… yet. anything that takes that much effort is New Gameboy. The new ones have an you n whe but all, and t grea It’s d. rate over internet browser. Seeing porn on a Gameboy get past the legend of what a pain in the would pretty much bring my whole life ass it is to get, it’s really no better than full circle. in Rochefort 8 or 10, which you can find a bunch of legitimate bars in our town. a, Thanks, The End of Yelp. For Christ’s sake Sant Joey Gunn, Sr. even you only have 3 out of 5 stars on


It’s Named What? The Mouflan Mythos. By Jeff Herb

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Tröegs is, “What the hell is a Flying Mouflan?” Well, a quick bit of Internet research will reveal a “mouflan” to be merely a subspecies of wild sheep known as Ovis aries. As a matter of fact, mouflans are thought to be one of the two ancestors of all modern sheep. So, in essence, a “flying mouflan” is a flying sheep. Coincidentally, when Tröegs first released the fourth consecutive beer in its experimental “Scratch” series (Scratch #4, an American-style Barleywine), its popularity soared to such lofty heights that, inevitably, we felt obligated to turn it into a seasonal offering. It “flew off the shelves,” so to speak. A fan once described the beer as “combining a stout and an IPA, then pushing it off a cliff.” This is a curious analogy that harkens back to feeble-minded shepherds nudging their flock off the side of a cliff to see they could fly; hence, the term “flying mouflan.” While the above indeed tells a rather delightful tale, it nevertheless only scratches the surface of the mythology of the Flying Mouflan. If one digs even deeper into the nether reaches of the Flying Mouflan’s mythos, one will uncover a story so epic, it compels one to shudder with astonishment! Seemingly meek and docile to the untrained eye, the mouflan is actually a creature of great strength and virtue. In fact, the mouflan has long been revered as the guardian of a specific beer style: the Barleywine Ale. Some even believe that mouflans possess the power of flight. Now, the story might have ended right there, but further investigation revealed even more folklore about mystical creatures

from the dark ages known as “Flying Mouflans.” Passed down through many generations, the myth of Flying Mouflans is deeply rooted in the dark, musty cellars of brew-making monks. Mouflans were fabled to be the sole protectors and feared gatekeepers of the monks’ brewing techniques and beer yield. However, the Mouflans were kept chained to the cellar walls, surviving only on succulent drops from the leaky barrels. Eventually, the young Mouflans began to sprout wings, and after several months, their wings became strong and resilient, thus signifying the Barleywine’s maturity. It was at this time that the monks released the Mouflans before they broke the chains of their captors and destroyed the Barleywine. The rich chocolate-toned coats of the Mouflans paired with their deep raisin-colored eyes evoke the bold flavors and aromas found in Tröegs Flying Mouflan and haunt the essence of this brew long after their first flight to freedom. People say beer gives you wings. Well, if ever there was truth behind such a statement, then Flying Mouflan is a testament to its validity. Crack open a bottle to unlock bold aromas and flavors conjuring visions of hops dipped in Candi Sugar and rolled in dark cocoa nibs. Soak in the lush overtones of tangy raisin and decadent chocolate. Feel the feathers poking from within until they can no longer be contained and burst from your shoulders. Despite its high gravity, Flying Mouflan will take you on a trip to a distant land. Just take a leap of faith off the nearest cliff and let Flying Mouflan do the rest.


the variety pack

// meet the scene

Suzy Woods Get to know more about The Beerlass. Interview By Megan Maguire

Suzy Woods is well-known in the beer (and food) community as a sales rep for Allagash and her regular blog posts on “Beerlass.” She is also my good friend; I wasn’t going to let her off the hook with softball questions, so I constructed some questions that dig a little deeper, to find out what makes this lady tick.

Your appreciation of great food is well-documented for anyone who reads your blog or follows you on Twitter. Can you share some exciting food trends you are seeing out there?

Philly is turning Japanese. Well, Philly chefs are turning to Asian food stuffs in general. Hints of Japan, Korea, Vietnam and China are all over this city right now. Jason Cichonski at Ela almost always has some variation of a Banh Cam on the menu. Sean Magee at Time was making Kimchi oxtail terrine this week, Ben Puchowitz of Matyson is serving ramen lunches out of the kitchen at his newAmerican byo on 19th Street. Han Chiang and his dynasty started a heat wave with their fiery Szechuan food. Dan dan noodles are now everyday Philly lexicon. I think more “one-item concepts” will continue to pop up— Federal Donuts, Underdogs, Hot Diggity, Insomnia Cookies, Magpie. I got my pie place, my other two wishes include dumplings and empanadas. I am seeing more and more novelty non-alcoholic drinks, especially this season with cider and ginger beer. Chefs Tweeting about their evening works of art. Collaborative dinners, farmers’ markets, chef ’s tables, butchering, and nose-to-tail menu features. As Mid-Atlantic sales for Allagash, you are covering both DC and Philly markets. Can you illustrate some of the major contrasts and similarities between both markets?

Few are top of mind. Down there, some of the most popular coffee shops are more European. All the day long you can order a latte or a lager. I swear the long room at Tryst in Adams Morgan, is actually divided into Mac and PC zones. I always wondered why more bars didn’t do that in Philly. I think Standard Tap could achieve it. There are “sexy pizza places” everywhere. They’re cosmopolitan Neapolitan joints that have great craft beer, attractive staff, and pretty decent pizza, sort of like Stella at 2nd and Lombard. There are about thirty different spots and all thirty are packed every night. Roof decks are borderline mandatory down there. They stay open all year round with the help of heated roofs. In Philly, we’re at the point that even corner bars will have a craft offering. They’re not there quite yet. There are about six really good beer bars. The rest are high-end restaurants or just non-descript spots where suits meet. They’ve never really had a local brewery before two years ago. By the 20


end of next year, they might have four which includes a brewpub. They don’t have an independent brewpub right now. We are fortunate to have Nodding Head, Dock Street, Earth [Bread + Brewery], Manayunk and Triumph. Both cities have “Josés.” We’ve got Garces, They’ve got Andres. Both Josés “get” beer. DC has a few restaurant groups that own multiple spots but they’re not as concept-driven as STARR Restaurants. Jason Sheehan recently wrote a piece for Philadelphia Magazine entitled, ‘Is Center City Over?’ In it, he discusses the apparent slowdown of the Center City restaurant scene. Would you care to comment on this?

Center City rent makes running a bar or restaurant an almost impossible dream. There’s Rittenhouse, there’s condos and I know a few people that live on Spruce Street, but there aren’t a ton of residents in Center City proper. Many people will tell you it’s a city where neighborhoods thrive. I definitely agree with that but I don’t believe Center City is over. Perhaps on hiatus? Some of these bars that are killing it on the perimeter of Center City will sell enough beer and make enough dollars that they might be able to handle downtown rent. What I don’t want to see is more chains. The whole Bookbinders turned Applebee’s thing still irks me six years later.

A Letter to Craft Beer Drinkers Beer geek intensity. By Mat Falco

At what point does craft beer stop being beer and become a trendy collector’s dream; the Beanie Baby craze of the latest generation? Do craft beer drinkers take things too far and forget that the liquid in their glass is still just that—liquid? It’s a glass of beer. One of the many sought after blends of water, hops, malt and yeast; a beverage that has been consumed dating back to the earliest days of civilization. So why now has it become so much more? No one can argue that your average beer geek can take things a bit too far. They share intensity for craft beer that is similar to that of Hulk Hogan ripping off his shirt pre-match. Craft beer became more than just a drink and ended up a way of life, spawning an entire sub-culture. Rare beers are sought out and attained between multi-hour long waits in the coldest of weather and online trades of such intricacy that even the most die-hard of fantasy football fans would weep in envy. Craft beer moves to the forefront of lives and decisions begin to revolve around beer. In and of itself, this seems a great thing: beer sells, friends are made, and the gospel of craft beer is spread. What more could be asked for from such a cultural staple of a beverage? Take a step back and look upon it from the outside though and the perspective interpretation may be different. Has craft beer almost turned into the new wine or worse yet, that one religious person that speaks nothing but of his religion, thus, giving the religion as a whole a bad name? Does this new culture of beer geek talk about beer too much? Is it time to take the perspective of the outside into account? There’s nothing wrong with placing craft beer on the pedestal it’s commonly laid upon, but maybe we need to take a step back and the audience should be taken into consideration. No matter how much passion one may have for good beer, another person may just never understand it. Let’s face it; some people are going to be Budweiser drinkers for life. Call it ignorance, call it a lack of good taste, call it whatever you want, but no matter how much we talk about beer and shove craft beer down their throats, it’s not going to change anything. It will, however, give craft beer a bad name. An aura of pretentiousness will surround it, giving it a sense of repulsion amongst the masses. Something that in the end is bad for beer, bad for the brewer and bad for the consumer alike. So, does craft beer need to change? Do people need to stop talking about craft beer and find a new source of fulfillment in their life? Absolutely not. Passionate people are one of the things that make this culture so great, but passion doesn’t need to be thrown full force on people from the get-go. No need to be like the Hulkster and rip your shirt off all at once in one aggressive motion. Sometimes, things need to be taken slowly, or else they’ll end up in the bargain bin next to that one-time thousand dollar Beanie Baby.


the variety pack

// a little bit of everything

Slinging the Local Suds William Reed sets the standard for local beer love. By Jared Littman

“Nothing strengthens your resolve more than people telling you that it’s not going to work.” Philly imports the best beers from around the world. Some are found in the country of production . . . and Philly. Beer geeks travel from afar to get their hands on West Coast brands that make Philly their only East Coast stop. Why would anyone open a bar in Philly that closes their taps to these treasures? Why would you do such a thing? It’s 1999. The Philadelphia brewing scene was coming into its own. After three years of rehabbing a building in Northern Liberties, William Reed and his partner were ready to open their first bar—but this bar would be different. This bar would be Philadelphia’s first bar with an all-local tap list. William wanted a “Philadelphia tavern” with a feeling of localism running throughout. William wanted that bar where a local would send out-of-towners if they wanted to see what Philly was all about. Standard Tap opened for business with ten taps (later increased to twenty), two hand pumps, and the legendary Yuengling Lord Chesterfield fridge. Four years later, William and his partner opened up Johnny Brenda’s. While he didn’t want Johnny Brenda’s to become Standard Tap II, he stuck to his guns—localism was a philosophy not a gimmick. William still pours some of the same breweries as when he opened, including Stoudt’s, Yards, Weyerbacher, and Dogfish Head, while others in his original rotation no longer exist, such as Heavyweight and New Road. William’s decision to keep his taps all-local was not about business. He wasn’t even sure that it would work from a business perspective. But his passion prevailed. He liked to see the money go back into the region. He also appreciated the personal service that he received from the local breweries. His beers were generally fresher. William, however, made some sacrifices. Tom Peters of Monk’s goes to Belgium to visit breweries; William goes to Kensington. The haters. William faced skepticism. Some in the industry told him “That’s cute” or “You’re never going to make it in the long run.” Even today, William faces pressure from some distributors, non-local breweries, and extreme beer enthusiasts. He’s seen people look at the tap list and leave. But



William was not trying to be everything to everybody. He just wanted to be the “Philadelphia tavern.” What’s “local?” William has a strict 90-mile rule, but he adjusted the boundaries to capture more of Pennsylvania (Tröegs, in particular), but to exclude New York and Baltimore, who have their own markets. If a local brewery contract brews, he serves only the product that is brewed locally. If a West Coast brewery operated a nearby facility, he serves the locally-brewed beers only. For example, William hosted a Samuel Adams’ event during Philly Beer Week that poured only those beers brewed in the Lehigh Valley facility. For some events, such as the Wet Hop Rodeo, he admittedly serves beers that are not local because he can’t get enough locally. While there was a time when filling thirty-seven taps with local beer was difficult, it’s not anymore. William enjoys the new local breweries, but he also remains loyal to the “old guard” that is still making great beer. William does not settle for lesser-quality products by sticking to local. He believes that many local beers, like Weyerbacher Verboten, are not just great by local standards, but are great on an international scale. Philly’s amazing import scene challenges the locals to step up—and they have consistently responded. William has pulled off what many thought was impossible. Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s have become the “Philadelphia taverns,” slinging the local suds that William always wanted.





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the variety pack

// a little bit of everything

A Philadelphia Takeover of Denver Recapping the 2012 GABF. Wandering the streets of Denver, there are moments when you might not even realize you left Philadelphia. It’s hard to walk more than a block without bumping into a fellow Philadelphian or spotting one nearby. Visiting a brewery? You can count on at least one other familiar face having a similar plan. If it weren’t for the constant visions of New Belgium Fat Tire and the drastically more modern architecture of the city, one could easily mistake Denver for Philadelphia during the Great American Beer Festival. Every year, the Philly contingent shows up in larger numbers to this wildly huge competitive beer festival in support of their local brewers. Philly folk are everywhere, making it hard to believe that any other beer market has more pride or as strong of a culture as our great city. For a city so passionate about its beer, it only makes sense that it would carry its passion in such a manner; a showing that only adds to our argument as the greatest beer drinking city in America. As in past years, Philly’s beer culture showed not only in the festival hall and on the streets, but also within the awards ceremony. Tröegs was absolutely dominant. Dock Street put an end to a drought that went on for much too long and Yards, in similar fashion, won its first ever award. Bob Barrar took home yet another medal for his Russian Imperial Stout, which still remains one of the most underrated local beers. Nodding Head’s Phunk barrel won another medal for a different beer. And, when it was all said and done, it was yet another trip to Denver that the beer world is sure to have noticed.

Winners: Beer



Yards ESA


Extra Special Bitter

Tröegs HopBack Amber


American-Style Amber/Red Ale

Tröegs Sunshine Pils


German-Style Pilsener

Tröegs DreamWeaver Wheat


South German-Style Hefeweizen

Stewart’s Brewing Oyster Stout


Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout

Rock Bottom KOP The Hammer


Baltic-Style Porter

Old Dominion Octoberfest


German-Style Märzen

Nodding Head George’s Fault


Specialty Honey Beer

Nodding Head George’s Phunk


Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour

Iron Hill Wilmington Black IPA


American-Style Black Ale

Iron Hill Phoenixville Roggenbier


Rye Beer

Iron Hill Media Russian Imperial Stout


Imperial Stout

Iron Hill Lancaster Rauchtoberfest


Smoke Beer

Flying Fish Exit 8


Specialty Beer

Dock Street ABT 12


Belgian-Style Abbey Ale

Dock Street/Thiriez Table Saison


Session Beer

Tröegs Brewing Company – Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year

Left: Team Tröegs accepting their award for Mid-Sized Brewing Company of the Year. Above: Larry Horwitz, Bob Barrar, and Charlie Papazian posing on stage for Bob’s Imperial Stout medal.



Champagne Alternatives Skip the bubbly for your toast this year and try these beer alternatives. Malheur Bière Brut: The first champagne beer ever introduced to

the world back in 1997 by Manu De Landtsheer. A champagne beer or Bière-Brut is a beer that goes through the same method of fermentation and dégorgement as that of champagne. A similar golden/straw color and bubbly like champagne, blended with delicate beer flavors, this is the perfect substitute for your typical champagne toast.

Brouwerij Bosteels DeuS: A truly unique beer that takes a dedicated

approach to earn the champagne description. DeuS is brewed in Belgium and then transported to the champagne region of France where sugar and yeast is added and the beer gets the champagne treatment by being refermented during a long aging process. In the end, it’s like sipping on champagne without the fruit and is a perfect fit for any flute glass.

MOA St Josephs Tripel: Though not actually a champagne beer,

MOA St Josephs Tripel, has the look to fill the role. Packaged in a gorgeous magnum bottle with a classy black label then housed inside an artfully designed box, this beer looks as fancy, if not fancier, than most actual champagnes and is sure to impress at the stroke of midnight.

Chimay Grand Réserve 3L: This one may not look like a champagne

bottle, nor does it have any champagne characteristics, but nothing says celebration like a massive, beautifully packaged 3L bottle. Meant to age even better than its smaller Chimay “siblings,” this is the ideal beer to buy years in advance, making the New Year’s Eve toast a truly special occasion.


woman on the scene

Go Not to the Elves for Drink By Carolyn Smagalski

“Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no,” wrote J.R.R. Tolkien. Such caution presents a dilemma. Christmas Ales and Winter Warmers are meant to be drunk deeply, until the brain turns fuzzy and elfin creatures appear. Not the little Green Faeries of absinthe fame, but Beer Elves who morph in the glass and drench the lips in spice. For hundreds of years, they have touched the earth as mythical beings, somewhat divine, soaked in magic. Some were malevolent, dark ones who lived below the earth, sucking the dank caverns into their souls. Subway rats with no agenda but to do ‘no good.’ But modern elfin creatures are ethereal. Think Legolas Greenleaf of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy or those humorous depictions connected to Christmas— elves like Buddy Hobbs, Hermey the Misfit, and Bernard from the movie The Santa Claus. And what about Elfvis, the one who performs in Vegas? “…people didn’t seem to be able to remember what it was like with the elves around,” warned Terry Pratchett in Lords and Ladies. “Life was certainly more interesting then, but usually because it was shorter. And it was more colorful, if you liked the color of blood.” Despite the warnings, I was off to mount a drunken stupor until the elves came alive in Fairmount Park. Living in the “Best Beer Drinking City in America” adds excitement to winter beers the color of blood, or so the saying goes. Christmas Beers and Winter 26

Warmers typically have a malty base and are infused with higher alcohol, spices, and the peel of various fruits. They wrap us in gingerbread, brandied fruitcake, spruce tips and smoke, cinnamon, cloves and allspice—holiday aromas that freeze the mind in a moment. Many use crystal malts for color, along with special ingredients that may include molasses, invert sugar, maple sugar and honey. American and Belgian beers may be quite spicy, while German and English styles stand on warmth and assertiveness. Vanberg & DeWulf ’s line of classics are pleasure mongers. The most distinctive of these hail from Brasserie Dubuisson and Brasserie Dupont of Belgium. Dubuisson’s prestigious Scaldis name, unique to the U.S. market, is Latin for the Scheldt River in Belgium. Seek them out locally at The Belgian Café, Monk’s, Eulogy, and Tria. At 12.5% ABV, Scaldis Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson glows unfiltered amber with red edges, a regal head and sticky legs. It paints the throat with immediate warmth, infused in spicy peaches, nuts, and caramel. Arwen & Aragorn Share Noble Drinks

Arwen, the Evening Star, has come from Middle Earth to drink with me. This Noble maiden pours me glasses of Scaldis Prestige de Nuits, aged in a Burgundy barrique. She also bestows best wishes from Brewery Dupont with Avec les Bons Vœux, a golden, champagne-esque Saison, feathered


with lemon and banana and lingering pepper and spices. In love with Aragorn, a ranger elf from the North, Arwen calls him to heighten our pleasure. He arrives with Scaldis Cuvee des Trolls, with a light body and bright, orangey flavors that cleanse the palate.

heat that lingers in the back of the throat. The elite Prep & Landing Elves have just arrived. One is a touch naughty, a Criminally Bad Elf. This English Barleywine activates my “elfactory senses” at 10.5% ABV, with burnt sugar and lots of dark fruit – raisin, plum, cherry, and hints of tart Granny Smith apples, smooth and silky like a Fino sherry.

Elfin Magic from Ridgeway Brewing

Go Not to the Elves

As my mind began to numb, Shelton Brothers Importers are ready with their group of elves from South Stoke, England —an entire Santa sack of beers from Ridgeway Brewing whose labels give rise to Santa’s “imperfections” and those of his rambunctious elves. In 2005-06, lawmakers in three New England states questioned whether these rebellious urchins should be allowed into the country. Not because the beers were bad, but because the image of Santa violated laws that ban Santa from beer ads. It was “undignified,” they said. What about the children? Bah-humbug! When the American Civil Liberties Union got involved, arguing for their First Amendment Rights, the states opposing the labels agreed that these beers were not, in fact, advertising. Elfin magic, perhaps? Very Bad Elf and Bad Elf are the mildest of the crew, at 7.5% ABV and 6% ABV, respectively, along with flavors of citrus, banana bread and a booziness that peeks out from beneath a creamy white head. Don’t expect too much spice in these English Warmers. They are all about pushing the style to the edge while remaining classically English. Seriously Bad Elf and Insanely Bad Elf are English Strong Ales, warming the breast, rich in caramel with hints of brown sugga’, yeast, scotch, and peppery

It may be time for a Fireside Chat, that warm and bubbly in a can from 21st Amendment. Searching for Jingle and Jangle, I am spellbound, one after another: Tröegs Mad Elf. Blood red and luminous like a ruby, it drips with cherries, sweet Munich and a touch of chocolate malt, balanced by Saaz and Hallertau hops. Sweet, yet tart … honey and heat. Rude Elf ’s Reserve from Fegley’s Brew Works of Allentown and Bethlehem. Belgian candy sugar and spices … malty, powerful, yet gentle. Winter Wunder of Philadelphia Brewing spills into the glass next, infusing my nose with cherry-apple crisp, cranberries and moderate spice. Sly Fox 2012 Christmas Ale in a 750 ml bottle stands lean and mean, slightly more spiced, with cookie dough aromas, cinnamon and gingerbread. This must be the “Night of Profound Love,” says Tante Kringle as he shares a bottle of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. My nose is overtaken by sugar cookies, snow and ginger…eggnog with whisky and a touch of nutmeg. The elves are flirtatious. They’re painting my lips. Yet, where are Samichlaus and Jewbilation? Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome and Dock Street’s Prince Myshkin? Immortale? Can I still think? Tsjeeses! Let me change that opening line. “Go not to the elves for drink.” 27

fun with beer

Beer Bottle Menorah Bringing extra joy to Hanukkah. By Mat Falco

One of the classic traditions of Hanukkah is setting up the menorah and lighting candles each night to commemorate the eight days of celebration and remembrance. With hopes of taking this tradition to the next level and adding a bit of extra excitement, we bring you the beer bottle menorah. Inspired by the annual release of the He’brew Brewing Jewbelation series gift pack, the menorah is a fun with beer idea that you can put as much creativity into as you choose. With the consumption of your favorite beers, it is sure to make Hanukkah an even more memorable celebration.

what you need • 16 Beers • 9 menorah candles (or more depending on how long you have them lit) • Bottle opener • Kitchen lighter

What to do Step 1: Pick out eight special beers to commemorate Step 5: Each night, gently pry open your each day of Hanukkah or pick up one of the Shamash beer, being sure not to bend the cap. pre-chosen gift packs with menorah candles Then, consume your chosen beer. included! Step 6: Once consumed, place the cap back on Step 2: Also get eight sessionable beers. This is the bottle. the beer you’ll drink each day, so make sure it’s one you like. Step 7: Heat the bottom of your Shamash candle until it starts melting and then press it Step 3: Get a menorah stand fitting for beer bottles on the top of the Shamash beer. Hold until the or pick a designated area to set-up your bottles. wax hardens and the candle stands freely atop the bottle. Step 4: Arrange your nine different beers in the shape of the menorah. The sessionable Step 8: Light the Shamash. beer you’ve chosen will take the place of the Shamash. We recommend aligning them in order Step 9: Gently open your first night of of appeal and save the most desired beer for the Hanukkah beer, consume and replace the cap. last night of Hanukkah.



Step 10: Once again, you will take the same steps to melt the candle on top of the beer. Once complete, take the Shamash and use it to light the night one beer candle. Step 11: Repeat each step throughout the eight days of Hanukkah. Being that you use the Shamash every night, we feel it is fitting that you drink a Shamash beer to start off each night as well. Step 12: On the last night of Hanukkah, take a picture of your full lit beer menorah and send it to It might just end up in the next issue!

Creative Pub Fare & A Brew With a View DECEMBER EVENTS 11th-22nd - The Twelve Beers of Christmas A different limited Christmas Brew each day. We build a Beer Bottle Tree with the ‘empties’

Altitude No Attitude 1345 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 Serving Brunch - Lunch - Dinner 215-546-4090

19th - Mad Elf Ugly Sweater Christmas party Great Prizes for Best Ugly Sweaters and Mad Elf swag *7 PM 31st - New Year’s Eve Craft Beer Party An Epic Journey for Brew & Food Lovers Ticketed Event *8:30 PM


14 local rotating craft drafts 100+ Bottles and Cans House-infused Cocktails Billiards & Darts • Hi-Def TVs • Rockin’ Juke Box

the farmer’s daughter Located Inside The Normandy Hotel

The Perfect Gift Bottle Conditioned 12 20

RISERVA Ale with Raspberry Puree added and Aged in Oak Barrels


This velvety concoction excites your senses with bottomless roasted, earthy and vinous notes.

1401 Morris Road • Blue Bell PA 19422 215-616-8300 •


homebrewer’s corner

Holiday Homebrews

Festive homebrews to get you through the holiday season. By Steve Hawk

Dedicated brewers find their inspiration in many places; the time of year is always a strong influence. Fortunately, there are many great options for channeling the season into our brew kettles. Below are three beer recipes that embody the spirit of the winter holidays.

Belgian Fruit Cake Ale Fruit cake gets a bum rap. It’s the gift that nobody wants. But how about a beer inspired by fruit cake? That’s a different story entirely. Beer lovers would undoubtedly welcome this gift. And, if paired with fruit cake, it might actually make the original edible.

This is an all-grain recipe with a fairly large grain bill. Therefore, this is geared towards the slightly more experienced brewer. It includes dried figs and currants, which add a slight sweet fruit flavor to this full-bodied, complex beer. The Belgian yeast rounds out the flavor with a nice, spicy, dry finish. Special thanks go to Nick and Jimmy at Barry’s Homebrew Supply, who created this recipe.


8 lbs. Pilsner (2 Row) 2 lbs. 10.7 oz. Munich Malt 2 lbs. 10.7 oz. Vienna Malt 1 lb. 0.3 oz. Special B Malt 10.7 oz. Cara-Pils/Dextrine 10.7 oz. Victory Malt 5.3 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L 5.3 oz. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L 1 lb. Candi Sugar, Dark (180.0 SRM) 3.00 oz. Styrian Goldings [3.80 %] (Boil 60 min.)

1.50 oz. Saphir [4.00 %]

Everyone enjoys eggnog during the holiday season. So why not create a beer that mimics that flavor? Since eggnog is traditionally prepared with cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing those spices with a milk-stout recipe produces a beer reminiscent of this holiday favorite. This is another all-grain recipe, so it’s for the slightly more advanced brewer. To experiment further, you can also mix in other items associated with eggnog, such as cloves or mint. Or, try aging this brew in a brandy barrel or with soaked woodchips to enhance the taste.



(Boil 10 min.)

Abbey IV Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP540) Info & Process:

Est. Original Gravity: 1.091 SG Est. Final Gravity: 1.012 SG ABV: 10%

(Boil 30 min.)

2.00 oz. Saaz [2.00 %] (Boil 10 min.)

Eggnog Porter

7 oz. Dried Figs (Boil 15 min.) 7 oz. Dried Currants (Boil 10 min.) 1.00 Items Servomyces (Boil 10 min.) 1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet


7 lbs. Pale Malt (2 Row) 2 lbs. Munich Malt - 20L 1 lb. Barley, Flaked 1 lb. Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 1 lb. Chocolate Malt 1 lb. Oats, Flaked 1 lb. Milk Sugar (Lactose) 1.50 oz. Styrian Goldings [5.50 %] (Boil 60 min.) 1.50 oz. Styrian Goldings [5.50 %] (Boil 10 min.)

Mash: Single Infusion, Light Volumes of CO2: 2.3

4 Cinnamon sticks (Boil 15 min.) 1 tsp. Nutmeg (Boil 10 min.) Irish Moss (Boil 10 min.) 2 Vanilla beans (split) – Secondary for 1 week American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Info & Process:

Est. Original Gravity: 1.072 SG Est. Final Gravity: 1.01 SG ABV: 6.8% Mash: Single Infusion, Light Volumes of CO2: 2.3

Spruce Ale

With a Christmas tree in almost every home, spruce is a scent and flavor that is clearly associated with the holiday season. Here’s a beer with a unique spruce flavor and it pairs well with any meat traditionally served at a holiday meal. This is a 5 gallon partial mash recipe, so it’s a great beer for brewers at any level. Be aware that the adjuncts have very strong flavors, so it’s best to start out with modest amounts and add more in the later stages of fermentation if necessary. Thanks go to award-winning home brewer Mike Sodano for sharing this recipe.


5 lbs. Light LME 1 lb. Amber LME 2.5 lbs. Belgian Biscuit .5 lb. Crystal 70L .25 lb. Molasses 1 oz. Kent Golding (Boil 60 min.) 4 oz. Spruce tips (cleaned) (Boil 10 min.) Irish Moss (Boil 10 min.) British Ale Yeast Info & Process:

Est. Original Gravity: 1.066 SG Est. Final Gravity: 1.013 SG ABV: 7% Steep grains in 4.5 gal at 155F for 45 min. Sparge with 1 gal at 175F


hop culture

East Kent Golding Hops Background on the historic hops of Kent County. By Joe Bair

In the South-East of London lies Kent County, United Kingdom, home of the historic growing fields of Kent Golding Hops. Like New Jersey being the “Garden State,” Kent County is known as the “The Garden of England,” inferring to once abundant hop fields, as well as strawberry and apple orchards. Kent’s strategic importance has always been the maritime port entry point to Continental Europe, as it is at the narrowest portion of the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel train passage was a major infrastructure project between the United Kingdom and France.It started in 1988 and opened in 1994. Thirty-one miles long from Folkestone, Kent to Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, France; this passage created a nominal border with France and Continental Europe. On a clear day, you can see France from the famous 32


White Cliffs of Dover (made of coccolithophores, phytoplankton a one-celled plant that uses limestone as its armor). Goldings, whose prefix are named after villages or hop farmers in East Kent, such as Canterbury Golding Hops or Amos Golding, came to world-wide recognition in 1790. A clone of the hops Canterbury Whitebine, in England, East Kent County is the coveted area for hop farming, just for the fertile and drainable soil and warm climate for England. East Kent Golding hops belong to the Golding Family, but are considered a premium hop and have historically cost more. Marketed as East Kent if grown in the east of Kent, Kent Goldings in mid-Kent and Goldings elsewhere. Other Golding varieties that bear the Golding name may or may not be of the pedigree of Kent Goldings, and brewers should not be confused as it is not the same hop (as in Styrian Goldings which is actually closer to Fuggles). For English folklore, hop picking in Kent was marketed as “as good as it gets,” but for some (as noted by Eric Blair—it was the opposite). Kent’s location near London helped attract workers to go to the country for the labor intensive hand hop picking. Hop picking in Kent was marketed in London as a paid vacation—again, some found it not that way at all. The amount offered in ads was nowhere near what was paid, and it was very hard work and the living conditions were horrendous. If you had one of those really cool gypsy wooden wagons (pre-VW Camper) those were luxury compared to the hop huts, which resembled chicken sheds with no water and outdoor community cooking. The hop pickers usually were families and sometimes two families were housed in a ten foot by ten foot hop hut! The jobs included walking on stilts to string up and take down the bines. There were also hop trainers who helped the bine find the trellis. They are called hop “bines” because unlike vines they do not use tendrils to climb. Instead, the stems are sheathed with epidermal hair (they look like anvils)that grip the structure they are climbing on. They also climb in the opposite direction (clockwise in the Northern and counter-clockwise in the Southern hemisphere) due to the Coriolis effect of the earth’s rotation, just like when you flush the toilet water and also what hurricanes exhibit. Charles Darwin was very interested in hops as a climbing plant. His essay “The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants,” was written while he was confined by illness. His prose on hop plants was observed from his warm room. He noticed just about everything you can about hop growing, including measuring the two hours it took to wrap around itself on twine. This climbing adaptive value in the hop plant helps it get more exposure to sunlight, an easy

Photography Credit: Kent Life, Maidstone, Kent

to understand illustration of gradual evolution of plant species. He also noticed it does not climb on objects greater than 6 inches in diameter as bigger trees, which want more sunlight for its own leaves and less for the hop’s leaves. His charming observation of circumnutation of the bowing and bending and wandering of young hops until it finds something to climb on is an excellent visual of a plant world’s struggle to survive. The predominant feature on the drive around Kent County is the Oast houses that are used to cure the hops, the drying process involves a low temperature coal or wood kiln at the bottom. These houses are distinguished by a turret looking structure like an upside down funnel and vane forming a cowl to let the smoke out, but keeps the weather from getting in. Since it is done with hot air blowers now, many Oast houses have been turned into residential houses and restaurants. Due to hop picking mechanization, those days are gone. Most homebrewers harken back to when East Kent Goldings were readily available, but looking at the very nature of the cultivar, the large loose open cone sizes must be picked very quickly. It has a vulnerability to virulent disease (Downy Mildew and Mosaic Virus) and small yield per acre. Now there is the increased land value as a result of the Channel Tunnel to France, and the production is half of what

it was ten years ago. Even with all that, UK Kent Golding Hops will always be around in the future, it is that precious aroma you will find in a classic English Pale Ale—you’ll just have to pay a premium for it. This Old English taste is the impeccable flavor of East Kent Golding hops. It is often described as pleasant, mild, floral, a gentle smooth hop and slightly woody. Although it is often paired with Fuggles—another famous English hop—they lack the smoothness of Kent Goldings. Beware, Kent Goldings are only smooth tasting in small quantities and are better mixed in large quantities. They also are cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest. British Columbia Kent Golding were popular in the 1990s, but are no longer available. The US Kent Goldings clones (Canterbury Goldings) were planted in 1995 and grown in Oregon and Washington states. UK Kent Goldings are often used in Belgian beers. Kent Goldings are defined as an aroma hop, thus, they are a very good dry hop. Still, is often used through the boil. Its high in Humulone and Caryophyllene, low myrcene oil volume, and shares the lowest total oil volume with Clusters and Tettnanger, almost the exact opposite of most American cross bred dual purpose hops used in American IPAs, thus the remarkably different tastes. The Alpha acids are usually 4-6% and the Beta Acids are 2-3%. 33

cooking with beer

Foie Gras Mousse & Mad Elf Black Cherry JELL-O® Everyone’s favorite elf makes for super-rich wintertime fare. By Chef Robert Legget

The arrival of Tröegs Mad Elf is always a warning that the holidays cometh—slim wallets are emptied, your child demands the hottest toy of 2012, the nuisance of whiney relatives, and on and on and on it goes. All of this is where I believe the true inspiration behind the heavy hitting malt beverage lies. What better way to end the long days of holiday traffic and chaos than with a quick fix of 11% alcohol into the bloodstream? There is always a shot of Irish whiskey, but dare I say...the Mad Elf is slightly more civilized. The flavor profile here is straight up caramelized cherry, heavy malt, slight honey, and an acidic tannin finish that compares to the old school table wines of Tuscany (but cherries instead of grapes, of course). The only way to stand up to this badass elf would be the procurement of excessive fatty goodness to assist with insulation against the bitter holiday weather outside. Obviously and naturally, foie gras was my first choice. This recipe is so ridiculously simple that no matter how tough your holidays may become, you can still execute this with the ease of a Nutcracker ballerina. To those of you who thought I was going veg this issue, I am shocked you believed me! Veg in the winter?!?


• 10 oz. foie gras (cleaned and overnight soaked chicken livers will also work) • ¼ cup minced Spanish onion • 1 tbsp. thinly sliced garlic • 1 box Black Cherry JELL-O® • 12 oz. bottle of Mad Elf • 4 oz. water • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard • 1 egg yolk • 1 tbsp. heavy cream • 1 baguette • Fresh black pepper • Salt Directions:

• Take your foie and slice it into a group of mini steaks, about 8 total. Make sure they are free of any veins or excess fat. Season each of the steaks generously with salt. Place your pan on the fire and bring to a raging heat. Carefully, but quickly, place your chunks of foie in the pan, no oil needed here. Cook for


about 1 minute then flip’em. Make sure they are deep in color and very caramelized. Place your seared foie steaks on a plate and rest them in your fridge. • With the fat remaining in your pan, sauté onions, garlic and a pinch of pepper. Slowly sweat them on a low heat for at least 10 minutes, careful not to burn. Set aside. • Now for the JELL-O®. Place 8 oz. of Mad Elf in a small steel sauce pan and bring to a boil. Immediately add the JELL-O® powder, and pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Then, add 4oz. of cold water and the remaining 4oz. of the chilled Mad Elf. Place in the fridge to cool slightly. • Next is the mousse. In a food processor, place the egg yolk, 2oz. of water and the Dijon. Turn it on. Slowly begin to add your cooked onions and garlic along with the remaining fat. Begin to slowly add one piece of the seared foie at a time. Once the mixture is smooth, add your heavy cream, check for salt and the mousse is complete.



• Divide your mousse into (2) 12 oz. ramekins or bowls. Tap the vessel several times on the counter to remove any excess air and to make sure the mix is nice and even. • Take your slightly cooled beer jelly (room temperature is best) and ladle over the mousse for a nice thick layer of cherry goodness, at least a quarter inch thick. You will have some JELL-O® left over. I recommend pouring the rest into a casserole dish to make elf cubes to serve alongside. • Place your mini pots of decadent goodness to chill for at least 90 minutes in the fridge. • Slice your baguette down on a bias, brush them with a generous amount of virgin olive oil and char them up on a grill for extra depth. Too tired for any grill action? Throw’em in the toaster you lazy bastard, and serve them next to your decadent gastronomic feat that would even make George Perrier’s toes curl.


tunes & brews

The Fabulous (Homebrewing) Philadelphian The Philadelphia Orchestra’s librarian is also a champion brewer. By G.W. Miller III Bob Grossman has been traveling with the Philadelphia Orchestra for most of the 34 years he’s been working with the Fabulous Philadelphians, as the orchestra members are known. While touring in the United Kingdom during the late 1980s, Grossman, now the orchestra’s principal librarian, learned about a movement happening there—the Campaign for Real Ales (CAMRA). He was fascinated to see that people were standing up against the commercial beer companies that were taking over the local pubs, and they were fighting to preserve the brews and the brewing systems that had existed for centuries. “We’re talking about fresh delivered British ales, maybe four to six weeks old, that would finish fermenting at the pub for a week or two,” Grossman recalls. “It was only good for a few days but it was full of flavors. It was live beer.” But it was becoming a thing of the past. Grossman, an avid cook who had been baking his own bread for years, decided to experiment with homebrewing when he returned to his home in Haddonfield, NJ after the tour. At the time, of course, homebrewing was a relatively new thing. Supplies weren’t easy to find—Home Sweet Homebrew in Center City had only been open a few years. “His chops as a librarian really show in his research into historical styles of beers,” says George Hummel, owner of Home Sweet Homebrew.



“I mean beers that haven’t been brewed since the 1700s and 1800s. He really digs into that stuff.” Grossman even cultured his own yeast. “I really learned the process,” he says. And soon after he began, he started winning awards for his creations. His cream ale and Russian imperial stout took first place at competitions held by Dock Street Brew House, and his beers were served at the restaurant. He spent a year as the president of the Homebrewers of Philadelphia and Suburbs (HOPS). A trained bassoon player who grew up in Northwest Philadelphia, Grossman continued traveling with the orchestra. Everywhere he went, he dashed off to breweries to sample flavors, learn about processes and meet other beer enthusiasts. After a European tour, for example, he spent a few extra days in Brussels. He returned home making Belgian-style beers. He brewed about 25 gallons per year for a long time—he’s slowed down in recent years since receiving a promotion at work. His office at the Kimmel Center retains hints of his passion—a beer stein trophy, a few antique beer bottles, a newspaper article about him and his hobby from nearly 20 years ago. All of that sits among a priceless collection of music scores that have notations penned by some of the world’s greatest conductors, including Leopold Stokowski, Riccardo Muti and Eugene Ormandy, who actually hired Grossman after he completed his masters degree in library studies at Drexel University. “The orchestra opened doors for me to explore in ways that I’d never have been able to do on my own,” Grossman says.

26 Taps • 16 Rotating Crafts 28 Flat Screen TVs Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-6 $2 off Craft beers Famous for our huge sandwiches, including the BEST pork sandwich around.

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tapping into technology

On the Road and in a Can The Can Van brings canning to the little guy.

Island Pizza: A Slice of Paradise

By Mat Falco

Live music every Friday • Weekly Food and Beer Speicals Stop by and Help Us Celebrate the Holidays with Mad Elf

With many of the upstart smaller breweries, size is a common roadblock and often a hindrance with different aspects of growth. Size is one of the main reasons you’ll find breweries that only serve their product on draft. A bottle and/or canning line is not only quite costly, but you have to have room for it and that room could be used for tank space which, depending on your view of things, is equally, if not more valuable. A group of five friends in the San Francisco Bay area have started to solve that problem and are available to save the day for these size-constrained breweries. What started out as a graduate school project for Lindsey Herrema and Jenn Coyle, quickly became an up and coming business with demand for them and their three friends. The Can Van, as it’s appropriately named, is just that, a mobile trailer with a canning line confined within. The mobility lets them go to any brewery in the area that is in need of canning help. The mobility, however, isn’t the only advantage. In the typical canning process, a brewery that wants to be cost effective must order their cans in extremely large amounts. This lump sum of money along with money to invest in the line itself, is a lot more than many breweries can handle. The Can Van team though, will sell you any amount of cans you would like, so you can buy 100 cases instead of 4,000 and spend a whole lot less money. The cans might not be edge to edge pieces of art like your typical can, but there is a system to label them just like you would a bottle and still enjoy all the benefits of canning. Truly a great operation and advancement in beer technology that ends up beneficial at every level of the industry. Unfortunately, the van hasn’t yet made its way out to the MidAtlantic region, but with a business plan like the one they seem to have in place, it’s only a matter of time before we see a Can Van of our own wandering these streets.

See More Events @ 3060 Limekiln Rd (Rt. 422) | Birdsboro, PA 19508 610-404-7800





discovering craft beer

From Grapes to Hops Reader Ed Mackin describes his discovery of craft beer. If you have an interesting story about discovering craft beer, send it to us at I’ve read about college students who brought a case of National Bohemian to a party on a Friday night and were drinking with the brewers of Selin’s Grove on Sunday. And of people who took a critical taste of their bland lager and purchased home brewing books and equipment the next day and became part of the revolution. My joining the beer subculture was far more gradual and sporadic than most of the readers. I grew up with those bland, cheap lagers. I remember going to bars in Margate where you got ten beers for a dollar, all at once. You placed them on a shelf next to the air hockey table along with the ten beers of your five friends and after the 6th beer you merely chose the beer that didn’t have any cigarette butts floating on the top. This was the early 80s and I’m guessing the beer wasn’t Duval. For most of the 80s and 90s, I was a wine drinker. I sat at night with a glass of wine reading Hugh Johnson’s Encyclopedia of Wine, where stories of cinsault and Mourvèdre grapes and growing conditions in volcanic Italian islands came to my house in Frankford. On my travels away from home though, I began to discover craft beer or what really may have been semi-craft beer beginning in the mid-80s. On trips to Nova Scotia, there was Schooner beer from Halifax. I sat at a table in the harbor and admired the label of a masted ship. It’s rated a score of 18 on RateBeer. But Schlitz is rated 2, so I was making forward progress in my beer palate. On future travels, I began to understand that local beer was a better choice than wine, especially in non-urban settings. I began to equate local with better. At the Maryland Eastern Shore, I sought out Wild Goose Ale. A trip to England brought me to


Canterbury. In a pub just a short distance from the 12th century cathedral, I discovered a terrific cask conditioned ale called Flowers. I came home with the generalization that all English beers were good, but when I drank some Double Diamond and Bass, I was quickly aware that was not the case. At that time, I simply didn’t know to look for a Samuel Smith. I was now more cognizant of what I was drinking; sought out places with craft taps; endeavored to try new brewers and styles. Within a year, I progressed more on the path than in the previous fifteen years. The Pete’s Wicked Ale led to Old Speckled Hen, which transitioned into Sly Fox and Tröegs and eventually into La Chouffe, Abbaye des Rocs and Achel. Vacations to Spain now included stops in tapas bars for the Mahon and Cruzcampo beers before a glass of Rioja for dinner. The height of my experiences in the beer culture is a vacation I took in 2006 to The


Netherlands and Belgium with John Doherty. For the Belgium part of the trip we based ourselves in Bruges. One day, we took a train to Poperinge and rented bikes to ride through the four miles of hop fields to Watou. Marco Passarella welcomed us for a tour of the St. Bernardus Brewery, then drove us to a local bar that was hidden a mile into dense woods, like some adult version of a fairy tale cottage. We met Carlo Grootaert, who gave us samples from a wooden vat of de Struise Pannepot. We were even able to find the elusive Westvleteren 12 bottles on our last day. While I’ll treat myself to an Abbey beer occasionally, I gravitate more to the well made regional beers. I like to stay with brewers who alchemize a lot of flavor in that 5 to 6% range such as the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. It may have taken longer, but I’m glad to be part of a subculture that is more fun than trading English toasters or clipping for the Westminster Dog Show.

A brew on premises home brewing shop that offers brew lessons

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Small Batch Master Distiller Rob Cassell. By Brittanie Sterner The blue in Rob Cassell’s eyes is the same as the Bluecoat American Dry Gin banner hanging behind him in the little conference room at Philadelphia Distilling. What I just fed you is a total line; but what I mean by it is that I can’t help noticing the parallel which visually suggests he and his product are inherently wrapped up together. That the gin is more than a product to this man and closer to something he has birthed (imagine!). When I show up at the distillery in far— and I mean faaar—Northeast Philadelphia, Cassell is just pulling his gloves and safety glasses off so we can sit down for a talk. It’s the hallmark multitasking picture of small business, in addition to other Cassell activities like using a hands-free cell phone to conduct business while elbows-deep in mash. In the world of boutique spirits, which is at a stage that Cassell compares to craft beer’s scene in the 1980s, no one gets to sit back at a desk and delegate (though there aren’t too many idlers in the craft beer industry, either). There are less than ten employees at Philadelphia Distilling, including part-timers, so everyone lives in the lab. Cassell’s first lab was at Wheeling Jesuit University, where he majored in Nuclear Medicine. Here’s the trajectory of how that path traversed to distilling booze: while working in college as a bartender at River City Aleworks in Wheeling, West Virginia, he became assistant and eventually head brewer there. Talking about that first “peep” into the alcohol industry, Cassell points to the feeling of having something to hold at the end of the day, of being able to say, “I did this. Would you like to try some?” It was the perfect braiding of art and science, passion with business. He then worked for Victory Brewing as



quality assurance director, and later in finishing and filtration at Harpoon’s Windsor, Vermont location–a rural spot he eventually left for lack of ladies and general twenty-something happenings. Fair. Cassell received his formal distilling education from Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University, as one of only a handful of U.S. distillers. From there it was the launch, along with cofounders Andrew Auwerda and Tim Yarnall, of Philadelphia Distilling, the first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since before that little dark time we call Prohibition. And the rest is not quite history, since that was only in 2005. “At the first craft distiller’s conference at Hangar One, we all sat at two big round tables. That’s how few of us there were.” Cassell and his cohorts are the pioneers who beat back the wild PA rye so to speak, and pushed craft distilling to the front. As a locavore who values the use of quality local ingredients above anything else, Cassell’s agricultural/farmboy background is admittedly limited to that one time when he was sixteen and faced a punishment his dad dreamed up to bail hay on a nearby New Jersey farm. But, dubbing it a brutal experience, he undoubtedly has every ounce of reverence and admiration for the local farmers who are his grain providers, even if he’s not out there clipping the harvest at dawn. And that good-feeling relationship between the farm and the distillery is what contributes to a fine (see: yummy) grain drink, handcrafted in tiny batches. As Cassell sums it up, “Small batch means I’m not shittin’ ya.” As the picture of a dedicated businessman and passionate artist, Cassell only recently took his first vacation in ten years. Also, sorry ladies–those bluecoat eyes are taken. You can, however, have all of the gin you want. By buying it.


Tour the GABF 2012 Mid-Size Brewery of the Year! Tröegs takes visitors behind the scenes and offers a peek into the workings of a craft brewery. Come and observe the entire production process while soaking in the flavors and aromas of raw ingredients and fermenting beer. This unique glimpse into the world of Tröegs concludes with samples of our award-winning beers and a take-home souvenir glass.


Visit to reserve a guided tasting tour and experience Tröegs like you never have before!

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of any beer on draft


Mix & match to build your own 6-pack with anything in a bottle

If you’re not celebrating in Ireland this Holiday Season, Kildare’s is the next best thing! Office Parties - Cocktail Parties - Sit Down Dinners - Private Rooms Available

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A Surging Beer Community Visiting Denver parallels many aspects of Philly. By Mat Falco There’s a lot in common between Philadelphia and Denver when it comes to beer. Both are home to great beer cultures, but there is one resemblance that really stands out: growth. An annual visit to Denver is almost like visiting a new city with a beer culture that is twice as advanced as the year prior. Similarly, you’d have to imagine that is how Philadelphia would feel to those who only frequent about once a year. New bars, new breweries, and just an overall advanced recognition of beer by the community. Yes, craft beer is growing everywhere in this country, but these two cities seem to have something special. A much more modern city than ours, Denver’s blossoming beer scene definitely has a different feel but much like Philly, a lot of the more renowned and larger breweries are in the surrounding parts. In Denver itself though, there is no lack of options for great beers. On the brewery side, there are classics such as Great Divide, Breckenridge, and Wynkoop (home of the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout) to go along with the newer group of up and comers offering options for all. Whether you’re looking for English-style beers at Hogshead, traditional German beers at Prost, or beer-geek worthy sours at Crooked Stave, Denver is truly starting to show great diversity. This doesn’t even sum it all up as there are others like Vine Street Pub, Bull and Bush, Strange and Denver Beer Company, as well as the overlooked classic Sandlot Brewery and the national, award-winning chain Rock Bottom. On the bar side of things, the scene has developed as well. The options have moved beyond the legendary Falling Rock and the Belgian-favorite Cheeky Monk. There isn’t a great bar on every corner, as Philly is known for, but there are some very promising new options like Freshcraft, Star Bar and the Yard House. Falling Rock will always be one of the most impressive bars in the


country when it comes to beer selection and the one bar you must stop at when visiting. The other bars and restaurants also have a growing presence of local craft beer on their menus, and when local craft includes the likes of Odell, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues, keeping the lists local isn’t such a bad thing. As for the surrounding areas, like Philly, this is one of the things that makes Denver


great. Short day trip options are endless for beer lovers, as many favorite breweries are all within an hour or so of downtown. An hour ride will get you to the home of Fat Tire—New Belgium, for one of the most impressive tours you can take. Less than five minutes from there will land you at the doors to either Odell Brewing Co. (a must visit of the breweries that are not available back East) or Fort Collins Brewery. Only a

half hour from there brings you to the king of canned beers—Oskar Blues, where you can either tour the facility and have a few pints at the brewery or visit Liquids and Solids for dinner and a great beer selection beyond just the OB lineup. The original brewhouse is also only minutes away. Another favorite brewery, Left Hand, is also just outside the city. There’s no pub, but there’s a large tasting room where you can enjoy plenty of pints of rarities you won’t see much of here. If that’s not enough, there’s also the always impressive Avery Brewing Co., that has some fantastic beers available in their tasting room that might make you want to move to Boulder. There’s also Twisted Pine, Boulder Brewing, Funkwerks and Ska to keep your trip full. Denver might not have caught up to Philly, but it is making a name for itself as a great beer-drinking city. It also makes for an even greater reason to go to the Great American Beer Festival, even if you can’t get your hands on a golden ticket.

Over 1,000 different beers 7 Rotating Taps for Pints and Growler Fills 1/2 Price Growlers and Pints on Tuesdays

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Christmas beers are now in stock! Craft Beer Outlet 9910 Frankford Ave Philadelphia, PA



“Whether our guests prefer to sample food and beer pairings, sip new and unusual beers or soak a brewer in our dunk tank, we can’t wait to pour out a pint with them and enjoy being right in the heart of ‘the best beer drinking city in America’.” Cheers! T McNally 2801 Fairmount Avenue Philadelphia



not beer

Beer Cocktails Beer + Booze = Sophistication By Matt Scheller

Whenever the term “beer cocktail” gets bounced around, usually there is vivid blue-collar imagery of a Mimosa-filled champagne flute bubbling over with High Life or the revered frozen margarita delicately topped with Tecate. In The Oxford Companion to Beer, David Wondrich rather astutely notes, “Beer features prominently in what may be called ‘folk mixology:’ mixology that takes places in the field, without the mediation of a trained bartender.” He is undoubtedly describing the silly concoctions that are slapped together at tailgates and dive bars and saturate the mainstream perception of beer drinks. Don’t be fooled, these “classic” recipes are not representative of the direction we’re marching today. We’ll dig into a more progressive and crafty analysis of this trend. Whether common knowledge or not, the marriage of beer and spirits is not a modern innovation. Beer was being mixed as early as there was beer to be mixed. The 19th century served up three noteworthy mixtures known as the Ale Sangaree, Ale Flip, and the Shandygaff. The Ale Sangaree, as prescribed by Jerry Thomas in his 1862 book How to Mix Drinks, is “ale or porter” blended with water, sugar, and nutmeg. The Shandygaff, a recipe alleged to be from Charles Dickens, is “ale” and spicy ginger beer. The well-known Flip is spiced and sweetened ale with rum and eggs. Between then and now not too much has transpired to aid in the reputation of beer drinks. Over the course of the past decade, however, any foodie or beverage enthusiast would without reservation, settle into agreement on the rapid progress that the bar and beverage industry has made. Not only have the number of venues proliferated, but moreover, the quality of liquid offerings has dramatically matured. This unsurprising trend is likely the result of the explosive craft beer and cocktail industry. In concert, these industries have promoted a higher quality product. The increase in accessibility of these products is educating the consumer on a broader spectrum of flavors, aromas, and possibilities. As a result, the average palate has become more nuanced and sophisticated, with a unique desire to sample the next new and progressive beverage creation. The passion and talents of professional barkeeps continually fuels the enhancement of future ideas. Strict walls between the worlds of beer and spirits are slowly crumbling and experimentation towards respected beer inspired cocktails has exploded.



Below are three considerations to aid in the process of creating a beer-inspired cocktail.

1.) Vocabulary: It is critical to first understand the flavors and aromas of (a) the ingredients comprising cocktails and beer, and (b) those developed in the final product after those ingredients are blended together. This becomes your vocabulary. It is essential to not view beer and spirits as different entities, but rather as a spectrum of flavors and aromas. Analyze flavor similarities in cocktails and beer and how they relate: sour (lambic and lemon juice), smoke (rauchbier and Islay scotch), sweetness (Belgian ales and rum/sugar/liqueurs), bitterness (IPAs and amaros/bitters), etc. 2.) Experimentation: Begin to pair spirits with beer styles. Note not only the flavor and aroma profiles, but also the texture on the palate. Even though there can be a lot of variation within particular styles, you’ll learn certain combinations work better than others: gin and saison, Islay Scotch/white whiskey and pilsner, green chartreuse and Baltic porter, Jamaican Rum and imperial IPA, etc. A successful pairing harmonizes on the palate. 3.) Techniques for crafting: a.) Infusion of beer ingredients into spirits or the cocktail. Ideal for subtle changes, try hop infused spirits, shaking with hops, beer syrups, and unfermented wort. b.) Mixing spirits into a beer. Perhaps the most simplistic of ideas, this technique is more akin to the tradition of the boilermaker drink. Try using a drop or two of bitters. c.) Mixing craft beer into a cocktail. The most common technique practiced and a good starting point. Consider taking an existing classic cocktail and substituting one of the minor ingredients for a beer of a comparable flavor profile. d.) Recreating a specific beer or style into a cocktail without using beer. By far the most challenging and underdeveloped technique, this method requires superior knowledge of step one and two to artfully blend together cocktail ingredients to replicate beer. As competition grows more fierce (a good thing) and education amongst bartenders and consumers develop (also a good thing), it’s fair to conclude that the exploration of beer and spirits will certainly not be ending any time soon. In fact, we can probably expect merging to begin between wine, cider, mead, beer, and spirits. With a vocabulary of flavors this large, the possibilities are a thrilling prospect.


Battle of Kagul Russian imperial stout clone Ingredients:

1½ oz. El Dorado 8 year old rum 1/4 oz. Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey 3/4 oz. Averna 1 whole egg white 1/2 oz. stout syrup 3 cocoa nibs, muddled 2 Columbus hop pellets, muddled 1 dash Bitter Truth Xocolatl mole bitters Stout Syrup: 16 oz. Imperial stout 1/2 C. Brown sugar (super fine) Reduce to ½ Add 1/2 tablespoon of dried instant espresso powder


The Danube and the Main


German wheat beer (preferably Schneider Edel-Weisse) 2 oz. Batavia Arrack 1 dash Angostura Bitters 1/2 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice 1/4 oz. Fresh orange juice 1/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice 3/4 oz. Simple syrup Method:

Shake with ice, all ingredients except for the German wheat beer. Strain and pour into a 12 oz. highball glass filled with ice. Fill to the top with German wheat beer. Stir and serve.


Muddle the cocoa nibs, hop pellets, and stout syrup in a shaker tin. Add the remaining ingredients. Shake without ice for 30 seconds. Shake hard with ice for 20 seconds. Strain and pour into a chilled coupe. Add one dash of bitters on the top.


Best German Beer Selection in the Country. Book your holiday party in our new “Brauer Bund” New Wursthaus Schmitz location now open in the Reading Terminal Market Contact Marci Prester for reservations and private event packages Follow us on... Facebook, Twitter: @BrauhausSchmitz

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Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Event 8-10:30pm B.United International Beer Sampling 6:30-8:30pm Game Night And Bottle Shop Quizzo 7-10pm

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le fromage

A Warming Pairing Doe Run Dairy Barn Owl &Yards Love Stout. By Ryan Hudak Now that we are firmly at the tail end of fall and the weather is nice and cold, it’s time to move on to more robust pairings— finally! As fall creeps into winter and the beer becomes bigger and darker, a cheese that can support this kind of transition is imperative. When you ask your cheesemonger (and you should always get to know your cheesemonger) about what fits into this category and they get visibly excited, you know you have something special. That special cheese is the Barn Owl by Doe Run Dairy. The dairy, which operates as a part of Doe Run Farm in Coatesville, is run by Kristian and Haesel Holbrook—formerly of the esteemed Blackberry Farm in Tennessee—and uses the farm’s sheep, goats and cows to make their cheese. They’ve stuck mostly to cow’s milk cheese up to this point though, and the Barn Owl is no exception. This is a washed-rind cheese, which means it is bathed in a wash of (usually)

salt water throughout the aging process, which promotes the growth of certain bacteria that gives the cheese a stinky, funky character. The cheese, while young, will be dense and creamy—nearly the same consistency as butter. As it ages or sits out, it will start to become more and more runny and the flavors will become more pungent. Before it gets too over the top, it serves as a great gateway from fall to winter. The Barn Owl starts with a sweet, buttery taste; as it melts over your tongue though, it develops a distinct funk. A taste of grass, dirt and fresh mushrooms emerges, and if you close your eyes you can almost imagine you’re standing in an open pasture next to a sweaty cow. And I mean this in the most delicious way, of course. Such a cheese needs something flavorful—but not overwhelming —to complement it and Yards Love Stout is the perfect wingman. The beer’s lightly roasted maltiness complements the grassy, earthy taste of the cheese, and the stout’s creamy smoothness melds perfectly with Barn Owl’s own. The beer also has a chocolate sweetness to it, which will bring the taster full circle to the cheese’s initial butter flavor. Finally, the soft bitterness of the beer will cut through the fattiness of the cheese and reduce a lingering flavor, wrapping up the entire experience in a nifty little package without going overboard as the stout’s Imperial cousins would tend to do. As always, when it’s too cold to leave the house and the outside is bleak, the best thing to make the winter months bearable is to eat food that will keep you warm and drink beer that will do the same. This pairing is robust and flavorful enough to accomplish this warming effect, without overdoing it. So before it starts snowing, head out to the Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market to pick up the Barn Owl. Love Stout may only be on draft, but any beer store worth its salt will have a comparable stout. Grab them both, throw a log on the fire (or a few extra degrees on the thermostat) and make the most of the winter.

Philly Beer Scene is hosting

FREE Beer and Cheese samplings every 3rd Thursday of the month, from 4-6pm at the Fair Food Farmstand.


from the cellar

Cellaring That Will Keep You Warm How a 2010 Pannepot stacks up to a cellared 2007 Pannepot. By Phillip Pittore III



Having spent nearly two weeks without power, I had plenty of time to choose and sample some great beer from the cellar. The simple joy of finding bottles that you forgot about, or don’t remember laying down is priceless. Ironically, with all the rain and wind, I found a true gem in Pannepot, from De Struise Brewery. Named after the fishing boats, or “pannepots” in the village of De Panne, this Belgian Quad not only tasted great, but kept me warm during the long, cold nights following Hurricane Sandy. For this issue, I had the joy of comparing a 2007 Pannepot alongside a 2010. The initial pour produced a beautiful deep brown hue, with the 2007 Pannepot being slightly darker than the 2010. Both beers had nice carbonation with minimal head retention. The aroma from the 2010 Pannepot produced wonderful hints of dark fruits, with a slight presence of chocolate, cocoa and toffee. The 2007, on the other hand, had a distinct buttery aroma, which concerned me. My first thought was diacetyl. But fortunately for me, this was not the case. After only a few minutes, the aroma transitioned from buttery to bready, and instantly reminded me of Milk Duds. First sip on both the 2007 Pannepot and the 2010 did not disappoint. The 2010, similar to its aroma, had a nice chocolate and cocoa flavor. Ironically, the 2007, which I thought was bad, tasted like prunes, raisins, and dried fruits. Worthy of note was the dry cherry finish on the 2010 vintage. After approximately fifteen minutes, both beers really started to open up and expose their true complexity. I detected hints of caramel, cherry and interestingly enough, some red wine tannins on the 2007. The 2010 Pannepot had a hint of pepper, and the Belgian candy sugar was abundant. At the thirty minute mark, the 2007 Pannepot had a big roasted malt aroma. The taste was reminiscent of malt balls and vanilla wafers. The 2010 had a bit of an espresso taste and reminded me of a cellared St. Bernardus Abt 12. Both beers were a bit booze forward on the palate now. The 2007 Pannepot had hints of anise, which took me awhile to pinpoint. The 2010 interestingly enough, had a taste similar to that of a Manhattan. In retrospect, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many great cellared beers. I can honestly say that Pannepot ranks right up there with the best. Highly rated on both Beer Advocate and RateBeer, Pannepot has the complexity and characteristics of a pure Belgian Quad. With an ABV of 10%, this beer packs a punch, and is perfect for cellaring. And, it’s also the perfect beer to keep you warm when the power is out!

Happy Holidays From Philly Philms

The Perfect Holiday Gift for the Beer Lover on your list The City of Brewery Love! Available now on DVD at

Not Just A Beer Store,

A Beer Destination!

Homebrew– Where It All Began


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beer law

General Assembly Session Highlights include expanded Sunday sales and defeat of the flawed privatization plan. By Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks and Montgomery)

The 2011-12 session of the General Assembly featured several significant actions relating to the sale of beer and liquor. One of the most helpful changes pertaining to beer sales was the expansion of Sunday sales. In 2011, Legislation signed this into law, expanding the hours of operation for beer distributors on Sundays from noon-5 p.m. to 9 a.m.-9 p.m. This law also allowed the sale of liquor at craft distilleries, so long as the prices of the distilled spirits are the same as the prices in state-owned liquor stores. The two-year legislative session was also notable for one noteworthy measure that failed to earn enough legislative support to reach the governor’s desk. After earning the endorsement of one key panel in the House of Representatives, a poorly constructed liquor store privatization plan was tabled in June due to weak support from lawmakers. Due to exorbitant license fees in that plan, the net result would have devastated beer retailers and small brewers and severely limited choices available to consumers. Several other measures that were introduced in the 2011-12 legislative session earned varying levels of support and could be considered again in the upcoming legislative session beginning in January, including: • My legislation to allow beer distributors to sell six-packs or single bottles of beer. The measure would support small brewers by allowing consumers to sample smaller quantities of alcohol before committing to buying a full case. The bill would also allow local taverns, bars and restaurants to purchase a special license to sell wines and spirits. • A bill that would create a permanent Malt Beverage Tax Credit of up to $200,000 for small breweries for the purchase of equipment and machinery. The tax credit would only be available to small breweries producing less than 1.5 million barrels of beer per year. • Legislation that would allow craft breweries to apply for permits to sell products at farmers’ markets and at craft beer and food expositions. This measure, which was approved by the House of Representatives last month, would expand sales and marketing opportunities for these small businesses. The plan should be reintroduced next year and will warrant closer consideration as a new way to help small brewers. Senator McIlhinney represents the 10th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.





L IC E N S E D B E V E R A G E A S S O C I A T I O N All Bar and Restaurant owners;

Listed below are a few key facts about our organization:

The Philadelphia Licensed Beverage Association is a non-profit lobby and trade association that exists to explicitly protect and defend retail licensees in the Commonwealth.

• We are the official trade and lobby association for retail licensees in Pennsylvania recognized by the PA General Assembly.

We pride ourselves in educating our members of all new pieces of regulation and legislation that directly impact them. We work great defense to prevent negative legislation from coming to votes while working offensively to get legislation and regulations passed that help you improve the way you do business.

• We have a strong relationship with the PLCB with regular meetings to discuss necessary code change and improvements.

Currently there are several proposals that will change the industry immensely. Privatization is the main focus of the 2013-14 Legislative session. It is our job to make sure that whatever changes are made, you are able to do business easier and less expensively than you are currently.

• We are always first and the most knowledgeable on all new legislation, compliance issues, regs, permits, deadlines, etc., Our members receive weekly reports including important PA liquor code facts and reminders. • We are the only non-profit statewide association that exists to exclusively serve and protect retail licensees in the Commonwealth. • Our benefits for members save dollars on everyday services.

WWW.PhiladelphiaLBA.COM Please go to our web-site and join today. At the very least join our mailing list.


Big Ass Beer Fest

Sat. January 26th

Gifts for Everyone on your Holiday List...

at The Six Pack Store

Starlight Ballroom 460 N. 9th Street Phila., PA 19123

Make Your Own Craft

Great Selection of

12 Packs

Imported Beers

Gift Sets/Baskets

Gift Cards

Six Packs

Named: “Best Place to Buy Beer” (Philadelphia Magazine)

“gifty” bottles

Named One of 79 “Remarkable Retailers” (in the world)

Joe Sixpacks “Best Places for Six Packs”

7015 Roosevelt Blvd. • Philadelphia, Pa | 215-338-6384 •

$45 adv.

Over 60 Beers


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1100 S. Columbus Blvd #23, Philadelphia, PA 19147

1-4 PM & 5-8 PM Sessions

Most beers above 8% ABV so PLEASE drink responsibly 54


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Fox Tail Pale Ale Joseph James Brewing Co. is starting the gluten free can revolution. By Dave Martorana

Beer in cans—is there anything so universal? For the longest time, canned beer had been looked upon as “cheap” —much like corks in wine, bottled beer is assumed to be of a higher quality and standard by a large portion of the population. But we all know, that’s no longer so. Am I right? In case you’re not sure if I’m right, there has been a recent surge in the craft-in-a-can market. Beer cans in the craft world usually have a hightech lining on the inside so the beer never actually comes in contact with the aluminum, thus preserving its flavor. Add to that the advantages that cans naturally have—they’re more environmentally friendly, travel better, are generally safer, and let in zero light (so beer lasts longer before spoiling) and you have a winning combination. Of course, this wonderful canned revolution has one glaring omission— gluten free beers! We can look longingly at Sly Fox and 21 Amendment’s collections of canned greatness, remember the days of yore when we could grab a Dale’s Pale Ale, but once we went gluten-free, we ended up being canned-beer free as well. The Joseph James Brewing Company out of Nevada decided to do something about this silent-but-thirsty market segment. Their Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale is the first gluten-free canned beer in the United States, and is of a most palatable variety, especially if you like some hops. Unlike other gluten free beers we’ve talked about, this goes in its own direction. It’s not a post-processed barley-based beer. It’s not a sorghum based beer. In fact, its “malt” base, if you will, is 100% rice and nectar. Rice is usually looked down upon in the brewing world, save for a few notable exceptions. The main

reason is that macro-breweries use it relatively frequently to cut the expense of their flagship products. Miller or Bud will never be an all-barley malt beer. Rice is cheaper, and for that reason alone it is used in macro-concoctions. There’s some truth to the annoyance that does carry into the Fox Tail. Body-wise, well, there is no body really. It’s very thin, and any malt profile is basically out to lunch. If you choose to pour it out of the can, it even looks weak, with a super-light color and no staying head at all. What I do like is that flavor profile is like a three-stage rocket. A bitter three-stage rocket, that is. The hop-forward profile of this beer is perfect for a decent pale ale. There’s a good crop of citrus, a nice attack on the tongue that’s aided by being fairly heavily carbonated, and just enough earthiness to make you think of the pine trees. Then, the nectar cuts in and sweetens everything up! This is the signature flavor profile for this beer, and it’s nice. This second stage is also where the thinness is most apparent, but again, I’ve moved on from that. The final act is a nice (strong) finishing bitter that lingers. For some people, this is the very reason they don’t like many pale ales or IPAs. For me, it’s a piney reminder that I just had a sip of some decent beer. The final word on this is extremely positive! This is

an instant go-to for tailgating, let alone other events. There’s no sorghum negative, and a nice hop-positive. Hands down, this lets me be a canned craft beer drinker again, and for that, I am grateful. Good on Joseph James Brewing Company for a great canned glutenfree beer!


local wine

Shotguns and Cabernet Sean Comninos of Heritage Vineyards is shot-gunning his way into the wine world. By Keith Wallace

Beer bottles were bouncing in the back of the BMW. The driver, Sean Comninos, was pushing down hard on the accelerator, grinding through a row of grape vines. The green canopy flickered past the windows, and then suddenly, nothing but blue sky. Skidding to a stop, the three of us stumbled out of the car. We stood in a clearing surrounded by picturesque vineyards and orchards. Two of us sorted through the backseat wreckage in search of a few unbroken bottles of Yuengling. Sean opened the trunk and pulled out a black case. I heard the click of a lock sprung, and turned around. He was sporting a shotgun and a rakish grin.

He had started out as a tasting room employee, and in less than three years was running the day to day operations for the Heritage family. This wasn’t shaping up to be a typical winery tour. Heritage Vineyards is in the pretty little suburb of Mullica Hill in New Jersey. On the day of my arrival, a harvest celebration was in full swing. The front lawn was bursting with bright faced families. A bluegrass band was playing friendly songs on a makeshift stage outside the winery’s shop. Hayrides rolled in from the vineyards and orchards. Kids chewed down caramel coated apples. Families sat at tables eating hotdogs and hamburgers, while drinking wine and soda in equal measure. I’ve known Sean since he was my student at the Wine School of Philadelphia, which was why I was standing in that field far away from the public face of the winery. The other guy muttered, and Sean raised up the shotgun. The blast came first and then a burst of cloud shatterings. I pivoted away, and saw the other guy loading a clay pigeon into a hand-launcher.



Sean reloaded. “PULL!” After a few rounds, he offered me the gun. After a few embarrassing attempts, I managed to wing a very large pumpkin sitting about five feet away. The other guy (he requested his name not appear in print due to the sensitive nature of his job) wisely took the shotgun away from me. That Sean is the winemaker at Heritage is astounding. He had started out as a tasting room employee, and in less than three years was running the day to day operations for the Heritage family. It was a meteoric rise, and unusual. For someone like Sean, a quiet man with no prior experience to speak of, it was unheard of. No amount of narrative can explain it. The only hint lies in his eyes: they seem to sprout electricity like a pair of Tesla coils. Many shotgun shells and beers were spent. The other guy continued the assault on that poor pumpkin. The sun was setting, and an angry pack of tiny white terriers were bounding up the hill, yipping and howling. Suburban life was imposing on our drunkenness, so we jumped in the car and made our getaway through the field. We drove to the winery, an anonymous white metal barn tucked away from the public site. This was the reason for my visit, to try the winery’s upcoming releases. Listening to Sean talk about wine is like listening to a crazy professor talk about parallel universes. For someone like Sean, wine isn’t something finished. It is always a work in progress, always a collection of what ifs and possibilities. After a few hours tasting barrel samples, I was struck with how far this winery had come under Sean’s direction. Some of the finest wines to have ever been made in New Jersey were tucked away in that room. In particular, the barrels destined for their flagship 2011 BDX bottling, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Expressive and clean and rich, these were wines that showed classical finesse but a structure all their own. They did what all great wines are supposed to do: they highlighted the place they were from and the vision of an individual. These were wines that in a not too distant future will very likely make Sean’s career. Until then, he remains an awesome drinking buddy.





Famous Winter Dates December 18th, 1918: The 18th Amendment was proposed by the Senate. It would take a few years to be approved by the states and start prohibition.

December 5th, 1933: The 18th Amendment was repealed and the 21st Amendment was ratified, putting an end to prohibition and the 13 year ban on alcohol.

December 1988: Gritty’s was the first Maine brewpub to open postprohibition. With 24 years under its belt now, it has expanded to three locations.

January 16th, 1920: The 18th Amendment was ratified and national Prohibition was implemented. 1,520 Federal prohibition agents were in charge of enforcing the new anti-alcohol laws.

January 24th, 1935: The first canned beer went on sale. Virginia brewery, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company, put 2,000 cans of their Finest beer and cream ale on sale in Richmond, VA.

December 1990: The first of what are

December 1995: Local favorite, Sly Fox Brewing Co, is founded in Phoenixville, PA. Seventeen years later, they’ve outgrown two breweries and have a second, larger location in Pottstown, PA.

now thirty-seven Rock Bottom locations opened in downtown Denver, CO. They have since brewed over 700 beers and won more than 125 medals from various beer competitions, including the gold the KOP location took home this year from the Great American Beer Fest.

December 1996: One of Pennsylvania’s December 16th, 2001: The infamous beer bottle game in the NFL. After a sketchy replay call by the refs during a game in which the Jaguars were visiting the Browns, angry Browns fans proceeded to start throwing beer bottles on the field. Bottles were banned from the field following the incident and many other fields thereafter.

January 2008: Philadelphia Brewing Company opens for business. PBC celebrates 5 years of brewing in Kensington in a brewery that’s been standing since 1885. An accomplishment that deserves a raise of a Kenzinger!

older brewpubs, Selin’s Grove, was established this year. It opened its doors in a 9x13 food room in a mansion basement with a 3 BBL system, slowly upgrading to where they are today.

10 rotating taps featuring locals & seasonals!

80+ Bottles & Cans Free-Wi-Fi | Smoking Bar

Always a Weekly Beer Special on Tap Happy Hour- Mon-Fri, 5-7 1/2 Price Drafts and Apps

December 2001: The original of the now three McKenzie Brew Houses opened up in Chadds Ford. One of the often overlooked local breweries, their Saison Vautour is one of the finer local beers.

Everyday-$2 Bloody Marys & Mimosas (11:00-3:00) Monday- Free Pool (open-close) Tuesday-Karaoke (9:00-2:00) Wednesday-Quizzo (7:30-9:00) Art Openings on the First Friday of Every Month

December 2010: Danville, PA’s Old Forge Brewing Company opens its doors. It’s now celebrating four years of Pennsylvania craft beer.

Yacht Rock Bingo on the First Thursday of Every Month at 9pm Thursdays during Football Season: “Yeungs & Wings” $2 cans and $5 wing buckets

831 Christian St, Philadelphia, Pa 19147 (215) 238-0379




Heads, Hearts and Tails Craft Distilling in Philadelphia

There’s another storm on the craft shore right now that is about to make spirits a lot more interesting— and a lot more local.

By Brittanie Sterner

ne of the more grotesque, though unsurprising set of numbers I learned recently is that more than three fourths of all spirits made in the United States are owned by round about, oh, four or five liquor companies. I’m one of many drinking enthusiasts who wouldn’t have guessed that the facts line up as such; if we don’t have options on the bar rail right now, there is at least the illusion of them. But what the craft beer scene has made so splendidly obvious over the past twenty years or so is that illusions, when it comes to delicious alcoholic beverages, need not be entertained. In beer we expect nothing short of the most inventive recipes, which have brought the craft to a consistent cornucopia of quality and selection; why shouldn’t liquor be the same? It’s not that the booze giants are making piss– poor concoctions—though admit it, we have all endorsed cheap swill, blind with lime juice from time to time— but look how much better beer got when we stopped settling, when microbreweries cropped up and took artisan initiative. I was a little young for the big girl drinks when that revolution got the fire in its belly,

but there’s another storm on the craft shore right now that is about to make spirits a lot more interesting— and a lot more local. Entering Philadelphia Distilling, in a dentist-feel industrial complex in far northeast Philly, it’s small. Grains pile next to the Forsyth still, which sits right next to the bottling line, which is close-by the bubbling mash and the bottles packaged and ready for shipping. It’s a cozy warehouse that founder and master distiller Rob Cassell shows me around. Here, less than ten employees make the flagship Bluecoat American Dry Gin plus Penn 1681 Vodka, Shine White Whiskey and Vieux Carré Absinthe. It is indeed a cornucopia. Earthy and spicy, the Bluecoat Gin is made with a blend of citrus peels (one of which Cassell kept a secret, for the first couple years of business, from even his partners, and which no one outside of the distillery knows the name of ). Distilled in small batches in the hand-hammered copper still, the sophisticated gin is of the “I’m out golfing” variety, as Cassell puts it. Alternately, Triple X Shine white


whiskey is a manifest Harley Davidson rumble, the hoarse and magnetic “crazy uncle” of the family; Penn 1681 is a vodka composed of Pennsylvania-grown organic rye as a heartfelt and patriotic love letter to the state; and the Vieux Carré is a bejeweled French Quarter incantation made with imported botanicals kept in a room I was not allowed to enter. Naturally, I romanticized the confidentiality and unfair, lock-tight mystery of the room, which I imagine to be draped from the ceiling with chains of Artemisia vulgaris that whisper French nothings. Probably he also keeps the third citrus in there. Philadelphia Distilling’s collection of spirits testifies to the inherently versatile nature of a distillery, widely able to dabble in the vivid cultures of varied regions and eras. The shelf right now not only represents America from its early patriotic foundations through its revolutionary teenage years to its moonshining Prohibition era, but also the traditional distilling methods of the spirits’ rich respective histories. Cassell describes the antique library documents he researched, which were blacked out with the censor bars of Prohibition. As with brewmasters, makers of liquor have an intense reverence for the tradition they stand on; and PD employs that ancestral knowledge to reinstate quality. “The idea of more selection is the greatest thing craft distilling can bring to a consumer,” Cassell says. And while there are many quality “macro” liquors to choose from, this idea still lines up with what was first experienced with microbeer: providing more unique options that can aptly cater to niche palates. That is one of the reasons Cassell and his partners, Andrew Auwerda and Timothy Yarnall, fought so hard to be able to sell on-site at the distillery: so they could eventually make and sell niche products otherwise not marketable to a distributor. Selling on-site was illegal when they opened their doors in 2005 as the first craft distillery in Pennsylvania since before Prohibition. At the time, there were only about fifty licensed craft distilleries in the country (as compared to 1,400 distilleries in PA alone, prior to The Dark Time), so many of the laws that applied to them had gone unnoticed and uncontested. Cassell and his partners worked for five or six years to pioneer the on-site legislation, pitching a bill to the Rendell administration and reintroducing it again in the Corbett administration, during which it has finally gained legs. It was this kind of legislative groundwork by Philadelphia Distilling that helped pave the way for East Coast distillers who’ve followed in the last several years. PD became forerunners of fine independent drink, especially as the first company on the East Coast to make absinthe since it was banned in the U.S. The wormwood spirit—long vilified around the world as a drink that made people do insane things like write poetry and kill their families—was legalized in the U.S. in December of 2007. Philadelphia Distilling made twenty-seven batches before releasing Vieux Carré Absinthe Supérieure, knowing it was absolutely necessary to get right, with all that historical pressure and the newly out-on-bail green fairy on their backs. Cassell describes the absinthe as the only spirit they don’t infuse with as many local ingredients as possible. While the botanicals are organic (harvested in Switzerland by hand, with scissors), there



“The idea of more selection is the greatest thing craft distilling can bring to a consumer,” probably will not be a wormwood farm in Northeast Philly anytime soon. As for the rest of their liquors—the gin, whiskey and vodka— he explains the spirit industry as a highly agricultural one, and makes an excellent case for the role that craft companies play in their communities. For one, PD uses around 150 local vendors ranging from farmers to bottle suppliers. Their heirloom corn (which makes “a sharp difference”) and organic rye come from nearby farms, ultimately supporting jobs in the area. Locavore Cassell refers to this impact philosophy as his “soapbox;” but he’s describing an important ripple effect which is not only true for makers of liquor and beer, but companies across the board. Buying local feeds regional economics. Period. Of course, there are exceptions in liquor when local resources can’t be used. For example, the Lancaster farmer who decided against selling his organic rye to the whiskey-mashing PD for faith-based reasons; the terrible drought this year that wracked nearby farms and ruined crops; and certainly budget restrictions that might limit the use of expensive organic-stamped crops. Money is a factor that artisan companies must sweat over eternally, and it’s part of why craft beer is a little more expensive. Boutique liquor faces the same issues. “It’s very cost-intensive. Most craft distilleries haven’t even broken even,” Cassell explains, comparing the overall scene to the state of craft beer in the 1980s. But with the network as small as it is (though rapidly growing to more than 400 across the country), there is at least familial warmth and counsel amongst distillers, who are all doing daily what they love: quality.


he brand new Dad’s Hat Rye distillery in Bristol, for one, is grateful for way-paving by Philadelphia Distilling and other companies like Boyd & Blair (who make potato vodka in Pittsburgh). Recently joining the scene, the two-man Dad’s Hat whiskey venture spent almost two years running trials at the distillery in the University of Michigan’s chemical engineering department, and fully developed their signature recipe before the company was even launched. Discussing that recipe for Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey—which uses 80% rye, 15% barley malt and 5% malted rye—founder Herman Mihalich comments on the current trend that “more rye is better,” similar to the mouthdemolishing hops craze in beer. “But the barley malt is important,” he says, “because it brings out more interesting flavors in our young whiskey.” Using primarily small 15 gallon barrels, Mihalich and co-founder John Cooper age their rye whiskey anywhere from six to nine months; their only other product, Dad’s Hat White Rye, is a “white dog straight from the still” that is about as young as it gets, but nonetheless, dangerously smooth. “Smooth,” by the way, “is one of the most overused words in describing liquor,” as Rob Cassell notes. While tasting directly from the barrels at Dad’s Hat, and enjoying a Shine and ginger beer at Philadelphia Distilling, it was immediately clear why Cassell felt it necessary to point this out. Smooth is generally what we look for when we want to get “shwasted,” as the young people say. Helps the burny go down. But in a quality whiskey, the last thing we want to do is to blur out the complex components of flavor; the lavender or vanilla, the oak, the pepper.



Lifes Too Short To Drink Bad Beer Break Free To Good Craft Beer

From it’s inception in 1986, Mari’s 6 Pac N Mor has always been a hot spot for beer! Having a selection of craft brews to go with the domestic & import brews, Mari decided to renovate the 5500 sq.ft. store & make it the Craft Beer mecca it is today! This store opened in November, 2011 with between 300 & 500 different brews. Less than 1 year later, the total number reached over 2000! Mari’s mission is customer satisfaction! The courteous & knowledgeable staff, the Bru Cru, are on hand to help customers find what they are looking for, or make a recommendation! With local & cornerstone craft breweries available, Mari has stocked the shelves with high end craft brewers, such as Mikkeller, Russian River, Lost Abbey and others! Foreign country crafts? They are well represented! Belgians?? The top Trappist breweries & the other great Belgian breweries! Crafts in Cans? A great selection! A 6 tap Craft on Draft station where you can get a pint, a 2 pint Crafty Carton, or a growler fill! Plus, Mix A Six pack of any 12oz bottles or cans & get a 20% discount! Also EVERY Saturday, FREE beer tastings from 2-4!! LIKE us on Facebook, maris6pacnmor1. But whatever you do, come see what the buzz is all about!! Mari’s 6 Pac N Mor!!

835-8 Hiester’s Lane • Reading • 610 750-6430

Sun-Wed Open 11am-Midnight • Thur-Sat Open 11am-1am Open 10 am till midnight on Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Eve and Day 65

I learned about the art of blending from Cooper, who helped open Dad’s Hat in 2011. After the barrels are monitored for their six to nine month incubation, they’re separated into categories of floral, spicy, sweet, dry, etc., and blended together into the perfect combination of all qualities. Sometimes a barrel is cracked open and deemed perfect; this rare result will be transferred as-is into 80 bottles and sold with the gleaming title of single cask batch. The blending process at Dad’s Hat constantly evolves toward a better recipe, and it’s one of the main differences between distilling and brewing. The real difference between booze and brew also lies in the distillation of the mash, which requires some seriously elaborate and expensive equipment. The six-digit price tag still, which has to be made of copper to oxidize the sulfur compounds and produce necessary flavors, is employed in a highly specific, constantly adjusted temperature process. “We’re a big believer in low and slow,” John Cooper says of his relationship to the temperatures. In addition to distillation educations, both Mihalich and Cassell are trained scientists (Cassell in nuclear medicine and Mihalich in chemical engineering), and it is evident how central that is to their craft. But like any science, distilling and cleaning mash is also an art and learning process. The poetry of the whole business can be condensed into universal terms of head, heart and tail. These “body parts” are what compose the alcohol steam boiled off from the

FARE A celebration of artisnal food and drink and the people who make it.

April 13th • The Fuge, Warminster, PA •



fermented liquid. Heads have the unwanted, lower-boiling content that comes out at the beginning of the run, like a first thought yet to mature. The tails contain unwanted, higher-boiling content, like a feeling that has lost meaning after much brooding. And the hearts, as always, are the desired spirit: the lusted-after, the soul of the thing, the meat and breath of the animal. The metaphor carries on in a balance sought between the three; nothing can stand alone. While the heart is the whiskey (and never was a truer thing said!) it requires late-heads and early-tails to round out the whole show into a delicate flavor profile. Love also has to grow into itself; Cooper and Mihalich explain the process as one constantly re-negotiated, altered, and responded to. Because of the precarious poetry and costly equipment, achieving results at home (bootlegging) is difficult, but not impossible. It’s just hard to get it to taste good. But as in brewing, there is wide public respect for its art, science, and fruits, even though the law does frown heavily on it (making your own whiskey is illegal everywhere save New Zealand). Because of the Man and the cost, DIY spirits will probably be much slower to pan out than homebrewing was. In fact, it’s nearly the opposite of beer, which benefited from strong roots in basements across America, while spirits soar early on the wings of craft companies. And though craft liquor may not see a revered home boom very soon, it still enjoys clout for craftsmanship that

boldly contests the giants’ monopoly and the novelty of bathtub likker. Though that’s nice too. So you want to drink now, yes? Philadelphia Distilling spirits are available at an honest-to-God slew of restaurants in and beyond Center City, including your Stephen Starr-child favorites, as well as at distributors here and in more than thirty states. In the meantime, Dad’s Hat is eking out a growing presence at local bars and recently had their first tasting at Watkins Drinkery in South Philly. They distribute in PA, New Jersey, New York , DC and California. You can also buy directly from their warehouses, both of which offer tastings. Dad’s Hat even has a bar, built by Cooper from the recycled packing wood their still arrived in, that features pre-Prohibition copper stills resembling science experiments. Coming up, Dad’s Hat will stick to studying traditional whiskey to get it just right, and Philadelphia Distilling might experiment with liqueurs, approaching the consumable world of plants and aromatics as a buffet to be closely smelled, plucked and logged. Before I left PD, Cassell pulled out some impressive blueprints for a possible space in Center City, where community events will be held in the craft beer fashion. The new venue would have a tasting bar and botanicals on display—not the clandestine ones— and a hidden speakeasy bar, where I imagine most guests will be moved to take their otherworldly absinthe cocktails and drift off into a handcrafted glow.


The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide My, how quickly the years full of beer pass. The season turns from wheat drinking to winter warmers and in the blink of an eye, it is gift giving time. But not to stress, our brew-loving elves have done the leg work, compiling a list of some of the best beer-centric gifts of the year. Enjoy our 4th annual holiday gift guide and have a safe and happy holiday!






Swag Brewery Soap A. Beer smells awesome, so why wouldn’t you want to bathe in it? Swag Brewery’s custom soaps are made with some of the most popular craft beers on the market and provide that hoppy and malty aroma you love. Plus, beer is good for your skin! • $7 |

Swag Brewery Candies A. Want the taste of hops but can’t enjoy a beer at the moment? Swag Brewery Hop Candy, made with real hops, is the perfect way to enjoy the hoppy goodness of an IPA while at work or on a long drive. Available in a variety of hops. • $5 |

Walt Wit Souvenirs B. Everyone loves the giant pencil tap handle that pours PBC Walt Wit at your favorite bar. Now, you can take home the giant pencil and it actually writes and erases like a real old-fashioned no. 2 pencil. Or take home an oversized bottle/change jar of your favorite PBC beer. • Prices vary | available exclusively at the PBC Brewery

Beer Stick Bottle Opener C. Like the slogan says, it’s “made well to do one thing well.” This simple bottle opener is a wooden block with a little metal hook to pry off beer as easily as possible. Each stick is fully customizable with your own logo and/or slogan. • $12 |

BBbarfly D. Why just open a bottle when you can practice your ninja skills as well? This fully customizable bottle opener acts like a switchblade and is the most entertaining bottle opener money can buy. Don’t believe us? Check out some of the demo videos on YouTube. • $20 and up |

Hermetus Bottle Opener/Resealer E. A bottle opener and sealer in one! Open the bottle like normal and if you didn’t drink the whole bottle, slide the opener over the top to seal in the freshness. • $8.70 |

Rotorcaps Cufflinks F. Nickel Silver handmade cufflinks that come in a variety of breweries. No better way to fancy up an outfit than supporting your favorite brewery at your next special occasion. • $40 |

Beer Yeast Plushies G. The perfect gift for the nerdiest of beer lovers. These plush stuffed yeast cells are designed to look exactly like beer yeast when viewed under a microscope. Available in a variety of sizes, including a Petri dish of baby yeast plushies. • $9.95 and up |











Beer Books A. The perfect gift for any beer lover. There are a huge variety of craft beer books on the market, touching on every aspect of the industry from brewing to science and styles to pairings. Whether you’re shopping for a brewer, beer-geek, or newbie alike, there is sure to be something up their ally. • Prices vary | available at all of your local homebrew shops

German Beer Garden Furniture B. Bring Oktoberfest to your backyard with German-made beer garden tables and benches! Furniture comes in a variety of colors and sizes, requires no building and has collapsible legs for storage. • $279.95 |

Brew-K C. Would you rather get a bouquet of flowers or a Brew-K of beer?


Exactly. And that’s what makes the Brew-K an ideal gift. Each Brew-K (4 different package options) fits up to a dozen cans or seven bottles. Beverages not included. • $9.99 |

BeerSox D. Put a little homemade touch into your beer koozie. These hand-knit beer koozies will fit on bottles, cans and glasses alike and come in a large variety of colors. • $20 |

The “Beerd” E. The perfect beer koozie for any beer lover. With this handmade fur koozie, you can make any of your favorite bottles or cans look like a bearded wonder. • $7 |

Romanick Growlers F. Fully customizable ceramic growlers from Romanick Pottery in Newark, DE. Hand-crafted on a potter’s wheel, each growler is truly a one of a kind piece of art. Don’t need another growler? They also offer homemade beer steins and other ceramic crafts. • Prices vary |

Grand Circus Cutouts G. Handmade paper cutouts depicting some of your favorite parts of the local craft beer scene. Relive the time the SEPTA bus crashed into Monks Café with this paper model or put the Memphis Taproom Beer Garden on display so you can feel like you’re there even when it’s closed during the winter. • $14 and up |

Oowee Koozie H. Handmade leather koozies perfect for covering your favorite bottles, cans and pints. Plus, being customizable, you can put the name or logo of your home brewery on them as well. Leather coasters are also available. • Prices vary |

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Beers: Saints,Vikings and Stella? By Lisa Grimm

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While the branding genies like to tie a date of 1366 to the beer, even the most scientifically-inclined Belgian monks were not creating pale lagers back then; perhaps even more surprising is the fact that not only did Stella originate as a Christmas beer in 1926, it was first marketed in Canada before returning victorious to Europe. While it is true that beer has been brewed more or less on the site in Leuven since the fourteenth century (and possibly before), the ‘Artois’ part of the name dates to the early 18th century, when Sebastianus Artois took over the Den Horen Brewery. Combining his surname with the Latin word for ‘star’ was only intended to promote a seasonal beer and instead, it launched a global juggernaut that few would now associate with the holidays. But brewing special beers for this time of year is not simply a construct of modern marketing; Christmas or midwinter beers have been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and quite probably

go much deeper into prehistory, as beer itself does. Textual evidence includes much fist-shaking by early Christian saints—the 7th-century Irish missionary St. Columbanus smashed casks of sacred beer which the Germanic Alemanni tribe had brewed to celebrate pagan god Wotan in December, and even before that, the Greeks and Romans had, in their turns, been disapproving about beer in general (though it is worth noting that Roman soldiers were often quite pleased with local beers when they were dispatched to the farther reaches of the empire). Later medieval religious folk approved of winter beers, however, in the 12th century, Hildegard von Bingen (when she was not busy composing music or experiencing strange auras) suggested that beer could help treat a number of medical disorders and especially recommended its consumption in winter, when it was considered much safer than water.

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And stronger beer for the winter was certainly not just for celebrations, especially in the north–in his Uncorking the Past, Patrick E. McGovern reminds readers that obtaining enough calories to get through the winter required a bit of creativity for those living at these latitudes–stronger beers were one useful way to achieve that goal by using the resources available locally. There

Brewing good beer for Jul (which slowly morphed into a December 25th Christmas celebration) was even codified in law; in the 10th century, King Haakon I made it an offence to fail to brew a measure of beer for the mandated festive gatherings held at midwinter. And these laws were enforced— any peasant who failed to brew Christmas beer for a year paid a fine, and missing three

is ample evidence of brewing–and celebrating –with beer throughout the European Bronze and Iron Ages, and the Celts and Norse became especially well-known for liking a drink and a party (much to the disapproval of the Romans). We have more seasonallyspecific knowledge when we get to the Vikings, whose Jul (or Yule) celebrations began to be recognizable as forerunners of many of our current holiday traditions. December 21st was the day special beers were offered up (and drunk) to Odin and Frey, and ‘drinking Jul’ was an essential part of the celebration.

years in a row could result in forfeiture of property. This tradition continued in Scandinavia well into the modern period, and old recipes are often quite similar—a very malty beer, often with some juniper thrown in along with some locally-grown hops. Some of the first Christmas beers we know about in North America are mentioned in accounts of 17th century Swedish settlers along the Delaware River, so there is a long history of engendering seasonal cheer with specially-brewed beer in the Philadelphia region. Some of this Norse spiced-ale tradition



was carried into Britain as well; as the Vikings were establishing footholds in (and occasionally ruling) the country, they also brought their custom of drinking toasts to their companions’ health—ves heil eventually became ‘wassail’ and an association with the winter holidays, from Christmas to Twelfth Night, became entrenched. A particular variety of ale, used for wassailing purposes in the 15th and 16th centuries, lambswool, was so called because its ingredients made the surface so cloudy and frothy. Roasted apples, nutmeg, ginger and sugar were all involved, and milk could be added as well, though hops were still something of a rarity in some corners at this period (the town fathers of Shrewsbury outlawed hops in 1519, they viewed such additives as ‘…a wicked and pernicious weed…’) so alternatives were required. These festive beers were often served after adding further mulling spices, or were simply heated over a fire to help keep out the cold. References to the more traditional variety of wassail, spices and all, continue well into the 20th century, and not just in Christmas carols. Though it can certainly be argued that a late 19th century revival of interest in all things Medieval kept the wassailing custom alive, it is clear that


domestic production carried on in some form until relatively recent decades. But beer evolved with the times, and as Britain moved toward commercial brewing, offerings became more standardized. Milk and apples were not, on the whole, welcomed into the ever-more-industrial brewery setting, but a stronger beer still appealed in the winter. The Oxford Companion to Beer suggests that the heated beers popular at Christmas in earlier periods fell out of favor after the transition to hops. On the whole, hoppy beer does not tend to provide a pleasing experience after heat has been applied to the finished beer, but there was still market demand for a stronger, sweeter winter beer. This gap was filled by the strong ales brewed in Burton-on-Trent for generations, although the notion of branding Burton ales as winter-specific beers only seems to have arisen in the early 20th century. They remained popular, especially around the Christmas holidays, until the 1950s, when the style dramatically fell out of favor. Young’s got around the sudden change in tastes by rebranding their Burton Ale as a Winter Warmer—as, indeed, it remains to this day. A number of barleywines have also been similarly re-positioned (or re-introduced)


over the years by other UK brewers. Here in the Philadelphia region, with its mix of British, German and other historical brewing traditions (as mentioned above, the Swedes did get the ball rolling), brewers have not felt the need to rely upon any one single influence, and have often simply made up their own rules for creating the perfect Christmas beer. Always a local holiday favorite, Tröegs Mad Elf traces its origins to an idea the Brothers Trogner were mulling over back in 2001. They knew they wanted to make a higher-gravity beer for the season, but exactly what it would be was still very much up in the air. One possibility they considered was a wine barrel-aged strong ale of indeterminate type (obviously, they were ahead of the game in that regard), but they were put off by the high price of the barrels in question. The barrel-aging plan was summarily abandoned, but the goal was still to create a stronger beer with some wine-like qualities. A base of chocolate malt was selected to add dark, warm maltiness, and honey was suggested to up the strength. The final ‘special’ addition to the recipe, cherries, would send the resulting beer back toward the wine end of the spectrum. Of course, the newly-designed beer still needed a name, and ‘Mad Elf ’ came up


during a family night out at a local pub. It was seized upon with such enthusiasm that designs for the artwork began immediately, there in the bar. An unfortunate meeting with some wing sauce has kept the original deranged-elf design on a napkin from finding pride of place in the Tröegs archives, but the newly-christened beer was now well on its journey to becoming one of the most popular seasonal fixtures in the region. After a successful draft-only launch in its inaugural year, Mad Elf made its bottled debut the following year with a limited run of 2500 cases; while the beer scene was growing, it was still assumed to be something of a strange beer to explain to a wider audience. But Mad Elf ’s reputation preceded it: “The plan was to put out enough bottles to sell from Thanksgiving to Christmas,” said Chris Trogner. “I don’t even think we made it to Thanksgiving.” Many of the cases were pre-sold even before leaving the brewery, and distributors clamored for extra cases–quite a feat for a beer whose reputation was built only on word-of-mouth. Mad Elf ’s popularity continues to grow and although it now comes out in midOctober, fans in some markets are sad to find it’s gone by the time Christmas itself rolls around.

Sly Fox’s Christmas Ale was more directly inspired by notions of traditional British wassails, and while apples have not been part of the mix, spices most certainly are. It begins as a red ale—that base is the same from year to year—but the spice character is something new each season. Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly notes that it can be difficult to predict exactly how the spice angle will shape up: “We notice a big difference in the fresh ginger each year and we attempt to compensate for that.” The brewing process includes making a ‘spice tea’ including the aforementioned ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon, and while it certainly enhances the brewery’s smell for a few weeks, it’s no simple task to make it happen each year. O’Reilly continues, “Making the spice tea for the brew is definitely a labor of love. The first couple batches that we spice are exciting. The whole brewery will fill with the aroma of mulling spices. By the time we are spicing the last batch of the season we are definitely happy to not

have to deal with peeling and chopping ginger again until the next year.” Perhaps it is no surprise that given Sly Fox’s success with canning their beers, they’ve made their Christmas Ale particularly handy for last-minute gift-giving: the cans come with fill-in-the-blank ‘to’ and ‘from’ fields. Finally, Victory gets into the spirit of the season without having to be quite so datealigned—their Old Horizontal barleywine is a winter-long favorite. While Victory is well-known for their many German-inspired beers, they’ve headed in a slightly more British direction and have positioned Old Horizontal as a winter warmer, rather than as a beer that screams ‘holidays.’ “We’ve avoided brewing a Christmasspecific beer because any beer left undrunk on the 26th basically becomes useless,” said Bill Covaleski President and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company. “It’s the same reason our Festbier isn’t named ‘Oktoberfestbier.’” Ron Barchet, CEO and Brewmaster added, “The distribution management of a one-day beer can be a nightmare.”

Despite Old Horizontal’s popularity, it had to be left off the team last year, as Victory worked to keep up with demand for their year-round beers. Fans will be delighted to know it’s returning in more rarified form this year, as a barrel-aged version to be known as Oak Horizontal will be out just in time for the holidays. But making Old Horizontal (in either form) more than just a holiday beer is a smart move—it can still be enjoyed on a cold January night just as well as it can the week before Christmas. Whether your taste in Christmas beers runs to the spiced ale end of the spectrum, or if you prefer something rich and eminently sippable in front of a crackling fire—or even if you want to grab a cold one to watch a football game—there are many options available, often with deep historic ties to the holiday season. And, just for good measure, you may want to raise a toast to the Vikings this winter; without their long-ago influence on brewing, we might not have such flavorful choices today. Skål!


Bar & Restaurant Review 80

A Speakeasy of Sort Fiume offers great beer in one of Philly’s most unexpected places. By Mat Falco Over the past couple years, “speakeasy” type bars have become all the rage. Popping up throughout the city, people continue to line up at them, searching out their fancy cocktails. More so than the cocktails, people seem to enjoy the secretive-type feel of the locations, like the back alley-way entrance to the Ranstadt Room, only noticeable by a red light. Most of these hidden bars focus entirely on cocktails, leaving beers overlooked. But for the past ten years or so, a little speakeasy of sorts in West Philly has brought beer to the secret bar atmosphere. Fiume is a bar within a bar. Located above the Abyssinia, one would never even know that Fiume existed without some prior knowledge. There are no signs found outside and it’s easy to assume that the entire building belongs to Abyssinia. If one goes through the side door and then directly up the steps, there will be double doors with a little handwritten sign merely stating, “Bar is open,” unless, of course, you get there before 6:00 pm. Once inside, you’ll have found one of the smallest bars in the city with one of the larger beer lists. The bar itself consists of only five barstools (all of which are very random) and five small tables. Find yourself a seat though, and you’ll have access to over 100 different bottles of beer. Options range from local offerings such as Victory and Yards, to some well chosen, European beers from breweries like BFM and De Glazen Toren.


The beer list is mostly bottle, but on special occasions, Fiume will pull out a sixtel of something good and tap it for the evening. In line with other “speakeasies,” Fiume also offers up quite the significant whiskey list with over seventy options. If you want a cocktail, they even create some quality ones to imbibe on. Outside of being hidden, this isn’t your typical speakeasy. The tiny room is by no means fancy and isn’t a throwback to another era. Each of the windows has a cheap Walmart box fan hanging in front of it and halfempty cans of paint sit atop the beer cooler which is next to stacked cases of beer. One of the windows even has a car windshield sun protector covering it. There’s some art but it’s mostly hand-drawn things that the bar staff seems to have put together, though the bottle list is an impressive collage of colorful hand drawn signs. Despite its size, they somehow find a way to squeeze in small bands twice a week, typically playing some version of blues/jazz. There’s no food on the menu here, but it’s a BYOF and you’re welcome to bring or order anything you would like, including something from the restaurant below. Fiume is truly a unique bar in a city filled with creative bars. A nice break from the norm, it’s an ideal bar to relax with a few drinks in a carefree environment. Fiume is located at 229 South 45th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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NJ’s Max’s Seafood Café keeps the saloon feel alive. By Mat Falco On an unassuming corner, on what is a mostly unattractive block of Gloucester, NJ, is a rather large corner bar that stands out quite a bit, but not in a bad, gaudy kind of way. Filled with history, Max’s Seafood Café has been an operating bar for most of the past 100 years and still has the original bar that was shipped over from Germany back in 1911 which was the inspiration for turning what was a shoe store into a now historic bar. Originally named Leisinger’s Saloon after the initial owner, it became Max’s 65 years ago following the passing on of the original owner and his nephew taking over. Today, Max’s has gone through some changes but still keeps a very classic feel. The original wooden bar is an ornate piece of art and a perfect fit for the Victorian-style tin ceiling. The rest of the café is adorned with exposed brick and wood-work throughout, along with a fireplace adding a great sense of character and comfort. Max’s also continues to focus on what has made them popular for the past 65 years: seafood. The menu is adorned with seafood options from the basics like steamed clams, fried calamari, and their signature steamed mussels, to less common options like lobster rolls, oyster po’ boys, and a Cajunwedge salad topped with crawfish. Fresh, reasonably

priced seafood is something Max’s takes pride in. On the bar side of things, they’ve continued to build up a quality beer selection; a dozen beers on tap, with well over half of them being a variety of craft beers. It’s not a list that would compare to NJ’s Pour House, but it’s more than ample and quite fitting for the atmosphere. There are however over forty bottle options comprised of offerings from most parts of the world, ensuring a diversity of choices to keep anyone happy. The bar’s shelves are also well stocked with a variety of spirits ranging from the basics to higher-end and small batch craft bottles. They also have a wine-cellar with over 2,000 bottles if you feel like taking a night off from beer. Though it lost the saloon name many years ago, Max’s still seems to have that saloon vibe in the bar. The TV conveniently placed away from the bar to not be the center of attention adds to the comfort and encourages the oldtime bar experience of talking to your neighbor. The saloon is a rare thing in today’s craft beer bar scene and something that would be great to see make a revival, and for now, almost underneath the Walt Whitman, there’s Max’s to help move the revival along. Max’s Seafood Café is located at 34 North Burlington Street, Gloucester City, NJ 08030.

Bar & Restaurant Review

History Under the Walt Whitman


The Tasting Room December 2012/january 2013 Venue: Sly fox brewery In what was the most fitting location for two of our guests, the new Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown, PA is home to this issue’s Tasting Room. Recently opened, the new location replaced the previous one in Royersford. The Pottstown location offers up gourmet pizzas and a bunch of pub exclusive beers.

How we Review Beer Every issue Philly Beer Scene gets together with notable guests from the scene for a small, private, tasting session. Twenty beers are chosen that are new, seasonal or just interesting.

Star Gazing Stay Away From This Beer A Drinkable Beer But Not Worth Seeking Out An Average Beer A Pretty Decent Beer Worth Drinking Anytime If You See This Beer, Order It You Better Go Out And Find This Beer Now



notable guests

Rui Lucas is one of the owners of the Iron Abbey Gastropub in Horsham, PA. Rui has turned the Iron Abbey into one of the premier beer destinations in the suburbs. A huge soccer fan, Rui has also made the bar a prime location to watch a game.

Jack Curtin is part of the core of original craft beer writers in Philadelphia. He contributes to multiple beer publications, including Celebrator and Ale Street News, along with publishing his blog Jack Curtin’s Liquid Diet.

from the scene guests Dave Sanislo joins us after winning a social-media contest. Dave is an avidhomebrewer hoping to get his startup brewery, Love Brewing, off the ground. Dave also finished as a quarter-finalist in this past year’s Philly Beer Geek competition.

Brian O’Reilly is the brewmaster at Sly Fox Brewing Co. He is responsible for many great beers including O’Reilly’s Irish Dry Stout. O’Reilly is also responsible for the first Philly Beer Week Belgian collaboration beer, Broederlijke Liefde, brewed at De Proef.

Ballast Point Longfin Lager

Susquehanna Pils-Noir

German ingredients combine for a fresh, light malt

This innovative black pilsner from Susquehanna

driven dortmunder/helles lager. 100% Pilsner malt

Brewing Co. is made from Pearl (Winter) barley

is used. ABV: 4.6%

and naturally darkens using the classic Czech technique of decoction mashing. ABV: 4.9%

Jack 2.5 Nothing special. Clean, could stand a few more hops. Brian Rui


Full body, clean, balanced. Export style?


Easy drinking, clean, with a nice amount of taste for a West Coast lager.

Dave 2.5 Clean, crisp lager. Clean, easy drinking lager that you could drink

Mat 3.5 multiple pints of.



Interesting, well-made beer. Slightly sweet.

Brian 2.5 Nice chocolate, lean body. Character like a hop

forward porter. Don’t really get the “black” pils.





A big confusion in the style. Tastes like a light porter or Euro porter, but less hoppy. Light bodied, very sweet, lightly hopped.

Mat 2.5 Not the typical clean, crisp pils I love.

Fox Barrel English Perry Cider

Shed Mountain Ale

A truly sessionable, classic English medium-dry

An English-style strong ale. This brown ale has

natural Perry. Juicy, fresh, medium-bodied, with a

great malt depth and drinks like a session beer.

subtle citrus zing and a long, natural pear finish.

ABV: 7.0%

ABV: 5.3% Jack 2.5 Refreshing, wine-like, clean and simple. Easy


Brian 2.5 Clean, simple cider flavors. White wine character.

Brian 3.5 Clean ale esters and chocolate in the nose. Nice




Straightforward and simple. Would order again in summer or spring.



Pear aroma, tart, and white wine like. Clean and easy drinking.



Reminded me a lot of a chardonnay. Nice tartness.


Rich and flavorful. smooth malt, good balance—strong.



Dave 3.5 Mat


Big upfront flavor, but malt taste hangs on the tip of the tongue making me not want to go back. High ABV brown ale but well hidden. Full bodied and very malty and sweet. Very classic tasting brown ale with deceivingly high ABV.


the tasting room Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Red Hook Winterhook

This inky black oatmeal stout has a smooth palate

While it changes slightly each year, Winterhook

with aromas of chocolate, caramel and hints of

brewed for this season offers a rich caramel body

roast highlighted by notes of cocoa. ABV: 5.7%

that balances a big malt backbone with the aggressively dry hopped brew. ABV: 6.0%

nice, full flavor. A stout that tastes like a stout Jack 3.5 Very should.

Jack 3.5 Nice flavor, hoppy, fireplace beer.

Brian 3.5 Coffee and chocolate aroma, medium body, balanced



Hoppy American brown ale nose, medium body.



Malty, easy on the nose. Does not hang for long. Would drink again.

finish of roast and bitterness.

Coffee, tart nose. Good amount of carbonation. Full body stout. Would order again.





Light bodied, very drinkable stout. Smooth, dry finish.



The quality of Magic Hat of late is bringing me back to the days when #9 made me fall in love with beer.

Dave 1.5 Earthy hops, caramel malts, dry finish. Mat


A spice-free winter beer, a nice change of the norm.

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro

Bell’s Midwestern Pale Ale

The aroma is of brown sugar and vanilla cream,

Midwestern Pale Ale is the renaming of the classic

with hints of roasted coffee. Initial roasty, mocha

Bell’s Pale Ale. Despite the change of name and

flavors rise up, with slight hop & roast bitterness

label, the beer remains mostly the same but is now

in the finish. ABV: 6.0%

brewed with a small portion of barley from Bell’s farm in Shepherd, Michigan. ABV: 5.3%

Sweet and milky. Somewhat impressed but nitro Jack 2.5

Jack 2.5 Thin pale ale. Quite hoppy. Some grain in the finish.

Brian 2.5 Sweet bready aroma, sweet flavor, slight roast in

Brian 2.5 Hazy yellow, hoppy, yeasty aroma, light body.

fades quickly. Carbonation is lost, interesting.

sweet finish.



Creamy with a great flavor of coffee and butter throughout the whole experience. Would love this with breakfast.



Creamy with hops in front and through the experience.



Sweet, creamy mouth-feel. Chocolate and light roast flavors.



Grassy hops, light, easy drinking pale ale.



Very aggressive hop profile. Nice, but not what I want in a pale ale.

Not quite the same as a Guinness can, but quite

Mat 2.5 impressive.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Valeir Blond

A nutty twist to a traditional European Brown Ale.

Valeir Blond from Brouwerij Contreras is a top

Dark brown in color with a hazelnut aroma, a rich

fermentation beer, re-fermented in the bottle.

nutty flavor and a smooth malty finish. This beer

Orange-blond color, clear. Spicy and hoppy.

also won a gold medal at the 2011 & 2012 GABF.

Pleasantly refreshing. ABV: 6.5%

ABV: 6.2% Jack


You want hazelnut, this is for you. Nice, but maybe a bit much.



Intricate and quite flavorful.



Perfume hazelnut aroma, sweet hazelnut coffee flavor, thin, sweet finish.



Copper color, spicy, malty nose. Nice malt and hop character on the palate.





Easy malt. Smooth, creamy, and hazy with smooth taste.

Hazelnut right up front and hides a lot of the beer. Would drink again, though.

Dave 3.5 Sweet brown ale. Hazelnut really comes through. Mat



One of my original favorites. Gotta love hazelnut, though.


Dave 3.5

Typical for a Belgian beer. Strong yeast character. Sweet for a blond.

Mat 3.5 Very rustic, enjoyable blond ale. Full bodied for style.

St. Stefanus Blonde

Lancaster Winter Warmer

St. Stefanus Blonde is the original abbey beer

A fine blend of British and American hops provides

contracted to the Van Steenberge Brewery. To this

an even bitterness as this beer, true to its name,

day, it’s brewed with three different yeasts and

finishes with a warming alcohol flavor.

matured for at least three months. ABV: 7.0%

ABV: 8.9%



Delicious, well done beer. Great flavor.




Great balance of medium malt with a dry hop finish.

Brian 3.5 Chocolate and hops in the nose. Strong alcohol in



Great example of a blond. Creamy with a lot of flavor. Definitely would buy this.



Great beer. 7% well hidden by malts. Not a session beer but definitely well done.



Fantastic. Refreshing, crisp, clean and complex all in one.


Pleasant beer, gentle hops, nice drinking. the flavor. Very old ale-esque.



Great winter warmer. Really pleasant.

Dave 3.5 Sweet, dark fruits. Full bodied and warming. Mat


Another winter beer light on the spices. Fitting to the “warmer” name.

Anderson Valley Winter Solstice

Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale begins with a very

Spiced for the holidays with honey, cinnamon,

high original gravity to create a hearty and spicy

ginger, nutmeg and Santa’s secret recipe.

brew with a deep amber hue and a smooth finish.

ABV: 8.3%

ABV: 6.9%



Malty and sweet.




Hoppy American hop nose, sweet malty, big body - too sweet.

Brian 2.5 Big nutmeg aroma, spice dominates the flavor, good


A bit sweet for me, but I can see people liking it. Love the classic Coca-Cola look of the can.


Dave 1.5 Malty sweet beer. Big bodied and caramel forward. Mat


Much bigger and sweeter than expected, but ideal for a cold, holiday night in front of a fire.


Let’s face it, spiced beers are not my thing. body.



Huge nose of nutmeg. Nice cinnamon flavors. I’d drink it again.

Dave 2.5 Typical Christmas ale. Alcohol very present. Mat


A typical spiced, Christmas ale.

Victory Baltic Thunder

Sam Adams Merry Mischief

Exhibiting the enticing, toffee roast of the British porter

A rich, gingerbread stout with a smooth sweetness

that originated the style in the 18th century, and the

and heartiness of dark roasted malts and a touch of

soothing, subtle fruit nuance of contemporary brews

wheat; with a kick of intensity from spices of cinnamon,

that flourish from Helsinki to Vilnius today, this dark

clove, nutmeg, & ginger. ABV: 9.0%

lager honors the Baltic god of thunder. ABV: 8.5%


Solid—like everything Victory does.



Chocolate and hop aroma, nice balance of alcohol, dark malt, and hops.




It’s a great beer!

Dave 3.5 Chocolate notes. Malty and slight roast. Great example of a Baltic porter.



Another great beer from Victory and one that is overlooked much too often.

Jack 3.5 Spices are mellower than most. Stout background helps.

Brian 3.5 Rui


Dave 3.5 Mat


Ginger and alcohol in the aroma. Nice balance of the two and dark malt in flavor. Definitely gingerbread. Delicious. A bit smoky. Very well done, stout helps mellow the ginger. Very nice holiday ale. A style I typically don’t like, but this is quite good. I will drink this on Christmas morning.


the tasting room DuClaw X-1 Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter

Duvel Tripel Hop Duvel Triple Hop 2012, is a limited release of the popular Belgian Triple Duvel. This beer has a large

The 1st experiment in our eXile series combines

aroma of spicy saaz and floral golding hops with

ryemalt and real chocolate for a unique Imperial

some citrus in the background. ABV: 9.5%

Porter with a complex flavor profile, velvety mouth feel and bittersweet finish. ABV: 7.7%

Jack 4.5 The nose alone is enough to make you cheer. Too much? Nah—perfect.



Jack 3.5

Very chocolaty, well-made but not as drinkable as a beer needs to be.

Brian 3.5 Chocolate aroma, big body, chocolate and alcohol

Big, dry hop like aroma. Dry and bitter.


Floral hop aroma and great clean flavors from the yeast.





Great floral hop aroma. Clean tripel with a very present hop flavor.



The Belgian yeast is dominated by an overwhelming hoppiness. Tastes like a West Coast IPA.


Very well done and definitely want this again.

Dave 3.5

Very chocolaty in the aroma and flavor. Great wintertime beer.


Mat 3.5 Would like more rye, but nice chocolate notes.

Harpoon Winter Warmer

Brooklyn Local 1

Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the aroma. The

Brooklyn Local 1 uses barley malt and hops

taste is a rich combination of the holiday spices

forged from Germany, aromatic raw sugar from

and the hearty malt backbone. There is a mild

Mauritius and yeast from Belgium for an alluring

sweetness to the finish along with the lingering

aroma, and dynamic, complex flavors. ABV: 9.0%

flavor of the spices. ABV: 5.9% Jack

Brian 2.5 Big nutmeg nose, light to medium body, thin, dry

Brian 3.5 Nice alcohol and yeast nose. Dry bitter finish.




Pine nose, clean, would drink this again.



Cinnamon and spices, like drinking Christmas. Tastes likes Christmas, if you want to drink

Mat 2.5 Christmas, this would work.


(To no one’s surprise, Jack, a man of his word, left early and missed this beer.)

Jack 2.5 Pleasant, but too “Christmas-y” for me.



Big head with nose that screams banana and clove.



Smooth tripel. Great body for high alcohol. Nice spice flavor.



One of my favorites from Brooklyn. Full bodied, creamy tripel.

The Final Picks After some long discussion and debate over the twenty craft beers that were sampled, our panel is ready to reveal each of their favorite picks for December/January.

Jack’s Final Pick: Duvel Tripel Hop. One of the world’s great Belgian beers embraces American hops madness to produce an exceptional example of the best of both worlds.


Brian’s Final Pick: St. Stefanus. It’s very drinkable and complex.


Rui’s Final Pick: DuClaw X-1. It’s well done with so much going on. Rye and chocolate. It surprised me how balanced it was. Great winter brew.

Dave’s Final Pick: St. Stefanus. Really well done Belgian ale. Could see myself buying this beer over and over due to its great drinkability.

Mat’s Final Pick: St. Stefanus. Like usual, I had to go with the beer that I wanted to keep drinking. Clean and drinkable, yet filled with complexity.


directory Philadelphia Center City Bars & Restaurants

1518 Bar and Grill 1518 Sansom St Alla Spina 1410 Mt. Vernon St BAR 1309 Sansom Street The Black Sheep 247 S. 17th Street The Cambridge 1508 South St Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse 1823 Sansom Street Cherry Street Tavern 129 N. 22nd Street Chris’ Jazz Café 1421 Sansom Street Coffee Bar 1701 Locust Street Cooperage 123 South 7th St Dandelion 124 S 18th St Devil’s Alley 1907 Chestnut Street Doobies 2201 Lombard Street The Farmers Cabinet 1113 Walnut St Fergie’s Pub 1214 Sansom Street Good Dog 224 S. 15th Street Grace Tavern 2229 Grays Ferry Ave


The Institute 549 N. 12th Street

Tangier 1801 Lombard St

Jose Pistola’s 263 S. 15th Street

Tavern 17 220 South 17th Street

Ladder 15 1528 Sansom Street

Tavern on Broad 200 South Broad Street

Llama Tooth 1033 Spring Garden

Ten Stone 2063 South Street

McGillin’s Old Ale House 1310 Drury Lane

TIME 1315 Sansom Street

Misconduct Tavern 1511 Locust Street

Trestle Inn 339 N 11th St Philadelphia, PA 19107

Molly Malloy’s Reading Terminal Market 1136 Arch St

Tria 123 S. 18th Street 1137 Spruce Street

Monk’s Café 264 S. 16th Street

Valanni 1229 Spruce Street

Moriarty’s Pub 1116 Walnut Street

Varalli 231 S. Broad Street

Perch Pub 1345 Locust Street

Varga Bar 941 Spruce Street

Prohibition Taproom 501 N. 13th Street

Westbury Bar 261 S. 13th Street westburybarand

Pub and Kitchen 1946 Lombard St Resurrection Ale House 2425 Grays Ferry Ave. Slate 102 S 21st Street Smiths 39 S. 19th Street Smokin’ Bettys 116 S. 11th Street

Woodys 202 S 13th St Brewpubs

Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant 1516 Sansom Street Retail Beer

Latimer Deli 255 South 15th Street

Falls Taproom 3749 Midvale Ave

Monde Market 100 S 21st Street

Flat Rock Saloon 4301 Main Street

Homebrew Supplies

Franklin’s 3521 Bowman St

Home Sweet Homebrew 2008 Sansom St. Fairmount Bars & Restaurants

The Belgian Café 2047 Green Street The Bishop’s Collar 2349 Fairmount Ave. thebishopscollar.ypguides. net Bridgid’s 726 N. 24th Street Jack’s Firehouse 2130 Fairmount Ave Kite And Key 1836 Callowhill Street London Grill 2301 Fairmount Ave. McCrossens Tavern 529 N 20th St

Lucky’s Last Chance 4421 Main St Manayunk Tavern 4247 Main St Old Eagle Tavern 177 Markle Street T. Hogan’s Pub 5109-11 Rochelle Ave. The Ugly Moose 443 Shurs Ln Union Jack’s 4801 Umbria Street Brewpubs

Lucky Dog 417 Germantown Ave McMenamin’s Tavern 7170 Germantown Ave. Mermaid Inn 7673 Germantown Ave Trolley Car Dinner 7619 Germantown Ave. Brewpubs

Earth Bread + Brewery 7136 Germantown Ave. Iron Hill Brewery 8400 Germantown Ave Retail Beer

The Beer Outlet 77 Franklin Mills Blvd. Brewers Outlet 7401 Germantown Ave Craft Beer Outlet 9910 Frankford Ave.

North Star Bar 2639 Poplar Street Rembrandt’s 741 N. 23rd Street

Retail Beer

The Six Pack Store 7015 Roosevelt Boulevard

Doc’s World Of Beer 701 E. Cathedral Road

Homebrew Supplies

St. Stephen’s Green 1701 Green Street

World Wide Beverage Co 508 Green Lane

Retail Beer


Old Philly Ale House 565 N 20th St Manayunk

Food & Friends 1933 Spruce Street

Couch Tomato Cafe 102 Rector St


Kildare’s 4417 Main Street

Hop Angel Brauhaus 7890 Oxford Ave hopangelbrauhaus.

Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant 4120 Main Street

Colney Delicatessen: 2047 Chestnut St

The Foodery 324 S. 10th Street

Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar 4365 Main Street

The Grey Lodge Pub 6235 Frankford Ave.

Bars & Restaurants

Dawson Street Pub 100 Dawson Street

Bars & Restaurants

Campbell’s Place 8337 Germantown Ave.

Malt House Limited 7101 Emlen St. Philadelphia, PA Northern Liberties/ Fishtown Bars & Restaurants

Daly’s Irish Pub 4201 Comly Street

700 700 N. 2nd Street

The Draught Horse 1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave.

The Abbaye 637 N. 3rd Street Atlantis: The Lost Bar 2442 Frankford Ave.

Barcade 1114 Frankford Ave.

North Third 801 N. 3rd Street

Mac’s Tavern 226 Market Street

Jon’s Bar & Grille 300 South St

Bar Ferdinand 1030 N. 2nd Street

Silk City 435 Spring Garden Street

National Mechanics 22 S. 3rd Street

Kennett 848 S 2nd St

Blind Pig 702 N 2nd St

Standard Tap 901 N. 2nd Street

Manny Brown’s 512 South Street

Bottle Bar East 1308 Frankford Ave


Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant 120 Market St philadelphiabarand

Cantina Dos Segundos 931 N 2nd Street Port Richmond Pourhouse 2253 E Clearfield St portrichmondpourhouse. com Druid’s Keep 149 Brown Street East Girard Gastropub 200 East Girard Ave Philadelphia, PA El Camino Real 1040 N 2nd Street Gunners Run 1001 N 2nd St Interstate Draft House 1235 E Palmer St Johnny Brenda’s 1201 Frankford Ave. Kraftwork 541 E. Girard Ave. Max’s Brew Bar 1050 N Hancock St Memphis Taproom 2331 E. Cumberland St. Murphs Bar 202 E Girard Ave North Bowl 909 N 2nd Street

Philadelphia Brewing Co. 2439 Amber Street Yards Brewing Co. 901 N. Delaware Avenue Retail Beer

Plough and The Stars 123 Chestnut Street Race Street Café 208 Race Street

The Foodery 837 N. 2nd Street

Revolution House 200 Market St

Global Beer Distribution 1150 N. American Street

Sassafras Café 48 S. 2nd Street

Homebrew Supplies

Barry’s Homebrew Outlet 1447 N. American Street Old City Bars & Restaurants

Barra 239 Chestnut St Bierstube 206 Market St Brownie’s Irish Pub 46 S. 2nd Street City Tavern 138 S. 2nd Street Craft & Claw 126 Chestnut St Eulogy Belgian Tavern 136 Chestnut Street The Irish Pol 45 S. 3rd Street The Khyber Pass Pub 56 S. Second Street

Sugar Mom’s 225 Church Street Brewpubs

Triumph Brewing Co 117-121 Chestnut Street Queens Village/ Bella Vista Bars & Restaurants

12 Steps Down 831 Christian St. Brauhaus Schmitz 718 South St.

New Wave Café 784 S 3rd Street O’Neals Pub 611 S. 3rd Street Percy Street Barbecue 600 S. 9th St Royal Tavern 937 East Passyunk Ave. Southwark 701 S. 4th Street Tapestry 700 S. 5th St Tattooed Mom 530 South Street Twisted Tail 509 S 2nd St The Wishing Well 767 S. 9th Street Retail Beer

The Dive 947 E. Passyunk Ave

Bella Vista Beer Distributors 738 S. 11th Street

For Pete’s Sake 900 S. Front Street

Hawthornes 738 S. 11th St

Growlers 736 South 8th St

South Philly

The Headhouse 122 Lombard Street

Bars & Restaurants

2nd St Brewhouse 1700 S 2nd St American Sardine Bar 1801 Federal St


directory Bainbridge Street Barrel House 625-627 South 6th St Birra 1700 E Passyunk Ave Cantina Los Cabalitos 1651 E Passyunk Ave Devil’s Den 1148 S. 11th Street Fountain Porter 1601 S 10th St Philadelphia, PA 19148 The Industry 1401 E Moyamensing Ave Lucky 13 Pub 1820 S 13th Street Pub On Passyunk East (POPE) 1501 E. Passyunk Ave. South Philadelphia Tap Room 1509 Mifflin Street southphiladelphiatap The Ugly American 1100 S. Front Street Victory Beer Hall 1100 Pattison Ave Watkins Drinkery 1712 S 10th St Retail Beer

Beer Heaven 1100 S Columbus Blvd

Society Hill Beverage 129 Washington Ave University City/West Bars & Restaurants

Tria Wine Room 3131 Walnut St The Blockley 38th & Ludlow Streets Bridgewaters Pub 30th Street Station Thepubin30thstreet City Tap House 3925 Walnut Street Fiume 229 S 45th St Jolly’s Piano Bar 3801 Chestnut St Local 44 4333 Spruce Street Mad Mex 3401 Walnut Street World Cafe Live 3025 Walnut Street Brewpubs

Dock Street Brewing Company 701 S. 50th Street Retail Beer

Bottle Shop at Local 44 4333 Spruce Street

Suburbs Bucks Co Bars & Restaurants

Bell’s Beverage 2809 S. Front Street Brew 1900 S. 15th Street The Bottle Shop 1837 E Passyunk Ave


Bailey’s Bar & Grille 6922 Bristol Emilie Rd Levittown, PA 19057

Becker’s Corner 110 Old Bethlehem Rd Quakertown, PA 18951 Blue Dog Tavern 4275 Country Line Road Chalfont, PA 18914

Bobby Simone’s 52 East State Street Doylestown, PA 18901 Brady’s 4700 Street Road Trevose, PA 19053 The Buck Hotel 1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA 19053 Buttonwood Grill Rd 202 & Street Rd in Peddler’s Village Candlewyck Bar & Grill 2551 Durham Rd Buckingham, PA 18912 The Dog & Bull 810 Bristol Pike Croydon, PA 19021 Green Parrot Restaurant Pub & Patio 240 N Sycamore St, Newtown, PA 18940 Honey 42 Shewell Ave. Doylestown, PA 18901 Hulmeville Inn 4 Trenton Road Hulmeville, PA 19047 Isaac Newton’s 18 S. State Street Newtown, PA 18940 Jamison Pour House 2160 York Road Jamison, PA 18929 Maggio’s Restaurant 400 2nd Street Pike Southampton, PA 18966 Manny Brown’s 25 Doublewoods Road Langhorne, PA 19047


Maxwell’s on Main Bar & Restaurant 37 North Main St. Doylestown, PA 18901 Mesquito Grille 128 W. State Street Doylestown, PA 18901 mesquitogrilledoylestown. com/ Newportville Inn 4120 Lower Road Newportville, PA 19056 Puck 14 E. Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901 Spinnerstown Hotel 2195 Spinnerstown Road Spinnerstown, PA 18968 Springtown Inn 3258 Rt 212 Springtown, PA 18081 TJ Smiths 1585 Easton Rd Warrington, PA 18976 Tony’s Place Bar & Grill 1297 Greeley Ave Ivyland, PA 18974 Uno Chicago Grill 801 Neshaminy Mall Bensalem, PA 19020 1661 Easton Road Warrington, PA Vault Brewing Co 10 South Main St Yardley, PA 19067 Wycombe Publick House 1073 Mill Creek Rd Wycombe, PA 18980 Breweries

Free Will Brewing Co 410 E Walnut St Ste 10 Perkasie, PA 18944

Neshaminy Creek Brewing 909 Ray Ave Croydon, PA 19021 neshaminycreekbrewing. com Brewpubs

Triumph Brewing Co 400 Union Square New Hope, PA 18938 Retail Beer

B&B Beverage 3670 Sawmill Road Doylestown, PA 18902 Bailey’s Bar & Grille 6922 Bristol Emilie Rd Levittown, PA 19057

The Beer Store 488 2nd Street Pk. Southampton, PA 18966 thebeerstorebuckscounty. com/

Bensalem Beer & Soda 1919 Street Road Bensalem, PA 19020 Bound Beverage 2544 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA 19020 Candlewyck Bar & Grill 2551 Durham Rd Buckingham, PA 18912 Stephanie’s Take-Out 29 S. Main Street Doylestown, PA 18901 Trenton Road Take Out 1024 Trenton Road Levittown, PA 19054 Trevose Beer & Soda 550 Andrews Rd Langhorne, PA 19053 Homebrew Supplies

Wine, Barley & Hops Homebrew Supply 248 Bustleton Pike Feasterville, PA 19053

Chester Co Bars & Restaurants

The Drafting Room 635 N. Pottstown Pike Exton, PA 19341 Fenice Creolo 902 Village At Eland Phoenixville, PA 19460 The Fenix 193 Bridge St Phoenixville, PA 19460 Flying Pig Saloon 121 E. King Street Malvern, PA 19149 Goshen Beverage 102 Turner Lane West Chester, PA 19380 Half Moon Restaurant & Saloon 108 W. State Street Kennett Square, PA 19348 High Street Cafe 322 S. High Street West Chester,PA 19382 Pickering Creek Inn 37 Bridge Street Phoenixville, PA 19460 Rams Head 40 E. Market Street West Chester, PA 19382 River Stone Cafe 143 W Lincoln Hwy Exton, PA 19341 Ron’s Original Bar & Grille 74 E. Uwchlan Ave. Exton, PA 19341 Side Bar 10 East Gay St West Chester, PA 19380 Station Taproom 207 West Lancaster Ave. Downingtown, PA 19335

2nd Annual Sponsored By:

Customers from 10 local homebrew shops battle it out to see who has the best homebrewers Round 1: Rye Beers

Round 2: Dad’s Hat Barrel-Aged Beers

-This round is a competition within each shop. One winner will be chosen from each shop to move on

-This round pits the shops against each other and the beer is a collaboration between the winning brewer and the shop owner

-All beers must be brewed using rye malts -Beers must be submitted to the shop by March 1st -Each winner receives a freshly emptied barrel from Dads Hat Rye!

-All beers must be aged in the Dads Hat Rye barrel -Beers will be judged at an event during the National Homebrewers Conference at the end of June


House LTD

Outfitting Your Craft Brew Lifestyle

For a full list of rules and details, visit one of the participating homebrew shops or visit 93

directory TJ’s Everday 35 Paoli Plaza Paoli, PA 19301 The Whip Tavern 1383 Chatham Rd Coatesville, PA 19320 Winners Circle 143 W. Lincoln Hwy Exton, PA 19341 Brewpubs

2312 Garrett Bar 2312 Garrett Rd. Drexel Hill, PA 19026 Azie 217 W. State Street Media, PA 19063 Brother’s 157 Garrett Ave Rosemont, PA 19010

3 W. Gay Street West Chester, PA 19380

Frontier Saloon 336 Kedron Ave. Folsom, PA 19033 Garrett Hill Ale House 157 Garrett Ave Rosemont, PA 19010 JD McGillicuddy’s 118 N. Wayne Ave. Wayne, PA 19087

Sly Fox Brewing Co 520 Kimberton Road Phoenixville, PA 19460

690 Burmont Rd Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Victory Brewing Company 420 Acorn Lane Downingtown, PA 19335

Oakmont National Pub 31 E. Eagle Road Havertown, PA 19083

Retail Beer

Exton Beverage Center 310 E. Lincoln Highway Exton, PA 19341 Waywood Beverage Co. 624 Millers Hill Kennett Square, PA 19348 Homebrew Supplies

Artisan Homebrew 128 East Lancaster Ave Downingtown, PA 19335 The Wine & Beer Barrel 101 Ridge Road Chadds Ford, PA 19317


Uno’s Chicago Grill 1100 Bethlehem Pike North Wales,PA 19454

Chadwicks 2750 Egypt Rd Audobon, PA 19403

Lucky Dog Saloon 417 Germantown Pike Lafayette Hill, PA 19106

Village Tavern 511 Stump Road North Wales,PA 19454

Chap’s Taproom 2509 W. Main St. Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Lucky Lab 312 N. Lewis Rd Royersford, PA 19468

Whitpain Tavern 1529 Dekalb St Blue Bell, PA 19422

Craft Ale House 708 W. Ridge Pike Limerick, PA 19468

Mad Mex 2862 W. Moreland Rd Willow Grove, PA 19090

East End Alehouse 712 Main Street Harleysville, PA 19438

McCloskey Restaurant 17 Cricket Ave Ardmore, PA 19003

Township Line Beer & Cigars 5315 Township Line Road Drexel Hill, PA 19026 townshiplinebeerand

Farmers Daughter 1401 Morris Road Blue Bell, PA 19422

McShea’s 30 E Lancaster Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003

Swarthmore Beverage 719 South Chester Rd, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Fingers Wings And Other Things 107 W. Ridge Pike Conshohocken, PA 19428

Back Alley Beverage 2214 State Rd. Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Flip & Bailey’s 900 Conestoga Rd Rosemont, PA 19010

451 Wilmington-West Chester Pk Chadds Ford, PA 19342

Little Ortino’s Restaurant 800 North Main Street Schwenksville, PA 19473

Retail Beer

Bars & Restaurants

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant 130-138 Bridge Street Phoenixville, PA 19460

McKenzie Brew House 324 West Swedesford Rd Berwyn, PA 19312

Capone’s Restaurant 224 W. Germantown Pike Norristown, PA 19401

Delaware Co

Pinocchio’s 131 E. Baltimore Pike Media, PA 19063 Quotations 37 E. State Street Media, PA 19063 Teresa’s Next Door 126 N. Wayne Ave. Wayne, PA 19087 UNO’s Chicago Grill 3190 West Chester Pike Newtown Square, PA Brewpubs

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant 30 E. State Street Media, PA 19063

Beer Yard, Inc. 218 E. Lancaster Ave. Wayne, PA 19087 Civera’s 2214 State Road Drexel Hill, PA 19026 Pappou’s Pizza Pub 415 Baltimore Pike Morton, PA 19070 Pinocchio’s Beer Garden 131 E. Baltimore Pike Media, PA 19063

Homebrew Supplies

Brew Your Own Beer & Winemaking Too! 2026 Darby Road Havertown, PA 19083

Firewaters 1110 Baltimore Pike Concord, PA 19342

Montgomery Co

Flanigan’s Boathouse 113 Fayette Street Conshohocken, PA 19428

Bars & Restaurants

Baggatawny Tavern 31 N Front St Conshohocken, PA 19428 Blue Dog Pub 850 South Valley Forge Rd Lansdale, PA 19446 Broad Axe Tavern 901 W. Butler Pike Ambler, PA 19002 Brother Pauls Pub 3300 Ridge Pike Eagleville, PA 19403 Cantina Feliz 424 S Bethlehem Pike Fort Washington, PA 19034


French Quarter Bistro 215 Main St Royersford, PA Gullifty’s 1149 Lancaster Ave. Rosemont, PA 19010 Iron Abbey Gastro Pub 680 N. Easton Road Horsham, PA 19044 Keswick Tavern 294 Keswick Ave Glenside, PA 19038

242 Haverford Avenue Narberth PA 19072


Appalachin Brewing Co 50 W 3rd Ave Collegeville, PA 19426 Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant 1460 Bethlehem Pike North Wales, PA 19454 Forest & Main Brewing Company 61 N Main St Ambler, PA 19002

Oreland Inn 101 Lorraine Avenue Oreland, PA 19075

McKenzie Brew House 240 Lancaster Ave. Malvern, PA 19355

Ortino’s Northside 1355 Gravel Pike Zieglerville, PA 19492

Rock Bottom Brewery 1001 King of Prussia Plaza King of Prussia, PA 19406

Otto’s Brauhaus 233 Easton Road Horsham, Pa 19044

Tired Hands 16 Ardmore Ave Ardmore, PA 19003

PJ Whelihan’s 799 Dekalb Pike Blue Bell, PA 19422 Side Door Pub 3335 County Line Road Chalfont, PA 18914 Tonelli’s 278 Easton Rd Horsham, PA 19044 Union Jack’s 2750 Limekiln Pike Glenside, PA 19038


Prism Brewery 810 Dickerson Rd North Wales, PA 19454 Round Guys Brewing Co 324 W Main St Lansdale, PA 19446 Retail Beer

Beer World 1409 Easton Ave Roslyn, PA 19001 The Beer Shoppe 44 Greenfield Avenue Ardmore, PA 19003

Best Beer Selection on South Street

3rd & South


Take Out S6treet • Phon Pack e: 21 s & 5-59 Gr 2-13 o w 90 ler

great food great beer• 20 drafts outside dining est.1978

Football Specials

(during all NFL games) $2 off all draft beer. $5 Wings & Nachos. $8 Mussels

Happy Hour 5-7

$2 off all draft & bottle beer. $2 off all mixed drinks & shots. $5 Wings & Nachos. $8.00 Mussels 95

Visit us for our Great Selection and our Great Prices!!! OVER 600 TYPES OF MICROBREWED & IMPORTED BEER

PA Christmas Trees! Coolers & Kegs • Snacks • Ice • Unusual Sodas WWW.BREWERSOUTLET202.COM | LIKE US ON FACEBOOK Concord Pike (Rt. 202) | 610.459.8228 | Mon-Sat 9am-9pm | Sun 10am-6pm (1 Mile North of DE/PA State Line)



directory Capone’s Restaurant (takeout) 224 W. Germantown Pike Norristown, PA 19401

The Farnsworth House 135 Farnsworth Ave Bordentown, NJ 08505

Domestic & Imported Beverages 485 Baltimore Pike Glen Mills, PA 19342

The Firkin Tavern 1400 Parkway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08628

Epps Beverages 80 W. Ridge Pike Limerick, PA 19468

Geraghty’s Pub 148 W. Broad Street Burlington, NJ 08016

Flourtown Beverage 1114 Bethlehem Pike Flourtown, PA 19031

High Street Grill 64 High Street Mount Holly, NJ 09199

Frosty Caps 1745-47 Old York Road Abington, PA 19001 Hatboro Beverage 201 Jacksonville Road Hatboro, PA 19040 Michaels Deli 200 West Dekalb Pike King of Prussia, PA 19406 Towamencin Beverage Co 1555 Sumneytown Pike Lansdale, PA 19446 Home Brew Supplies

Keystone Homebrew Supply 435 Doylestown Rd. (Rt. 202) Montgomeryville, PA 18936 599 Main St Bethlehem, PA 18018 Weak Knee Home Brewing Supplies North End Shopping Ctr Pottstown, PA 19464

New Jersey Bars & Restaurants Blue Monkey Tavern 2 South Centre St. Merchantville, NJ 08109 Dublin Square 167 Route 130 Bordentown, NJ 08505

Jug Handle Inn 2398 Route 73 Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 Keg & Kitchen 90 Haddon Avenue Westmont, NJ 08108 Lazy Lanigans Publick House 139 Egg Harbor Rd. Sewell, NJ 08080 lazylaniganspublickhouse. com Madison Pub 33 Lafayette Street Riverside, NJ 08075 Max’s Seafood Cafe 34 N Burlington St Gloucester City, NJ 08030 Mexican Food Factory 601 W Route 70 Marlton, NJ 08053 Ott’s 656 Stokes Road Medford, NJ 08055 Pour House 124 Haddon Avenue Haddon Twp, NJ 08108 Taproom & Grill 427 W. Crystal Lake Ave Haddonfield, NJ 08033 UNO’s Chicago Grill 225 Sloan Avenue Hamilton, NJ

1162 Hurffville Road Deptford, NJ 2803 S. Rt. 73 Maple Shade NJ Brewpubs Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant 124 E. Kings Highway Maple Shade, NJ 08052 Triumph Brewing Co 138 Nassau Street Princeton, NJ 08542 Breweries Flying Fish Brewing Co 900 Kennedy Blvd. Somerdale, NJ 08083 River Horse Brewing Co 80 Lambert Lane Lambertville, NJ 08530 Retail Beer Canal’s Discount Liquors 10 W. Rt. 70 Marlton, NJ 08650 210 N Black Horse Pike Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059 1500 Route 38 Hainesport, NJ 08060 5360 Route 38 Pennsauken, NJ 08109 2004 Mount Holly Road Burlington, NJ 08016 Route 73 and Harker Ave Berlin, NJ 08009 Hopewell BuyRite 222 Rt. 31 S. Pennington, NJ 08534 Hops And Grapes 810 N. Delsea Drive Glassboro, NJ 08028 J & D’s Discount Liquor 430 N. Broad St Woodbury, NJ 08096

Joe Canal’s 1075 Mantua Pike West Deptford, NJ 08096 3375 US Rt. 1 Lawrence Twp, NJ 08648 305 N. Rt.73 Marlton, NJ 08053 Liquor Barn 1051 Florence Columbus Rd Bordentown, NJ 08505 Monster Beverage 1299 N. Delsea Drive Glassboro, NJ 08028 Red White and Brew 33 High Street Mount Holly, NJ 08060 Total Wine and More 2100 Route 38 Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 Walker’s Liquor Store 86 Bridge Street Lambertville, NJ 08530 Wine Works 319 Route 70 W Marlton, NJ 08053 Wonderful World of Wine 8 South Union Street Lambertville, NJ 08530 Home Brew Supplies BYOB 162 Haddon Avenue Westmont, NJ 08108

Chelsea Tavern 821 N Market St Wilmington, DE 19801 Deer Park Tavern 108 W Main St Newark, DE 19711

Stewarts Brewing Co 219 Governors Place Bear, DE 19701 stewartsbrewingcompany. com

Ernest & Scott 902 N Market St Wilmington, DE 19810

Breweries Twin Lakes Brewing Co 4210 Kennett Pike Greenville, DE 19807

Homegrown Cafe 126 E Main St Newark, DE 19711

Retail Beer Avenue Wine & Spirits 2000 Delaware Ave Lowr Wilmington, DE 19806

McGlynn’s Pub 8 Polly Drummond Shopping Center Newark, DE 19711

Frank’s Union Wine Mart 1206 North Union Street Wilmington DE 19806

108 Peoples Plaza Newark, DE 19702

Greenville Wine & Spirits 4025 Kennett Pike Greenville, DE 19807

Nomad 905 N Orange St Wilmington, DE 19801 Two Stones Pub 2-3 Chesmar Plaza Newark, DE 19713 2502 Foulk Rd Wilmington, DE 19810 Ulysses 1716 Marsh Rd Wilmington, DE 19810

Princeton Homebrew 208 Sanhican Drive Trenton, NJ 08618

Washington Street Ale House 1206 Washington Street Wilmington, DE 19801

Bars & Restaurants 1984 2511 W 4th St Wilmington, DE 19805 BBC Tavern and Grill 4019 Kennett Pike Greenville, DE 19807

147 E Main St Newark, DE 19711

Domaine Hudson 1314 N. Washington St Wilmington, DE 19801

Keg and Barrel Home Brew Supply 41 Clementon Road Berlin, NJ 08009


Brewpubs Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant 710 S. Madison Street Wilmington, DE 19801

World Cafe LIve at the Queen 500 N Market St Wilmington, DE 19801

Kreston’s Wine & Spirits 904 Concord Ave Wilmington, DE 19802 Total Wine and More 691 Naamans Road Claymont, DE 19703 1325 McKennans Church Rd Wilmington, DE 19808 Home Brew Supplies How Do You Brew? 203 Louviers Drive Newark, DE 19711

If you would like to considered for the beer directory, please email mat@ beerscenemag. com


local event calendar

Beer Events

For more events, visit

December Saturday, December 8th Happy Hanukkah! 2nd Annual Valley Forge Beer Festival Greater Philadelphia Expo Center 100 Station Ave., Oaks, PA 19456 Wednesday, December 12th Garrett Hill Ale House Beer Dinner w/ Victory Garrett Hill Ale House 157 Garrett Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 Brew & Chew with Weyerbacher Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse 1823 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 Spirits & Suds with Santa Various Locations East Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, PA Thursday, December 13th Celebrate Hanukkah with He’Brew Brewing Old Eagle Tavern 177 Markle St., Manayunk, PA 19127 Friday, December 14th Rogue Rogue John John No More No More Night Night The Grey Lodge Pub 6235 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19135

Sunday, December 23rd Dogfish Head Brewing Aged Sunday X Mas Brunch Side Bar & Restaurant 10 E Gay St., West Chester, PA 19380 Tuesday, December 25th Merry Christmas!

January Tuesday, January 1st Happy New Year! Get Into Trubbel w/ Yards Brewing Brunch Devil’s Den 148 South 11th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147

Wednesday, December 26th Happy Kwanzaa!

New Year’s Day Stout Fest Monk’s Café 264 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA 19102

Thursday, December 27th Winter Beer Festival World Café Live Philadelphia 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104

Thursday, January 3rd Pints & Purls Forest & Main 61 N. Main St., Ambler, PA 19002

Craft Beer Bus Christmas Tour Various Locations

Sunday, December 30th Varga Bar’s 1st Annual Re-Gift-Mas Varga Bar 941 Spruce St., Philadelphia PA 19107

Saturday, January 12th 4th Annual Battle Royal The Institute 549 N 12th St., Philadelphia, PA 19123

Thursday, December 20th Beer Scene’s Beer & Cheese Sampling Fair Food Farmstand- Reading Terminal Market 51 N. 12th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107

Monday, December 31st New Year’s Eve Dinner Monk’s Café 264 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA 19102

Wednesday, January 16th Brew & Chew with Tröegs Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse 1823 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

Yards Presents: Serpent Throne Johnny Brenda’s 1201 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia PA 19125 Saturday, December 15th 3rd Annual How the Sheltons Stole Christmas Teresa’s Next Door 124 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne PA 19087

Cancer is Ugly! Sweater Party Yards Brewing Co. 901 N. Delaware Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19123



Sunday, January 20th 120 on 1/20 The Grey Lodge Pub 6235 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19135

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Shangy's...Wholesalers & Retailers for the most sought after specialty beers since 1980. Call today and let's talk beer. Really good beer. Beer that your customers want. 40 East Main St. Emmaus, PA 18049 Tel: 610-967-1701...visit our showroom!


Top 5 Places in the World to Have a Beer All About Beer Magazine, 2010

Top 5 places in America for Beer & Food Celebrator Magazine, November 2006

Best Mussels in America Maxim Magazine, August 2009

PHILLY’S BEST Beer Bar* BEST Draft Beer* BEST Beer Selection* BEST Late Night Dining* BEST Bar Food* BEST Burgers* BEST Fries* *Philly’s Best, Best of Philly, etc Awards ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, ‘00, ‘01, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘11 & ‘12



December/January Philly Beer Scene  

The December/January issue of Philly Beer Scene featuring: the History of Christmast Beers, Local Crafted Spirits, and our annual Gift Guide...

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