Wherever is Stone planning to build a new brewery?

North Carolina? South Carolina? Some state without “Carolina” in its name? Bethlehem, PA? Well, it will happen in one or none of those places and be announced soon, but there is one location which is now certain.

Berlin, Germany..

Posted in Breweries, News | Leave a comment

Boston blues for Yuengling?

Kerry Byrne, who is a food/drink/sports/whatever he wants writer for the Boston Herald and the mastermind behind the very good pro football website, Cold Hard Football Facts, has a story in the paper today about how things have changed up in Beantown for Yuengling Brewing after its auspicious launch into that market this past March.

Pennsylvania-based Yuengling Lager hit the Bay State with a bang back in March. Today it’s in the fight of its life to win over Boston beer drinkers.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat that it’s been a very competitive market, more competitive than any market we’ve seen before,” said Yuengling chief operating officer David Casinelli, a beer industry legend who turned a stale regional brand into a fast-growing powerhouse.

[ ... ]

“(Yuengling) was hot out of the gates and hit a wall fast,” said Matt Mooney, the beer buyer at Boston Beer Garden in South Boston. “We sold three kegs of it the first Monday alone. Before long we were down to one keg a week.”

Boston Beer Garden recently kicked Yuengling off its draft list in favor of faster-selling brands.

“The novelty has worn off,” said Adam Hawk, manager at the Baseball Tavern in Fenway.

This is new territory for the nation’s oldest family owned brewer, which is used to entering a market, enjoying the big fuss and then settling in comfortably with a solid on-premise presence.Then again, everybody’s fighting for tap handles these days–it’s the biggest issue of the year in craft even if not yet officially acknowledged as such–so maybe this is not as a big deal as it appears? David Casinelli certainly sounded like he felt that was the case when he talked to Craft Business Daily for today’s  issue which just arrived in my email and pushed back a bit:

But perhaps the article author had an agenda. Yuengling COO Dave Casinelli told us he’s gotten a lot of feedback from wholesalers on the piece. One of them spoke to the manager at the Baseball Tavern in Fenway who was quoted as saying “the novelty has worn off” for the brand. What the article didn’t include was the second half of that quote: “but the sales continue, and it’s a solid brand.”

Posted in Breweries, News | Leave a comment

The history of our times is written in our trash bins.

Late yesterday afternoon, I parked in front of the building where I live and started walking toward my apartment carrying a sixer of Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pils in one hand and sixer of Yards ESA in the other, wearing an Allagash tee as I did so. My new next door neighbor yelled “hey, like your shirt” and then, when I held up the sixpacks,  seemed to be fighting back desperately against the urge to run over and kiss me. It would have better had he been female but it still was fun. I see more and more craft cases up at the refuse bins these days than I did when I first moved out here nearly a decade ago. Reminds me of when Victory’s Bill Covaleski told me a few years back that he and partner Ron Barchet realized they had made it when they started seeing Victory boxes out in the trash at their neighbors.

Posted in Observations, Personal | Leave a comment

Give this man a round of applause.

From an interview reported in today’s edition of Craft Business Daily. The interviewee is John Laffler, late of Goose Island Brewing and the co-founder of Off Color Brewing, both in Chicago:

ON MAKING “IMPORTANT” BEER, NOT IPA. These days, John’s litmus test for making a beer is not whether it tastes good or will make money, but whether it’s “important” and “viable.” That opener led to an anti-IPA rant. “Everybody else makes IPA, so why would we?” said John. “We have Lagunitas opening up, so the price of hoppy beer is plummeting. You see their handles all over Chicago–they make a very nice beer, they make a lot more of it than we possibly can, at a price point we could not possibly match. Nor can we get access to the ingredients like they can.” It’s neither a style he likes nor a business model he desires.

Posted in Opinion, Other Voices | 2 Comments

Remember when some jackass wrote this a little over two weeks back?

Paragraphs which… will be a recurring feature at Liquid Diet from now on, as is Push Pin Wisdom. A major difference will be that the posts under that rubric will, more often  than not, be supplemented by commentary by Your Humble Host

I can hear some of you moaning “why the hell aren’t you just talking about beer, dammit?,” and I understand. I will address that soon. You may or may not be pleased. Then again, this blog is all about me, innit, as is every blog and its author?

Yeah, that was me.


Peek over there to the right and you will see an RSS feed for These Things Happened. TTH is my new personal website (in the tradition of the late lamented Mermaids Singing and who can count how many other such ventures) and that’s where Push Pin Wisdom and other non-beer-related posts, including political rants, most music videos, Buddy news and all the other fun stuff will happen. The RSS feed will keep you apprised or you can just make TTH a regular browsing stop. Comes to that you can ignore it entirely, although that would be wrong in the extreme.

I am sure I will occasionally do a post or two here which will link to TTH, and visa versa. You know I can’t help myself.

Posted in Personal, These Things Happened, Website | Leave a comment

Here comes a horde of crazed brewers, ready or not.

BCAA2014_Victory-AltbiertSierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America tour promoting the official opening of their East Coast brewery in Mills River, NC, will hit our region on August 2. The celebration scheduled for Penn Treaty Park at 1341 North Delaware Ave. will be the penultimate one; the journey will end in Mills River the following day. Pretty much every craft brewery in the Mid-Atlantic region will be pouring at Penn Treaty Park, but the beer locals will probably be most anxious to try is the one pictured here, Alt Route, Victory Brewing’s collaboration with Sierra Nevada and which is part of the Beer Camp Variety Case which has one beer from each of the 12 breweries involved in the tour ( Allagash, the Asheville Brewers Alliance, Ballast Point, Bell’s Brewery, Cigar City, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ninkasi, Oskar Blues, Russian River, 3 Floyds, Sierra Nevada). The case itself, which is probably going to be hard to come by, is a collector’s item of sorts, mixing  bottled beers with  canned ones for the first time (10 bottles, two cans). They’re calling the tour the largest celebration of craft beer in history. More than 700 breweries and at least 1,300 craft beers will have been on tap from nearly every state in the union when it concludes.

Posted in Breweries, Brewers, Collaborations, History | Leave a comment

About that goat race relocation… [UPDATED]

 UPDATE: It’s now official that the move will be made and that East Pikeland asked Sly Fox to find a new home for the Bock Fest per a news release just received.

Original Post, July 10:
It was always pretty evident that Sly Fox would eventually have to move its Bock Festival to the brewery grounds, given the ever-increasing crowds, but it didn’t seem in the cards this soon. As you know, I am no longer an insider there (and even when I was, nobody told me nothin’ unless I dug it out), but multiple voices from the grapevine are telling me today that they really had no choice in the matter. East Pikeland Twp. officials asked or told them they had to move because the event brought in too many people. It appears that having thousands of visitors come and spend money for food and drink and lodging and have a good time with family and friends, thus creating a very positive image for the area, is the worst possible thing that could ever happen. Who knew?

It will be interesting to see how this all works out. Given the popular annual Can Jam event and the food truck event this year (which I assume will be repeated), not to mention the appeal of the brewery Tastin’ Room and the familial presence of Manatawny Still Works across the street, the Sly Fox presence has helped make an industrial park a destination venue of sorts. There is plenty of room on site to handle the festival and the goats and, presumably, this is an event at the “if you hold it, they will come” level and a new location will not be an issue. But part of it’s ambiance over the past 16 years has been the semi-claustrophobic nature of the venue, a whole lotta people in not much space. Will that be lost in the move? Will it matter? Can they find a way to bring the race itself back to the center of attention, making it visible for a lot more people as it happens? Then again, I do love the big TV screen and its role in correcting this year’s photo finish just added to the mystique (nothing will likely ever top the tale of those two three-legged champions).

We’ll all find out next May 3.

Posted in Breweries, Brewpubs, Goat Races, Observations | Leave a comment

Breaking News: Sly Fox Bock Fest/Goat Races Moving to Pottstown

The Pottstown Mercury‘s Frank Otto broke the news last night that the annual festival held on the first Sunday of May, arguably the most popular beer event in the region, will be moved from the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville to the grounds of the Sly Fox Brewery in Pottstown in 2015 if the borough council agrees.

Go here for a link to the complete story.

Posted in Beer Events, Breweries, Brewpubs, Goat Races, News | Leave a comment

Pizza Magazine loves itself some EB+B.

If you don’t get the weekly email newsletter from Earth Bread + Brewery, you are likely to have missed this. That would a shame, so don’t miss it.

Posted in Brewers, Brewpubs, Other Voices, Philly | Leave a comment

Paragraphs that Make Me Think — 02 July 2014

From here

“According to a report from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), building on previous studies that suggested plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch, researchers used a collaboration of audio and chemical analysis to determine that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with additional defenses.

Posted in Paragraphs That Make Me Think, Personal | Leave a comment