This guy is not happy at all about the session IPA cash gouge. Or you Untappd robots, who are worser than worse.

I can’t resist a momentary return to the topic of my last column, session IPAs. I decried their lack of balance and malt flavor, though I admit there is a bit of personal preference involved. However, what is inexcusable is that they are more expensive than the corresponding brewery’s real IPA. It takes less of every ingredient other than water to make them. Why, then, are they not cheaper? I really hope that this is not the beginning of Big Beer marketing nonsense invading craft beer.

That’s from a very good column by San Antonio Express-News beer columnist Markus Haas, and he’s not the first to have noted this “phenomenon.”

The whole column is well worth a read as Haas takes on “the folly and foibles around America’s favorite adult beverage.” This is my favorite of the other topics:

Onward to something that makes me shake my head whenever I’m sampling beers in a bigger group. Each time a new bottle gets opened, someone is sure to excitedly pull out his phone and take a picture of the label instead of pouring beer into his glass. It’s the curse of the Untappd user…

If you have no idea what Untappd is (and, yes, that spelling is correct), do not even think about clicking on that link, congratulate yourself on having  a sense of decorum and desirable social skills and imagine large middle-aged men acting like teen-age girls who’ve come across a rock star.

You can thank me later.

Posted in Opinion, Other Voices | 3 Comments

Hey, brewers, you want to know what I don’t like?


These sixpack holders are annoying and frustrating because they are difficult to detach to the point where the can gets shaken enough to foam over on opening in some instances. I wanted to drink my beer, not wrestle with it. This is a bad idea. Please stop. Thank you.

Posted in Beer Cans, Deep Thoughts, Dumbass Stuff by Dumbass People, Entirely Too Much Time on my Hands | 4 Comments

As we have been surmising…’s either Ohio or Virginia for the new Stone Brewing East Coast plant. At least, that’s the word from today’s Craft Business Daily:

On Friday, Stone winnowed the scope of speculation surrounding its imminent second location. “We have narrowed the focus of our search for an Eastern U.S. brewery to Columbus, Ohio, Norfolk, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia,” it said via Facebook. But they’re still “at least several weeks away” from announcing their decision.

Later in the CBD story, South Carolina Brewers Association counsel Brook Bristow speculates that lower excise taxes in the two chosen states were what ruined SC’s chances.

The final decision is still “at least several weeks away.

Posted in Breweries | 1 Comment

Here’s a Bill for your weekend pleasure.

Bill Covaleski, that is, co-founder of Victory Brewing Co, (with Ron Barchet).

Dell Poncet, Managing Editor of Philadelphia Business Journal, did this long and interesting interview with Bill back in July. I’ve linked to the single-page view to make it easier ’cause that’s the kinda guy I am. Here’s a sample:

Our plans for Victory are great, but all within the realm of possibility. Interest in new American beers is growing steadily across the world and we are in the thick of those export possibilities. Closer to home, we never lose focus on who we are — innovative manufacturers — and who pays us for our work — enlightened consumers. They will guide us to growing Victory to its natural size. That will be a size that supplies endless streams of exciting beers and supports countless careers and the families of those who have driven this company forward from within. This extended community of consumers and collaborators will be our legacy.

As it happens, I am Victory-bound tomorrow afternoon and this has made me very thirsty.

Posted in Breweries, Brewers, Philly, Well Done | Leave a comment

Which one of the five beers mentioned in this post does not belong?

This is likely to be a hilarious  fiasco, but who knows?

Now Pabst Brewing, which has 30 beers including Old Style, Schlitz and Lone Star in its lineup, hopes to make a hit out of the revived beer at a time when flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon, or PBR, has been adopted by hipsters as cheap, cool and nostalgic.

When Ballantine IPA arrives in stores in six packs and 750-milliliter bottles next month, “We are hoping that the current (Pabst Blue Ribbon) consumers will embrace the Ballantine IPA,” said Pabst master brewer Greg Deuhs.

Back in ancient times, before most of you reading this were born and the world was a much nicer place all in all (not that I would ever suggest there is some relationship between those two conditions), I came back to my dingy apartment on 21st St. in Philadelphia to find two, count ‘em, two, cases of Ballantine IPA on my doorstep (amazing in itself, since the doorstep was right out there on the street and nobody had considered them a gift from the gods and therefore set them free) shortly after I had written two very excellent (if I may say so, and who is here to deny it?) stories about Ballantine, the company, one for employees and the other for agents of the major insurance company which employed my young self to turn out magazines for those audiences ten times each a year.

Those were the golden days. I thought they’d never end (except for the working for a major insurance company thing, which I abandoned as soon as the opportunity presented itself, for a worse job, then a much better one but not quite the answer I needed, all part of my relatively short journey into a lifetime as a near-poverty level freelance writer).

Posted in New Releases, News, Nostalgia | 4 Comments

What was I thinking? Here is some belated love for Summer Love.

I am embarrassed and verklempt to have to reveal that we are this far into the summer and I have just consumed my first bottle of Victory Summer Love Ale. What the hell is wrong with me?

This is one of the best summer beers this region has ever given birth to and is an ideal warm weather brew. Not to mention that it  fits nicely into my “session beer” standards at a mere 5.2%. I am aware that there are surely out there a few loud, large persons who may find this heresy, but when we allow loud, large persons to tell us what is acceptable, do we not open the door to acknowledging Chris Christie as a viable Presidential candidate? That way lies madness, not to mention disaster.

Just thinking about it, I think I need another bottle. Gotta run…

Posted in Beer, Beer Styles, Breweries, Personal | Leave a comment

As usual, Foobooz and Art Etchells get there first.

He introduces us to the new owners of what will one day soon no longer be Resurrection Ale House:

We told you last month that Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft were selling Resurrection Ale House. Today, we have some news on the new owners, Andrew Wagner and Marcus Versace.

Wagner is the chef and has worked for the Starr Restaurant Organization for the last twelve years, mainly as executive chef at Jones and now at Continental Midtown. Versace is a bartender, working at Las Vegas Lounge and since 2004 at Coco’s on 8th Street.

No new name revealed at this point and the site will retain the Resurrection name and identity until at least Sept. 21, the fifth anniversary of its opening.

Posted in Cafes, Restaurants, Taverns, News, Philly | Leave a comment

This guy.

You know how so many makers and distributors and importers of Really Good Beer (looking at you, Shelton Bros.) tell horror stories of dealing with the TTB on label approvals? Well, as always, the problem is the man behind the curtain.

Meet Kent ‘Battle’ Martin.

Posted in Beer, Breweries, Brewers | Leave a comment

All that time you were gnashing your teeth and bitching about my incompetence, you were (maybe) way out of line.

From it’s very earliest days way back in the dark ages of the last century (remember then, oh so long gone?), this blog has been plagued by a raft of often embarrassing typographical errors. It appears that might actually have been a really good thing.

Posted in Personal, Website | Leave a comment

This has been a public service announcement. Or it will be when you read it. If you read it, of course. If not, never mind.

This arrived in the morning’s email:

For the rest of the month of August, people who join or renew their membership with the American Homebrewers Association—and enter coupon code GABF14 when doing so—will have the chance to win a special prize package for the sold-out Great American Beer Festival taking place October 2-4 in Denver. The winner will receive two free tickets to the event, free airfare and a free hotel stay for three nights.

Full details are here. People can join the AHA or renew their membership here.

Posted in GABF, Homebrewers | Leave a comment