I drink no cider,
but feast on
Philadelphia beer.

--John Adams,
in a letter to his wife Abigail

Email Jack


Immediately below are links to
Jack Curtin's other web pages.
Scroll down beyond those for
the complete LDO archives,
more onsite beer stories and
over 100 links to breweries, brewpubs and various
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and publications.

Updated 18 Feb 07

Updated 17 Dec 06

Updated 18 Feb 07

Updated 18 Feb 07

Updated 24 Jan 07




Complete Archives

Homeboy Brews
(how it all began)

LDO on the Road

Celebrator Beer News

American Brewer

Beers of the World

Other Beer Writing


Fal Allen

Eric Asimov

Stephen Beaumont

Beer Advocate

Beer Appreciation

Beer Cook

Beer Festival Calendar

Beer Mapping Project

Beer Pimp

Beer Scribe

Beer Therapy

Beer Blog (Miller)

Brew Like a Monk

Brew Lounge

Brewers Association

Jay Brooks

Lew Bryson

Burgundian Babble

Distinguished Brands

eGullet Beer Forum

Global Beer Network

Gotham Imbiber
(Cask-Ale.Co UK)

Mark Haynie

Here's To Beer

Stan Hieronymus

Michael Jackson

Lyke 2 Drink

Master Brewers

Merchant du Vin



Real Beer Man

Seen Through a Glass

Joe Sixpack


Appalachian Brewery

Barley Creek Brewing

Bethlehem BrewWorks

The Black Sheep


Dawson Street Pub

Dock Street Beer

Dogfish Head Brewery

Drafting Room

East End Brewing


The Farmhouse

Fergie's Pub

Flanigan's Boathouse

Flying Fish Brewing Co.

The Foodery

General Lafayette Inn
& Brewery

Grey Lodge Pub

Half Moon Saloon

Home Sweet Homebrew

Independence Brew Pub

Iron Hill Brewery

Isaac Newton's

John Harvard's

Johnny Brenda's

Kunda Beverage

Lancaster Brewing Co.

Legacy Brewing Co.

The Lion Brewery

Ludwig's Garten

McGillin's Olde Ale House

Manayunk Brewery Co.

Monk's Cafe

Nodding Head Brewery

N. 3rd

O'Neals Pub

Ortino's Northside

Penn Brewery

River Horse Brewing

Rock Bottom

Ron's School House Grill

Selin's Grove Brewing

Sly Fox Brewery

South Philadelphia Taproom

Spinnerstown Hotel

Standard Tap

Stewart's Brewing Company

Stoudt's Brewing Co.

Ten Stone

TJ's Everyday


Triumph Brewing Co.

Troegs Brewing Co.

Twin Lakes Brewing Co.

Victory Brewing Co.

Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Yards Brewing Co.

Yuengling Brewery


Ale Street News

All About Beer

American Brewer

Beers of the World

Celebrator Beer News

Joe Sixpack

Malt Advocate

Mid-Atlantic Brewing News

Modern Brewery Age


Ambitious Brew

Kaier's Brewery

Pennslvania Brewery Historians

Robert Christgau Beer Guide 1975

Falstaff Brewing


Kelley Kreations

Kimberton Coffee

Kimberton Whole Foods

What's New Onsite.
New postings or changes elsewhere on this site are indicated by the date shown beneath the appropriate link in the left-hand column.

27 February 2007
All fluxed up.
While attending the General Lafayette and Drafting Room Exton events the past two Saturdays, the loyal staff of LDO was chided, not always gently, by some members of the readership for the lack of postings here in recent days (see, this having a fanbase thing is not always the rewarding ego-boosting experience you might think it to be).

So here's the thing. For various reasons that are on a strictly need-to-know basis, management currently finds itself thinking things over, working things out, getting a grip, perhaps even plotting an escape. Things are in flux, on the table or in whatever other cliched state which might apply.

It's scary out there. Do not call the office, do not leave the house until otherwise instructed. What will be, will be.

Ted triumphant.
You know, it seems like only a couple of years ago...oh wait, it really was...when Ted Johnston, ignoring the warnings and arm-waving horror of other civilian patrons at Sly Fox Phoenixville, stuck his head into the ring of doomed souls carrying out yet another arcane Monday Night Tasting ritual and offered up these fateful words (or something close)...

You know, I see what you are doing and I find it strangely compelling. I have many good beers at home, several of which I have made with my own two semi-radioactive hands, and I live close by. I was wondering if...
He never got to finish, being seized by the elbows by several participants and hustled out to his car and told to return with beer forthwith. He did just that and has been a regular ever since.

Having moved to not-quite emeritus status for the nonce (i.e., rarely attending those weekly brew bacchanals these days), I am perhaps unworthy, but--given that I was there at the beginning and did my part as best I could to make it all work--I find it right and just that LDO duly cheer the fact that Ted's 2004 Barleywine was awarded a first place Blue Ribbon in the 2007 War of the Worts homebrewing competition at Iron Hill North Wales a week or two back.

Well done, sir.

There are two amazing things about those Monday night gatherings. One is the amazing array of world-class beers that are brought to the table week after week ( I posted a listing of one evenings's typical offerings earlier this month) and the other is that, many a night, one of the striking homebrews offered up by regulars is, if not the best beer of the night, often a contender. I'm not sure there's anything quite like this event anywhere else on an ongoing basis.

Ric repentant.
Stewart Brewing's Ric Hoffman wants me, and presumably you, to understand that he wasn't really trying to call me a weepy crybaby when he gave me what I felt was a thoroughly appropriate slap upside the head the other day. Turns out he was worried that I might fall prey to evil forces:

I certainly in no way was trying to suggest you should stop posting about your personal issues on the site. That's part of what makes your website interesting to read; the personal touch...I was simply pointing out that you might be lending Bryson a little too much ammunition to use against you, when you should at least make him earn it!!!
I appreciate the concern, Ric, but now that I've become aware of Lew's grand mission here on the web, I have to feel that he's much too busy to waste his time taking down the likes of me.

[Posted 6:33pm edt]

19 February 2007
A Greenwood trifecta.
Brandon Greenwood checks in to 1) admonish me, 2) confirm my story and 3) agree with me about a beer:

I see that you have already posted the news on your website. I wish you had done me the courtesy of confirming it with me before posting it. Fortunately you reported the facts in an accurate manner.

I have indeed accepted the position of Manager, Quality Assurance and Technical Services for Mark Anthony Brewing. As you know our principal product line is Mike's Hard Lemonade.

OK there you have it. By the way I had a Stegmaier Bock at Johnny Brenda's a couple of weeks ago and I too was impressed.

Okay, I stirred him up with an email so he'd see what I'd posted and, yeah, normally I'd have checked with him first. But I was sure of the story and the source and it fit so nicely in that "Things I Learned" posting that I went with it.

Some days you just do what you gotta do.

[Posted 1:45pm edt]

18 February 2007
T'was a Conundrum.
Yesterday's Winterfest at General Lafayette was very nice affair, crowded but not too crowded and offering many fine beers to savor.

Among the highlights was Stewart's Brewing Conundrum, a Quad-inspired Saison or Saison-inspired Quad, you decide, that was massive at 11.5% but amazingly light bodied and drinkable. Stewart's second beer, a bourbon-barrel version of their McBride's Strong Ale was also downright tasty.

For a variety of reasons, I spent much of the day moving back and forth between the upstairs room where Stewart's, Sly Fox and Nodding Head were lined up together and the tented patio area where Appalachian, Flying Fish, somebody I'm forgetting and Brooklyn were situated, so it's not surprising my favorite beers of the day reflect that. Before O'Reilly starts screaming at me, I note that I skipped over the Fox beers became I'm, you might say, familiar with 'em, although I did have a sip of the just kegged Ichor. "That's Friday's vintage," said Tim Ohst as he handed it to me.

There was a nice wall to lean on beside the Nodding Head side of the three brewery lineup in that upstairs room and I made us of it often, so I probably had more of their beers than anyone else's. Rudy's Kung Fu Grip (11%) and Wee Heavy (9.5%) were right up their with the Stewart's beers. For those who didn't have my restraint re: Sly Fox, I'd guess that adding Ichor and Odyssey Imperial IPA to that quartet made for a very nice afternoon indeed.

Down at the Brooklyn table, they trotted out, and ran out of, Monster before I ever got there, but since the replacement was 2005 Chocolate Stout I decided not to complain. They were also pouring an interesting Smoked Weizenbock and, out of bottles, Local 1, a strong Golden Ale for which they have some big plans.

I didn't take many notes so I can't recall all the other beers I tasted along the way. Suffice to say that, considering I turned to Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA as my palate refresher, some mighty big beers were consumed. Then again, that was the whole point of the afternoon.

The things I learn while drinking.
Stewart Brewing's Ric Hoffman dropped out of a Buddhist college co-founded by Allan Ginsberg to become a brewer. That would seem to explain a lot.

When General Lafayette's Chris Leonard told his mother that he, the first one in the family to go to college, was going to leave engineering to become a brewmaster, her first question was "what's a brewmaster?"

The very best way to befriend Nodding Head's Curt Decker is decidedly not to ask him to pour you a beer and then say "boy, that Tom and Fergie, they really know how to make good beer." Especially with brewer Gordon Grubb standing right next to him.

Speaking of Nodding Head, they seem to be more willing that they were in the past to see their brews on tap at some local establishments, so we might be finding one or two in the 'burbs a few months down the line. Heck, I may even have brokered a deal myself yesterday. We shall see.

The peripatetic Brandon Greenwood, I am told, left High Falls Brewing in Rochester a while back, took a job with Boston Beer for a week, then was hired away before he could sign a contract with BB by the folks from Mike's Hard Lemonade (which is contract brewed at High Fall, hence the connection) and now a big bucks traveling troubleshooter for them, still based out of Rochester. I've emailed Brandon to ask about it and assume he still checks in here now and again, so perhaps we'll learn just how accurate all that is not too many days hence. Or not.

My eyesight may be even worse than I thought, because yesterday I discovered that it is possible to walk right by the Flying Fish head brewer Casey Hughes without seeing him. I would have guessed that to be beyond anyone's capability. And, hey, this was my very last eyesight joke or comment for the foreseeable future (see item below).

The owner of the world's greatest bar turned 40 this past week and a big birthday bash was held, fittingly enough, at the the brewery with which his place had a mutually productive, near-symbiotic relationship back in the dawn of time (modern day craft beer version).

Thanks, I needed that.
Somebody (think it was Ric Hoffman, but am not absolutely positive) pointed out to me yesterday that this site has been edging perilously close to self-pity mode of late, given all my kvetching about something as simple as a cataract operation, or non-operation. And, you know, he was right. I'm done.

Finally, speaking of really good beer...
When blogger-mad Bryson posted this at his new Seen Through a Glass site on Friday, I said in his comment section (you can check it out) that I agreed, in fact went even farther, noting that now I wouldn't have to say so here.

But I do, just to be on the record.

Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock is marvelous, as good a winter seasonal as I've found this year (Lew has later posted that it's even better on draught, but I suspect that's just to make me jealous).

This beer is selling for under $20 most places and may be the bargain of the year. Get some. Really.

[Posted 1:10pm edt]

17 February 2007
Cartoon fun.
I believe I have mentioned here before that certain cartoonists reveal their proclivity for good beer in their newspaper strips now and again.

Darby Conley in his Get Fuzzy strip had his human protagonist, Rob, order a Corsendonk with dinner in one strip; this past December, Terry & Patty LaBan, in Edge City, did a whole week or more of strips about homebrewing.

Now there's a third artist to add to the roll call. Loyal reader Carl P. brought yesterday's installment of Jim Meddick's Monty to my attention:

Click on the cartoon for a larger, easier-to-read version.

No escape.
The nice thing about having both Wegmans Market and Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown is that it's easier to justify the annoying ride down Rt. 100 for a visit. Two birds, one stone thinking, y'know?

I did it yesterday, hitting Wegmans for some packages of their biscotti, which I have found to be just right to accompany a morning or afternoon Cappuccino, or both (of course, the universe being the evil bitch she is, the basic biscotti I preferred was out of stock and I had to settle for one I haven't yet had a chance to sample) and a jug of their very good maple syrup. Then over to Victory.

It was one of those strange the-world-is-out-of-kilter moments since Richard Ruch was actually absent. I mean, really, he wasn't there. I took the opportunity to sit in the Ruch Memorial Seat at the far corner of the long bar (the spot with "slow pour" carved into the bar top in front of it) and ordered a glass of the new Dry Stout (like the ESB, I suspect this one will be a work in progress) while I decided what to take home (eventually settled on a growler of Prima Pils and sixpack of Old Ho).

This was intended to be a fast in-and-out visit because I had things to do and other places to go, but when you sit in the Ruch seat something weird happens. The bar staff they, well, they avoid looking in your direction and generally manifest the disdain that familiarity breeds, if you know what I mean. So I was there for a bit, sipping the stout, and when you sit at a bar for a while, sooner or later you end up talking to the folks around you. As was the case this time. The seemingly nice young lad two seats to my right and the cheerful bearded guy to his right got me to talking basketball because of what was on the TV.

Then came the terrible revelation, occasioned by who-knows-what was said. The "nice young man?" He turned out to be Richard Ruch's Nephew!

My god, even when the man's not there, he's there, know what I mean? It turns out, as the nephew sheepishly admitted, Richard has set up a schedule for all his local relatives (and a few out-of-towners in emergencies) to fill in for him at the bar whenever he can't be there.

Okay, that's only a couple of hours work a year, but still...

[Posted 8:40 am edt]

16 February 2007
Long ago and far away, how the years do fly.
Lew Bryson's comments about Philadelphia's soon-to-be-legendary Jim Anderson (which I recommended to you yesterday, see "Update # 2" below) were occasioned by this BeerAdvocate thread, Beer Philadelphia paper from 1995.

I first met Jim exactly as detailed in the opening paragraph of Homeboy Brews, having my initial taste of Yards ESA in the tiny original brewery. I doubt he was there by accident. I've never asked but I suspect Tom or Jon called to tell him this guy they'd never heard of was coming to interview them and he was on scene to see what was what.

The next time our paths crossed was at his (I believe) second Real Ale Rendezvous shortly thereafter (where I almost didn't recognize him because he'd shaved the beard he'd worn the first time we met) and then at the U.S. draft debut of Kwak at Copa Too where some guy named Tom Peters was stirring things up in the beer world. The first (only?) Philadelphia's Favorite Beer event at the old Sam Adams Brewhouse was mixed in there somewhere as well, though probably a bit later.

That was the night I first ran across Sam Calagione, who offered me his "brand new Raison d'Etre" and replied, when I asked how it was, "I don't know, this is the first glass we've ever poured." For the record, it was marvelous; indeed, it has never been quite that good again, but maybe that's my memory being tailored by the moment, this crazy guy giving me a beer he'd never tasted. That night was also when I first saw Michael Jackson in person, watching in amazement as he moved from table to table, trying everything and writing down notes in the little book he carried, apparently oblivious to everything that was happening around him.

I saw a lot of Jim over the next several years under a lot of different circumstances. I recall going to spend an afternoon exploring the intricacies of the famed Brigid's Down Draft System (there really weren't any, so mostly we drank at the bar) and a very eclectic and enjoyable holiday gathering on his deck one Sunday afternoon shortly after he and Anne had married. There was the radio show, of course; we all did that at least once, sitting in front of microphones for an hour drinking beer and talking about it.

One of the more memorable afternoons came about as the result of a call from him wanting to get together to discuss some now-forgotten idea he had and "it has to be in a place where they won't know us." We settled on the Cherry Street Tavern, which I suggested because it was right around the corner on 22nd Street from the Philadelphia apartment I had right after college and which he said was getting into the "good beer" world and was a perfect choice. We didn't get much done (hence the "now-forgotten" thing) but the place was filled with fascinating people and decent beers (first time I had Stoudt's American Pale Ale if I'm remembering correctly) and all the young lovelies hitting on Jim were indeed lovely enough to fix the time in my mind.

Lew pretty much said it all about Jim's achievements so I again commend his posting and add only that the thought I took away from Jim Anderson's farewell party at Fergie's Pub a few years back was short, trite and entirely accurate...

We shall not see his like again.

All this, I note in closing, was not really the point of my posting this morning. The following is.

My Beer Philadelphia collection.
Pretty extensive. I have in hand right this moment every issue from #5 (December 95/January 96)up through the last, #27 (March/April 2001), except for #24. Two notes about that: the one thing the Sorta Big Guy got wrong in that BA thread was saying Beer Philadelphia was around for about three years, in fact, it ran from 1995 to 2001; and when I say "the last," I mean the last print edition 'cause the magazine lived on line, though not much updated toward the end, until Jim and Anne and Beer Baby left Philadelphia.

I use these old issues for research into the "good ole days" for the most part and haven't read a copy completely in quite a while. Last night I finally sat down and read through #5 and was struck by a long, fascinating interview Jim did with William Reed, he of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's fame. A lot of people have forgotten--hell, some of you probably don't even know--that William was the brewer at Sam Adams Brewhouse from 1994 until the place closed in 1999. Those who never knew that will be astounded, I assume, to also learn that the place was an extract brewery and the beers were astonishingly good.

Reading the interview is a leap back in time and I hope to either transcribe it all and reproduce it here or email Jim Anderson to see (I suspect this is pure fantasy) if he might still have it on a disk somewhere so I can do it the easy way.

Here's just a tidbit from that 11-year old interview to whet your appetites. Jim had asked William early on why his IPA had attracted a "cult following" and at this point they are talking about how William sent beer up to Boston Beer in Massachusetts all the time (the brewhouse was a partnership between BB's Jim Koch and local restaurateur David Mink) to show them what he was doing:

[T]he IPA went up to them and it was surprising to them a little bit. Their comments were like "it's very true to the IPA style--pretty bitter, isn't it? Do people like that?" They were surprised, I think, that it has such a following as it does. Most pros would assume it's outside the realm of popular taste.
Yes, boys and girls, there was a day when craft brewers worried that beer might have too much hop bitterness for the likes of you.

I'll really try to get the whole interview up and into the "History" links. It's fascinating.

[Posted 8:30 am edt]

15 February 2007
I finally hacked my way through the two foot high wall of ice behind my car, just wide enough to get me out, so now I'm mobile. and I've parked the car over in a parking section where everything has been cleared so I can stay that way. Look for me soon on a barstool near you or at Winterfest come Saturday.

I'll probably be drinking heavily, by the way. Word just arrived this very minute that the earliest I can reschedule the cataract thing is March 21.




Update #2.
Over at his new beer blog, Seen Through a Glass, Lew made reference to Homeboy Brews, my first ever beer story of the modern era (I did a business story about Ballantine way back in the day for a corporate magazine I was editing) as part of a very informative post on the impact of Jim Anderson on the early Philadelphia beer scene, which led me to go back and re-read it.

As Lew says in an exchange you can see in the "Comments" section following his piece (I wrote him to correct a linking error he'd made), the story still holds up for the most part.

It is still, I think, one of the better beer stories I've done. For that reason, and because it has further historical significance as the first major story in the local press about the still incipient craft beer scene a la 1995, I've now given it its own link in the "LDO Archives" listings.

Anybody asks you "how did all this beer stuff get started?" you just direct them there.

[Posted 2:15 pm edt]

Well, this is not what I had planned at all.
No cataract surgery yesterday. Called the surgical center at 6am and got, for all practical purposes, a For God's Sake! Don't Come! message from the lady at the desk.

The doctor was an hour away and bound to be late, perhaps as much as an hour, half the staff hadn't and might not make it in and it was okay to reschedule. Hmmmm...a harried, hassled surgeon, an over-extended staff, and the fact that man who provides a good life for my daughter and grandchildren (I was at their house overnight to make things easier since had to have a ride to and from) would be forced to drive to the surgical center and back again on treacherous roads, then do the same after the operation was finished, if it happened at all?

Not too tough a decision, that.

I am totally bummed, of course. Been waiting so long for this and now the wait goes on. Not to mention what I found when I got up this morning (at home, I got back late yesterday). The plowing crews came through and cleared the roadways on the property but left all the plowed up snow behind our parked cars. This morning it is rock solid...as is everything. Even at my weight, I don't even crack the snow crust, much less sink through. How hard is it? I see broken snow shovels all over the place and my silly little extendable version was pathetic as I tried to hack a path through the stuff.

This also means that snow blowers are useless so walkways and such remain ice-covered and slippery; wisely, I cleared a path of sorts from the parking area to my door last night (and, off of that, to the doors of the other five apartments near mine in our little alcove as I "pack back" a similar kindness done me last year), so at least we can get out where someone can find us after we slip and fall down.

Is it too early to start drinking?

[Posted 11:42 am edt]

13 February 2007
Thinking with your Nucleus Accumbens.
Well now, shouldn't we all be reminded of this danger zone on the day before Valentine's Day? I most definitely think so.

Many of us have heard of the so-called "beer goggle" effect. It's the phenomenon that occurs when someone's had a few alcoholic drinks and suddenly, all of those people who looked semi-attractive on entering the bar look really, really appealing. Scientists have shown that it's not just a lowering of standards -- alcohol actually stimulates the part of the brain that judges facial attractiveness.
I'd guess the effect is even stronger if you've been downing a strong craft brew or three, so keep that in mind when you're sitting at a bar all alone late tomorrow night and beginning to see some merits in that chick or boy toy a few stools down which you'd missed earlier in the evening.

Or not. Whatever gets you through the night.

[Posted 7:25 am edt]

11 February 2007
The party that never ends.
I may not participate in the Monday Night Tasting at Sly Fox Phoenixville very often these days (which, let's be honest, probably means it's not nearly as much fun) but the event goes on and on.

After all these years, the gang got together in the bitter cold of last Monday and dedicated themselves to the following 15 brews. Amazing.

I assume this was all done indoors, but given the alcohol involved, they could very well have been out on the terrace. The list was compiled, with comments when he was so moved, by Del Massey, who came to the party late but caught on quick:

Boston Beer Company Long shot Old Ale

Boston Beer Company Long shot Boysenberry Wheat - "Blueberry-ish."

Boston Beer Company - Long shot Dortmunder Style Export - "Best of the three."

Clipper City Oxford Raspberry Wheat - "Off flavor."

Buckeye Brewing Sasquatch Pale Ale

Unibroue - Quelque Chose- "1999 vintage, served hot. Yummy."

Brouwerij Oud Beersel Oude Gueuze Vieille - "2002 vintage."

Brouwerij Oud Beersel - Oude Kriek Vieille "2002 vintage."

Smuttynose Brewing Co - Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)

Parkerford Brewing (aka Tom Foley homebrew) - Flemish Strong - "Bottled 5/2006, second generation Wyeast Roeselare #3763."

Ted Johnson homebrew - Wee Heavy - "Vintage 2005? Bourbon Barrel fermented. Wee Trippel? Well done."

Green Flash Brewing Green Flash Trippel

De Struise Brouwers Panneport (Old Fisherman's Ale)- "Best of show (my Belgian bias says so)."

Port Brewing Co Wipeout IPA

Marin Brewing Co Quad

Just another night in Phoenixville.

Stout chap.
Stan Hieronymus has a suggestion for his fellow beer bloggers. He wants them to do this on March 2 as part of initiating a monthly Beer Blogging Day.

I like it, but see no reason to restrict the fun to bloggers. We're all friends here, right, put our pants on one leg at a time and all that?

If we could get this off the ground locally by March 2, we could perhaps enjoy the unlikely sight of that nice Brian O'Reilly dancing in the streets. I mean, chances are you're gonna stop in for this anyway, so why not also down a pint or two of the stout somebody we all know and love said was the Best Beer he had in 2006? Would he lie?

[Posted 10:00 am edt]

5 February 2007
Beer 'n' politics.
During two visits to London the last couple of years, with other beer writers, some beer sellers and the folks from Distinguished Brands (who paid for all of us), one of the things that impressed me was meeting the Chair and Vice-Chair of Parliament's All Party Beer Committee, which had members from all parties meeting regularly to discuss issues involving the beer industry in Britain.

It struck me, and I wrote after the first visit, how come our gummint can't do something like this?.

Well, now it turns out it's going to. On February 1, the Brewers Association sent out this letter to the membership:

Dear Brewery Member:

Today, the Brewers Association is taking a significant step in our on-going work to promote and protect the interests of America’s small brewers. Right now, letters and emails are hitting the desks and inboxes of every member of the U.S. House of Representatives inviting them to join the Congressional Small Brewers Caucus.

Over the past 6 months, we have been working to lay the groundwork for the caucus, which will be an informal group of Congressmen with a shared interest in the small brewing industry and craft-brewed beers. The caucus will be an important means of sharing information on America’s small brewing community and its issues of importance with key decision makers in our nation’s capital.

We are pleased to have two Congressmen from the great state of Oregon serving as co-chairs, Representatives Peter DeFazio and Greg Walden....

Makes sense to me.

[Posted 7:10 pm edt]

4 February 2007
Dale Van Wieren checks in...
Dale writes the Eastern/Central Pennsylvania column for Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and is, as it turns out, a faithful reader of this site. Over the weekend he emailed me with some information about this story which I just posted onsite. It appears in the latest issue of American Brewer and probably shouldn't be up here yet, but I won't tell if you won't.

Go read the story and then come back for this:

I loved your piece on Lazy magnolia, and especially Leslie Henderson's tribute to Warren Fuller. My friends from New York and I had a nice long chat with Leslie at the GABF, and as we walked away, we slapped our (beer fuzzied) heads and said "We should have asked her if she knew Warren". When we walked back, she was swamped with customers, and we didn't get back again.

Warren was a breweriana collector and craft brew buddy of many years standing. He and his wife Midge never failed to come up north to join us on the week long brewery tours about 15 of us did every July. A great guy and a great advocate of craft beer. When his house became full of brewery collectibles, he built a smaller one next door to live in, and left the original as "The Beer Museum." Not a stick was salvagable of either from what I've heard. Midge suffered a serious head injury during the storm and, after not having his heart medication for three days, Warren carried her a mile or two to an aid station - whereupon he collapsed and died. We've made a little ritual of toasting him at beer festivals (which we did appropriately enough by Lazy Magnolias stand).

Good stuff, that. I've forwarded it to Leslie Henderson.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of Dale's email. He had one more thing to add...

...and he near scares me out of my wits!
The closing paragraph of Dale's electronic missive referred to this item I posted in December, based upon my having been contacted by a man named John Curtin Lieberman:

I also read a piece you had a while back on your web site from the last Lieberman to own Kaier's. As a Lieberman descendant, I have to remember to tell you some other parts of that saga.
"As a Lieberman descendant..."

Look, the chances of John Curtin Lieberman and I being related are really, really slim based on information we've exchanged, but even the remote possibility that Van Wieren and I are related, no matter how far removed?

The universe may be even farther out of kilter than I ever imagined.

Speaking of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News...
I have to say I'm finding each issue very good and interesting reading of late. The front page this time around has the latest on the on-again/off-again Old Dominion sale by Gregg Wiggins, who absolutely owns that story, and editor Greg Kitsock uses that as a springboard for a feature piece about Anheuser-Busch's Craft Beer Surge inside (A-B is rumored to be getting a stake in Old D when the deal comes down).

That last is a Must Read for its closing section about the previously unreported (as far as I know) patent imbroglio going on between A-B and Dogfish Head. If they had it up on the web, I'd link to it, but you're just going to have to go find a copy, 'cause they don't.

[Posted 5:11 pm edt]

2 February 2007
Tom Peters talks about Monk's Cafe´ Cuvee´ Gueuze
I was talking with Tom a few days back and asked him about his latest Belgian-brewed private label beer, which is a blend of 250 liters of three-year old, 500 liters of two- year old & 250 liters of one-year old lambics he personally selected.

Like they say, put a nickel in and stand back:

The three-year version had lot of brett and was funky and musty, that immediately recognizable Cantillon characteristic. The two-year old was fuller-bodied and rounded beer and the one-year old had a bit of hop character which really surprised me. It was actually bright and citrusy. Those characteristics are why I picked those three to blend together. The result is a lighter version than most Cantillons I've ever tasted. It is really refermenting nicely in the bottle and in a few more months should be absolutely stellar.

I plan to put some away in the basement for, oh, ten, twenty, thirty years and see how well it cellars. You know, when you walk around Cantillon you see all these bins filled with bottles with no labels and just a chalkboard above them which will say Irisor Kriek or something like that. I was there with Eddie Friedland and we saw one that said Cuvee´ Tom and I asked Jean [Jean-Pierre Van Roy, who took over Cantillon in 1969 at his brewer/father-in-law's request], "is that my beer?" He said was and we popped one open. So we drank it and it was delicious. I mentioned to Jean that I was going to cellar some of it for 20 years and he said "I have a 1976 Cantillon Gueuze that somebody just gave me. Would you like to taste that?" Well, yeah!

It was delicious, that 30-year old bottle.

You know, life just isn't fair. Peters sees a beer with his name on it and it turns into a nice moment. When I was in Kinsale, Ireland, and spied a store bearing the name "Curtin Electric" on the main drag and ran in to tell them I was their long-lost cousin from the Colonies come to get his share of the profits, no such luck.

Lew expands.
No, not his waistline. His web presence. The Semi-Big Guy has just launched a beer and whiskey blog called Seen Through a Glass where he can do...well, just about what he was doing on his website, but easier and faster and from anywhere in the world. We'll talk more about that, and his admirable Session Beer Project, after I've had time to digest this development. For now, go check it out. And, of course, it's been added to our Links List.

Speaking of which....

Shoulda done this a long time ago.
I've just rectified a serious oversight and also added our pals over at the Brew Lounge to that links lineup. My bad for taking so long.

[Posted 7:25 am edt]

The complete January 2007 postings have been archived here.

Malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.

--A. E. Houseman

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