Craft Beer

Articles, commentary, and reviews on homebrewing and craft beer.

SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Dastardly and Delicious Double IPAs

Every Sunday, I take a look at five beers worth checking out. This week, we’re going to dive into some big Double IPAs. This is a style that tends to be big, hoppy, sometimes a touch sweet, and always pretty potent. Cheers! Bell’s Hopslam Some beers are annual Events with a capital “E”. They’re like holidays which half the craft beer world celebrates. One of those beers is Bell’s Hopslam, a big, honey-dosed double IPA that gets drinkers scrambling when it’s released every January. The beer has gotten enough interest so that Bell’s has ramped up production, making it easier to find than ever, but that doesn’t make it any less of a treat. Its robust 10 percent ABV doesn’t try to hide, but the…
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In which I chat with the folks at Saint Benjamin Brewing Company

A year or two back, I went on a tour of several Philadelphia breweries for the Philly Weekly. Almost certain I devoted one of my weekly columns to it, but the paper has shuffled around their website and most of my stuff is no longer online. Oh well. Anyway, among those breweries was Saint Benjamin, then a fresh new startup doing slight twists on traditional beers. They had solid brews, were in a cool part of town, and most important of all, they seemed like good people. Ever since, I’ve been sure to put in a good word for them whenever I get the chance. Flash forward to now. I’m beginning to do a series of monthly interviews on homebrewing for HomebrewTalk.com. Naturally, some of…
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New homebrewing article: How to Make Your Prepackaged Kits Unique!

Kits are a staple of the homebrewing scene. Put together by your local homebrew shop or the big online retailers, they are all-in-one boxes that give you everything you need to create beers that are time-tested and brewer-approved. Sometimes they are clones of popular craft brews, other times they are retailer exclusives that recreate classic styles, but either way they take the guesswork out of making a great beer. For both newbie homebrewers and veterans alike, that can be a very welcome thing indeed. But sometimes you want to throw a little twist into an old favorite. Sometimes you want to get creative but don’t know where to start. Sometimes you have a beer idea in mind, but don’t want to spend ages tinkering with…
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Check out my new article at Homebrew Talk: Growing Hops With Limited Space

Whether you’re a homebrewer, a gardener, or both, you’ll want to check out my new article at Homebrew Talk. It even has pictures of my hop plants growing all over my backyard deck! Growing hops at home is a lot easier than you probably imagine. You don’t need much real gardening experience to do it — I didn’t really have any when I first started — and once hops make themselves at home they are damn near impossible to kill. They’ll thrive all on their own without you having to do much, but they won’t take over your whole yard, either. They’re not like, say, mint. They’ll stay in their spot and do their thing each year without much help from you. They do take up a lot of space,…
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Gardening + Homebrewing = I am a beer writer again!

For just under three years, I wrote a craft beer column at the Philly Weekly. I enjoyed it. Each week I’d recommend five excellent craft beers. People read it. Breweries liked it. Fantastic breweries like Firestone Walker, Stone, Founders and Victory took notice. That’s amazing. I got to know some amazing people doing it, and also got to try some fantastic beers. But as is inevitable in the news biz, things change. The column was nixed in late 2015, and I was a beer writer no more. No hard feelings! I love the people at PW and still do. Look forward to doing more work with them (and it’s inevitable that I will). Just sayin’ that my days of saying I was a professional beer writer…
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