YuenglingMy wife, Inez’s family and its extension by marriage has an enduring Thanksgiving custom. Each year, every able-bodied, adult male and, verily, a few intrepid females participate in a traditional touch football game that has long been known as the “Turkey Bowl.”  Nez is the oldest child of a large Irish family; one of nine. So, with my seven brothers-in-law, an assortment of their grown offspring,  my fellow “outlaw brother” who married into the menagerie by way of a sister, a gang of included friends, and myself, we have an epic encounter the size of which rivals the Battle of Waterloo. Now, perhaps as important as the game itself is the Miller Time which immediately follows. I say Miller Time, but in the past it could more accurately be referenced as Yuengling Time as that company’s lager was the one and only beer of choice for our annual post-game toast. This year however there were a variety of beers and nary a Yuengling among them.

It’s not my job to bring the beer. Four of my brothers-in-law are union carpenters and it has always been their generosity that provided the essential elixir of our yearly communion. When I questioned the obvious break from tradition, they informed me that although Yuengling is now the largest, domestic, privately owned brewery in the U.S. (Sam Adams is bigger, but is publicly owned and all of the familiar big boys have been sold to foreign corporations), a boycott movement is beginning to ripple through the ranks of American unionized workers. My brothers told me that on May 29th, 2007 Yuengling Brewery tossed the Teamsters Union out of their operations. It took more than a year for the news to spread throughout the concerned population, but it is now becoming widely known, and at least some beer-drinking folks who build and maintain our country’s infrastructure, businesses, and domiciles are reacting – at least those who are members, or are in support of unions.

Personally, I really enjoy Yuengling’s products and am proud to have our nation’s oldest brewery in my neck of the woods. Whether or not the company’s fall from the graces of certain, previously loyal aficionados represents a significant threat to their market position remains to be seen.

Ed Petersen, Creative Director of American Public House Review




Pumpkin Ales – Get ‘Em While Ye Can!

Pumpkins & Haybales © Kathleen Connally
Pumpkins & Haybales © Kathleen Connally

In colonial America, English barley was costly and difficult to obtain, so brewers searched for an alternative ingredient for their ales.   Lo and behold – the indigenous & abundant pumpkin fit the bill.

Many of today’s brewers have revived the technique and incorporate roasted pumpkin into their ales.  Some of the ales include cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg and taste rather spicy; others rely upon the sweetness & aroma of roasted pumpkin.   

The Beer Advocate has a list of over 200 pumpkin ales, with some obvious standouts according to user reviews: 

(If you’ve tried any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts.)

Pumpkin ales are seasonal, so don’t hesitate!  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try a few – otherwise you may have to wait until fall of 2009.

Written & posted by Kathleen Connally


Beer Pairings for Thanksgiving Dinner

Manfred's Black Turkey © Kathleen Connally

Black Turkey © Kathleen Connally

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you’re looking to pair beer with a traditional turkey dinner party, help is on the way courtesy of Fred Tasker at the Dallas Morning News:


As guests arrive, hand them something crisp and cold, light as air. They sip and whet their appetites, but don’t fill up. The world’s lagers are made for this.

•Stiegl Goldbrau Premium Lager, Stieglbrewery, Salzburg, Austria, alcohol not listed: bright golden color, big, creamy head, light flavors of malt and hops; $3.19 per 1-pint- 9-ounce bottle.

Hors d’oeuvres 

As you pass around the canapes, you give your guests pale ales, somewhat fuller in body, hoppier, able to deal with shrimp with sauce, cheese balls and the like.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, California, 5.6 percent alcohol: amber in color, full-bodied, malty, hoppy, spicy; $1.60 per 12-ounce bottle.

Lagunitas Maximus India Pale Ale, California, 7.5 percent alcohol: deep amber, brutally hoppy, with flavors of pine and citrus; $3.99 per 1 pint, 6-ounce bottle.


For the full, complex, fatty flavors of an all-out Thanksgiving main course, you want a muscular beer, with the hops and alcohol to cut through. The category called Belgian-style strong ales works here.

Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, Colorado, 8.99 percent alcohol: dark brown color, sturdy beige head, starts fruity, then the powerful alcohol kicks in. It’ll handle Cajun turkey, even red meat; $8.49 per 1-pint, 6-ounce bottle.

Ommegang Brewery Rare Vos Belgian-Style Amber Ale, Cooperstown, N.Y., 6.5 percent alcohol: coppery color, fruity, spicy, muscular, flavors of burnt sugar; $5.79 per 1-pint, 9.4-ounce bottle.


With beer, as with wine, the drink should be sweeter than the dessert. The following will handle pecan or pumpkin pies.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Delaware, 7 percent alcohol: a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, it tastes like all of them; $10.49 per 4-pack.

Rogue Chocolate Stout, Ore., 7 per cent alcohol: Yes, they add real imported chocolate to the brew, plus oats and hops, and it tastes like all of its ingredients, with the smooth power of alcohol and a bittersweet finish; $5.79 per 1-pint, 6-ounce bottle.


When you mellow out after the meal, watching the game, you need something big, rich, soft and sweet to settle your stomach.

Dogfish Head Raison d’Extra Ale, Delaware, 18 percent alcohol a big, brown ale brewed with of malt, brown sugar and raisins; $6.25 per 12-ounce bottle.

Great Divide Brewing Old Ruffian Barleywine-Style Ale, Colorado, 10.2 percent alcohol: smooth, sweet fruit and caramel flavors give way to powerful hops; $5.29 per 1 pint, 6 ounce bottle.


(If you get this far,  I hope you’ve taken your guests’ car keys and have the local cab company‘s phone number handy.)

 Article by Fred Tasker / Links Kathleen Connally

— Posted by Kathleen Connally


Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Finding our way to the Trinity

This week’s installment to the American Public House Review takes us on a journey through Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay and up the Providence River to the state’s capitol city.  We follow Chris Poh from bay to river to city streets, and at the end of the trail lies what most of us hope to find after a long excursion over land and sea…good beer.

Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI

Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI

In his article entitled “Beyond the Pale”, Chris gives us a little taste of Rhode Island’s brewing past and then introduces us to its delicious brewing present and future found at the Trinity Brewhouse on Fountain Street in Providence.  Rhode Island may be a small state, but it never fails to impress every time I make it there.

The High Ball – Remembrance of a cocktail

highball-002-de11My parents entertained frequently as I was growing up in the 60’s. On many a Saturday night, I was put to bed early while my father and mother hosted festive soirées for the gang from The Presentation BVM Parish Society.  These were not the composed and level-headed “cake and coffee” socials of friends well met through their church congregation.  No, these were Roman Catholics who appreciated gospel stories where the operative metaphor was the miraculous transformation of water into wine. These Faithful accepted as Divine Revelation that Jesus himself enjoyed a party, savored the spirit of the grape, and even knew, but did not always hold to, the etiquette of when, during a celebration, to serve the finest vintage. In other words, The Presentation BVM Parish Society partied at my parents’ humble home in Northeast Philadelphia with a generous flow of love in their hearts and the holy distillation of God’s own harvest in their cocktail glasses. For a while, as any kid would, I fussed about my banishment from the living room and our lone TV. But, I soon discovered that from my stealthy, spy perch at the top of the steps I could secretly bask in the adult exultation downstairs. I also learned that the most popular drink by far which was raised in the countless toasts proposed was the Highball .  .  .  at least it was at my parents’ Kennedy-era galas.

A recipe is available for this cocktail which is simple, but not without requisites. Please click:

The High Ball

Posted by: Ed Petersen

Galloping into McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn

Ahh, those were the days!  The good old days when you could ride into town and hitch your horse up outside a great tavern or saloon and go in for a few.  Well that’s exactly what I did this afternoon…except it wasn’t my horse…I didn’t actually ride it…and even if it was and I did ride him into town I am not sure I would know how to “hitch” it to anything  without it running off while laughing at me.

Knight Eagle

Knight Eagle

So what does this beautiful animal have to do with the American Public House Review?  Well I was lucky enough to hitch a ride on his carriage, thankfully with an expert doing the driving, through Quakertown, Pennsylvania for a stop at a gorgeous tavern called McCoole’s at the Historic Red Lion Inn.  I had a great time with my new equine pal named Knight Eagle.  In the coming weeks you’ll be able to see the full story about this horse and why he should make pub crawlers excited on APHR.  We’ll also bring you a couple of great stories from the taverns of Quakertown.  So keep checking back.


Posted by: David McBride

Published in: on November 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Have you subscribed to the APHR Newsletter?

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog and of the American Public House Review, did you know that APHR offers a free monthly e-newsletter?  It comes free in your email each month, and it is our chance to let you know what is going on over at the Review, what you may have missed in the past month, and what we have in the works. 

This month we take a look at the great music offered recently at the American Public House Review, take a sneak peek at an upcoming brewpub coming to our new “Brewers and Brewpubs” section, and even relay a chilling ghostly report.

Click Here for your Free American Public House Review Newsletter Subscription

Thank you!

Published in: Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Possibly the most useful map you’ll ever find…

For my next recommendation for websites to check out, after you read through the American Public House Review of course, is this great and helpful little tool call PubQuest.  Here is how the site’s founders Dave and Julie describe it…

As we’ve traveled around the country over the years, we continually search out these local establishments. Although there are several great web sites for identifying craft breweries and brewpubs, none puts all the places in one city on one map. Hence, the need for PubQuest!

One needs to wonder, why aren’t all maps this useful??


Published in: Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Maine brewpub Gritty McDuff’s delights

This week, I reported on the American Public House Review from one of the best brewpubs I have ever been in, Gritty McDuff’s in Portland, Maine.  It sits in the historic Old Port section of this seaside city and is practically a landmark in itself.  It is also the perfect place in town to sip some terrific, fresh beer and really get a feel for what this part of New England is all about.


While writing the article, I had the pleasure of interviewing author James L. Nelson who wrought the book George Washington’s Secret Navy.
It is a gripping account of Washington’s foray into the world of the fighting sail, and even tells the tale of how Portland itself played an instrumental role in galvanizing the thirteen colonies behind the concept and cause of independence.  Take a look at the article, An Historic Pint in the Old Port, to learn more.

Portland's Harbor

Portland's harbor

Last year while I was on vacation in Maine, I passed the time by reading one of Mr. Nelson’s other great books.  This one, called Benedict Arnold’s Navy, is also a must read for any history buff.  It tells the tale of how Benedict Arnold, and officer in the Continental Army, literally built a navy out of the trees of New York and used his makeshift flotilla and his command of landlubbers to drive the British back into Canada and bought the colonies a few more months so that the cause of independence could go on. 

Benedict Arnold's Navy by James L. Nelson

Benedict Arnolds Navy by James L. Nelson


In the book this complex man, who is now known to us as a traitor, comes to life.  But here, years before he famously turned coat, we get to see why he was so popular among Americans and why his treason was so painful for so many who were loyal to him.  Here is what Mr. Nelson has to say about Benedict Arnold’s Navy:

I have always been fascinated by the Battle of Valcour Island. There is nothing really like it in history, a battle in which both sides had to build their fleet right on the spot before they could fight, and do so in a virtual wilderness with none of the usual resources they could count on. Adding to the story is the fact that the hero, from the American perspective, is Benedict Arnold, the man who would go on to be one of the most despised in our history. Researching this book, it became even more incredible to me, and even more tragic, that Arnold did what he ultimately did. I can never be excused, but at least I, and I hope my readers, can come to better understanding of why the once national hero made such a terrible choice.

Benedict Arnold’s Navy is the first book-length treatment to look exclusively at the build-up to the battle, the fight on Lake Champlain, and the amazing fallout from that fight on a wilderness lake.

So when you’re done with George Washington’s Secret Navy, give Benedict Arnold’s Navy a try.  Even a non-history enthusiast will find these stories compelling.


Posted by: David McBride

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