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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Philadelphia Weekly is boarding the beer train

There's a piece by Kirsten Henri in the new Philadelphia Weekly that recognizes that Philadelphia is never going to be a great wine town as long as the LCB cripples restaurants' and consumers' choice and purchasing options.

For all the good that came from the stewardship of former chairman Jonathan Newman (the darling of the cork-dork set for both his Chairman’s Select program and his redesign of state stores), the PLCB remains a state monopoly that, based on my experiences buying wine, doesn’t make customer service or salesmanship a priority.

Thank you, Kirsten. It wouldn't have hurt to point out that Newman did next to nothing for the Commonwealth's beer drinkers, or that the same complaints that apply to wine apply to spirits, but I'll take this, and smile.

She then gives us the obvious corollary: "Let's embrace local craft beer instead."

Now...I could be bitchy, and pillory Henri and PW for taking so long to come to the dance. That would be the easy, ranty thing to do.

But it's pointless, and geeky. My only complaint is that you won't see this kind of honesty in the Inky, where they're still in love with wine, and the only beers that ever get serious attention (outside of the Business pages, which do a pretty good job on local brewers) are big-bottle Belgians.

Seeing this kind of piece written by someone who's not in The Tribe Of Beerwriters does my heart good, even though I have to admit that I'd rather have been paid to write it myself. A small thing, though, and overall, this is great to see. I hope Henri doesn't just let it drop, but carries on with it.

After all, as the caption of the shot of three craft taps says: "The time for pretending that wine is as subtle or as sophisticated as beer is over." Wow. What craft beer mole at PW wrote that, eh?!


Anonymous said...

"The time for pretending that wine is as subtle or as sophiscated as beer is over." I can't believe I'm reading this real?? If this ever happens, Lew...OMG!


Anonymous said...

I would reckon that Ms. Henri is fairly young. I've been reading both Philadelphia alt-weeklies since 1999, and it seems like most of the alt-weekly writers seem to start at PW (where they have a lot of freedom, I think), and end up at the City Paper, but that's neither here nor there. But Ms. Henri's age may be especially relevant...if she's young, it seconds my long-standing opinion that the youth in this city are much more beer savvy than we give them credit for. And as much as it pains me to admit, I guess I'm thinking of myself as "an older person," and reflecting back on my 20's here in Philly (I just turned 30 in February).

Cheers Lew, see ya Sunday at Ortino's.