There are beer sites that have hundreds of other beer site links,
every brewery they can find, every amateur beerlover site, everything
remotely beer-related. Hey, if that's what you like, go there. What
I've got here are some of the beer, whiskey, and booze-related sites I visit fairly often. They don't have
any common factor except that I like 'em; a couple of them aren't even
about drinks. They aren't all entertaining, or even all pro-booze. Take a
If you have a nomination for the list, please
send it. I might put it on, I might not; but thanks for sending it.
politics here, just patriotism: Team
Twin Towers wants rid
of the foo-foo schemes architects and bigmouths have advanced for
the site of the World Trade Center. Their plan? Rebuild the
Towers we had. They
make sense, too, it's not just emotion. I support it. Please take a
look, and sign their
petition to rebuild.
Pubcrawler: I use
this site every time I go out on a trip. Still the best brewery and bar locator website for North America.
Period. It's because the folks who leave reviews here have broader
interests than just the beer. So if you're headed out on a trip, check here
has damn near every brewery in the world. There are some errors, but not a
lot. I use this site to plan my books, to find numbers, etc. Odd
arrangement, in my opinion, but excellent info.
This guy...is a total genius. Jonathan
Surratt is using Google Maps to "beermap"
the United States. That is, put every good beer bar, good beer store,
brewpub, and microbrewery on an interactive online map. This
one thing might make me get a satphone modem for my laptop.
I've put it off long enough, but I can't ignore it anymore: BeerAdvocate
has a tremendous list of beer bars, breweries, BOPs, and liquor
stores and an active community of beer geeks who populate a
lively forum. I spend way too much time there.
Every Liquor and
Beer Store in the United States. Strangely, this Asian health food site has address listings of almost every wine, beer, and liquor store in the country, alphabetically listed under the area codes.
I have found this incredibly useful on occasion.
Bar, Brewery, and Beer Store in New York State: The New York State
Liquor Authority has a pretty plain propaganda website, except for this
page: a searchable listing of every bar and brewery license in the
state. Quite useful!
Speaking of useful: if you want beer
in New York City, here's your essential site: Bill
Coleman's Beer Alert. Bill Coleman's nuts about beer, and God bless him for it. Knows what he's
talking about, too...generally!
Like real ale? Find it with the help of
Alex "Gotham Imbiber" Hall's U.S.
Cask Ale Pages, a page of links to an all-U.S. list of cask ale
bars, NYC lists of cask bars and good bars, a cask explanation page,
and the Imbiber online. Plenty of beer info here!
Other Good Booze Sites
The heavily-updated Malt
is looking great. This is a magazine I've edited for seven
years, originally a beer newsletter that has evolved into the world's
best whisky magazine. In my humble opinion, of course.
World of Beer: I should
have had this up from the beginning. World of Beer is Stephen
Beaumont's site, a Canadian beer writer who's got a number of
books out, gets published in all the best mags (including Malt Advocate),
and has a great grasp on the philosophy of tasting. He's also a
friend of mine, and his site inspired this one. Sorry this took so
Diet: This is my friend and fellow beer writer Jack Curtin's
site. Jack tries to be a curmudgeon, but he's too damned nice. He does say
what's on his mind about beer, though, and is well-wired into the Philly beer scene. Worth reading:
Jack's a funny guy. But don't believe all the stuff he says about me!
I love the bars of upstate Pennsylvania, so I should have put
this site up months ago: AmericanTom
is the spiritual descendant of Suds & Dregs, the immortal bar
chroniclers of Berks County. This site reviews bars -- not
nightclubs or restaurants, bars -- has lots of pictures of cute
barmaids, and notes which bars have good clams: I love it.
I just found out about
John White and his White Beer Travels
site in the wake of
the hubbub over the "Say Anything" Buzz.
John's a Brit with great taste in beer and a very link-laden
website, but all good ones: Belgian, Franconian, various "good
beer" groups, most of them annotated (thanks!) and fun to
Ardent Spirits: Gary and
Mardee Regan write for Malt Advocate, and a bunch of other
places. They know a lot about bourbon, but their true love is
cocktails, and Ardent Spirits is all about that. Gary made me completely
reconsider whiskey sours.
The Real Beer Site was one of the
first all-beer pro sites for enthusiasts. It wandered off track for a
while, in my opinion, but they're back, and much stronger in content.
Good forums, if BeerAdvocate and ratebeer don't do it for you.
Lucy Saunders is a good
writer and a great cook; she's also got a laugh that's almost as
loud as mine. She writes about beer and food, has for years, and she has a
site called BeerCook, with recipes,
articles, and links to other beer cooks' sites.
The Dan & John Beer
Site. That says it all. Well, not quite. Dan and John live in
Northeast Philly, they love good beer, and they put up a site
about it. They're at all the Philly beer events. They drink a beer, they
give it a 1-5 rating, they move on. No graphics, no Flash. That's all. I
A Good Beer Blog is
what Alan McLeod calls his blog. Now, I'm not nuts about blogging (or
at least, I wasn't then: I am now).
But Alan's, well, I first liked it because he liked my writing, but
now I just like it. One of the better amateur beer sites I've seen,
because Alan is a mature, normal guy. I think.
The Geeky Details
to Tweak a Geek: you'll speak like a geek after perusing Peter
Ensminger's "Beer Data" site, with its explanations of all of beer geekerie's hottest numbers:
specific gravity, real extract, and attenuation. Plus calorie counts for
many commercial beers. Numbers, numbers, numbers!
If you're like me, you love real ale. Find out more about it in
description of cellarmanship by Mark Dorber, the renowned cellarman of
the White Horse Pub in London.
Prohibition History sites: Prohibition was an incredibly important and relevant bit of American
history, but most Americans don't really know squat about it. Here are two
good introductory sites from the Oregon
State Archives and the Ohio
State University Dept. of History .
Speaking of history, Rich Wagner has a Pennsylvania
Brewery History site that's quite a tribute to the glory days. Rich
tramps the old sites, and managed to get PA to put up a historical marker
on the site of the country's first lager brewery.
The Book and The Cook is
Philly's annual food and drink celebration: food and booze writers from
all over (Michael Jackson, Dave Wondrich, Stephen Beaumont, me...and
some cooks, I think) come to Philly and play. It's superb, and with this
new website, there are really things to keep up on year-round.
We bought a share from the Honey
Brook Organic Farm this summer, and it's been great. We get
a box full of great fresh produce once a week -- the best lettuce we've
ever eaten, deliciously sweet and crisp watermelon, heirloom
tomatoes and potatoes -- and we can go pick-our-own as well. Not
near Honey Brook? You can find a Community Supported Agriculture
farm near you here.
Food's good, but the folks at eGullet
are nuts about it. And I mean that in the best way. Some of them like
beer, too, and there's a growing discussion forum on beer there.
You'll have to work your way down through "Beverages" and
the "Beer" to find it.
is stupid, incomplete, choked with ads, run by AOL...everything I hate in
a website (except for pointless animation and music) -- but I LIKE IT!
Great idea, if only someone other than idiots reviewed breakfast joints
here, because I love a good local breakfast joint when I'm on the road.
Beating The Drys
Know the Enemy: anti-alcohol folks at the federal Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration put these
statistics together. Like Disraeli said: there are lies, damned lies,
and statistics. (No, it wasn't Twain: he quoted Disraeli as saying it).
Beat the Enemy: most anti-alcohol "science" is pure
D crap. Get
the facts from Dr. David J. Hanson's excellent Alcohol:
Problems & Solutions
website: real information on "binge" drinking, why we should
lower the legal drinking age, where all the MADD money goes, the crapola
about alcohol advertising...all here.
The 21 Legal Drinking Age is a mistake. I say that here,
and now there's a real, live foundation that says so, too: Choose
Responsibility is doing serious research on lowering the
drinking age to 18 for solid safety and moderate drinking reasons. See
their blog, Rethinking
If David Hanson is the academic side of anti-anti-alcohol, getMADD
is the rolling boil side, the side that's sick of the manipulation
and unconstitutional edge of the anti-drinking hysteria prevalent in
the legislatures and judicial system today. Get rhetoric to meet the
freaks, get fired up, getMADD.
Some surprisingly great music: when I was at the last Friday
the Firkinteenth, I got pressured into buying a CD entitled "Cask
Conditioned." It was only ten bucks, the guy who made
it was selling it, and..."Cask Conditioned" at Friday the
Firkinteenth? Good karma: it's a nice set of guitar music inspired
by various cask conditioned British ales. Neat idea, good tunes.
together hiking and New York
Breweries and you get the Views
and Brews hiking patch. Similar to the 46'er patch for climbing
all 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks, this patch is for hikers who visit New
York brewpubs (and have at least one beer) and make nearby hikes (w/in
a 48 hour period). Do 25 visit/hikes, and you get the patch. Cool!
of connected to Views & Brews: I got a bike and started riding
recently as part of my lose-weight
campaign. I got a rack to carry it on the Passat from these folks,
ORS Direct. I got a
roof-rack and cargo bag for the car at the same time, and I'm letting you
know: my pleasure on the price was only surpassed by how
pleased I was by their service. These guys are top-notch: highly
While we're talking about weight-loss: I did it with Weight
Watchers. If you stick to the program, it really works --
and nothing is "not allowed." It's not free, but I lost
50 lbs. before I even started exercising. And yes, it's mostly
geared towards women, but...if you're a guy, you will almost certainly
lose weight faster than women do on this plan. Bonus.
Nothing about beer here.
It's Dom Nozzi's Urban Design Principles, a site about how towns should be
laid out, neighborhoods set up, and so on. I just like this guy's ideas,
and they tie into ideas about how to restore community to our communities,
which would include better bars... (Hey, get this: Dom Nozzi saw
the "Death of the Corner Bar" rant and
e-mailed me! He likes the site, and...he's a homebrewer. Don'tcha
love it when things work out?)
World's Smallest Political Quiz" and find out where you really
stand on the issues: "liberal" and "conservative"
are out the window. The results might surprise you.
This one's personal: The
Battle of Kontum website is about the fight to contain the
North Vietnamese Army attack on the regional capital of Kontum in
1972, towards the end of the Vietnam War. The man who wrote the
website, who fought in the battle, is a friend of mine, Lt. Col. Jack
Heslin, USA (ret.). If you don't know much about the actual
fighting in Vietnam, as opposed to the politics, it's as good a
place as any to start.
More to come...