BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: New Ür Brewery in Philadelphia will recreate 18th- and 19th-century beer recipes.


I’m reminded of the Silo brewpub, Louisville’s first, which opened in 1992. The following year, brewer David Pierce shed the brewery’s shambolic ownership group and opened Bluegrass Brewing Company for the Hagans. Eileen Martin stepped into the Silo’s brewhouse with panache, but unfortunately the owners remained as oblivious as before.

The Silo went down, then bobbed back to the surface with new money and an idea to rebrand as a restaurant: Louisiana Jack’s at the Silo Brewery, or some such. I believe this was around 1995. Experienced homebrewer Brian Kolb started making beer for the new management, and for a while the entity survived. Ultimately it came crashing down a second time, and stayed that way.

The point to this sad remembrance is I can recall a conversation several of us had one evening to the effect that the Silo should just brew some history; Conrad Selle, author of the original Louisville Breweries book, had already done the research, and while the copyrights for old Louisville brands like Falls City, Fehr’s and Oertel’s might be out of circulation owing to having been acquired, dozens of other defunct breweries could serve as sources of names and recipes.

A few years ago when NABC at Bank Street Brewhouse was struggling, this idea came to me a second time. Why not completely overhaul and be historic? Forget the triple IPA and trend-chasing, and retrench strictly old school; be a taproom and museum, and build a monument to the Victims of Prohibition in America.

Personally, it’s my view that I tend to give great idea. Not being able to pull these great ideas down to earth is another story for another time.

Accordingly, I simply adore what these guys at the Ür Brewery in Philadelphia metro are proposing to do. I’ve never been to Philly, but damn it, when they’re up and running I want to go visit.

A new brewery in Lansdale will brew old-time Philadelphia beer, by Joe Six Pack (Philly Beer World)

One of Philly’s newest breweries is going to look – and taste – a lot like one of its oldest.

It will re-create long-lost beers that helped establish Philadelphia as the brewing capital of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Brands like Robert Smith’s India Pale Ale, Tiger Head Cream Ale and Robert Hare’s Colonial Porter will soon be brought back for the enjoyment of modern-day beer drinkers.

And the new brewery will feature open fermentation and krausening – traditional beer-making methods that – though they create a distinct, flavorful character – have been largely discarded in America …