A Q&A with Don Russell, New Editor-in-Chief of Philly Weekly

Don Russell - Joe Sixpack - photo of him holding a beer

Photo via joesixpack.net

Earlier this week, Broad Street Media announced it had been purchased by Donnelly Distribution, an advertising and circular company in New Jersey. Donnelly’s purchased gave them a chain of community newspapers in Philadelphia and the suburbs, including the Northeast Times, the South Philly Review and the Fishtown Star. It also bought Philadelphia Weekly, the remaining alt-weekly in town.

At the time of the announcement, Donnelly Distribution also announced it had installed a new editor-in-chief of all its publications: Don Russell. Best known as beer columnist Joe Sixpack, he recently announced he’d be taking his column away from the Daily News and to the Weekly and its sister publications. Before taking a buyout at the DN in 2005, he was a longtime reporter for the tabloid pub.

Philadelphia magazine chatted with Russell about the future of PW and the other papers. This interview has been lightly edited for style and condensed. Read more »

Philly Weekly, Northeast Times Sold to N.J. Circular Company

Joe Sixpack - PW

Don Russell (aka Joe Sixpack) is the new editor-in-chief of a group of publications that includes Philadelphia Weekly, the Northeast Times and the South Philly Review.

A company that drops circulars on Philadelphia-area doorsteps just got a bit bigger.

Donnelly Distribution, a Pennsauken-based circular distribution company that was previously a minority owner of the newspaper group, announced today it had acquired Broad Street Media from former CEO Darwin Oordt and other owners. Broad Street Media owns Philadelphia Weekly, the Northeast Times, South Philly Review as well as other smaller newspapers.

Don Russell, the longtime Daily News scribe who worked at the paper for years and penned the Joe Sixpack beer column, has been named the editor-in-chief of Broad Street Media. Russell announced he was moving the column to the Broad Street Media papers earlier this month.

“I’m a true believer in the value of community newspapers, and it’s my aim to support journalistic excellence at all of these publications,” Donnelly Distribution president Richard Donnelly said. “We have already developed exciting plans for their future.” Read more »

Sours Galore at Devil’s Den

2686Swap your summer pilsners and pale ales for something with a little more tang. Devil’s Den will soon be serving beers that are sour, tart, bitter and sharp. Beginning Saturday, August 16th until Friday, August 22nd, the gastropub will be celebrating their 5th Annual Sourfest. For seven days one draft tower will be completely devoted to sour beers. That’s a total of 8 lines and plenty of sours to try throughout the week.

In keeping with the celebration, Tuesday August 19th, Don Russell, better known as Joe Sixpack, will be hosting a sour tasting and brewing class. Devil’s Den will serve as your classroom as you learn the fine techniques behind preparing a pucker worthy brew. All students will also enjoy appetizers and a tasting of six different sour beers such as Free Will Peach Lambic, Bruery Oude Tart, Barren Hill Berliner Weisse, Bom Wild & Funky #1, Allagash Confluence and Tilquin Gueze. The class is $35 per person and tickets can be purchased at the bar or online.

Devil’s Den [Foobooz]

 

 

Tria Taproom’s High Tech Tap System

tria-taproom-taps-940

Don Russell gets into the details about Tria Taproom’s high-tech web-based beer auditing system. And Russell has a suggestion for where this is all heading.

I see a single app that alerts me when my favorite IPA goes on tap. Then it automatically sends a car to pick me up, invites my Facebook friends to belly up to the bar with me, Instagrams a photo of my pint, signals the Internet jukebox to play “Gimme Shelter,” tweets my Yelp! review, calculates the bartender’s tip, and texts my wife with some lame excuse for missing dinner with the in-laws.

Nerds, get to work on this, now.

Check that beer at Tria Taproom [Philadelphia Daily News]
Tria Taproom [Foobooz]

UPDATED: Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal Organizing Drinkers (And Bartenders) For Sandy Relief

Ever since they left The Farmer’s Cabinet, things have been relatively quiet on the Phistian (that’s Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal to us non-celeb types) front, as they’ve flitted around the city and the country these past few months, gypsy bartending, writing cocktail menus and spending time with Esmon’s family in North Carolina. But now they’re back, at least for the moment, and they’ve arrived with a purpose: to harness their considerable bar cred to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Read more »