Rowhouse Spirits Is Open for Business

rowhouse-spirits-poitinFormer Philadelphia Brewing Company employee Dean Browne has started Rowhouse Spirits across the street from his former brewery in Kensington. Today he’ll be open for retail sales for the first time. Browne will offer sales Thursdays through Saturdays from noon until 7 p.m. Though he says if you’re nearby outside the store hours, give a yell through the back gate, if he isn’t running the still, he’ll be happy to sell you a bottle.

As a Pennsylvania distiller, Rowhouse Spirits can sell direct to consumers and liquor license owning establishments in the state.

This week Browne will be offering his Poitin, an Irish-style moonshine. Look for Rowhouse Spirits Gin to be ready next week. Browne will also be adding Bear Trap, a herbal liqueur that will be like a less sweet Jägermeister.

Rowhouse Spirits [Foobooz]

Cockfighting Ring Busted in Kensington

Animal control officials seized 18 live roosters from a Kensington house over the weekend, part of what officials say was a cockfighting enterprise: Officers arrived to find a “large-scale cockfight” in progress; the incident took place about 3 a.m. Saturday in the 2900 block of E Street.

“Cockfighting is a brutal crime and is still serious problem in our community,” said George Bengal of the PSPCA. “It’s a felony in Pennsylvania and we will hold those who harmed these birds responsible.” (Fox 29)

Saint Benjamin Brewing Brews First Batch


Photo by Meg Kelly

After years of planning, site searching, recipe developing and dealing with Philadelphia bureaucracy, Tim Patton and Christina Burris have brewed their first beer at Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, their Kensington nanobrewery.

The first batch happened yesterday at 1710 N 5th Street on the brewing operation’s three-barrel system and as Patton promised in a Facebook post, it will happen again today.

The goal is to have the beers ready for select events during this year’s Philly Beer Week, which takes place from May 30th to June 8th.

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Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby Raises Funds with Indiegogo

kensington kinetic sculpture derby

The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby (KKSD) is something of a Philly phenomenon. A rare time of year when parade floats meet works of art meet WTF?!. Hand-powered vehicles decked out in moving sculptures and sculptural scenes (spaceships! zombies! working bars!) traverse Kensington, competing for a prize and providing a pretty unique show for onlookers.

To keep the oddities and ingenuity alive this year, KKSD is seeking donations via crowd-funding website Indiegogo. Their pitch calls for keeping the Derby up and running and continuing the tradition of support for local businesses, local art, and local ingenuity. As it grows, so do the expenses, and organizers need folks who care about its authenticity to provide the funds to keep it “fun, accessible, and unique.”

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“Fishtown’s First Float Spa” Is Not in Fishtown at All. Discuss.

halcyonThe soon-to-open Halcyon Floats has sent out a press release describing itself as a ”two-tank isolation spa in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.” An attached flyer has the tagline “Fishtown’s First Float Spa.”

Halcyon — located at 206 West Girard Avenue — may be many things, but it is not in Fishtown. Front Street Frankford Avenue, as a commenter notes below, is the dividing line — when West Girard turns to East Girard. In fact, the spa is on the edge of Northern Liberties, which is bounded by the south side of Girard. But as Halcyon is on the north side of Girard, it’s in South Kensington, a neighborhood whose revitalization and development was just featured in a three-part series by Aaron Kase over at Hidden City.

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Morning Headlines: Kenpor L.P. Backs Out of Property Rehabbing Over a Year Later

An agreement to demolish / rehabilitate the former properties of slumlord Robert Coyle has come to naught. The deal, made in September 2012, was between the city and Kenpor L.P. It involved the holding company getting 98 of the properties in exchange for paying the city $300,000 with $630,000 added overtime.

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It’s Time for Memphis Taproom’s Sixth Annual Boxing Day Festival

boxing-day-memphis-taproomFor the last five years, Memphis Taproom has hosted a Boxing Day Beer Festival. And this year will be no different. Starting at 11:30 a.m. today, the beer bar will be serving some of the best holiday and seasonal ales from around the world. They’ll also be helping neighbors in need. This year they’re collecting new children’s books for area school children. Earn a dollar off each draft beer for every children’s book you donate today.

The Boxing Day draft list includes » 

Morning-of-the-Day-Before-Christmas Headlines: The Waters Rise

The water main break’s gallons are equal to more than 30 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Of course the big story of the day for those in Frankford, North Philadelphia, Kensington, Port Richmond, and Juniata Park (or anyone else with a heart) is the enormous water main break that caused a gush of 20 to 23 million gallons of water equal to 30 to 34 Olympic -size swimming pools. The break will “inconvenience” residents for months. Given the damage to businesses and homes, and the fact that the city is only mandated to pay out a certain amount, the inconvenience is going to turn into major life changes for many. What a mess. Oddly, I’ve heard no jokes about the Rapture yet, or walking on water. Too soon?

More headlines…

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