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Getting schooled at the Philly Beer School

“Philadelphia is to beer what Sonoma is to wine,” says Keith Wallace to anyone who’ll listen. Considering the source, the proclamation, perhaps incendiary outside Pennsylvania, might sound outright puzzling within city limits. That’s because in 2001, Wallace, a winemaker, wine columnist, and author of two upcoming wine books, founded and still runs Philly’s best-known vinology school. So why is he extolling his territory’s beer lust at the expense of its pursuit of viticultural knowledge?

Because, acknowledging a craft revolution, he’s invited beer to take a permanent seat at The Wine School‘s table.

Wallace’s partner, a burly bald man named Dean Browne, asserts the alliance as he introduces himself to a group assembled in one of The Wine School’s classrooms on an early March night.

Philadelphia City Paper 1

Philadelphia City Paper: Gary Vaynerchuk at the Wine School

Wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk will be at the Wine School of Philadelphia today, June 12, to promote his new book — Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight and Bring Thunder to Your World (Rodale Books, $19.95). Vaynerchuk– or Gary V, as his followers, the “Vayniacs,” call him — is the director of operations for Springfield, N.J.’s Wine Library, but he’s best-known for his high-energy video podcast on tv.winelibrary.com, where he moves away from stuffy wine practices by using terms like “sniffy sniff” and asking whether a bottle “brings the thunder” when he reviews them. The Internet celebrity has appeared on Ellen and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and he’s been featured in print in places like The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Time.

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