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#14646 - 06/09/06 11:42 PM Re: beer thread **** [Re: Ajax]
INANE Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 1660
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Had I known about Joe's situation before dinner I would have raised my Sam Adam's White Ale in memory of him.
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#14647 - 06/10/06 01:42 AM Re: beer thread [Re: Ajax]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7400
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Quote:

and I am now officially schnockered.




I don't think I'd be able to spell schnockered if I was schnockered.
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#14648 - 06/10/06 01:45 AM Re: beer thread [Re: Ajax]
sonicfox Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Davenport, Iowa, USA
Schnockered from two beers, Jack?! You lightwieght!
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#14649 - 06/10/06 02:16 AM Re: beer thread [Re: tomtuttle]
sonicfox Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Davenport, Iowa, USA
Tom, whenever I read your posts on this thread, I get sooo thirsty for a good beer. It must be the way you describe the taste of every one of them! My problem is, none of the beer you mention is available at my local grocery store. The store is good sized with it's own separate liquor store which seems to have a nice variety of beer, but I get overwhelmed trying to choose it. You see, I hardly ever drink beer, but when I do, it's normally at the folks house who always have nothing but Busch Light or Coors Light. It's not that they don't like good beer, but they are cheap and prefer beer that you can drink a few cans in a row and not get full (you know...light beer=less filling?!)! So can you recommend something that might be grocery store friendly in the midwest (besides the obvious foreign imports like Guinness, Bass, etc.)? I like a smooth beer that's not too bitter, if that helps. I just don't know where to start!


Edited by sonicfox (06/10/06 02:21 AM)

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#14650 - 06/10/06 07:41 AM Re: beer thread [Re: sonicfox]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6250
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
LOL! YUP! I'm a cheap drunk. But, when you consider the last alcohol I had was in December, and that I have about 2 beers per year, being able to spell schnockered was a major accomplishment.

Of course, my spell checker doesn't have the word schnockered in its dictionary (can you imagine? ), so I have no idea how the word is actually spelled.
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#14651 - 06/10/06 09:54 PM Re: beer thread [Re: sonicfox]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8280
Loc: Tacoma
Mary, you are too kind.

I actually think bigjohn does a much better job than I do of describing the flavors and nuances of the beers he experiences. Hopefully, it's not that I lack the ability, but I certainly do lack the will to convey that level of detail. I guess I feel like most folks around here know the broad strokes of most styles by now, so I don't feel like typing "opaque, with a slight reddish hue. Earthy, with spicy hop overtones" etc.

Since I have no way of knowing what bottled beer brands might be available in your area, the best I can probably do is steer you towards some styles and advise you to "think globally, drink locally". That is, I'm a big fan of local American craft breweries.

You might like to try American Wheat Beers (or Hefeweizens). They are often soft and drinkable. Due to the wide variety of yeasts employed - and the fact that the interplay between the yeast and the wheat is the defining characteristic of the style - Hefeweizens do tend to vary from sweet and soft to pungent and sour. However, marketing-wise (as opposed to stylistically), it is obvious that many micro breweries use their wheat beers as "entry-level craft beers", and they often become the brewery's cash-cow (see Pyramid and Widmer).

You would probably also enjoy anything called a Cream Ale. The Sleemans (from Canada) is remarkably good, I think. Breweries also often make things they call Blond Ale, which is typically a little less hoppy/alcoholic than their Pale Ale.

Most small breweries don't have time or inclination to make lagers any more, even if they did have the facilities. Lager yeast (as opposed to Ale Yeast) reguires a longer and colder fermentation, which necessarily costs more and reduces throughput. You might enjoy any craft lager, particularly if it is labeled or alleged to be "pre-prohibition" style (meaning that it is an all barley-malt beer, as opposed to the current American factory versions that employ large amounts of headache-inducing adjuncts like corn or rice). I still like the Session Beer brewed by Full Sail in Oregon; it comes in an unassuming white box full of 11 oz stubby bottles (12 packs only).

Pale Ales are a crapshoot, at best. Many American brewers have distinguished themselves from their European pregenitors by simply ramping up the hops to Eleven - effectively making the beer an India Pale Ale instead of the subtle and balanced version God intended. Not that I don't love a good IPA, but some brewers are afraid to use the term but not at all reticent to use the corresponding hop levels.

Better for you would be an ESB (Extra Special Bitter). Typically red in color, the best examples are lively but wonderfully balanced. Don't be put off by the color, and fresher is always better, especially with this style. An Ordinary Bitter is - not surprisingly - an even smaller beer, more difficult to brew but a joy to drink.

It would appear that you have a couple of brewpubs in Davenport (Front Street and Granite City). You might like to go there and order a sampler of their beers and chat with someone knowledgable. You also might be surprised at the wonderfully complex and unexpected flavors you end up liking.

I'll again offer up that I think Heineken in a can is completely different and much superior to the bottled version.

My Dad always drank the cheapest beer he could find. Hamm's is just what "beer" tasted like to him. I've always kind of thought that people who drink Lite Beer are missing out, or that they just don't really like the taste of beer that much. God loves diversity!
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#14652 - 06/10/06 11:06 PM Re: beer thread [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17755
Loc: NoVA
Me, I like a beer that can turn me into a drunken fool after half a glass. But y'all knew that...

Mary, I don't know if there are any in your area, but Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (or other organic/natural/premium/whatever) grocery stores often carry a wider variety of beers than your usual supermarket. Might be worth a go. Out here, Trader Joes has/had a 2005 anniversary beer that I believe is simply a relabeled Unibroue Edition 2005. It's certainly made by Unibroue. Now, I haven't tried this beer yet (just had anothe of my horded 2004s last week), but as it is made by Unibroue, it should be nicely nuanced, rather high in alcohol, and very easy to drink. The Unibroue beers are generally very good (as are most Belgians or Belgian style beers I've tried), although you usually won't find them in a grocery store, unfortunately.
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#14653 - 06/11/06 02:02 PM Re: beer thread [Re: Ken.C]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Last night, at my sister-in-law's co-ed bachelorette party, I had a glass of Johnny Walker Blue, knowing it would probably cost some ridiculous amount. (It was my 4th drink!).....

It was definitely better than the JW Black I had prior, but not worth $35!
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#14654 - 06/11/06 06:30 PM Re: beer thread [Re: tomtuttle]
sonicfox Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Davenport, Iowa, USA
Thanks so much for your thorough reply, Tom! I think I know what I'll do...I'll go to the store and write out a list of what they have for you so you can help me choose a few! As if you have all the time in the world, huh?

Ken, I will try your suggestion as well although I have a feeling I'll strike out trying to find that beer around here. We do happen to have a small health food store here, but I've never thought to check out their beer section before. I'll definitely see what they have the next time I'm there. Great idea!

Here's another question that perhaps someone can answer for me. Is there a way you can tell how old the beer is? Can it get too old to drink? Recently, I saw some Asahi beer (which I happen to like) on the shelf but the bottles looked really dusty like it had been sitting there for awhile. I didn't buy it thinking maybe it had gone bad or something.

Also, I try to avoid beer out of clear or green bottles because all I've tasted are skunky to me. Do you think this is why Heineken tastes better out of a can than their green bottles? I remember while in France a long time ago, I drank Heineken a lot on tap and really enjoyed it. From memory, I think it was also better than the bottled version which seems a bit skunky to me. I've never tried it out of a can. Anyhow, I've heard that the reason these beers are skunky is because of a reaction to light. It is why most beer is bottled in brown bottles. Hmmm?!
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#14655 - 06/11/06 07:55 PM Re: beer thread [Re: sonicfox]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17755
Loc: NoVA
Short version (ie, all I know), yes, that's why many beer bottles are brown.

On a side note, Tom, and anyone else, really, do you know how soon I'll have to drink my stash of 2004? I think I've got 4 or 5 bottles left, and it would be a tragedy to have it go bad. Generally we drink one a month or so.
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