Friday, February 27, 2009

Beer Reviews: A Plethora!

Over the weekend I hung out with some friends and a few different beers.
Here are some of the beers we reviewed. After the description of the beer is the brewer, the style of beer, the alcohol content and noted characteristics.

Mother Ship Wit -

A lot of flavor with a medium hoppy after taste, which might not be good for new beer drinkers. All around beer that features a nature-like taste.

New Belgium - Wheat - 4.8% - Orange, Spice

Shiner Bock -

Not as bitter or hoppy as you may think, which makes the after tastes more friendly to new beer drinkers. Medium bodied and resembles a darker amber.

Shiner, Dark Amber, 6.5%, Smooth

Dundee Honey Brown -

Sweet with no bitter after taste. Light bodied-ness is good but unsatisfying for the advanced beer drinkers. Good social beer.

Dundee, Brown Ale, 4.5%, Honey, smooth

Rising Moon (Blue Moon Seasonal)

Very crisp with an exchange of lime flavor for the orange flavor associated with Blue Moon. Gives a clear flavor and makes the beer very drinkable.

Blue Moon, Wheat, 4.5%, Lime, Grass

Rogue Imperial Porter

If you don't like IPA's this beer is for you. Rogue Imperial Porter tastes exactly like an IPA, but with a smoother, bitter flavor. It makes your taste buds dance with joy. It makes you feel almost like you're drinking beef or eating a desert. Some of the taste comes from the resealable clay bottle that it's packaged in. You say $15 is crazy for a beer, I say you have NOT tried a Rogue Imperial Porter.

Friday, February 20, 2009

... because it's light!

So last night I went out with a few friends and a had a beer. Between the four of us that ordered a beer we had a Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Sam Adams Boston Lager and .... a Bud Light! Tall, no less. I asked my friend why, with all the choices available, she would drink a Bud Light. She responded "... because it's light!". She also added that it's not bitter like the ales she has tried and it's smooth. Fair enough! I had her taste it against the Sam Adams Boston Lager, which she "kind of liked", but it was a little more bitter than the Bud Light, in her opinion. So there, we have a positive opinion on American Style Light Lager that's not due to it being cheap or the only choice. +10 for American Style Light Lager!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chapter 1 - Section 1: Lagers' Popularity

Quick Lesson:
American Style Light Lager Dominates US Sales

Lagers are by far the best selling beer in the United States. Since beer sales information by brand is not readily available to the public we have to rely on the those who have access to the data to share it with us. According to The Hook Up, a Lubbock nightlife blog, the top 10 selling beers in the United States, according to Information Resources Inc, are all lagers, and more specifically, are mostly American Style Light Lagers:

1. Bud Light
2. Budweiser
3. Miller Lite
4. Coors Light
5. Corona Extra
6. Natural Light
7. Heineken
8. Michelob Ultra Light
9. Busch Light
10. Miller High Life

American Style Light Lagers are characteristically the cheapest, smoothest (or most watered down) and mildest (or most watered down) beer on the market, which is probably what makes them so popular. While a lot of people wouldn't necessarily stock their fridge full of any of these beers, even more people (including myself) certainly have no problem using these beers for beer pong or serving them at a large party. That got me to wondering ... when do YOU like to enjoy an American Style Light Lager?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chapter 1: Ale and Lager

Guinness Stout - Samuel Adams Boston Lager


Ales are darker, full bodied beers. These beers can contain anything from fruity, floral flavors to more earthen flavors (like grass), because of the temperature the beer is fermented at. The different flavors produced depend on the different types of yeast used in the brewing process. Characteristically, ales will to be darker in color , cloudy in terms of liquid clarity and will contain more flavors than lagers (of course there are exceptions to all these rules). Some beer styles that fall under the ale family, besides all of the styles that end with the word ale, include wheat beer, porter and stout. Ales are meant to be consumed at around room temperature in order for all of the flavors and aromas to be experienced.

The three beers below fall into three of the different types of ale - (from left to right) Amber Ale - Stout - Pale Ale


The Lager style of beer is the domestic and worlds most popular as lagers top most sales lists of the beer drinking countries around the world. These types of beers include brands such as Budweiser and Coors here in the USA, Heineken in the Netherlands, Corona in Mexico and Fosters in Australia (just to name a few). Lagers are characterized by their smooth, mild, crisp taste and lighter body - which many beer drinkers (just look at top 10 selling beer lists here and around the world) find very enjoyable. Most brewers suggest that lagers be consumed refrigerated in order to keep the crisp, clean characteristics of the beer.

Monday, February 9, 2009

But I don't even like beer ...

.... and you don't have to. Like a few other things in life (asparagus, horseradish, sauerkraut) beer is an acquired taste. Unless you had a friend or family member who liked to drink different styles of beer your first beer was probably an "American Style Lager" - Coors, Budweiser, Miller and all of their light beer variations (just to name a few) - the most common type of beer to be found in fridges throughout America. The nature of this type of beer is to have a simple or mild taste, especially the light beer variations. When consumed at a cold temperature, as suggested by the manufacturers, the resulting reaction to your first drink of beer might have been "this tastes like watered down ... urine". At least that's the reaction I had. As well as a number of my friends.

For many people, unfortunately, the first beer they drank also happened to be one of the beers with the least amount of flavor. Think about it, what if the first time you went to a football game you could only see half of the field? What if your first birthday cake had no frosting? What if your first video game control was missing some buttons? You would probably vow to never watch a football game again, insist on eating vegetables on your birthday instead of a cake and trade in your XBox for a violin .... or something like that .... you would have given up all of these great things because your first experience with them was limited.

There is nothing wrong with American Style Lagers, the simple taste they offer is the aim of their beer and they do it well. But if your first experience with beer was limited to these American Style Lagers, and you didn't like it, keep in mind that there are many other styles of beer out there, all offering unique experiences. So the next time you're out with some friends and feel adventurous, try a different beer. Try something with a fun name or a weird name. Or try something with a cool looking tap handle. Try a bock. Try a stout. Try an amber ale. But not in one night of course. If you try a handful of beers and decide that the last one you had was just as bad as the first one, then you've given it a fair shot. More than likely though, you will find at least one beer that will make you glad you tried a something different.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Whats on tap?

Welcome to Beerology 101. I mean for this blog to cater to beginner and intermediate beer drinkers alike. Don't know the difference between ale and lager? Coors Light vs. Guinness? Don't worry, Beerology 101 is here to make the journey with you from beer newb to beer expert. Bottoms up!