Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another One - Maine Beer Co. 7.0% ABV

One of my good buddies secured a bottle of 'Another One' for me today for review.  I poured it into an old timey Pilsner glass, which turned out to be appropriate, given the pale, straw color and fluffy head, no doubt partly due to the cara-pils malt.

Citra hops announced themselves on the nose and first sips.  Crisp and delicious, almost tart like a dry cider, its drinkability and paleness belies the higher alcohol content.  For shits and giggles I decided to pair it with a fine cigar (Tatuaje Jason, if you're interested) and it holds up well.

I'm a big fan of Citra hops, I'm not exactly sure when they became popular because I've been out of the American beer game for awhile.  It seems like all the crafties are getting into them hard these days, though.

I will be sure to seek out some more offerings from MBC in future.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

With regard to my affection for Banquet Beer 5.0% ABV

With regard to my affection for Banquet Beer, I make no apologies. For in the spirit of true economy, one must broaden their sense of what "good" really means; what is this definition we have summarily levied upon beverages of leisure. Why have we broadly painted less expensive selections as "bad". Are they truly? What about them, if cared for properly, makes them such? Do they not deliver on the intended result of all beers? To manipulate blood alcohol content; this is the purpose. In a manner not overly offensive to the palate or wallet. Considering this, one easily sees that those beers demanding exorbitant prices could, in fact, be paradoxically "bad".

A time in one's life sees one reflective and appreciative of forgotten times; nostalgia is the appropriate label perhaps. Casting aside the modern craft beer affinity for hop overdose, peculiar spicing, and of course the inherent premium pricing, one diverts their attention to the side of the local beer cooler, typically the leftmost side, where budget libations take up residence among financially similar blue-collar selections. It is here where the real decision is made. A decision based upon value in the truest sense.

My selection criteria begins looping iteratively as I discount each option. So called "light" beers are simply not in play on principle. Surprisingly, Budweiser proper is too rich for my taste, priced above its neighbors and out of my refrigerator. Plus, one time I drank about five in the span of a half an hour and furiously vomited. I'll never shake the memory.

I'm left wanton for original Michelob; specifically, the teardrop bottle I recall seeing at my grandparents house in the late 70s. But I appear to be decades too late to that party. Adjacent to where I envision it might appear in the cooler, I can't help but notice High Life. The color - that markedly yellow color, evocative of urine - I cannot come to terms with. Having had High Life on a number of occasions, I know it to be better than it appears, but it is not to be, for settled in next to the Miller offering is a solitary row of stubby brown bottles, clad in pale yellow and red. The allure of Rocky Mountain water. Perhaps it really did arrive here on a train, cooled perfectly for every mile in transit between here and thousands of miles away in Colorado. At a reasonable dollar-per-serving cost, I am in. Fairly neutral in taste, yielding a distinct flavor of grain, I punish them in sequence and never ever less than one in a sitting as the bottle's unusual form factor invites such a pace.

Do I feel not as great the in morning? Typically so. Would I, and do I, feel better that same morning having opted for something "premium"; Banquet Beer's rightmost cooler neighbors? Almost certainly. But purity of ingredients and the sanctity of the recipe, sometimes, are secondary considerations. For, when I approach Public Service to pay my light bill, there is no explicit discount for the value conscious. That discount is implicit. So, you see, Banquet Beer is like industry. In that, they were both lost in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy - "society" - knew where to find 'em. Except that the puppy was a dog. But the industry, my friends, that was a revolution.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Throwback Brewery Campfire Smoked Porter 6.4% ABV

This is the graphic that Throwback uses to brand Campfire Porter.  Personally, I don't understand this imagery.  It looks like a sate bear dancing in the waft of burning excrement, or possibly its leg is satisfyingly on fire.  We can't see the other leg so there is speculation abound.

Wanton for White Birch, our beer/food serving person at Firefly  asserted "distribution problems" and this left me on the doorstep of a classic near-terminal spiral of second choice beer indecision.  Andy stepped in before it could even start and prompted this suggestion, and it was stellar.

It tastes weird, but like medicine that actually doesn't taste gross and makes you want to eat more medicine, it's a very pleasant weird.  I haven't drank with any regularity for the better part of this year now, so my ability to describe beer is severely impaired by the fact that I now have the tolerance of a Utah middle schooler.  But this beer must be acquired if you are local to southern New Hampshirechusetts.  Locally sourced ingredients and made by CHICKS.  This one wins big.  Dark, rife with peculiar, interesting flavor, and in no way overwhelming to palate or a gut full of beef stroganoff, I implore you to try it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Red Hook ESB

 ESB stands for Extra Special Bitter.  There's nothing extra special about Red Hook's ESB.   Red Hook brewery is the overly opinionated hot chick who is 1/8th as smart as she thinks she is.  You really want to like her, but she keeps saying embarassingly stupid shit and you're tired of defending her to your friends.  In defiance of your biological imperative, you decide it isn't worth it and move on.

In the 12 years that I've been legally drinking Red Hook's offerings, they have had about four amazing beers that enjoyed critical success and were subsequently torpedoed by the powers that be.  This is like the aforementioned hot chick shaving her head for reasons that elude sense and rational thought. The end result is disappointment, a broken heart and a bitter taste in the mouth, not entirely unlike my experience with Red Hook ESB tonight.

In the glass, ESB looks and smells fantastic.  In the mouth,  coppery and bitter.  I don't know what the hop bill is, but the flavor hops are right on while they went way over the top with bittering. The style known as "bitter" is really a bit of a misnomer and I'm not exactly sure how it came about. Bitters, according to style, tend more toward the sweet side than the bitter.  This beer has everything it needs to be enjoyable, Red Hook just needs to back off on the hops.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale 5.6% ABV

My first sip of Coors Winter; my immediate impression is that this is not the worst beer in the world.  The expected sweetness not overwhelming, I let it sit and tended to my Shake 'N Bake and assorted reheats.

A casual second sip some number of minutes later, and the finish was of particular note.  This finishes like a cheap beer, I thought to myself.  A peculiar, but familiar taste of alcohol.  The monks of the Rockies must have been a little impatient cooking this one up.  But who wouldn't in similar frustratingly pious circumstance.  Pious being complimentary of course;  props of some sort must be due the chaste.  It's only right.

Third encounter and beyond, and as expected, the uncivilized finish has disappeared and things are mellowing out considerably as I almost certainly have consumed this too fast.  I consider this mission accomplished, not so much in the 2003 on an aircraft carrier sense, but in the not overthinking a beer sense.  It is precisely a winter ale, sharing the common characteristics, not that it's particularly my favorite species of beer but it delivers on it's name in a manner of economy that can be universally appreciated.

Hmm.  That finish really comes and goes.  It's there, or it isn't.  Very strange.  Anyway, I'm hungry.  And some indiscernible fraction in the bag.