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dave ziegler
11-07-2008, 05:08
Well Last night I was drinking Reading beer which was brought back after all these years by a couple of People taking a chance and I drank some Narragansett which also returned the same way back a couple of years ago and I have many kinds and types of beer on hand yet for me there are times when nothing but one of eiither of these two or a Iron City will Do.

There something about a Old Time regular macro style of beer that just hits the spot and I find more than offten I am going for one of them instead of my fancer beer! I am wondering am I one of few or is this something very common today with there being so few good Macro beers around anymore, Back when I was young there were so many choices. So I wanted to pick your Brains about this.
Dave Z
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Beer Its Not Just A Beverage Beer Is Food
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DrinkyBanjo
11-07-2008, 05:50
I enjoy a good craft brew, right now I have Troegs Hopback Amber in the kegerator at home. However, there are certain times when I need a ice cold Bud in the can.

Now matter how many premium beers I enjoy, and I enjoy a lot of them, the ice cold can of Bud will never be replaced.

Attila
11-07-2008, 09:17
the ice cold can of Bud will never be replaced.

Yeah, I cannot relate to that sentiment at all.

However, if you said, "the ice cold bottle of Budweiser Budvar will never be replaced", I might be able to feel you a bit, despite it being a lager and all.

bluesbassdad
11-07-2008, 11:32
Back when I was drinking on an almost daily basis, I would occasionally take a blue-collar break. During one such period I resorted to drinking a bottle of Bud along with a generous pour of Evan Williams. It was pleasant to rediscover the pleasure of drinking products that I could drink without worrying that I should be recording tasting notes.

Recently I tried the fairly new Michelob Pale Ale. To my taste it's either an excellent, well-hopped macro, or a mediocre micro -- neither fish nor fowl as my old professor used to say. I probably won't buy it again.

Even so, I probably won't be able to resist trying the Bud American Ale.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

dave ziegler
11-07-2008, 12:06
Back when I was drinking on an almost daily basis, I would occasionally take a blue-collar break. During one such period I resorted to drinking a bottle of Bud along with a generous pour of Evan Williams. It was pleasant to rediscover the pleasure of drinking products that I could drink without worrying that I should be recording tasting notes.

Recently I tried the fairly new Michelob Pale Ale. To my taste it's either an excellent, well-hopped macro, or a mediocre micro -- neither fish nor fowl as my old professor used to say. I probably won't buy it again.

Even so, I probably won't be able to resist trying the Bud American Ale.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield
Dave the Bud American Ale is a very Nice Ale! I was shocked at how nice it was as I do not Drink Budweiser but The day I got it I was at my Beer Distrubers and The Baseball Hall of Fame Player Richie Ashburns son John works for a large beer Distriibuter that sells Bud in Norristown Pa and he was such a Nice Guy giving Samples of Bud American Ale and a Hot Dog and I told him about meeting his dad. When I went in I bought a case as the sample He gave me tasted very Good! Give it a try!
Dave Z
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Beer Its Just A Beverage Beer Is Food
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ratcheer
11-07-2008, 15:06
Well, I can enjoy the plain old "macro" beers, very much. I still occasionally buy Bud and right now I have whatever's left of a six-pack of Michelob. I enjoy Yuengling very much, too.

Tim

callmeox
11-07-2008, 21:27
My friends often bring macro beers over when we have our summer parties and I've found that the leftovers work great for catching slugs and as a surfactant in my pump sprayer for weed killers that require a wetting agent.

I did get a small sample of the Bud American Ale and the flavor profile favors the original Samuel Adams.

ThomasH
11-08-2008, 09:00
When I do drink beer, my favorite is Killians Red. It is a little more potent than some of the other regular beers but has a great taste!

Thomas

polyamnesia
11-08-2008, 09:22
yuengling lager is about as macro as i can go...but i admit, i don't mind a basic Miller ... and when i want something light and thin with a touch of flavor, i might accept a free Budweiser or Coors (no lights!):rolleyes:

give me a basic hoppy sam adams, sierra nevada any day

mythrenegade
11-08-2008, 10:01
In my case? Never.

I do like a beer now and then, but I drink much stronger stuff like Stone Pale Ale. I really like Double IPA's and beers like Pliny the Elder.

On a trip back east I had a Harpoon Leviathan IPA that I liked, as well as a Harpoon Winter Warmer. I did have a Yeungling, which is something I can't get on the west coast, and I thought it was ok even though it was much lighter than what I usually drink.

The other "lighter" beer I like is Genesee Cream Ale, but that's not macro either. Bud Miller or Coors? Never drink 'em. Used to, can't stand them anymore.

Joel

New2Whiskey
11-08-2008, 19:20
I had a FOSTER's a few days ago. Amazining, it seemed to disappear after taking the glass to my mouth only 3 times.

Whereas, all my crafts beers, I linger. I think. I admire. I respect. And I enjoy.

I enjoyed the FOSTERS. But, nothing compares to craft brews I've been drinking for the past year. I have similar sentiments regarding IPAs. I find that style to be my favorite. And immediately under imperial stouts. I'm just perplexed at times.

Speaking of Stone and Pliny, those are 2 I am unable to ever get my hands on in Illinois. I believe my store told me Stone does not distribute to Illinois. I have to do more searches about Pliny.

bluesbassdad
11-08-2008, 19:53
I had a FOSTER's a few days ago. Amazining, it seemed to disappear after taking the glass to my mouth only 3 times.

Whereas, all my crafts beers, I linger. I think. I admire. I respect. And I enjoy.

I enjoyed the FOSTERS. But, nothing compares to craft brews I've been drinking for the past year. I have similar sentiments regarding IPAs. I find that style to be my favorite. And immediately under imperial stouts. I'm just perplexed at times.

Speaking of Stone and Pliny, those are 2 I am unable to ever get my hands on in Illinois. I believe my store told me Stone does not distribute to Illinois. I have to do more searches about Pliny.

Based on this information (http://www.stonebrew.com/about_us/distributors/index.html), they are right. How close are you to Indiana?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

New2Whiskey
11-08-2008, 20:35
Based on this information (http://www.stonebrew.com/about_us/distributors/index.html), they are right. How close are you to Indiana?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Not far. In the Chicagoland area.

dave ziegler
11-09-2008, 06:18
Last Night I just wanted to drink more then one or two Beers so I brought out an old Favorite Iron City Lager. For all those who say it is Losey it may have been way back in the older days but since they have rebuilt the brewery it is a very nice Smooth Lager Beer, sat and drank 4 in no time without any bad effects I like to just sit sometimes and drink a bunch and it is a very refreshing Beer and even though its price has gone up hard to beat a 30 pack for $23.99! I hate the Ice Beers as don't want beer just because it is cheap and High Alcohol with No flavor. Iron City is very Flavorful!
Dave Z
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Beer Its Not Just A Beverage beer Is Food

craigthom
11-09-2008, 08:42
I can't say "never", but I can't remember the last time. It's generally at some sort of event where there are no other options. I won't do it if given a choice, and at restaurants I'll drink iced tea first.

dave ziegler
11-11-2008, 13:18
Last night I enjoyed my Favorite Macro Brewed Beer the new Narragansett it is Contract made for Narragansett Brewing By High falls and it is one awesome regular beer! If you have ever looked on the Beer Advocate You will see it is rated A Or A+! It is hard to get I get a friend that lives in NY to get me 4 cases about two times a year from CT. I gave one to a friend the other week and he said that it took him back to the really Good Macro made beers of years ago!
Dave Z
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Beer Its Not Just A Beverage Beer Is Food
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funknik
11-11-2008, 16:08
I was a beer snob long before I was a whiskey snob, but there's something about beer in the can -- my favorite is Ballantine Ale, but you might catch me with a PBR....

jeff
11-11-2008, 16:45
Short answer...no. At least not American macro brews. I simply do not enjoy adjunct beers. The Budweiser American Ale is passable, but like all Bud products attempt to appeal to the broadest of audiences, AKA: Bland.

Gillman
11-11-2008, 17:52
Rarely if ever do I enjoy a macro beer and it is because of too much adjunct as Jeff says (use of corn, rice, unmalted barley or other cereals which are not barley malt). The other day on a plane I had a MGD for the first time in 10 years. I admired the technical ability to make such a clean-tasting beer but the adjunct level was high, in my opinion, and it ruined the taste for me. Plus the hops were kind of minimal.

I'm with Dave on the new Narragansett but we must remember it uses a very respectable malt spec, apparently derived from the original recipe. The hop rate is low but the yeast background is very appetizing. It really is a semi-craft beer now (IMO). So is Ballantine XXX, just had a can bought in New York a while back, excellent.

So the best of the old school is very good, yes, and I enjoy those. Wish we saw more of them (e.g., beers such as Andeker was, Horlacher Perfection, Prior Double Dark, Ballantine IPA, Augsburger, 1970's Michelob - or 1890's - and well I can go on).

Gary

ratcheer
11-12-2008, 16:16
I was a beer snob long before I was a whiskey snob, but there's something about beer in the can -- my favorite is Ballantine Ale, but you might catch me with a PBR....

Now, I do remember the first beer I ever had. It was a Ballantine Ale. I can almost still remember how it tasted and that was about 42 years ago!

Tim

ratcheer
11-12-2008, 16:21
So the best of the old school is very good, yes, and I enjoy those. Wish we saw more of them (e.g., beers such as Andeker was, Horlacher Perfection, Prior Double Dark, Ballantine IPA, Augsburger, 1970's Michelob - or 1890's - and well I can go on).



Andeker? Now, that is a blast from the past. I remember it as a super premium brand in the 70's and I bought it as often as I could afford to. Other than that, I remember next to nothing about it.

Who made it, Gary?

Tim

Gillman
11-13-2008, 05:31
This was a Pabst brand. Jim Robertson praised it for its fine malt and hop flavor and said it was styled along German lines. He noted its high nalt character and fine bubble carbonation. I recall the bottle being attractive too.

Gary

malto
11-18-2008, 15:10
Rarely if ever do I enjoy a macro beer and it is because of too much adjunct as Jeff says (use of corn, rice, unmalted barley or other cereals which are not barley malt). The other day on a plane I had a MGD for the first time in 10 years. I admired the technical ability to make such a clean-tasting beer but the adjunct level was high, in my opinion, and it ruined the taste for me. Plus the hops were kind of minimal.

Gary

I rarely if ever will drink a macro...just don't like the taste but out of politeness if offered I'll drink one at a party.

as far as adjuncts, what's so bad about them? Granted they are cheaper and that may be some of the reason they're in American lagers but it may also be because it delivers the taste the brewer desires, light and clean. I seriously doubt any of us have a discerning enough palate to taste the rice or the corn as they're used precisely because they add little or nothing to the flavor profile and function mainly as a sugar source.

I'm not suggesting you do this, but some seem to think the German beer purity law was the 11th commandment. It's been around 500 years...brewing with whatever was handy, from wheat, to barley, to corn, to sorghum has been around for thousands....makes you wonder the validity of the term "adjunct".

If you like Belgian beers many of them use adjuncts in the form of "candy sugar" derived from beets or even corn sugar. For me the final verdict lies in the taste, not the recipe.

jeff
11-18-2008, 16:57
I rarely if ever will drink a macro...just don't like the taste but out of politeness if offered I'll drink one at a party.

as far as adjuncts, what's so bad about them? Granted they are cheaper and that may be some of the reason they're in American lagers but it may also be because it delivers the taste the brewer desires, light and clean. I seriously doubt any of us have a discerning enough palate to taste the rice or the corn as they're used precisely because they add little or nothing to the flavor profile and function mainly as a sugar source.

I'm not suggesting you do this, but some seem to think the German beer purity law was the 11th commandment. It's been around 500 years...brewing with whatever was handy, from wheat, to barley, to corn, to sorghum has been around for thousands....makes you wonder the validity of the term "adjunct".

If you like Belgian beers many of them use adjuncts in the form of "candy sugar" derived from beets or even corn sugar. For me the final verdict lies in the taste, not the recipe.

There's nothing inherently bad about adjuncts. When used as an additional ingredient to a "normal" recipe, they can add complexity or other interesting character to the beer. Pumpkin comes to mind this time of year. My problem with American macro brewers is that they use the rice or corn as a cheap substitute for malt, with the intention of making not a better beer, but rather a beer that is the least offensive to the largest number of people; IOW, bland IMHO. Your example of Belgian candi sugar is not, in my opinion, similar to what American brewers are after. Belgian ales need the extra 100% fermentables that candi sugar provides to dry out the high gravity wort that would otherwise under-attenuate and leave the finished beer too sweet. Paradoxical for sure; more sugar = drier beer, but functional and appropriate for the style. Hey, drink what you like, that's my opinion, but adjunct use is a valid criticism of the modern day macro brewer.

:toast:

malto
11-18-2008, 19:54
There's nothing inherently bad about adjuncts. When used as an additional ingredient to a "normal" recipe, they can add complexity or other interesting character to the beer. Pumpkin comes to mind this time of year. My problem with American macro brewers is that they use the rice or corn as a cheap substitute for malt, with the intention of making not a better beer, but rather a beer that is the least offensive to the largest number of people; IOW, bland IMHO. Your example of Belgian candi sugar is not, in my opinion, similar to what American brewers are after. Belgian ales need the extra 100% fermentables that candi sugar provides to dry out the high gravity wort that would otherwise under-attenuate and leave the finished beer too sweet. Paradoxical for sure; more sugar = drier beer, but functional and appropriate for the style. Hey, drink what you like, that's my opinion, but adjunct use is a valid criticism of the modern day macro brewer.

:toast:

I drink no macros at all, I'm more into everything from IPA's to all malt lagers to Belgian tripels, saison, and lambics so it's weird to find myself
somewhat "defending" them. I once thought like you did that the reason for adjuncts was only cost savings. While that may be part of it a friend of mine that works for AB and is a pretty upstanding guy claims that the use of adjunct in bud (rice) has as much if not more to do with a desired body and lightness of taste. He may just be drinking the AB Kool-aid but I'm inclined to give him some credit and like so many things the truth may lie in the middle.

You're dead on about the Belgian use of candi sugar but try telling that to a German brewer....I guarantee you they would consider candi sugar both an adjunct and a sacrilege. Pretty sure I remember reading some of the better known Belgians use corn as well...Not positive but think Chimay was among them.

I know what you mean by adjunct....and I agree about the goal being to make a beer that appeals to the lowest common denominator...much like wonder bread or velveeta....I guess I was just trying to make the point that there is no one right or pure way to brew and the history of brewing
has many and varied ingredients in the mix. If the sole purpose of the adjunct is to save a buck at the expense of taste, them I'm with you 100%. But as Bud doesn't really taste like a German lager or a pilsner and I don't believe they want it to there may be some validity to the claim that the adjunct is there for another reason other than cost cutting.

Jazzhead
11-24-2008, 05:14
While I rarely drink macro beer (is Yuengling a macro at this point?), I love American-style light lagers on most occasions. Straubs from St. Mary's PA is my "regular" pour, and I'm finishing off a case of Stoney's that I found a couple of months ago. "Zesty" comes to mind, or even Budweiser's patented term "drinkability". Four good gulps after an afternoon of raking leaves yesterday and that can of Stoney's bit the dust.

Stoney's is actually Iron City. I was disappointed to find out that Jones Brewing of Smithton doesn't brew anymore; their beer has been brewed by Iron City (and in fact is Iron City; I can't taste any difference) for the last several years. Smithton is still referenced on the can and there's apparently still a "Jones Brewing" that markets the stuff. The brewery still stands, silently.

Here's the Stoney's Beer website (http://www.stoneysbeer.com). Turns out last year was their 100th anniversary! (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07231/810655-59.stm) (By the way, that article was written by a reporter who claims that his aunt was Miss Olde Frothingslosh! )

jesskidden
11-24-2008, 06:40
I once thought like you did that the reason for adjuncts was only cost savings. While that may be part of it a friend of mine that works for AB and is a pretty upstanding guy claims that the use of adjunct in bud (rice) has as much if not more to do with a desired body and lightness of taste. He may just be drinking the AB Kool-aid but I'm inclined to give him some credit and like so many things the truth may lie in the middle.


A-B has long claimed that rice is used for a specific flavor profile it wishes to achieve and often notes that rice is sometimes more expensive that barley. One of my favorite examples, now more than a century old, comes from the US Congressional Hearings on "Pure Food", in 1902:


"Mr. Busch, president of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association, states that the beer of this company is made entirely of barley malt, hops and yeast, except that some rice is used in order to make a very pale beer of the Bohemian type (i.e, "Budweiser"- at the time, A-B brewed a number of different beers- see below *). This company has never used any corn or glucose or preservatives or coloring matter. Corn does not make a high grade of beer, because of certain oily substances which it contains. They are partly transformed into fusel oil after fermentation. The quantity of fusel oil is not large enough, in Mr. Busch's judgment, to be injurious to health.

Rice is used not to cheapen beer, but to produce a very pale beer of the Bohemian type. It is twice as expensive as barley malt. Mr. Busch is not opposed to the use of corn, though he uses none himself. He does not think that there can be any good evidence that the use of unmalted grains in brewing is unwholesome."


* Some of their other beers can be found in this Anheuser Busch ad (http://jesskidden.googlepages.com/ABCorn.jpg/ABCorn-full;init:.jpg) from the same era. Note the bottom line:


NO CORN USED. Corn Beer is Nothing more than a Cheap Imitation of
Genuine Beer.


Of course, later members of the family had no such prejudices against the use of corn- which they used to brew their entry into the "popular priced" segment, even going so far as to name the beer after the family - Busch Bavarian Beer. :shocked:

malto
11-24-2008, 09:14
interesting stuff and thanks for the reply...the funny/ironic thing about this is they claim to use rice to make their beer in the Bohemian Pilsner style but of course the German's making beer in this style would never dream of using rice!

I'm pretty sure I once read that part of their original reasoning was that the barley available here to them in the states was harsher than European varieties so they compensated for that by adding rice to the mix.....

jesskidden
11-24-2008, 10:41
...the funny/ironic thing about this is they claim to use rice to make their beer in the Bohemian Pilsner style but of course the German's making beer in this style would never dream of using rice!



Ah, but in the era we're now discussing (late 1800's-early 1900's), Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1900, A-H was the fourth largest brewing nation in the world - behind, respectively, Germany, UK and the USA.

"100 Years of Brewing" (1903) notes that:

"In Austria-Hungary, corn (with barley malt) was used for beer brewing a long time ago, and the same is true of Germany, which, however, as a rule, has lately opposed its use for various reasons of political economy..."

and

"Rice has been used for many years in the brewing industry of both the United States and Europe, being chiefly adapted for the manufacture of pale beer...In the United states it is used exclusively in granulated form, and the same is true of the European continent..."

Later, in the chapter about brewing methods, it says:

"Rice, owing to the fact that it contains very little oil, offers but few difficulties in brewing, differing in that respect from corn, which requires degerminating and husking. For that reason its use for some time was far more general than it is to-day, in Europe especially."

George Ehret (who's Hells Gate Brewery in NYC was the largest in the US in the 1870's), wrote in his book "25 Years of Brewing" in 1893:

" (speaking of US barley usage) The data here will be better understood, if it be borne in mind that all light beers of that peculiarly vinous taste, which has late become somewhat popular, are made of malt and rice or corn, as in the case of the excellent Pilsen brands. The prevailing taste, however, still calls for a brewage of a deep reddish-brown color, peculiar to heavily-malted beers, such as emanate from Hell's Gate Brewery."

(Now, the debate is whether by "Pilsen brands" he means the US-brewed "Pilsners" of the era, or also the actual beers brewed in Pilsen?)



I'm pretty sure I once read that part of their original reasoning was that the barley available here to them in the states was harsher than European varieties so they compensated for that by adding rice to the mix.....

Yes, the adjunct (rice or corn) was especially needed when brewing with protein rich 6-row barley. OTOH, Budweiser has always claimed to use some 2-row.

Gillman
11-24-2008, 12:34
But isn't the story that a German brewer brought his formulation for what became Pilsener Urquel, including the notably pale malt, to the Pilsen city fathers in 1842? This would seem to point to an all-barley malt grist unless a wheat beer was being made, which is not the case. Was his name Joseph Groll, this is from memory..?

I wonder too if "corn" in the 100 Years of Brewing text might have meant wheat, as in the expression "Corn Laws". Wheat was the classic adjunct in Europe but I gather oats and other grains were used too of occasion, and I accept that rice, probably brought from the East over the old trade route, might have been used at times and maybe even corn, but I doubt this was so for the best beers.

I would have thought that the original pils beers (in Europe) were all-malt and rice was used, as corn or corn flakes, mainly in the New World to ensure that the beers were not too cloudy from excessive protein levels. The quotes given by Jess, which are intertesting, are from before the times Helles beers became pale in Bavaria. To get clarity in a pale beer in the U.S., rice or adjunct had to be used because of the protein problem with North American pale malts. So in this sense it was correct for the cited parties to state that rice was necessary since that was the way to get the visual character of the Bohemian pilsener - but I don't think this meant the use of rice or corn was general in Bohemia.

Gary

jesskidden
11-24-2008, 15:10
I doubt, too, that corn or rice were "generally" used in Europe- only that it wasn't uncommon to use them, nor was it prohibited by a Rheinheitsgebot type law in the Austria-Hungarian area of Bohemia at the time.

"Wheat" has a separate entry in "100 Years of Brewing" under the ingredients sections, as do "Rye and Oats" and "Sugar, Syrups, etc." so I doubt they're including wheat under the discussion of "Corn".

Notably, under "Sugar, Syrups, etc." they write:

"In all German states, Bavaria alone excepted, sugar is used in brewing...Grape sugar for brewing was experimented with extensively as early as 1856, under the direction of the Bavarian minster for commerce, at Weihenstephan."

The book also notes that "the materials used in the manufacture of these different beers are: For German beers (Bavarian character) malt, hops and other cereals, and saccharine matter for special brands."

My point only is that adjunct brewing is hardly the creation of US brewers (who, of course, were primarily of German heritage at the time to begin with ;) ). Ogle's "Ambitious Brew" claims that the leading brewing chemist in the creation of US adjunct brewing was Anton Schwarz, whose mentor was Karl Balling (inventor of the Balling Scale). Both were Bohemian and did extensive work in Prague's Polytechnic Institute in the study of adjunct brewing.

Gillman
11-24-2008, 15:43
I agree with all this and am aware that the pure beer law was specifically Bavarian before it became German (nationally), i.e., before unification. I believe though that pilsener was always a rich-bodied beer that probably eschewed adjuncts on its home turf.

I only recently discovered a superb reference for those interested in beer history, it is a blog by Ron Pattinson at www.barclayperkins.blogspot.com

Ron is a beer historian and writing a book which should be great and ground-breaking. He has uncovered much about the grists used in U.K., Irish and Continental beers in the last couple of hundred years. He cites a German book from the mid-1800's commenting on the characteristics of various national beers and it mentions the beers of Bohemia as being full-bodied for what that is worth (more than a German beer he compares it to but I can't remember which).

But I mention it here more for something I also came across by accident, which is a reference in a manual (internal, seemingly) from Whitbread on the gravities of their and other brewers' beers, written in the late 1930's. Ron Pattinson expresses surprise to find the American Ballantine beers included. I think the reason is that in the 1930's, post-Pro Ballantine hired a U.K. (Scots, I think) brewer. And he probably had the connections to the Whitbread brewers to send bottles or data from his brewery to get them in the book.

In this period (1939), Ballantine made IPA, Porter, XXX (still made) and Brown Stout. The IPA was about 7.5% ABV, the XXX about 5% (as it still is). I am rounding off: the extract reproduced by Pattinson gives the exact numbers.

Pattinson's work seems groundbreaking to me and there is much of else of great interest on the blog especially regarding the history of India Pale Ale, stout and porter and many other styles. A recurring theme is that porter and stout are not really different other than by strength and hop rates (and not whether roasted barley is used for example). On the left side of the main page is an alphabetical list from which earlier entries can be found. I have only started to look at this. Possibly Pattinson mentions a Bohemian grist for pale lager in the mid-1800's, I'll look further.

Gary

polyamnesia
11-24-2008, 16:20
once a year, i can take Bud...maybe it's a tradition...during the Super Bowl. it tastes great....but after 3 or 4, the taste reverts to bland...tasteless...same goes for coors, etc.

i'll still with yuengling and sam adams....are they actually Macro??? if so, that's the future...

but still, give me micro anyday.

Lost Pollito
11-24-2008, 16:25
I drink plenty of Old Style at Cubs games. Can't stand it in the off season... too many bad memories. :slappin:

smokinjoe
11-24-2008, 16:43
Absolutely, I do. Poly brought up about the tradition of the Super Bowl, and drinking Budweiser. I'm the same way around Christmas. My brother has been getting me the yearly Bud Christmas Steins since the early 80's, and I always have a 12 pack of Bud (with the nice holiday packaging:)) ready to go when I pour my first into the stein each season. A Corona is still tough to beat as a bracing refresher after a hard workout in the Summer heat. Bud Select is my light beer of choice, when I can't find the Bud Ice Light. But, I always have good 'ol regular Bud around all year.
Hey, the Micro's are great. I enjoy many of them. But, I still like some regulars, now and again.

Gillman
11-24-2008, 17:16
I agree, Joe. I still like many of the mass-production beers. (Sam Adams is definitely not macro, nor is Yuengling really since Yuengling is an old independent - small-scale - brewery but its Traditional Lager, the big seller, is sort of styled to a macro approach. Its Porter is kind of a bridge between macro and micro).

There is a time and place for everything.

Gary

jesskidden
11-24-2008, 17:16
I only recently discovered a superb reference for those interested in beer history, it is a blog by Ron Pattinson at www.barclayperkins.blogspot.com (http://www.barclayperkins.blogspot.com)

In this period (1939), Ballantine made IPA, Porter, XXX (still made) and Brown Stout. The IPA was about 7.5% ABV, the XXX about 5% (as it still is). I am rounding off: the extract reproduced by Pattinson gives the exact numbers.



I came across Pattinson's site with the Ballantine's stats a while ago. Very interesting (tho' too bad IBU's- then called just "BU" then IIRC- weren't listed).

Pabst recently started websites for a lot of their brands (very generic looking and not much info, and what there is of it seems simply lifted from Wikipedia- mistakes and all.) The Ballantine Ale page (http://www.ballantineale.com/about/) lists the current ABV as 4.85% (much lower than the traditional 5.25-5.6% it's been listed at over the years). That's similar to most of the other Pabst brands and, somewhat confusingly actually says the beer has a "higher alcohol content" and an "elevated alcohol level" . Huh? Sorry, Pabst, that's less than Bud.

It also seems to imply (as rumor has long had it ever since Miller got the contract) that it's now a "bastard ale", brewed with lager yeast but at higher than normal temps. At least, that's a possible explanation for awkward terms like "Ale in nature" and "Fermented at higher temperatures for that ‘ale’ likeness, Ballantine combines a lager’s best attributes with the smoothness of an ale."

The new cardboard case also touts the beer as having "Dry Hopped Flavor" (again, somewhat awkward phrasing- why not just "Dry Hopped"?) but, of course, Ballantine XXX Ale was famous for having distilled hop oils added, not for being dry hopped.

Also, in the case of the history page for Ballantine, it seems they just copy/pasted an edited version of the Ballantine Ale page on the Falstaff Beer fan site. (http://www.falstaffbrewing.com/ballantine_ale.htm) They also mistakenly call the product "Ballantine Beer" in a couple of places on the Ale website as well as the Pabst website (http://www.pabstbrewingco.com/portfolio/). where it's listed as a "Pearl" brand. Pabst is such a sad company (I suspect that the websites are the product of unpaid interns or something).

Gillman
11-24-2008, 17:29
Thanks, Jess. 5.14 and 5.21 ABV for samples from bottled and canned XXX (1939) -not a big difference from the current, factoring too tolerances.

My main interest in Ballantine is to see whether Pabst will bring back the India Pale Ale. This is one of the most acute of the desiderata in the current beer world, IMO.

Gary

floatingfast
11-25-2008, 08:51
I'm a fan of the IPA's. I recommend Bell's Two Hearted Ale....It is one of my favorites.

Macros that I still enjoy every once in awhile: Guiness, Grolsh...rather than Corona I prefer Miller High Life-for the lighter side.