View Full Version : beer

02-10-2004, 10:26
In the U.S. Heineken is now the Number Two import beer -- second to Corona. Heineken continued to go after golf with an upper income, upper age crowd while Corona (and I am not a fan of either beer) went after a young hip crowd. Corona won.

02-10-2004, 10:55
Interesting, thanks. I believe Heineken never issued a light version of its famous lager bier. Maybe this is what they need to overtake Corona and reclaim the number one spot. There are beers I admire more than those two but sometimes a cold Heineken is just right, and same for Corona.


02-10-2004, 11:26
As you stated earlier it seems to be marketing that made Corona number one. I doubt Heineken Light would be a hit vs. Corona. My students see Heineken as an "old man's beer" and Corona as a "beer for someone like me" (meaing 21 - 25 year olds).

Corona markets as an attitude -- relaxation. Very smart in our world. While Golf is a form or relaxation and despite Tiger Woods it is not necessarily seen as a 'relaxation attitude.'

Anyway, that is my humble opinion based on following beers in the US for quite a few years.

Thanks for the open dialogue.

I must say I've not tried Heineken recently enough to have noticed that the skunky taste is gone. I'll give it a try. I do enjoy good European lagers (as well as good ales). However, my new "favorite Saturday night pub" has Hooegaarden, Hacker-Schorr, and Boddington's on tap with a special that night.

02-10-2004, 11:31
Isn't Amstel Light nothing more than Heineken Light?

02-10-2004, 11:34
That clear Corona bottle makes for a wonderfully skunky flavor. In a recent blind tasting of 15 commercially available beers, Corona was mistaken for Heineken by a large group of participants. What's the cure for Skunky beer? Disguise it with Lime!!!!
Go Figure

02-10-2004, 12:57
In the U.S., Amstel Light is, effectively, Heineken's light beer entry. In Europe, however, Amstel (not light) is a brand in its own right. When I was in Greece in 1995, that was the main beer there and made locally. We drank a lot of it and it was quite good, as lagers go.

When in the Netherlands, I'm happy to drink Heineken, although everything tastes good when you're smoking the local bud (except, of course, Bud). Over here, I don't mind the imported Heineken, although if I want an imported lager I'm more inclined toward Becks or, best of all, Pilsner Urquell. However, in Prague I prefer Staropremen, which is available here but, for some reason, doesn't seem to travel as well as Pilsner Urquell, probably because it doesn't do the volume. Over there, I would almost always be drinking draught.

Ah, fond beer memories.

02-10-2004, 14:19
I agree, regarding the Amstel Light, in the sense that Heineken and Amstel are brands of the same corporate owner. But from a North American brand franchise point of view, it is not correct to say Amstel Light is "Heineken Light". Not 1% (I estimate) of those who drink either brand in America know they are owned by the same company. Heineken should do a line extension to Light for the flagship (in North America) Heineken brand. It would attract those aging Heineken drinkers who want to ease up a bit and perhaps attract that younger crowd that is wedded to Corona (and the new and rather unnecessary Corona Light).

Re Staropremen, I heard it is brewed under license in England and that adjuncts (brewing sugars in this case) are added. Every time I had it in London it tasted not right, like an adjunct beer. I am sure it is great in its East European homeland but unlike Urquel it does not transplant well (of course the Urquel we get is still brewed in its homeland, but so are countless German and other Northern European lager beers and Urquel smokes them all).


02-10-2004, 14:53
> That clear Corona bottle makes for a wonderfully skunky flavor.

Actually, the bottle isn't the culprit this time.
Many beers, including Corona, are made not by adding actual
hops, but rather with "reduced hop extract", which is hop
extract that's been treated with sodium borohydride in order
to make it skunk-proof.

Much beer is handled poorly (sits around for a long time,
undergoes temperature swings), which is the main cause of
bad beer... but that's not the manufacturer's fault.

Tim Dellinger,
...Corona drinker

02-10-2004, 15:05
Gary, we are of exactly the same mind on these subjects. I did not know that the Staropremen we get here is brewed in England from a different formula, but that explains a lot. When I have purchased it here, in addition to it not tasting as good as I remember it, I frequently have gotten bottles that were completely flat. Now if I want a Czech beer I exclusively buy Urquell.

You are right about Heineken and a Heineken Light probably would succeed in the U.S., but their strategy, wrongheaded though it may be, seems to be to use Amstel as their light beer entry. While you are correct that few U.S. consumers are aware of the common corporate parentage, it does give the company a product for the Light beer consumer and one that has been quite successful. I think at this point their fear would be that a Heineken Light would simply cannibalize Amstel Light. Another way of thinking about it would be in lieu of a Heineken Light, where would a Heineken drinker seeking a light beer be most likely to go? Miller Light? Bud Light? Or Amstel Light, even without knowledge of the common corporate parentage?

02-10-2004, 16:25
> In the U.S., Amstel Light is, effectively, Heineken's light beer entry.

The funny thing is that in the Dutch Caribbean, there is a beer that
is lighter then Amstel Light, called Amstel Bright!

Tim Dellinger

02-10-2004, 16:29
I agree that there is likely a market for Heineken light. Although I'd guess they surely have tested the concept and have a reason for not introducing it.

02-10-2004, 16:38
> although if I want an imported lager I'm more inclined toward Becks or, best
> of all, Pilsner Urquell. However, in Prague I prefer Staropremen, which is
> available here but, for some reason, doesn't seem to travel as well as Pilsner
> Urquell

I try and try, but I've never in my life had a Pilsner Urquell or a
Staroprammen that didn't taste like skunky, spoiled crap. In my
experience, neither of them can survive the voyage over.

Tim Dellinger

02-10-2004, 16:49
Corona? Why don't they just drink water?


02-10-2004, 16:53
Yes, Pilsner Urqell is one of my favorites, too. The only thing I consistently like better is Bass Ale. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

But, I like Bud, so what do I know? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif


02-10-2004, 20:31
I got to try Staropremen at Christmas that my aunt brought back after spending two years in Prague and found it to be rather like Heineken. She said that her preference was draft Budweiss, which is imported under the name Czechvar here due to copyright battles with AB. I'm trying to get the owner of the liquor store up the street to get some for me to try but most of the big online stores want 10 bucks for a six pack which is a bit much for beer IMHO. I've tried the Pilsner Urquell but for the life of me can't remember what it tasted like. Must not have left a good impression. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

02-10-2004, 21:41
Maybe, Chuck, but I always thought Amstel Light went after the young urban market. Heineken is more of a mainstream established (prosperous Middle American) brand. I'd have thought drinkers in that group worried about calories or the beer being "heavy" would migrate naturally to a light Heineken, i.e., no or little cannibalization with Amstel Light would occur. Maybe not though: Heineken is a famously successful international company, and I'm sure they thought this through. Maybe. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I have some notes on the Staropremen situation and will forward to the board.


02-10-2004, 21:50
No, Tim, maybe you never drank Urquel in the can. I agree that in the green bottle, it is always (in my experience) light struck to a degree. This of course is not true of the can and this is a beer that moves fast in most markets. It has the classic malty Moravian taste offset by the equally classic Saaz spicy hop taste. A fine beer, and one of the few that not only is good in the can but is better that way than in bottle.


02-10-2004, 22:46
Go back and try some Urquell--readily available for a reasonable price--before you jump through too many hoops to try the Czechvar. They are all pretty similar and, you're right, a lot like Heineken.

02-10-2004, 22:47
My father shares your opinion. He recoils if I even mention them.

02-11-2004, 06:32
For those interested in Staropramen, see Roger Protz' article on the English-brewed version highlighted on the main page of his website, www.protzonbeer.com. (http://www.protzonbeer.com.) It is the one called, "Something Lost in the Translation". Mr. Protz is an internationally known consumer authority on beer. He is a stickler for stylistic integrity. I find he goes a bit too far in trying to show this beer has strayed from its roots but he gives a lot of interesting information. The beer I had in England tasted the same as the one we get in Ontario. So the one exported here may be made in England. Protz notes that Interbrew says it uses brewing syrups in the beer whether made in Prague or England. Therefore, I think the palates of the Czech and English-brewed versions likely are quite similar despite some (inevitable) production differences. If the one imported to Ontario is made in Prague, that would be some evidence of that. I will check the bottle the next time I am at the LCBO.

I prefer the other internationally available Czech beers to Staropramen such as Pilsener Urquel (in the can) and Czechvar, and there are others. There is interesting information given in the same website on some of these other brews.


02-11-2004, 11:04
And speaking for Heineken, this just in from Just-Drinks:

Heineken and Groupe SEB have teamed up to create a draught beer system to be used at home. After a successful pilot in Switzerland, the BeerTender, consisting of an appliance and keg, will first be launched in the Netherlands and many countries are to follow.

The BeerTender system brings a new technology that delivers draught beer for home consumption. The BeerTender appliance keeps the compact 4-litre keg at the right temperature and in the most optimal condition for a period of three weeks after the first beer has been drawn.

In a statement, Heineken chairman Thony Ruys said: “Innovation brings growth to the Heineken brand. BeerTender is aimed to do just that. It offers the real draught beer experience at the consumers' home.

“I'm very happy that we have been able to combine the technical expertise of Groupe SEB and Heineken's expertise on draught beer.”

Thierry de La Tour d'Artaise, chairman of Groupe SEB said: “Heineken and Krups form a perfect match of international innovative brands, well known for their quality and expertise. Our group has always created new products expected by consumers. We are convinced of the success of the BeerTender system, a joint alliance of innovation in small domestic appliances and the know-how of the most famous brewer.”

Groupe SEB will be responsible for the production, marketing and future development of the BeerTender appliances. Heineken will further develop the kegs and take the lead in the production and distribution of the kegs.

02-11-2004, 11:44
> Heineken and Groupe SEB have teamed up to create a draught beer system to be
> used at home. After a successful pilot in Switzerland, the BeerTender,
> consisting of an appliance and keg, will first be launched in the Netherlands
> and many countries are to follow.

The use of the 4 liter keg is brilliant! "Kegerators" have long been a
thing of awe wonder that dedicated swill drinkers invest in... but they
take up a great deal of space. I've seen plenty of do-it-yourself versions
for full size kegs, but I'd never thought of putting one together for
smaller sized kegs. The smaller space requirement (and presumably
lower cost) makes this thing much more purchasable.

Tim Dellinger

02-12-2004, 15:17
It's just my opinion, but if I'm going to invest in a draught-beer setup at home, it's certainly not going to be for Heineken. I don't want to come off sounding like a beer snob, but it's been my experience that Americans drink (and, moreover, even seem to appreciate) generally mediocre beers. I personally can't stand the taste of regular Heineken--however, the oft-overlooked Heineken Dark is itself a pretty decent beer. I don't understand the mass-appeal of Corona, either...I mean, could it get any more watered down? Oh wait--Corona Light. Nevermind.

I don't know what to attribute it to--this country's collective draw to sub-par beers--is it the advertising? Or perhaps that people don't care to take the time to broaden their tastes and refine their palates? Whatever the case, it saddens me.

I myself rarely drink domestic beers, at least the ubiquitous staples like Bud, Michelob, Coors, Miller, etc. Lately I've been drinking a lot of Stone Brew beers (Arrogant Bastard Ale & Stone IPA), which is actually kind of a hassle, seeing as I have to travel out of state to buy them (owing to SC's wonderful restrictions on high-alcohol beers.) I also find myself picking up Sierra Nevada (Pale & Porter), Sammy Smith (Taddy Porter & Oatmeal Stout), and Anchor Steam quite a bit. My standard fallback, though, is Guiness. I just can't seem to get enough of the stuff.

02-12-2004, 15:48
My beer standards aren't nearly as high as my bourbon standards. I like Sierra Nevada and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

02-12-2004, 21:06
I'm with you Otho, I have 2 hats. When my Bourbon hat is on,that's one thing, Put on the beer hat and there's nothing they have brewed that I can't drink and enjoy.

02-13-2004, 06:10
Sierra Nevada's Porter has become one of my favorite beers lately. Their IPA is quite good as well http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

02-13-2004, 06:21
Again, this past Christmas, I went out and bought the Saranac 12 beers sampler pack. http://www.saranac.com/pics2/12beers03.jpg I was particularly taken by their White Belgian ale or lager I forget which it was. Oddly enough Jeff, I like their Pale Ale but their India Pale Ale just didn't sit good with me. Man was that bitter as hell! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif I was looking around at Saranac's website, and unfortunately they do not have a description for every beer they make. I wanted to read again about the ones I really liked in that set... There was a caramel porter and that too was great.

Anyways, I'm not a regular beer drinker, but does anyone know if any other companies (Saranac included) produce variety packs such as this throughout the year? I do not drink beer often but when I do I want a vast majority and buy a 6 pack of something doesn't do it for me. I know Michelob also makes a sampler pack with 2 free glasses around Christmas every year. It includes their speciality beers. Any info is appreciated as always. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

02-13-2004, 07:10
It's remarkable to me that you can purchase Sierra Nevada's products in Kentucky. That brewery seems to be a genuine success story.

I can remember driving to Chico with my buddies just so we could drink the stuff, as distribution didn't extend 80 miles to the south.

02-13-2004, 08:30

I know that Goose Island has a 12 bottle sampler pack similar to Saranac that you have tried. I like most of their beers and they are relatively inexpensive when compared to the other so-called micro-breweries. I really like their "Hex Nut" brown ale.

BTW, when does the term micro-brewery cease to apply to a smaller brewery? Seems to me that some of them produce more than I would have expected from a smaller operation. Or, more likely, is it all just marketing jargon?

02-13-2004, 08:32
I think they showed up at the Liquor Barn sometime last year and seem to have become quite popular around here. I just hope they don't fall victim to their own success.

02-13-2004, 08:35
Thanks Jeff, I'll have to see if my distributor here can get it! I just went out and against my wishes was forced to get the Sam Adam's winter collection sampler. I had it 2 Christmas' ago and liked it but Sam Adam's is jsut too damn expensive. But since it was all they had in a sampler pack, I got it. Well, they did have this beers of the world pack but you want to talk about overpriced! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

I too have wondered when a brewery is no longer a micro brewery. I don't know but maybe they are still considered microbreweries since many of these 'concoctions' are only produced during certain times of the year and not year round? Your guess is as good as mine.

02-13-2004, 09:17
Mark, I almost forgot. Check out Goose Island's web-site. (http://www.gooseisland.com) They have some nice interactive features and they go into detail about all of their beers.

02-13-2004, 09:52
Michelob has a pretty nifty Assortment pack. I got it at Sam's Wholesale warehouse. It was a 12 pack with 2 of 6 different products including a Marzen style and a Black and Tan. It also came with two pilsner-style glasses and was less than $15 bucks. The beers were toned down versions of the traditional styles. I attached a review from another site.
Anheuser-Busch has produced a new marzen, or "March" beer, under the aegis of its Michelob Specialty Ales & Lagers 12-pack sampler. The beer is a stylistic revival of one of the company's first specialty offerings, Anheuser Marzen, fielded in the early 1990s. The former Marzen was much sought-after, but was only sold in test markets. The new Michelob Marzen is an all-malt beer, with 5% alcohol by volume. "We're excited to launch Michelob Marzen as part of the Michelob specialty ales and lagers winter sampler pack," said Steve Bagwell, vice president, premium-plus brands for Anheuser-Busch, "Specialty beers are extremely popular during the winter months, and Michelob Marzen offers consumers something new and different to help celebrate the holiday season." The sampler pack will also include bottles of Michelob, Michelob Amber Bock, Michelob Honey Lager, Michelob Black & Tan and Michelob Hefeweizen.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Business Journals, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

02-13-2004, 10:01
Thanks as well Ed! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif I've had that sampler pack 2 years running now and I love it. The glasses were a bit nicer this year (2003) than the ones they included in 2002. I have to say I enjoyed all 6 of those brews, but in particular the honey lager, Marzen, Amber Bock and Hefeweizen. I'm not too big a fan of Black and Tans, but the Michelob one I enjoy more than others I have had. Oddly enough the regular Michelob was the one I didn't like nor dislike.

I so wish other companies would begin producing these variety packs, and for the ones who do they need to make them more often! I'm definately going to be on the lookout for Jeff's suggestion of Goose Island. I'm going to begin looking now and see if the Brooklyn Brewery makes a variety pack. Now that breweries products I should be able to find around here, or so one would like to think! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

02-13-2004, 10:08
While jsut browsing the site, I figured let me give a quick check to see if Sma's has this. Sure enough they do, and at a nice price of $12.99 for a 12 bottle variety pack. I figured hell, let me see the shiping on this... $20!! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif Oh well, I'll jsut have to hope my place can get it.

02-13-2004, 12:21
The incredibly fine ales brewed by Stone Brewing have also made their way from California to Kentucky. I had a Stone IPA this past weekend and thought it one of the best beers I have ever had. I first learned of this San Diego County brewer from HiTime in Costa Mesa. Now, the Liquor Barns in Louisville and Lexington carry the entire line, including their Arrogant Bastard Ale and Ruination IPA.

02-13-2004, 14:15
Yeah, Sierra Nevada is one of the success stories of the micro beer movement, and the success is well-deserved. Their Pale Ale was given 4 stars in Jackson's earliest books, ie. from the brewery's earliest days (early 80's). The very first micro in the modern era, I don't know if you recall it, Jim, was New Albion, also from the northern part of California. I visited S.F. and Sausalito at the end of the 70's and searched for the beer but even though the odd sign for it was still hanging the beer was gone, a victim of undercapitalisation and being ahead of its time. In Hopland there is a brewpub that carries on New Albion's tradition, it acquired the yeast and some of the staff from the defunct brewery and is still going strong today. Can't recall the name offhand, I believe it is in the Sierra foothills butI am quite sure it is in Hopland (where hops haven't been grown for many years now but it is a neat home for one of America's pioneering mini-breweries).


02-13-2004, 14:45
I don't recall seeing that brand in Lexington Cliff, but I'll check again this weekend.

02-13-2004, 15:23

The brewery you are thinking of is Mendocino Brewing Company, famous primarily for their "Red Tail Ale". Hopland is on the 101 corridor ~100 miles north of SF. The hop industry there is long gone, but if you enjoy fume blanc, it's a happening place.

There was a time in the not so distant past that the only place you could get their brew on tap was at the brewery itself. That's changed, but there's still nowhere quit like the source. I'm particularly fond of their Blue Heron pale ale, my all-time favorite in the IPA style.

02-13-2004, 15:30
Not knowing crap about beer I've got a question... It seems quite a few of you love IPA's. When I had one from Saranac I could not stand it due to it being overly bitter. Is this a characteristic of all IPA's? If so, I think I need to stand clear but if not I may give another brand a try.

I did have a regular pale ale from Saranac and loved it... Just the IPA didn't do it for me. Thanks guys

02-13-2004, 15:35
The IPA (India Pale Ale)style is very heavily hopped Mark. I don't think I'd describe the flavor as bitter, but I understand what component you are referring to. Try several from different breweries before writing it off, you may find one you enjoy.

02-13-2004, 17:24
Thanks, Jim. The Red Tail Ale is very good, kind of a combo of the best of English and American influences in brewing. It is available on the East Coast, made now by a brewery either owned or under license to Mendocino. Something tells me this brewery is located in Saratoga Springs (locale that, for non-bibulous reasons, will forever be in Gary Gillman's rather rueful memory. Why? I missed a legendary show there by The Who in 1971 - by one day).


02-13-2004, 17:29
I agree and would add, some IPAs are hopped heavily with American-grown varieties. These hops, in large quantities, tend to have a strong "piny" or "grapefruity" taste that even many beer fans find off-putting. Try an IPA that uses English hops. Many brewed in America import English Fuggles or Goldings which have quite a different flavour, more soft and earthy or sometimes flowery. Whereas Cascades, the classic West Coast hop, can be very powerful, depending on how it is used. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale famously uses Cascades, and it is a kind of IPA, but the brewery gets the balance right, it is a great beer.


02-13-2004, 17:36
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale famously uses Cascades, and it is a kind of IPA

Maybe that explains why when I was living in CA furing my AF days I never understood what everyone saw in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif I just didn't like the taste for some reason... Hey, after enjoying bourbons that are usually $20 and above, I'm glad my taste in beers tends to gravitate towards the cheap! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

02-13-2004, 17:40
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is, in my view, the standard against which all nationally distributed micro-brewed ales are to be judged. There are others that are a bit better, but you have to work to find them. They got this one right in Chico and they haven't messed with it, thankfully. Their annual holiday Celebration Ale is almost always better, but the Pale is always available, nearly everywhere, and always top quality. I rate it as the No. 1 nationally available beer.

02-13-2004, 20:39
This may be beating a dead horse, but IPA is traditionally overhopped and bitter. Historical info suggests that the oils and acids in hops act as preservatives. When India was a colony of the British empire, beer was shipped from England. The heavily hopped varieties survived the trip and became a recognized style. Some IPA's take it to the extreme with dry hopping, like the Rogue Ales. Others are mere suggestions of the style like the Oregon Brewing Co.

IPA style is hopped to the point of dry bitterness with less of the aromatic hops signature in the finish. Pale ales are a completely different animal and generally refer to the pale color and mild hops signature.
Just my two cents.

02-13-2004, 22:09
Good point, though, to distinguish between the Pale Ale and India Pale Ale styles, which sound similar but actually have little in common.

02-13-2004, 22:50
Well, this opens a large topic. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif The issue of style is a slippery slope. Michael Jackson established a taxonomy in 1977 in his landmark World Guide To Beer. It has been influential on consumer perceptions following the adoption, mostly by new-generation microbreweries, of Michael's classification. Until his book there were no precise, generally accepted definitions of styles such as Pale Ale and India Pale Ale. To a large degree one can argue that is still the case. One brewer's IPA might be very bitter, another's might be less so, another's might tend to the sweet or even bland. The descriptors even historically were always used loosely. Brewers' examples tended to shade into what are now thought of as different styles. We in Canada have had for generations Keith's India Pale Ale which is milder in palate than any U.S. Pale Ale I know. Many current British IPA's are not in fact highly bitter, e.g., Sam Smith's India Ale and the IPAs of the highly regarded Fuller or Marston. One would think these makers, all of which have functioned since the 1800's at least, would know the tradition of IPA, or part of it..

So when some brewers here make "hop monsters" and claim that is the true IPA, I remain skeptical. No one today knows exactly how IPA was confected, or tasted, way back when. See Thom Thomlinson's classic two part article on IPA's history at www.brewingtechniques.com. (http://www.brewingtechniques.com.) It answers some questions but raises many new ones!. American IPAs, just as American Pale Ales, tend today to be more (much more) assertive than their English counterparts, that much is true. It is quite plausible in this light to say Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a kind of IPA but one can argue that even within a national brewing tradition old or new. The hop monsters that claim the title IPA in America today may not be representative of what most IPA was like in the 1800's (e.g., those were shipped originally long distances and used considerable hop infusion but some think the hop character faded over the 5- 6 months it took to ship strong pale ale beer to India).

The last IPA to be made by an old-established U.S. brewer (i.e., by a brewer founded before circa 1980) was the fine Ballantine India Pale Ale. Ballantine's regular ale is still made (by Miller under contract for the owner of the brand) but Ballantine IPA is sadly a memory. Still, I recall it well from the 1970's. It was aromatic and somewhat bitter from Bullion hops but not extravagantly so, certainly nothing in comparison to the big Cascade or Chinook U.S. micro IPAs. I find in memory Ballantine IPA similar to the Best Bitter (the draft version of the Pale Ale style) I buy at one of our local brewpubs here, the estimable Granite Brewery. And this is recalling what an American IPA was like from the pre-micro era (thus with possibly more claim to fidelity to the "original" than the current IPA crop). So, while I agree that Pale Ales in general are less assertive in flavour than IPA's, brewing practice was and remains so diverse that one cannot be too categoric in terms of IPA vs. Pale Ale, bittering vs. aromatic hops, etc. One of the great insights in Jackson's World Guide To Beer was how flexible the English Bitter type of beer was and indeed is (oddly, the term bitter seems to be dying out in Britain today but the type of beer it represents is still going strong as a minority taste there). Some bitters had a decidedly sweet palate, Jackson wrote, despite their challenging name yet some very much lived up to it. This had to be true and is true concerning IPA's as well. The Brits were fast and loose with terminology, which they rightly did not regard as restricting.


02-14-2004, 09:44
Jim, if you like your IPA very heavily hopped, there's one made out in your part of the world by Anderson Valley Brewery in Booneville. I think they call it "Hop Ottin IPA", which in their local lingo means hard working hops. It definitely has a grapefruit character you see in many IPA's....I like it a lot. Can't get it here in Texas, but I go by the brewery when visiting my property west of Philo. Booneville has a great microbrewery festival in May...you can combine winery visits and beer. Anyway, try the Anderson Valley IPA if you want a hops monster.

Randy B.

02-14-2004, 10:18
You might have better luck closer to home. I don't know if they'll sell a mixture, but a couple of local sixpacks might offer an alternative to $20 shipping.

Brooklyn Brewery (http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/beers.asp)

Our local regional brewery only sells a sampler during the holidays, tho' I've asked them to market these year round. So far they've chosen not to do so.

Boulevard (http://www.blvdbeer.com/index.html)

Oh well, there are many liquor stores out here that set up one shelf unit to sell beer by the bottle and/or offer the chance to pick out a mixed 6-pack. I usually grab 3 or 4 malty Rogue Dead Guy Ales and a couple of 'new' beers to sample this way (The price of a mixed 6 is less than the price of a 6 pack of Dead Guy ale. I get the best of both worlds this way).

02-14-2004, 13:01
Thanks for the links and thouhts. I visited the Bklyn Breweries page yesterday and was shocked to see it is only a few blocks from where I grew up in Brooklyn! I never even knew it was there, though I moved from Brooklyn when I was around 12. Me and the wife are planning on going there some Saturday since they have free tastings and tours 12-5. Maybe then I can find out more about variety packs they may have available and hell, during the tasting afterwards see if their brew is even any good! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

I'll post how things are after I visit the brewery! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

02-14-2004, 13:03
Thanks guys, that was one thing I was confused about. I was so shocked that I like a Pale Ale but not an India Pale Ale from the same brewery. Now I see they are totally different things.

After LOVING that Belgian white ale, and even a hefeweizen, I think I like wheated beer... Makes sense since I like wheated bourbon as well! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif I'll still try another IPA from another brewery but I have a feeling the results will be the same considering the hopped to hell aspects of IPA's.

02-14-2004, 13:43
I had a Goose Island IPA last night. I had not given it much thought before, but now that you mention it, it has a very "grapefruity" taste to it.

02-14-2004, 15:27
Is Keith's IPA the one from Halifax? I visited the brewery once (weirdest 'tour' ever). What they call an IPA tastes pretty much like a standard pils.

02-14-2004, 16:07
Yes, brewed in the Maritimes. Not a pils: it has a fruity, top-fermented, flowery hop taste. It is "one" version of IPA, brewed since the mid-1850's at least, so I accord it a certain authenticity. Check out Fuller's and Marston's IPA's, they are not that much different than Keith's.


02-14-2004, 16:39
Judging from the interest in this thread, I think many of you will enjoy the brewery essays posted by the Deschutes Brewery, of Bend, Oregon. Essays (http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/BrewersLounge/Essays/default.aspx) This diagram of the brewing process is pretty sharp, too. Diagram (http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/BrewersLounge/BrewingProcess/default.aspx)

I am a big fan of their Obsidian Stout and I can hardly wait to try the Pine Mountain Pils that they produce in small quantities for distribution each summer. Brews (http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/Brews/default.aspx) Their products are only distributed in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Northern California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming, but are not to be missed when in that part of the country.

02-14-2004, 17:23

I've been to the brewery a few times, and its great to try the beers on site. The price is definitely great! They usually have a block party during the summer, which is also pretty cool. I like quite a few of their products, and one of the things that I like the best is that their beers are made locally and are fresh. To the best of my knowledge, they don't offer a "variety pack".


02-14-2004, 21:34
Glad to see someone enjoys my regular domestic draft, Amber Bock. I can't drink Bud, Bud Light, etc. anymore unless I'm totally parched and there is nothing else to drink. Being ground zero for AB here in St Louis, most bars and restaurants have Amber Bock on tap but most won't try it because of the color. Everyone here sees dark and assumes it to be a strong, bitter beer. Oh, well, I guess that means just more for me. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif I like the Honey Lager from time to time but only when my sweet tooth flares. The Marzen sounds interesting and I haven't seen it to try, but you can bet I will.

On a different note, I have found that sometimes St Louis is one of the LAST markets to get new AB products. I drank Bud Light in Texarkana six months before it was available in St Louis.

Funny also about your comments on Michelob, as I think they have changed it over the years. It used to be really full bodied with a broad flavor spectrum, but the last few I've had were not what I remembered as the beer we bought when good fortune allowed us to upgrade. Maybe it's the change in bottle shape from the original?????

02-15-2004, 13:16
Definately try the Marzen when you can, I am certain you will enjoy it as well. Unfortunately as I understand it, it is only available around the Xmas holidays and in the sampler pack previously mentioned. But it is well worth it. You get 18 bottles 3 of 6 different styles and 2 glasses that are different each year for around $16-18. I would like to see them add the Marzen to their regular line up of speciality brews.

At first I was skeptical of the Amber Bock because of its darkness, but it is truly a great beer. I had a bud at my fathers the other night and I cringed drinking it!

So they did change the shape of the Michelob bottle. I thought for some reason it looked different than I remember regular michelob looking. I'm sure its a decent beer, but when put up against all their other speciality beers, it doesnt have a leg to stand on.

02-17-2004, 02:22
The incredibly fine ales brewed by Stone Brewing have also made their way from California to Kentucky. I had a Stone IPA this past weekend and thought it one of the best beers I have ever had. I first learned of this San Diego County brewer from HiTime in Costa Mesa. Now, the Liquor Barns in Louisville and Lexington carry the entire line, including their Arrogant Bastard Ale and Ruination IPA.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Stone Brew beers are definitely among my favorites, as of late. I haven't had a chance to taste the Ruination IPA yet, but the Stone IPA most certainly ranks as one of my all-time favorites, as well. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Have you had the 2003 Double Bastard Ale? When I was in VA last (the nearest place I travel where I can buy high-alcohol beers) I picked up a case of the Stone IPA and one of the Arrogant Bastard Ale. Apparently whoever was packing my boxes wasn't paying too much attention, as he/she inadvertantly slipped two of the (extremely limited) Double Bastards (which I didn't even realize they had) in my Arrogant Bastard case. All I can say is Wow. Great, great stuff.

Cheers to all.

02-17-2004, 08:13
I know that these are probably some fine beers, but does anyone else have a problem purchasing something called "Arrogant Bastard" or "Dead Guy" or other silly names. I can't see myself offering the father in-law a tall cold "Bastard" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

02-17-2004, 12:41
Ruination IPA may just be my favorite Stone beer. I was afraid it would bee too incredibly bitter to be drinkable, but I didn't find that to be the case. It's a very big beer. They call it "A liquid poem to the glory of the hop" and they're not kidding, but the beer is incredibly well balanced. Double Bastard is also great, but its alcohol content in a 22oz size means one of those and I'm done being productive for the day, so I dont' drink it often at all.


03-12-2004, 18:29
I've decided to go with beer tonight instead of bourbon. Yeah, I know, strange! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif I've been on more of a beer kick lately for some reason though... With all the 'low-carb' hype and figuring I can drink 4 of these compared to half as many buds calorie wise (or 4 of these equals the amount of carbs as 1 bud) I'd give them a shot. Compared to regular light beer, it's not bad. I never liked light beer because it is so damn watered down tasting but comparing Michelob Ultra to say Bud Light it has 2.6 grams of carbs compared to bud lights 6.5 grams of carbs. Anyway, it's beer tonight for me; light beer and low carb and I am still enjoying it. Alongside a plate of carb filled nachos from a tray I made for company! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Talk about self defeating purpose.