Right off the top, let me say that I am no great beer expert. I HAVE been drinking more suds lately and enjoying them, but I am nowhere near as well traveled in beer as I am in single-malt whisky. That said, I wanted to start a discussion about beer, especially since I understand it to be an OLD tradition (started with the Egyptians, so I hear) and one which I do enjoy.
Among my favorites are:
Don't ask me why about that last, other than it's a bit too hoppy for my taste. I like their dark brews. They have a Honey Porter which is lovely and (I think) an Oatmeal Stout which, while it's no match for Guinness, has its moments.
As to more pedestrian fare, make mine Bud or Coors (the ORIGINAL, NOT Coors Light!), please. Either work GREAT in front of a baseball or football game, especially with a dog in hand. I should mention that the brew which bears my surname I wouldn't hit a dead dog with!
My recent beer discovery is Spaten premium lager straight from Munich, Germany. This is an excellent beer, and I'm really surprised! Wonderful taste and a 5.2 % alcohol. Very smooth beer. This same company is also where original Lowebrau came from, and they came to an early merger with AB InBev. I'm surprised mostly because I do not like much of anything InBev.
Spaten means "spade" in German and there is a spade on the label. They also have the Optimator, a doppelbock dark beer (double bock) with 2 spades on the label. This beer is 7.5% alcohol and it tastes much better than any American beers of this type at 6% alcohol. Apparently the Germans have not allowed InBev to do to their beer what it has done to most of ours.
Bock is the only beer I've ever liked. So many years have passed since I've seen any, I no longer look for it. Please, Michael, on both knees I beg of you, tell me where in the USofA you found it?
Tom, have you tried Anchor Liberty Ale or Sierra Nevada's Flipside? They're made in your back yard more or less, and quite similar to bocks.
I haven't but I will. Thanks.
This dopplebock from Spaten Brau in Munich is a recent import to local specialty beer shops around here. It's 7.5 % in alcohol and very good, but you can always get Shiner Bock almost anywhere. It's pretty good too.
It's been years, but I once had the Celebrator Dopplebock and it was excellent, if STRONG. I think one, possibly two of those in an evening would hold me wonderfully well!
I talk a lot of beer and I've drank beer from all over the world in my lifetime. With different stomach and digestion problems setting in, my biggest favorite today is Wernesgruner, an imported Pilsner from Germany. Rated simply as an OK beer, but not the greatest, you can buy this everyday at Aldi stores. The more I stop liking American beers and the InBev takeover, the more I like Wernesgruner.
I did find a new one Saturday that they said was out now about 2 weeks. Guinness Blonde American Lager. With mosaic and williamette american hops and Guinness yeast, this beer claims to be brewed in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. 5% alcohol and maybe not the best, it's still not bad. Definate Guinness touch to it.
I think I've seen it advertised somewhere or other. Will have to give it a try at some point.
Possibly of interest: "Big Beer Is Trying to Squash the Competition Through Deceit" (Alternet)
...It's bad enough that the goliaths of Big Beer are consuming each other in a new round of mega-mergers that will mean fewer choices and higher prices -- but the really bad news is that they're also going after the one bright spot on tap in bars all across the country: Craft beers.
...First, they've created false fronts like Blue Moon Brewing Company, Tenth & Blake, and Green Valley Brewery, pretending to be upstart independents. You won't see the name of MillerCoors (SABMiller), or Anheuser-Busch on the labels -- but those are the macro-brewers that own and make such ersatz micro-brews as Blue Moon, Killian's and Shock Top.
Second, the deep-pocketed beer behemoths are simply buying up such small craft brewers as Goose Island (Anheuser-Busch) and Leinenkugel (MillerCoors). Again, they're co-opting the imagery of cool independents....
Very interesting, and a shame, too, as I really like Killians and Blue Moon. Maybe I should lean more on Great Lakes, especially now that their delicious Christmas Ale is out!
Unfortunately, Grinning Cat, that is exactly what Big Beer is trying to do and exactly how they are doing it. I hate InBev and they only have about 5 beers that I like worldwide.