Friday, September 30, 2005

Jenny From The Block

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got
I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block.

WHY is this song in my head today?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Since it's torturing me, I thought I'd share the joy. And although it's a stretch, I thought I could use it to describe why the beers of the day ARE the beers of the day. Cuz you never forget where you came from. And I came from this. Domestic, canned, light, beer. It's not about taste. It's about experience. For me, it's usually summer & fall outdoor activities. Sitting in a parking lot before a football game, a backyard BBQ with a huge crew of friends, ice cold beer sweating in an ancient beer coozie that has a long-gone radio station's logo on it.

It's served ice cold because that's when you can taste it the least. Not that there's much to taste, anyway. But it's cold, it's alcoholic, and it's fizzy enough to make the men start burping like champs only 2 beers into an evening. It's CASUAL beer, as if most people think there is any other kind.

Standard choices are:
For those who believe they are too hip for that jazz, I also offer these old "yard beers":

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Beer of the weekend is Samuel Adam's Cream Stout. Sam Adam's site says it's the cappucino of beers:

Samuel Adams® Cream Stout is a true cream stout, balancing body and sweetness with the natural spiciness of grain and hand selected English hops. Our Brewers use generous portions of roasted chocolate and caramel malts as well as unroasted barley to impart a fullness of body, a roasty malt character and rich, creamy head. Its dark mahogany color make it almost as easy on the eyes as it is on the palate.

BeerAdvocate reviewers agree:
Pours black with large brown head. I definitely taste chocolate, but not over sweet. Along with that I taste caramel, roasted coffee. Its all pleasent to the taste buds. For a stout the drinkability is amazing. I will revisit the beer again and again.

As the beer flowed from the bottle it created a beautiful dark, almost black pool im glass that was topped with a delightful tan head that had true staying power. Smell is an intoxicating mixture of chocolate, coffee, caramel, plums, prunes, raisins, and figs. Taste is superb, with just the right combination of roasted malt, coffee, and dark fruit. Finishes with a magnificent dryness to create a perfect ending. As you may guess, I really liked this beer.

Beer Girl says it's good, so drink it!

Friday, September 16, 2005

I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do

Per LE's suggestion, today's beer is Warsteiner. Now, I am aware that Warsteiner has the dubious distinction of being known as "the best selling German beer." Rarely does "best selling" translate into "best tasting." So let's be honest. I am not sayint that this is the world's best beer. But it's different than the big domestic brews and ordering one it makes one feel slightly more interesting, without having to chew down a dark, thick porter that they really don't like anyway.

Most people identify the kind of Warsteiner they are drinking by the color of the label, Johnny Walker-style. The 2 most popular types in the US are the Premium Verum, aka the all gold label, and the Premium Dunkel, or the gold & silver label. They are totally different beers. I'll do both, with propaganda
from the Warsteiner site as well as reviews from BeerAdvocate.

Warsteiner says:
Premium Verum is a pilsner style beer with a smooth, rich-full bodied taste wrapped in a thick creamy head
and a refreshing hop finish with no aftertaste. Warsteiner quenches the beer lover's thirst for a clean, crisp, refreshing beer taste. Best when
chilled to a temperature between 46 and 50 degrees.

BeerAdvocate reviewers say:
Pours a clear golden yellow, white head forms but goes quick, little lacing. Smell is sweet and malty, little tiny bit of hop presence. Tasty is sweet malt, some citrusy hops, nice clean bitter finish. Thin mouthfeel but the carbonation is nice, not bad at all. Not amazing, but a good, solid pilsner.

Warsteiner says:
Premium Dunkel "German for Dark" offers beer lovers incomparable taste satisfaction with its subtle spiciness, delicate aroma, and balance. What makes premium Dunkel distinctive among dark beers, is its thirst quenching, refreshingly drinkable flavor. This is a traditional German dark brown lager , described as being neither sweet nor roastily dry, with a slight spicy maltiness and a clean round finish. It has a reddish-black color which is almost opaque.

Beer Advocate reviewers say:
Pours a coffee brown with medium foam, no lace. Nose is malty with very faint grassy note. Taste is smooth and malty with noticable low-medium hop lingering bitterness and hints of caramel. Well-balanced and very drinkable. Would go with cheese, most meats, beer food. A little too h
eavy for very light fare.

Whichever suits your mood, grab a beer, pull up a chair, and let's start off the weekend!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Down In The Dark

I wanted another fall beer today, despite the weather continuing to push the limits of summertime. Today's projected high is 92 degrees. Blah. The fall sweaters are on display in the stores, I've already been trying on cute little winter coats, and the Halloween candy is already taking over the grocery store. I'm ready for fall NOW.

It's Friday, and it's Beer Friday. And today, we're drinking 1554 Brussels Style Black Ale. A Belgian Dark Ale brewed by the New Belgium Breweing Company. I love most of the beer brewed by the new Belgium Brewing Company, really, but I haven't had any in quite a while. BeerAdvocate's reviewers had quite a few nice things to say here. The company's site described the beer like this:

Phil Benstein, our resident rumpled professor, stumbled onto Zwartbier in an 1888 tome creatively named “Popular Beverages of Various Countries.” He had trouble convincing brewmaster Peter Bouckaert that such a beer existed back in 16th - century Belgium, so the pair made two trips to Belgium to research this obscure style in the archives of Belgium’s specialty brewers. The oldest reference to these black beers that our dynamic duo uncovered was in the year 1554.

Other than being dark in color, 1554 has little in common with Porters or Stouts. The beer is fermented at relatively high temperatures using a European lager yeast that imparts a refreshing, zesty acidity. Chocolate and coffee tones in the nose give way to a surprisingly clean finish. With 1554 our staff hoped to create a beer similar to what folks enjoyed nearly five-hundred years ago without ignoring five-hundred years of technological innovation.We hope you’ll agree that 1554 is the delicious result of a lot of well-spent library time.

You can't buy this beer east of the Mississippi, so this is one good thing about living in my part of the midwest. Here's a map of where you can buy this:

Hope you enjoy it. Have a great Friday & a happy weekend!

Monday, September 05, 2005


Beer is good, beer is great...

"They who get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body; they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer who fall on their backs and lie with their face upwards." -- Aristotle

"Beer is living proof that God loves us & wants us to be happy." -- Ben Franklin

I love beer. Today I love this beer:
Harpoon's Oktoberfest.
site says this: Of all Harpoon beers, Octoberfest takes the most time to brew, adding to its complexity and smoothness. A blend of six malts imparts a smooth, medium body, balancing a medium hop bitterness. This legendary beer is brewed for celebrations. Prosit!

A reviewer on
BeerAdvocate says this: Gorgeous Coppery orange color with 1/4" khaki colored head that faded a bit. Fruity malt aroma; sweet malt back is highlighted by fruity yeast smell, caramel, fresh bread, and black cherry notes. Good body. Crisp malt to start, malt is somewhat dry compared to the sweet aroma. Slightly bready but mostly toasty malt taste. Finish has a good earthy/ herbal hop twang with slow bitterness that makes the dry malt crawl off the tongue. I'd take this one over Otter Creek's Oktoberfest anyday.

Beer Girl says that I like a lot of oktoberfests, and while the above reviewer says he'll take it over
Otter Creek anyday, I'm not so sure. Otter Creek was pretty darn tasty. Not having both in front of me, I can't really do the comparison, but this is good stuff, either way. Cheers!