June 1, 2010
Hear’n, my chillens and younguns, and lissen to the tell of the olden days when Anhesuserus Buschex and Milleradactyl roamed the vasty plains, and fearfits to flavor wereda norm, and no one brewed with flowers of hoppiness or dark malts or wild yeasts, and the ancient secrets were foresaken and near lost. The brew was all light and no tasty and had to be dranken icy icy icy chill’d or it couldna be dranken at all, but some knew better, and they kept the flame lit in the dark caves and brewed the goodly stuff in their homes and basements and garages and shared some with their neighbors who learned that beer could have taste. Soon after, if you looka’d in the dark corners and the bottomest of shelves, you’da find some new brews made like in the ancient times by those that knewda secrets, and wouldna let them die.
Lagers and Pilsners were all the Anhesuserus Buschex and Milleradactyl made, so when the goodly stuff returned, we ne’er drank the Pilsners and the Lagers, but the Anhesuserus Buschex and Milleradactyl made the Lagers and the Pilsners badly, so now we should try them ag’in. On the heatniest of the summer afternoons, when the burnt wood is made to glow again and the burgers sizzle and the franks splitten and blacken, a good lager will quench the thirst. Lagers are generally German, but the Englishman Samuel Smith makes a good one, probably ’cause the English beat the Germans in two world wars and one world cup, crisp, light, perfect for a summer day, 7/10.
May 13, 2010
The St. Peter’s Old Style Porter is neither big nor bold, nor does it have any unique ingredients. It does not push the envelope of what can be considered be a porter, or beer for that matter. It may not be any of those things, but it is good. It has enough roasted malt and coffee aroma and flavor to be a faithful rendition of the style, and has enough extra hoppy bitterness to be just a little different and set itself apart from the pack. The Old Style Porter pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights if held up to the light, with almost no head. It has a slightly thin mouthfeel, which is not what I expect from porters. While I do not think they should be as chewy as stouts, I want a little more heft to them than this one has. The V-Man proclaimed it the best porter he had ever had. I cannot go that far but give it a 6/10.
March 1, 2010
I am old, certainly old enough to remember the bad days in the long, long ago time before thousands of craft brewers bloomed across the land. I remember when Heineken and Becks were thought to be good beers because they were imported and those Dutch and Germans knew how to make beer. Hell, I remember when Tuborg was a good beer. Tuborg, for God’s sake!
The only lights in those dark days were Bass Ale and Guinness Stout. Both were widely available, albeit always tucked in the back of the fridge at the liquor store. There was an advantage to buying either Guinness or Bass Ale when you were underage. You were never asked for ID. It was just assumed that if you were drinking Bass or Guinness, you were old enough to drink.
I had not had a Bass Ale or a Guinness Stout in years. There have been so many new and interesting beers, I had kind of forgotten about those two, but I was in a small store near a train station and wanted to grab some beer for the night, and it was either Bass and Guinness or a couple of bomber bottles of Corona.
The Bass Ale poured a clear amber with a mild hops and malt aroma. It had a nice head and was a pleasant drink. I have grown accustomed to IPAs and Imperial IPAs punching me in the mouth with hoppy bitterness, but that was certainly not the case with Bass Ale. It was less hoppy than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but had a similar taste. I think the only problem was that the bottle had probably sat unsold for ages, so it may have been mildly skunked, but it was not awful at all. I give it a solid 6/10. Fun Historical Fact About Bass: The Red Triangle was the first registered trademark.
Being of proud Irish descent, Guinness was my drink of choice in my late teenage years. It had the reputation of being a strong beer, being black and flavorful, and I cannot tell you how many people told me that Guinness was made by “scraping the bottom of the barrel” of regular beer. Total nonsense, of course, as was the belief that Guinness had more alcohol than most beers. The Stout poured as dark as I remember it being, and I immediately noticed the aroma of toasted barley. It had a milder flavor than I remember it having, though as noted with the Bass, I have become accustomed to craft beers, and it has been years since I have had a stout that was not advertised as a chocolate stout or a coffee stout or a chocolate-coffee-mocha stout. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Guinness in years, and it has earned a spot back in my regular rotation. 7.5/10.