The topic of beer on another thread prompted this one.
Like quite a few people out there, I drank far more than my share of that effervescent beverage in my younger days (a very l-o-n-g time ago). I never did really like beer that much as all American beer tasted pretty much the same to me but then, I wasn't a staunch advocate of any particular brand.
In those days (around '70 or '71), I used to help out behind the bar of an establishment owned by a friend. One day the going-home-from-work crowd were there and the discussion of which was the better beer came up. Of course the Budweiser guy said it was Bud, the Pabst fellow claimed it was his, the Miller guy swore his was best, etc., etc. So I identified five guys who were drinking different brands of well known American beer (i.e. usually pale lager).
Having recently read an article at the time about the difference (or lack thereof) in then popular American beers, I thought I'd take a somewhat unscientific poll. While the full time bar tender took over, I went to the far end of the bar and unbeknownst to the guys, I poured a little from six different bottled beers including the five mentioned into each of five sets of seven ounce glasses with a piece of folded card stock identifying the beer in each glass taped on the bottom (there were five guys and six beers ergo, thirty glasses). I remember the original Budweiser guy had left but another one was in the crowd.
I placed each group of six glasses of beer in front of each of the five I'd identified and laid down the gauntlet. I said that I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't able to identify their favorite beer. Well, you can imagine what happened. They were incredulous that I'd even begin to THINK they couldn't identify their beer (especially the newest Bud drinker who was the most vociferous).
While they admittedly were able to distinguish a difference among the taste of the various beers, only one correctly identified his beer (and that could well have been luck). Oh, and I didn't get slick. Each favored brand was included in each of the samplings.
Now that I'm getting long in the tooth, I actually enjoy the taste of beer especially now that this country is finally brewing world class beers.
To be honest, were Yuengling to have been widely available at that time, it might have been more often identified.
As you know I grew up in the Hudson Valley when it was blue collar factory country and at least at the bars I frequented, Utica Club, Genny and Genny Cream Ale were probably the most popular. I really liked the cream ale - very smooth and drinkable. About 10 years ago or more, Genny suddenly appeared at a local beer store here in Alabama, along with a premium price attached. I went into convulsions of joy and bought - I think - two cases of regular Genessee and two of Genessee Cream Ale. It just didn't taste as good as I remembered it from the 70's.
I always was careful when in a bar that had Rheingold or Piels on tap. Actually Utica Club sucked too, but I liked their Shultz and Dooley commercials.
Because of gout, I can't drink much beer these days. So I normally reserve it to an occasional glass of something from Samuel Adams or one of the other higher end beers.
I was stationed in Germany for three years, and just about any of the German beers tasted good, in particular, dark or marzen(October fest brew). When I came back to the US, all the beer tasted like dishwater.
I drink very little now, but I prefer dark or bock beer and like Samuel Adams the best. Shiner brewery here in Texas does make some interesting varieties.
When I first went to Florida I asked for a beer, the bar tender asked which one? I said ''It don't matter they are all the same''...Corona the Mexican one wasn't bad. I hear that now you have discovered the delights of proper beers, particularly the micro brewery beer. Belgian beers are particulary good in Europe.
I have never been a huge fan of domestic beer. But have found lots of microbrews and imports that I enjoy.
Strangely some of the ones I have tried and liked have been in Canada. I was at a convention once in Missisauga outside of Toronto and the hotel I stayed in offered a Nut Brown Ale that was to die for. A place d/h used to work for offered Rickard's Red. I do enjoy Bass Ale, Michelob Amber Bock and Sam Adams.
Now D/H would arm wrestle you Todd for a Yuengling. He got hooked on that stuff when he used to teach in Pittsburgh a lot.
Corona with lime, used to be my fave,till I discovered Blue Moon, with an orange slice...I also love Sam Adams seasonal, Red Stripe,and Chinese beer,Ting Tao?? I love to see the different brands when I am in the Caribbean.
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I too love German Bock beer and I have to tell you the time I really got snookered.
My favorite import at the time was Lowenbrau Dark but as it was so expensive for a young just starting out LEO, it was a rare pleasure.
Then one day I spotted three six packs at the grocery store and they were half the price! I quickly threw them into the cart and up to checkout. Sure enough, it wasn't a mistake and I couldn't wait to get home. I got into the house, opened a bottle, poured it into a glass and took a big draft. WHOA! DOUBLE YUCK! This WAS NOT Lowenbrau! Yet the carton was right, the bottle was the same. Then I looked more closely. There had been a change,.......a VERY BIG one.
Imprinted on the label was, "Brewed under license by Miller Brewing Company. Millwaukee Wisconsin."
From then on, when I wanted to splurge it was Wurtzburger.
Now it's usually Sam Adams, any number of micro brews and (from the now German owned Anheuser Busch), I even like Michelob Honey Lager. When it comes to regular American lagers, it's of course Yuengling which for those who may not be familiar with it, has been brewed by the Yuengling family since 1829, making it the oldest brewery in the United States.
There was a time in my life in which I set aside fridays for a liquid lunch at Shines Bar in Manhattan . At that time any beer suited me . The last time I had a beer was in 2003 at an Irish bar in Manhattan .I can't recall the brand but it was very good .
My husband brews his own, and I must say that even I (a non-beer drinker) really enjoy it! It doesn't have the preservatives of the manufactured brews, so doesn't cause a headache the day after - which is one reason I could never drink beer. Our faves are a raspberry-wheat (yummy - similar to Purple Haze), Dumpster Dog (a thick, dark ale - but oh so smooth!) and Crazy Kilt Strong Scotch Ale. We did a couple of batches of the last one and bottled it as favors for some friends' wedding a couple of years ago. You work a little more for it, but it is a bit cheaper and you get the satisfaction of making it yourself.
I used to home brew. I tended towards brown ales and stouts. It was usually very good and sometimes excellent. Too much hassle though, getting suitable bottles, sterilizing everything, capping, etc., and the worst was the waiting.
Nothing comes close to Belgian Trappist and Abbaye beers; Rochefort and Westfleteren[sp] are my favorites although Chimay is more available in the USA. Unfortunately, most restaurants in USA have joined on the Stella bandwagon so is is only one available although I have found a number of restaurants where it is on the menu but never in stock.
There are two bars/retail outlets in Huntsville that stock Belgian beer so I have no problems stocking it at home.
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
F Scott Fitzgerald
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As a beer lover, I am sharing with you a hidden gem of a beer place located on Lincoln Road, South Beach (Miami Beach), FL. Its called "Zekes Roadhouse" on 625 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139, (305) 672-3118. It is literally a small hole in the wall low key place located in the middle of very busy Lincoln Road - you literally have to carefully look for it or you will miss it! It carries 100's of Domestic & Imported beers plus dozens on tap - BUT the best part is the price, its about $4.00 a beer(!!!) now. Meanwhile all the bars and restaurants surrounding it carry 1/4 of the beers they do at $8-9 a beer!!! Its fantastic for people watching and its a place us locals love!
For the record, I am not associated with them or work for them but a patron who loves this place!
There's a saloon on Main Street in town that has a domestic (as I haven't been in there I don't know what brand) on tap. A sandwich board sign out front advertises, "16 oz. drafts, $1.00 all day!" In a town where a six pack of 12 oz. cans of domestic is North of $3.50, that doesn't sound too bad too me.
These watering holes around here can get kinda' rough. Shortly after moving back home I happened into one of these joints and whoa billy! Those folks had upper arms as big as trees with chests covered with tattoos...and they were the women!
I figured I'd get out of there in a hurry but this guy about 6' 8" and weighing out at around 325 wanted to talk about his pet wolf. I felt it would be in my best interests to listen. Finally I had to leave but I couldn't tell him I had to go home and feed my little kitty cat. So as I got up, I turned to him and said, "I gotta' git home and feed Ubu." "Ubu" he asked, "Who's Ubu?" As I got off the bar stool I growled, "He's my mountain lion" and then sauntered out the door.