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rta-man

The Beer Thread

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One of my hobbies is beer tasting. In fact, I rate them on my website here:

http://www.discoveringbranches.com/beer/

After living in Germany for 4 years, I became accustomed to the best beer in the world (IMHO); but I do have a few questions about beer worldwide:

The generalization is that England is known for their ales, porters and stouts. Does England produce a good lager or pilsner?

Ireland is famous for Guinness. I heard that Guinness in Europe tastes 10x better than Guinness in the US. Why is that?

While I was in Germany, it seemed every brewery produced a pilsner, export, doppelbock (at Christmas time), and sometimes a hefe-weizen or alt. I heard that craft beer is starting to make a mark there. Are the old breweries now making craft beer? Or is it being brewed by new start-ups?

The best American craft beer seems to come from either the East Coast (Samual Adams, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, Saranac, Victory) or West Coast (Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Widmer Brothers, Redhook). What are some good craft beers from the interior?

What are YOUR favorite beers?

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I personally don't like beer....I just don't like the taste :(

As for UK lager/pilsner, Carling is a good one I think. Was going to say Carlsberg, but that's not ours. :S

Totally unsure. :( lol

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Can't stand lager personally. If I'm not on the vodka or the rose wine I'm usually found with a Guinness in hand here. That said I am partial to a real ale now and then. Hobgoblin finds it's way into our house quite often and a friend of mine introduced me to a stout called Marsden's Oyster Stout earlier in the year, a nice alternative to Guinness.

I remember a few years ago at a re-enacting event some kindly soul brought a few bottles of Dark Lord along. Awesome sauce that was :)

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Interesting topic, rta. Like most things edible, I have a pauper's pallet so MGD or Corona are usually good enough. I learned to like Grolsch and Stella Artois a lot when working in The Netherlands and Warsteiner comes to mind as a good European beer as well. Our daughter's GF has taken up home brewing and we have the pleasure of enjoying her creations when we're there. She tends toward English brown ale which is usually a little strong for me but I'm learning.

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Kieron, I'll look out for Carling. The liquor stores around here have a wide variety of international beers. Carlsberg is Danish, but the style is a German pilsner. I need to reacquaint myself with that one.

Starblind, I've seen Hobgoblin available here. If you prefer ales, I recommend Rogue Dead Guy Ale. They specialize in ales. Do you have a preference to either Russian or Polish vodka? Have you ever had potato vodka? Chopin makes a good, premium potato vodka.

Mutai, I've never seen this topic before, and I agree it's interesting. That's why I figured I try it and see where it goes. Since you like Grolsch and Stella Artois, you should try Pilsner Urquell. It's the best Bohemian pilsner I've ever had. There's nothing wrong with liking MGD or Corona. Even though I like craft beers, my staple is Budweiser Select 55. Because it's the lowest carb beer in the world, it also has a lower alcohol content -- only 4%. You're fortunate that your daughter's girl friend shares her brews with you. I have a son-in-law that does the same thing. He's my favorite son-in-law.

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I tend to mainly drink Vodka these days to be honest.

I went through a period in a younger years of drinking Bacardi Breezers, and then onto Smirnoff Ice Black, then onto WKD Blue.

I got bored of those, so went to Amaretto with coke....I love that stuff! But vodka is the one for me now though. Will have the ocassional Kopperberg cider as well though.

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Do you like the flavored vodkas? UV makes a popular 'Whipped Cream' and 'Cherry' flavors.

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As far as English beers go, I love Sam Smith strawberry ale. Probably the finest I've tasted. I also love sampling the pumpkin beers during the fall, and I adore Weyerbacher during that time of year. As far as lagers go, I enjoy Yuengling. I also enjoy the occasional Guinness and Heineken.

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Do you like the flavored vodkas? UV makes a popular 'Whipped Cream' and 'Cherry' flavors.

To be perfectly honest, I have never gotten around to trying any yet!

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As far as English beers go, I love Sam Smith strawberry ale. Probably the finest I've tasted. I also love sampling the pumpkin beers during the fall, and I adore Weyerbacher during that time of year. As far as lagers go, I enjoy Yuengling. I also enjoy the occasional Guinness and Heineken.

Being originally from Allentown, I'm familiar with both Yuengling and Weyerbacher. I still want to tour the oldest brewery in the US (Yuengling). Their lager is good. Since I'm used to regular Black and Tans (Guinness and Bass), I never liked Yuengling's Black and Tan. A pre-mixed version just doesn't taste as good as the Guinness version.

The pumpkin beers are already on the shelves here. I have yet to taste any pumpkin ale.

A great local brewery is Victory. They're just outside of Philly. My favorite ones from them are Summer Love (a blonde ale) and Whirlwind Witbier (a witbier). If you like beer with a fruit overtone, you should try their Golden Monkey (a Belgian ale); but be careful. Golden Monkey's alcohol content is 9.5%.

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I just tried Coney Island brewery's variety 12-pack this past weekend. It's funny that the brewery is actually 200 miles away from the amusement park. Their Mermaid Pilsner and Lager were both excellent. The Sword Swallower (a pale lager) was good, but the Albino Python (a white lager) had too much spices for my liking.

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I love craft beers. They are on the pricy side, but we are all allowed a silly little vice ;) I tend to go for dark beers, and with fall coming, I am excited to see what they will have out there this year! Pumpkin beers have started hitting the shelves here too, rta. I bought a 4 pack of Terrapin's pumpkin fest beer, and it was delicious. I may wait until October before buying another pack because it really is a fall beer and would be perfect for a chilly night.

Here are some of my favorite beers/brands:

Terrapin

Sierra Nevada

Brother Thelonious

Imperial Russian Stout

Belgian style ale

Abby style ale

Over the summer, I've started to take a liking to hoppy beers (I used to shy away from them, but since they are great summer beers, I went out of my comfort zone and had a few different types. They are actually pretty decent).

Mutai, my husband brews beer! I feel that some of his beers were the best that I've ever had! I don't think it gets better than a good home-brewed beer! I think that is awesome she brews beer.

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I love craft beers. They are on the pricy side, but we are all allowed a silly little vice ;) I tend to go for dark beers, and with fall coming, I am excited to see what they will have out there this year! Pumpkin beers have started hitting the shelves here too, rta. I bought a 4 pack of Terrapin's pumpkin fest beer, and it was delicious. I may wait until October before buying another pack because it really is a fall beer and would be perfect for a chilly night.

Here are some of my favorite beers/brands:

Terrapin

Sierra Nevada

Brother Thelonious

Imperial Russian Stout

Belgian style ale

Abby style ale

Over the summer, I've started to take a liking to hoppy beers (I used to shy away from them, but since they are great summer beers, I went out of my comfort zone and had a few different types. They are actually pretty decent).

I like Sierra Nevada's Brewer's Reserve. It's a smooth, hoppy, oak-aged ale. Their Glissade is a good summer beer.

Have you tried barley wine style ale? Since you like Abby style ales, I believe you'll also like barley wine style ales. My favorites are Brooklyn's Monster Ale and Rock Art's Ridge Runner; but beware's Monstar Ale's 10% alcohol content.

How do you like the Oktoberfest beers? They're beginning to show up on the shelves now.

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Oktoberfest beer is one of my favorite styles. I picked up a six-pack of Spaten's Oktoberfest recently, but the labeling took me by surprise. The left side of the label says it's a "Malt Liquor".

WHAT?!

How do they figure it's a 'malt liquor' and who put it on the label? Maybe by the simple definition of, "a fermented liquor, such as beer or ale, made with malt" is the reason for the labeling. But the label also defines the style as a "Ur-Märzen" (original March[beer]). Now I'm confused why it's labeled as two different beer styles.

Yeah well, it still tastes as good as I remember the last Octoberfest season. PROST!

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I have not tried barley wine style ale, but it sounds like something I would definitely like. I'm going to have to look for those ones you mentioned next time I go to the liquor store.

*Face palms at the label* Well, at least it tasted good, right? That sounds like another one I have to try. The first pumpkin/oktoberfest beer I had this year was the Terrapin one I mentioned. The local brewery holds a hops/harvest festival every September, and I am looking forward to it. They always have special beers and bring out their best.

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I have not tried barley wine style ale, but it sounds like something I would definitely like. I'm going to have to look for those ones you mentioned next time I go to the liquor store.

*Face palms at the label* Well, at least it tasted good, right? That sounds like another one I have to try. The first pumpkin/oktoberfest beer I had this year was the Terrapin one I mentioned. The local brewery holds a hops/harvest festival every September, and I am looking forward to it. They always have special beers and bring out their best.

You'll likely find Brooklyn's Monster Ale. Brooklyn Brewery has a pretty good nationwide distribution. Rock Art's Ridge Runner is only found in New England. They're a small brewery that just started expanding their distribution outside of Vermont.

It looks like the furthest north Terrapin sells to is PA (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). After browsing through Terrapin's brew list online, I didn't see a barley wine style ale. Although their Rye Pale Ale peaked my interest. My first taste of rye beer was Samuel Adams' Revolutionary Rye Ale. They only brewed it in 2010, but I loved it. Since then, the best rye beer I've had is Founder's Red's Rye PA.

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@rta-man: Truth be told I just buy vodka along with some coke for days I want to get hammered on the cheap, usually when out camping

Our daughter's GF has taken up home brewing and we have the pleasure of enjoying her creations when we're there. She tends toward English brown ale which is usually a little strong for me but I'm learning.

Richard (my husband) brews various beers/wines when he gets the time. Now's around the time we go out for walks into the countryside, harvest a load of wild fruits and make wines. He occasionally gets things wrong with the yeast/sugar and we wind up with things on a par with spirits for strength. A rack and a plum wine wound up so strong I dubbed it 'paintstripper' because it was probably strong enough to do just that. Certainly a bottle of that left an impression the next day and right now we've a couple of bottles of an Elderflower wine that I can only describe as being a schnapps now.

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A recent trip to Anaheim, CA allowed me to taste some of the great craft brews from the West Coast.

For a long time, I've been wanting to try Fat Tire (brewed in Fort Collins, CO). My son-in-law brewed a Fat Tire clone that I loved. Fortunately, the hotel bar had an ample supply. That was one really good amber ale!

Next, I found Scrimshaw Pilsner and Full Sail LTD 03. Scrimshaw Pilsner (brewed in Fort Bragg, CA) is an excellent German pilsner with a smooth, hoppy flavor. Full Sail LTD 03 (brewed in Hood River, OR) is a good pilsner-style lager that tasted great.

Right now, it's Oktoberfest time! I highly recommend trying these brews while they're still available. From Munich, you should try Hofbrau's Oktoberfest and Paulaner's Okoberfest Weisn. Outside of Munich, I recommend Weihenstephaner's Oktoberfestbier. I promise you won't be disappointed by any of these three.

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I picked up an assortment of fall and winter brews.

Avery Brewing, in Boulder, CO, is receiving high marks in my book. I picked up their The Kaiser Oktoberfest and Salvation Belgian-style golden ale. The Kaiser gets 5 out of 5 for a smooth malty flavor. Salvation has a nice spicy flavor. Both have a 9% ABV content and come in 22 oz bottles. Any of these two are good to sip before the snow falls.

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Previously, I had a bottle of Ayinger Jahrhundert. This German lager was great! This reminded me of the good German export-style beer that I had in Germany. Given that good experience, I tried two more of the Ayinger label: Oktober Fest-Märzen and Bräu-Weisse. Both of these are great! The Oktober Fest-Märzen tastes smoother than Paulaner's Oktoberfest Wiesn, and the Bräu-Weisse has a nice balanced malt and spice flavor. To top it off, they all come in the brown generic .5 liter bottle that's even MORE reminiscent of my time living in Germany.

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Curiosity got the best of me when I saw the Budweiser Brewmasters' Project 12 sampler 12-pack.

My last experience with their 'Brewmaster' beer was with their Brew Master Private Reserve back in 2006 and 2007. To this day, I still say it was the best domestic beer I've ever had. That beer was given to their employees every year as a Christmas gift, and was only sold to the public from 2005-2007. With these fond memories in mind, I picked up their Project 12 sampler pack.

The 3 different beers are labeled as Batch No. 63118, Batch No.23185, and Batch No.91406 (from the ZIP Codes of the Budweiser breweries from which they were brewed). All 3 were surprisingly smooth, but lacked flavor. Batch No. 63118 is supposed to be a golden pilsner, but it lacked hops flavor. Batch No.91406 is an amber lager, but it had little malt flavor. Batch No.23185 is a bourbon cask lager. This one had the most taste with a smooth bourbon flavor, but it wasn't 'flavorful'.

On the other hand, I highly recommend Samuel Adams' White Christmas. This limited release Witbier is great! It's smooth spice taste is perfect for the holiday season. If you see it on the shelf, BUY IT.

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On the other hand, I highly recommend Samuel Adams' White Christmas. This limited release Witbier is great! It's smooth spice taste is perfect for the holiday season. If you see it on the shelf, BUY IT.

I've never been a fan of Sam Adams up until a couple of months ago when I had their Oktoberfest beer. It was surprisingly good, for a domestic, and their seasonal beers, especially the honey wheat, are rather good. I'm pleasantly surprised.

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If you enjoyed their Oktoberfest, you might try their Winter Variety 12-pack. This year, it has 2 bottles each of:

- White Christmas

- Old Fezziwig Ale (I absolutely LOVE this one)

- Winter Lager

- Boston Lager

- Chocolate Bock, and

- Holiday Porter

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Two beers have hit the radar that'll be interesting to try:

- Samuel Adams New Albion Ale: this American pale ale (6% ABV) was originally brewed by a Navy veteran (Jack McAuliffe) that wanted to replicate the Scottish and European beers he enjoyed using American Cascade hops. Since Jack's passing, Jim Koch (of Sam Adams) used the same malt, hop, and the same yeast strain to recreate this brew in its original form. It's already on the shelves.

- Victory White Monkey: this Belgian triple (9.5% ABV) is the same as Victory's Golden Monkey. The difference being that White Monkey is aged in white wine barrels. Expect to see these 750ml bottles on the shelves the first week of March.

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Victory White Monkey: this Belgian triple (9.5% ABV) is the same as Victory's Golden Monkey. The difference being that White Monkey is aged in white wine barrels. Expect to see these 750ml bottles on the shelves the first week of March.

I'm already a fan of Golden Monkey, I'll have to keep an eye out for White Monkey and grab a bottle, or six, for my birthday. (Coincidentally in the first week of March)

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