Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

I had a couple already, I guess you know a couple of what. Going to a friend's house for a New Year's Eve party tonight, so I expect to try a few that haven't been reviewed yet, and maybe if I'm lucky some I've never even had before. My friend has a very diverse party base, so I could find myself drinking some obscure foreign beer or (hopefully not) the Brazilian "lemonade".

Anyway, get a designated driver and don't drink and drive.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

As promised, a bunch of Sam Adams beer reviews. And now that I've cleansed my palate with a Bud Light, I'm going to start drinking their Cranberry Lambic. Give me 5 minutes.

I've had this beer many times, but I don't think I'd ever buy it alone. Usually it comes as part of some winter pack or specialty brewmaster type selection. What I think they are trying to do here is make their version of the Belgian lambic style beer. And this is a pretty good version, I must say. It's just not my favorite style.

The first time I had a lambic style beer, I was a 21 year old sitting in an auditorium at a Cornell wine tasting class in their famous Hotel School. Quite an experience with several hundred fellow students drinking for class. I don't remember the Lambic we had that day, but it was from Belgium. Sam Adams has done a great job with their version.

I know, you saw I said wine tasting class. Glad you're reading, and even more glad you're ready to jump down my throat and criticize me--just my style. The wine class had a few weeks (it was a once a week, 2 hour, Wednesday afternoon class) dedicated to Beer instead of wine. We even had Michael Jackson as a guest lecturer one week. More on him later. Him speaking ranks just below the time I got drunk and went to see Dick Vitale speak about basketball and motivation one year there in the exact same auditorium. Well, maybe Kevin Nealon was better. Whatever, it was great.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tap or Bottled Beer

Here's a discussion opener, I hope.

Do you prefer your beer from the tap, from the bottle or have some mixture of both? Why and please be specific?

For me, it's obvious that at home you're gonna opt for bottles (or cans, especially if they have some cool inner liner). Cans also are the way to go at the beach, the pool and other situations where lots of barefoot people and broken beer bottles don't mix.

But how about out and about at a restaurant or bar? My personal preference is to always drink the beers from a tap. I think the flavor of a good fresh tap beer is far superior than anything you can get in a bottle. And I also think that you get a better value for your money.

Usually when I go out to dinner, I ask what beers are on tap and make my decision from there. If they say none, but we have bottles, I ask for a Diet Coke. I never go for the bottled beer out. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So tell me what you think.

Bud Light

I bet you thought I was never going to get to the standard light beers. Well I'm having a bunch of Bud Light's tonight, you know, so I can see if it is really all about "drinkability". My coworkers kids are going around saying Baba Ganoush and I guarantee it has something to do with this commercial. (This is actually a boring article about the commercial, so please someone send me the one I need, I can't find it, only the other drinkability ads).

Anyway, this is a refreshing beer, and it's not just water flavored alcohol--it does have some taste. As far as drinkability. Yeah, sure, whatever, marketing guy. But the kids like your commercial--get them loyal now in case the drinking age is lowered.

What do all of you think? Bud Light, Miller Light or Coors Light--let's stick with taste and not drinkability. Maybe we can spark a new battle, like Ford v. Chevy (from the 80's and before of course). Now it's Toyota v. VW v. Hyundai v. Honda.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Another seasonal winter beer, Samuel Adams Winter Lager. I put up a post about Old Fezziwig recently and gave it a bit of a put-down because of the spices Boston Beer Company seems to be bragging about. They also brag about going to Southeast Asia to find the best cinnamon for this beer, which I am sure they did. However, this beer is great, and probably because the cinnamon spice is not overwhelming. Again, as I've said before, screw the "winter beer" label. Enjoy this in June, July or August if it's available, or come to Miami where my air conditioner just kicked on at the end of December. Thumbs up, Jim Koch. I think you need to invite me to your next beer launch, for my approval, or at least for a job like Norm on Cheers had (and even refused to be paid for). I couldn't find the video for that episode, so send it to me please.

Guinness Draught

As much as I love Guinness Extra Stout, Guinness Draught is a distant red-headed stepchild. Even with the Rocket Widget, this beer tastes flat. It does have similar dark flavors as the Extra Stout, but doesn't match up. And that pisses me off because the price is the same or more but I only get an 11.2 Fl. Oz. bottle for the same price as my usual 12 Oz. Extra Stout. Remind me to always stick with the Guinness Extra Stout.

From looking at the bottle, this one was brewed in Dublin v. my Guinness Extra Stout as a product of Canada. I doubt this has anything to do with the flavor, though. Or is that flavour???

Best Guinness memories--going to Mona's with my friends in the Village in NYC. Mona's had a special Guinness night, cheap drafts all night long, and the dark and dirty atmosphere was part of the experience. My colleague used to live above Mona's when he was attending NYU, and I guess that's the only way to really know about that place. It's hard to find or even know it's a bar from the outside, and there's no sign on the front to tell you its name. Great marketing. Anyway... if you want me to find out where Mona's is for you, comment and I'll find out again.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Here's another beer supposedly designed for the winter holidays--Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale. I guess it got its name from a famous Dickens story, A Christmas Carol, which don't be shocked takes place at Christmas time and winter time. It is officially winter as of earlier this week, but here in Miami it was 80 degrees today. Anyway, I know what a cold day is like as I grew up in Central PA and went to school in upstate NY and lived in the NYC suburbs for another 8 years. But this beer could be fine any time of the year, IF you like it. It is spicy; yes, you can actually taste a bunch of spices. If you like cinnamon or ginger in your beer, great. Otherwise pick another beer and enjoy those spices like most people--in your apple pie. Not a favorite of mine, but also not bad.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Samuel Adams Cream Stout

I can feel a run of Samuel Adams reviews--bought the mixed Brewmaster's Collection case at Costco this morning. I decided to start with the Samuel Adams Cream Stout. Another awesome creation by Boston Beer Company. Rich and creamy, thick and chocolatey, and it goes down very smoothe with a very nice taste left behind for a long time. I'm thinking that I need to buy stock in this company.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Michelob Ultra Amber

Cheap beer day, compliments of Anheuser-Busch. Now Michelob Ultra Amber is NO Piels or Golden Anniversary or Schlitz, the cheap beers of my college days at Cornell in upstate NY. This is actually a pretty tasty beer considering its mass production and being a light beer. It is not just watered down beer to get drunk by. I'd say you could serve this at your parties and be just fine.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Opening a Beer with a Piece of Paper

I've seen this video on opening a beer with a piece of paper many times before, and obviously hundreds of thousands of others have as well looking at the YouTube view tally. But it's still very cool.

When I graduated from college, my two housemates taught me a skill that I had never seen before--opening a non-twist off beer with a lighter. It took a while to master, but that's a piece of cake now. This trick with the piece of paper goes on the same principles, but even folded, the paper doesn't offer the rigidity to make it a simple trick. And I've still gotta do some practice before I can say I mastered it.

Guinness Extra Stout

Another favorite of mine--Guinness Extra Stout. I remember when all Guinness was brewed and sent from Dublin. But I guess this one came from New Brunswick and is a product of Canada. No big deal, as I don't really taste any difference.

This is a very dark beer, not for those that call the Bud Light's of the world their favorite. Drinking Guinness is nearly as satisfying as eating a meal. The thick, chocolately flavor is very satisfying. I think I'll have another.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

I'm gonna put some more input into reviewing not just specific beers but what's going on with advertising, corporate beer news, and other interesting facts. But today, another beer.

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager. A good beer, nice flavor, relatively cheap compared to its competitors. Not my favorite but a step above the ordinary lagers and one I'd recommend. The company has done a nice job marketing itself as the beer from Jamaica, as I don't even know what #2 is. And when I spoke to this lady from Jamaica outside my office a few months ago about her 50th birthday bash, all she talked about was the Rum and the Red Stripe that the group was drinking. So I am sure the locals like it too, maybe more the younger crowd. It's not just the marketing. I've had the local beer in many places and this seems to be a distinctive beer that the locals and outsiders like, alike.

Until tomorrow, or whenever my kids and wife let me drink another.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Now for my favorite beer of all time. And there will be more posts about this one in the future, for sure. Samuel Adams Boston Lager. This is the type of beer I could drink all day, of course when I am not working. Delicious Flavor and not the wimpy light stuff. If Jim Koch wants to go swimming in the old stuff as he says on his commercial, I'd like an invite next year to the pool party.

As this site is just starting, I told one of my friends that I was starting a site about Beer. She has a blog in the advertising arena--UglyDoggy.com. Funniest thing was that the day I told her she was reviewing some beer commercials the same day. Take a look for some good stuff.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

LandShark Lager

So back to the DAILY beer review. Finally got some help to get Blogger and this domain to cooperate--one simple check box needed checking. Anyway, problem solved.

Got home from work and cracked open a Land Shark Lager from Margaritaville Brewing Co. I think that's Jimmy Buffet's brewery, and I think he's great. This would probably go well with that Cheeseburger in Paradise, but that's another story. Back to the beer. Very nice flavor and you can tell that you're supposed to think you are on an island when drinking it. I like it. How about you?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amstel Light

Miami Dolphins are winning another squeaker right now. Even though I am a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, you gotta feel good about the Dolphins rebounding from their pathetic season last year. (That and I live a few miles from their stadium). But basically it's a great excuse to pick up a cold one. Today, among others, I am drinking a bottle of Amstel Light. This is one of the better light beers, and I am certainly OK with them putting the words "Premium Lager" on the front of the label. This is a nice beer for watching the game--the flavor is very good and it's not a heavy beer--can drink it all day which is the point of Sunday football.

My best Amstel memory was when I was in Amsterdam in 1996 and a few big horses trotted by pulling a trailer full of Amstel kegs.

Back to the games.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yuengling Black & Tan

OK. Sitting at home drinking a Yuengling Black & Tan. I prefer that to the Lager but do like both. I am in Florida, but am from Pennsylvania and for some reason proud that this beer is from there. This is what I don't get. I can go to Costco or even Publix here in Florida and buy a case of this beer for $18 but in PA I can't buy it for less than $22 (or more). What is that all about? Does shipping it make it less valuable? Or is it the Commonwealth that is getting wealthy on local sales?

As far as the taste. I love it, especially cold. I hope these dudes don't ever sell out to Budweiser.