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  1.  (9928.21)
    I'm currently working on getting my mug at the Cambridge establishment, so I've been drinking a lot of beer. Really, I go there to write and the beer is an excuse not to say "fuck it" and stop after an hour. The hour and a half drive also has something to do with my desire to stay (I'm not totally insane, it's just down the street from my office... yeah, my office is 1.5 hours away from home with no traffic. My life ain't perfect). I don't remember the name, but I had a sake ginger beer that was outstanding. Also, I've learned, I apparently don't really care for Duvel. Or Schlitz.

    I will second (or whatever number) the thumbs up for Arrogant Bastard and Pilsner Urquell. I suspect it's going to be a long time before I drink a beer not on the list (something like 115 left to drink in 140 days), but it's always fun to hear about what I'm missing.
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      CommentAuthorcosta_k
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011
     (9928.22)
    I was a red ale guy for YEARS (I still am) but this past year I've been experimenting more and more with IPA's, which I've come to love.

    Columbus OH has a crap-ton of great microbreweries, and locally-named Columbus Brewing Company's got a summer IPA with this delicious raspberry aftertaste I adore. That's my new favorite these days.

    Smuttynose Brewery's got a nice IPA, though they have some ales I want to try and haven't had a chance to yet. I sort of love living in the Midwest US, there are so many awesome breweries available. Also, for when I want something random and cheap in the fridge, especially in the summer, I can be a Midwestern manly-man and get some Rolling Rock.
  2.  (9928.23)
    For me it's more a problem of finding beers that I don't like, actually. I like a lot of different styles and switch between them constantly, although I personally have to be in the right mood for most Belgian styles. To me, the Belgians are all very heavy and very sweet, and that gets old for me pretty quickly unless I really want it.

    The very best beer I ever had was Thomas Hardy's ale, of which I have managed to buy about ten bottles (and I still have one in the wine cellar at home, waiting for the right moment). But that is more like a port than a beer.

    My favorite brewery right now is Oskar Blues, out of Colorado. I've never had a beer that I didn't like, and most of them have really impressive abv's - their Old Chub Scottish ale is 8%, for example, and their very best beer (that I've had so far) is the Ten Fidy, which is 10.5%. Ten Fidy I put at being better than even Old Rasputin--when you pour it into a glass, it's so smooth you wouldn't believe it didn't come from a hand-pumped ale engine.

    I actually find Brewdog to be a little overhyped, what with the hipster street cred and all--I prefer Stone for interesting craft beers. But that may be because I can only find a handful of Brewdogs over here, and most of them are Belgian styles.
    • CommentAuthorMr. Skar
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011 edited
     (9928.24)
    Big time craft brew fanatic, so it pleases me to see this as a topic. Currently enjoying loads of Stone Brewing, mostly Ruination IPA and Sublimely Self Righteous (an incredibly delicious Black IPA). While I do enjoy Arrogant Bastard (go for Oaked Arrogant Bastard, even more kick) I'm a big time IPA guy, so that's mostly what I go for (with the occasional stout/porter/Imperial stout thrown into the mix). My local stores are flat out of Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA, which made me sad, but I got over it quick since the selection on the IPA front is staggering. Also trying to get some more Pliny the Elder from Russia River Brewing (more small time California brewers), but this shit is hard to get a hold of.

    Now that I mention it, I still have some Storm King Imperial Stout to finish up.

    @guy-who-mentioned-Deschutes-and-who's-name-I-just-forgot(sorry): Deschutes is definitely a brewery that is worth your money, good to hear you are enjoying your Inversion. If you haven't yet, give their Black Butte Porter a try and keep an eye out for Hop In the Dark, their seasonal Black IPA. Rogue is another good American brewery in America that you might want to try.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011
     (9928.25)
    Am having a sip of something I thought was long gone from this province. La Fin Du Monde. WONDERFUL Quebec based beer that's a healthy 9%.
  3.  (9928.26)
    Congratulations, Thread. You have now become my beer blog.

    Beers had tonight:

    Yeungling Lager, 12 oz, 4.4% abv
    If you don't know Yeungling, you're not from the real Murricka. But while it's miles better than Budweiser, it's not a complex beer by any means.

    Stone Sublimely Self-righteous, 22 oz, 8.7% abv
    Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot, 22 oz, 7.8% abv
    I grouped these together because they're actually pretty similar in taste. Both smell strongly of hops, but the taste belies the smell--while there's definitely a stark "hops" taste, it's not even as pronounced as most American pale ales, and both are balanced by some rich malty notes and a hint of oak. Excellent in either case, although I always lean towards Stone in a tie.

    Breckenridge Double-Hopped IPA, 12 oz, 9.2% abv
    Holy shit. It's very, very thick. Like hop syrup. A fine example of an imperial IPA, but damn it's a slow drink. You've been warned.

    And yes, I am shitfaced now.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMorac
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011
     (9928.27)
    I just spent the evening drinking Hobgoblin, from the Witchwood brewery. I love this beer to bits (though their site leaves a bit to be desired).

    I am still surprised that the only place I can find this beer is at the BC Liquor store. None of the other smaller/independent stores here ever seem to carry it, which is annoying since the hours of the BCLS are limited enough that I hardly ever shop there.
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      CommentAuthortmcd02
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011
     (9928.28)
    @Mr. Skar, Black Butte was the first thing I ever tried from them. I've had just about everything they offer, or at least everything they ship to Texas. They recently put out their spring (or summer, I guess) seasonal, called Hophenge, which I loved last year and need to stock up on this year...but alas, I've only seen it at one place this year and it's out-of-the-way and I haven't had time to go back yet. As for Rogue, Dead Guy was one of the first craft beers I ever tried (and liked), but that was a few years ago, and last time I had it (also quite a long time ago) it wasn't as good as I recalled; personally I am not a big Rogue fan.
    • CommentAuthorMr. Skar
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011
     (9928.29)
    @tmcd02, Well that makes sense, just thought I'd throw out another Oregon based brewery as a suggestion. I agree that Dead Guy is a little boring, but their Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout is really good. It doesn't beat Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout (a favorite of mine), but it wins points for an awesome name. Don't know what gets out to Texas from California so I can't throw anymore random and unrequested suggestions (I mean well).

    @lampcommander, I like the way you drink sir. I place Sublimely ahead of Wilco just slightly also, but both should definitely be had. I'll have to give that Breckenridge Double-Hopped a try, sounds good.
  4.  (9928.30)
    Am having a sip of something I thought was long gone from this province. La Fin Du Monde. WONDERFUL Quebec based beer that's a healthy 9%.
    I need to get around to trying that one. I used to love Trois Pistoles (that and Young's Double Chocolate Stout were my Starter Beers. I then had a brief dalliance with Old Rasputin that didn't end well, and now I stick mostly to Guinness), but I just don't drink at home the way I used to. And when I do it's usually rum.
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      CommentAuthorkahavi
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011
     (9928.31)
    Current love of my life: Ola Dubh. I cannot sing its praises enough.

    I've also got two bottles of Nøgne Ø's Dark Horizon 3. Edition maturing in my closet. I won't be touching those babies for a year or two...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011
     (9928.32)
    Re: aging beers - Is there a particular kind of beer (I'm going to guess quality beer versus swill like Pabst) that ages better or can any beer, in theory, be aged?
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011 edited
     (9928.33)
    Limited knowledge, but...

    Beers that are unfiltered (beers where yeasts are in the bottle. Easy way to check? Look at a coors or whatever. Note the complete clarity to it. That's filtered. Any light-coloured beer with a bit of cloudiness to it, it's a safe bet it's unfiltered. It's also pretty safe bet that dark ales, stouts and porters are good for aging) can be aged unless otherwise stated on the bottle. I think Innis & Gunn and Fullers both make beers that encourage storing the beer away for a few years.

    [edited to add] It should be said that a lot of hoppy beers like IPAs might not be so great to be cellared for long periods of time, as they are usually meant to be consumed young. Porters, Imperial Stouts, and most ales that are 9% ABV or higher are incredibly safe bets to pop in to the cellar. Also, barleywine is good for it as well!

    Another thing that I love is that home brew is GREAT if you age it. I've left stouts and ales I've made for a few months and the taste just kept on improving.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011
     (9928.34)
    On the subject, does anyone know if there's an "upper limit" for beer aging? By which I mean, is there a point where the beer will no longer improve in taste, and might actually get worse, if left too long?
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011
     (9928.35)
    Alan, just on what I know, it all depends on the individual beers and it might pay to look it up on forums or e-mailing the brewery themselves. I know some beers can last for up to 5 years while others don't really gain anything by anything more than 8 months or so.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011 edited
     (9928.36)
    Thanks, Oldhat - I'm thinking of setting a bottle of Poet aside for 2 months or so, then another for 4 months, to see if there's any appreciable difference from that. Sounds like that'll be well-within the safety limits!
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      CommentAuthorAlastair
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011
     (9928.37)
    i've had a bottle of this aging for nearly a year now and cannot wait to drink it....

    its the local beer fest here this weekend so i'm looking forward to giving some new things a taste. will report back!
  5.  (9928.38)
    Bottle-conditioned ales are great for aging. But yeah, I would assume there's supposed to be an upper limit for aging beer, like how quality red wines can age for decades whereas whites are really only supposed to be aged for five to ten years max.

    Thomas Hardy's Ale, on the other hand, is purported to be ageable up to 25 years.
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      CommentAuthorchiaslut
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011
     (9928.39)
    Ahhh ... a topic near and dear to my heart.
    I currently live in the US's Pacific North West, which hosts roughly a bajillion breweries and brewpubs.

    I'm actually attending a conference at one of the many McMenamins around here.
    Last night had their deliciously smooth porter and the Copper Moon Ale last night. Tonight I'll be trekking out to their distillery where they're having a beer tasting.

    @oldhat - There needs to be some sort of beer trading club, because that that La Fin Du Monde sounds A-mazing.

    Mr.Skar and tmcd02 - There a fantastic smallish brewery in Eugene, OR called Oakshire that is getting some good distribution. Their Overcast Espresso Stout is currently my favorite beverage.
  6.  (9928.40)
    @Mr. Skar - Pliny the Elder is indeed fantastic for hopheads. A pub nearby carries it on tap, and while they run out on occasion, it's what I always order. It's like drinking a fat, yeasty grapefruit. Kind of.

    @oldhat - La Fin Du Monde is my current go-to ale (had one last night), because it's terrific and available just about everywhere around here. Trader Joe's has started carrying a Unibroue "sampler" pack that includes 12 oz. bottles of La Fin Du Monde, Trois Pistoles, Maudite and ... another one I can't recall. Excellent stuff, but I have gotten use to the heft of the big bottles, and the 12 oz. seems a tad small.

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