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shellyindallas As a beer lover I'm bitter (oh god--no pun intended) over the fact that it doesn't get the credit it deserves in the food world. Beer pairs well with so many different foods and there are so many different styles, even styles within styles, that have a range of surprising and complex flavors.

I'm also bummed when I speak to women who say they hate beer when in reality they've only ever tried a few, and those are generally the macro-brewed, mass produced big names like bud and miller lite. I've noticed on this site that many of you goodreaders live in the Northwest--many of the world's finest beers can be consumed there! So if you live in that region and haven't been turned onto beer you should really consider it.
Even in the Northeast you have so many options. Here in Texas the selection is limited to what's distributed here. Many craft breweries, aware that light beers and Mexican beers are so heavily consumed here, just don't make the investment in the region.

So, what's your story? Any beer lovers out there? Any haters I can convert?
Any faves? Worsts?

message 2: by Amanda (last edited Mar 20, 2008 10:22AM) (new)

Amanda (randymandy) Oh yes, beer really is delightful and much more complex than people give it credit for. I didn't like it until I joined a Beer Drinking club at a bar in Little Rock, AR. The idea was that you drink 200 beers and then the bar throws you a party or something. But the catch was that you had to drink 200 DIFFERENT beers. I ended up trying beers from all over the world, and realized just how varied they all are! These fun little microbreweries go through recipe after recipe to create the perfect brew.

Today, my favorite is Magic Hat #9. It's crafted in Vermont, but we FINALLY got folks to distribute Magic Hat in NC about 6 months ago or so. :) Yum.

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) http://www.beerknurd.com/

Not normally a fan of franchised venues, but this one has fantastic selection, and it rotates seasonally. The UFO club is the one I mentioned in post #2...

message 4: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmdoubleday) Vermont does work the beer... Long Trail is supposedly very good too.
I'm beer illiterate. Give me a good green beer and I'm golden.

shellyindallas Yeah, I'm familiar with the Flying Saucer, it's a Texas chain. The guy who started it is a prick and heir to the Six Flags fortune. And it's a carbon copy of another beer pub in TX that came first, The Gingerman. I used to work there so I get needlessly upset about that place. They are about to open one here in Austin.

Yeah, Magic Hat #9 is a good one.

That's awesome that you've tried all those beers Amanda. Glad to meet another beer geek.

message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) I like Fat Tire, Boddington's, Pyramid's Hefeweizen, but try as I might, I HATE Guinness. I'm going to Ireland in April so I'm going to try it again when I get there. My friend Chris says it tastes different there than it does here.

message 7: by shellyindallas (last edited Mar 20, 2008 11:45AM) (new)

shellyindallas Well Michelle be sure and tell me what you think. I have a theory that people who have Guinness in Ireland tend to romanticize the taste a lot and that yeah, it's fresher, but really it's the same beer.

I think the New Belgium brewery makes some okay beers but since people in Colorado tend to exaggerate how great the beer is there (including Fat Tire) I like to send people in a different direction. Fat Tire is decent, don't get me wrong, but if you like that and wanna branch out someday then try Dogfish Head's Raison d'etre, or North Coast's Pranqster Ale. That is of course if you've already given the true Belgian's a shot--like Chimay Red and Maredsous 8. Also Ommegang is a New York brewery that does Belgian styles and gets them right on.

And if you're into wheat beers than you must (please) try Saison Dupont (if you haven't already) and Aventinus (it's a dark wheat, and very tasty).

message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) Michelle, I'm with you on Guinness. Something about it just seems stale and stinky. There are other stouts out there that are MUCH better. Ever tried Young's Double Chocolate? Weird, but good. But do the draught, not the can, (though I like draught better anyway).

Shelly, you didn't mention your faves... And I feel like I need to apologize for liking the flying saucer. I've always hated myself for liking that bar, but I've never lived anywhere that has a bar that does it better. Sigh. Oh well, there isn't one at all where I live now, so I can stave off guilt for a while.

message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) oops, we cross-posted. you DID say some you like! :)

message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) Thanks for the good ideas! I've never tried Young's Double Chocolate. Do you know if you can get it at Beverages & More? That's probably the only place I can think of who carries it.

Shelly, I haven't tried any of the ones you mentioned either, but I will make a note to try them. I'm not a huge beer fan, but I think it's because I just haven't tried the right ones.

I tried another one that I can't remember the name of, but I really liked. I think it was called 4150 or something like that. Sound familiar? I believe it was imported.

message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) No idea. That is one tough dilemma we have going on here, women. Most of the really good beers are regional enough that almost none of the beers on either of your lists are available here. I'm gonna go pout about it for a while, actually. Poop!

message 12: by shellyindallas (last edited Mar 20, 2008 01:53PM) (new)

shellyindallas OK ladies, if there's a Whole Foods in your area it's likely they'll have a decent beer selection. Where US micro-brews are tricky depending on your region, generally you can easily find a good amount of the Belgian, British, and German brews.

Belgian beers are probably my favorite. I mentioned Saison Dupont, but other notables are Westmalle Dubbel, Corsendonk Brown, and pretty much anything from the Caracole Brewery. But if you haven't tried the big ones--Chimay gold, red, and blue, or Duvel, then you should start there.

As for British Ales, I love Porters and whole heartedly agree with Amanda on the Young's Dbl. Chocolate. There's a brewery called St. Peter's from England that does a really good Porter and Milk Stout. And any beer snob I've met will agree that Sam Smith's makes some of the best beers in the world--certainly in Britain. I love their Oatmeal Stout. I also love stuff from the Greene King Brewery, particularly Old Speckled Hen.

As for the Germans, I'm a fan of Wheat Beers esp. dark wheats (dunkel weiss) like Aventinus and Franziskaner Dunkel. Plus the regular Franziskaner Hefe Weiss kicks ass. They are also good at Black Lagers (dark beers are typically Ales, dark lagers have a lighter body so don't go down as heavy), I really like Kostritzer.

4150 I've never heard of. New Belgium does a dark beer called 1554. Fuller's from England does an ale called 1845. So I don't know.
The World's oldest continuously working brewery is Weihenstephan in Germany and they have 1040 (the year the brewery started) printed on their six pack holders...???

And Amanda, don't feel bad going to the Flying Saucer, I've just got a dumb bias for personal reasons. Get good beer wherever you can get it!

Futhermore, I live in a state with some of the most backass, nonsense, liquor laws in the nation. On Sundays, you can't buy liquor period. And you can't buy beer or wine until after noon. So if I can get my hands on these beers, I know you can!

message 13: by Amanda (last edited Mar 20, 2008 01:58PM) (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I hate that stupid Sunday rule. Same in NC. Though you can buy liquor by the glass on Sundays, but only in certain counties. And of course, moonshine is made more often where you can't...

message 14: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Trainor | 23 comments Huzzah for beer! What's that quote? "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!" Franklin or suchlike I believe :)

I'm gonna have to say, I adore Guinness. It's a favorite, for sure. I don't like the chocolate stouts (well, I don't really like chocolate, so...) but another stout that's really REALLY good is Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. MMMMMMmmmm!! Also, there's a Jamaican import that I haven't found since I left the NYC area, called Dragon Stout. Gah, what I wouldn't give for that right now! Stupid Iowa.

Other beers I like: Pilsner Urqell, Blue Moon, BOULEVARD!! esp the Lunar Ale, hmmmmm, I'm drawing a blank but I'm sure I'll be back later with other choices :) I do have to admit to enjoying some more pedestrian picks as well, such as Killians, Amber Bock, and even the occasional Mickey's (*ducks flying (empty) beer bottles*) Sadly, you can't be but so picky 'round these parts (Iowa) unless you've got money to burn.

message 15: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I went through a blue moon phase not so long ago, and it's still my go-to choice at a few of my local hangouts. Can't say as I enjoy the orange slice though--I typically chuck all the fruit off my drinks including the lime on a gin and tonic. What do y'all think about fruit in your beer? I like fruit-flavored beers, but seriously have no interest in the citrus slice!

message 16: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Trainor | 23 comments Ugh, no fruit in beer for me! I go back&forth about very fruity flavored beers, though. I like a nice lambic when I feel like splurging, but I can only drink a couple of the Leininkugel Berry-Weis before it gets to be too much.

shellyindallas Coors White, err, I mean, Blue Moon is good...but not nearly as good as the beers it's trying to be. Like Hoegaarden and Sterkins. Please give those a shot if you haven't. Hoegaarden is pretty easy to find.

message 18: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I don't like Hoegaarden as much. No Sterkins readily available here. Bummer. Now I'm getting desperate for a great beer bar. Stupid Greensboro.

message 19: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony I hate Guinness...why would I want to drink motor oil?

I can divide my selections into warm and cold weather beers...

In the summer I drink a lot of Rolling Rock and Corona...nothing too imaginative, but they get the job done. Oh, Red Stripe, too.

In the winter I drink a lot of Anchor Steam, when I want to drop the cash, and some local porters...

I have a brewery not far from home called Habor City Brewery...they make some great beer. In Wisconsin there are breweries about every two blocks, so we don't suffer for lack of selection.

message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (goosers34) Ok so Not sure if anyone has heard of it but...

Dixis' Blackened Voodoo is/was a fantastic beer.

My husband and I served it at our wedding. Alas the brewery shut down after Hurricane Katrina destroyed it. I am told they are up and running again but only producing in limited quantity. If you're in the gulf coast area, I highly suggest you look for it.

Also, Rogue brewery out of Oregon makes great beer. the "Dead Guy Ale" is good (also served at my wedding). they also have a some good seasonals, "Santa's special preserve" for one. and a couple that "Iron Chef" (from food network) Morimoto helped create.

message 21: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) Oh, yeah, I forgot all about Rogue beers. You're right, they are quite good. I like their nut brown a lot.

Hey, I was just thinking that I really love that flying dog always puts a scale on their packaging. Hoppy vs Malty and Light vs Dark. I think that's such a helpful little hint. Lets me zero in on the stuff I think I might like more.

shellyindallas Yeah, I love Rogue too. They are the most widely distributed micro-brew in the US. The brewery's founder used to work for Nike and I heard that he was the guy who suggested attaching Michael Jordan's name to one of their shoes, an idea most people thought was crazy at the time apparently.
My favorite Rogue brews are the Imperial Stout, Chipotle Ale, and the Morimoto Soba Ales.

And yeah, Amanda, that is cool that Flying Dog puts the light to dark scales on their beers. What's even cooler though is the artwork on those six packs containers. The guy who started Flying Dog was a friend of Hunter S. Thompson's and he introduced the owner to the artist Ralph Steadman and the rest, as they say, is history.
My favorite from Flying Dog is their wheat beer.

message 23: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Trainor | 23 comments I don't know if I've had the Blackened Voodoo, but I picked up some other variety from that brand for our Mardi Gras shindig, and it was Quite Good!

What does everyone here think of the world-wide hopps shortage??? Is anyone worried? Will prices skyrocket? Thoughts??

message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) I know this was several posts ago, but I'm just catching up. Hoegaarden? ha ha ha. That makes me laugh for some reason. I'm just picturing a garden full of hookers drinking beer.

On one of my trips to Mexico, I tried Pacifico. There was something really nice about sitting around with a bucket of those cold beers and a dish full of limes.

shellyindallas As far as the worldwide hop shortage goes, i think that people who love their hoppy beers (i.p.a., imperial i.p.a) will be willing to pay the extra whatever the brewery has to charge. in addition, breweries who have a particular brand that relies heavily on one type of hop might have to mix it up a bit and add in some other kinds of hops. right now the pacific nw (which is where most us brewers get their hops from) isn't in as dire a situation as Czechoslovakia, Germany, or England. Still, there's a shortage and the demand has gone up since consumer-ship of beer, particularly craft beer, is on the rise. apparently, the cost of malt has gone up too, but not as much. so with beers that aren't as heavily hopped (like light pilsners, wheat beers, belgian ales, etc) you shouldn't see much of a decline in availability or increase in price. i would think.

but yeah, times are tough. a good friend of mine is a pastry chef running her own business and having to deal with increases in the cost of wheat and flour. you know, these things-- beer and cupcakes--aren't a necessity to most people. so for those of us who feel we can't live w/o 'em, we just have to be prepared to spend a little more.

message 26: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) Shelly, you are a beer connoisseur! Or is it connoisseuse? Is there a feminine noun for it? Anyway, I need to take a post-it note with me next time I go to Whole Foods!

message 27: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I'm exhausted from all the Bible and Potter talk over on Axis and MiniAm. Anyone have any more delightfully delicious beer talk??? I sure could use some right now...

message 28: by shellyindallas (last edited Mar 25, 2008 12:52PM) (new)

shellyindallas I thought this:


was pretty funny.

message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) I'm going to resurrect this thread to announce that I performed my Guinness taste-test while I was in Ireland, and Guinness is still yucky. Some of the women I met said they like to drink it with a dash of black-currant in it, which I tried, and found that it cut the bitter taste a little.

While I was there, I remembered Shelly mentioning Hoegaarden, so when I saw it in a store, I bought a bottle. It was delicious!

I'm not a big drinker, but the next time I get a craving for beer, Hoegaarden will be the one I buy at Bev Mo.

Speaking of not being a big drinker...it sucks when you go on vacation with a bunch of alcoholics and all split the cost of alcohol. I felt like I had to drink more so I could get my money's worth. It was still a great time though.

shellyindallas Ha! That's funny about the bill when you drink with alcoholics. Well, I've never been to Ireland but everybody who has who does drink Guinness loves to tell me it's soooo much better over there.

You say it sucks just the same, I believe you.

Slante! or Croc or Crac or whatever the hell it is they say over there instead of Cheers!

message 31: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) That's right, it was Slainte! I saw it on more than one mug and t-shirt while I was there.

Speaking of the Irish and their alcohol, I unknowingly insulted a man who sold Jameson Irish Whiskey for 40 years. We were in a pub, and my friend Chris was drinking Jameson & Red (red lemonade) and I had a sip and told her it was gross. So this old man wanders up and says to Chris "Ooh, Jameson Red (blah blah blah Jameson) and what are you drinking?" (to me). And I said "I don't like Jameson." Then he went over and told a couple of my other friends he was upset when "the girl" (me) said she didn't like Jameson. Then he proceeded to tell them the whole process on how they make it and we found out he worked for the company for like 40 years and retired from it. Oops.

shellyindallas Way to go Michelle! I wonder if you were the only person in his 40 year career to say to his face "I don't like Jameson".

Funny. I doubt it. Don't sweat it. When I was bartending I would recommend beers for people and they NEVER wanted to tell me when they didn't like it. I would look over and there'd be, like, three quarters of a glass full after 45 minutes. I'd say "if you don't like that beer you don't have to drink it you know. I'll get you another. I didn't brew it!

message 33: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Trainor | 23 comments Ok, I know this is the beer thread... but I *do* like Jameson (only whiskey I'll drink, actually!) and that drink sounds REALLY interesting! Is the red lemonade some particular bottled drink they sell over there, or just lemonade with red food coloring??

message 34: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) Genevieve, the red lemonade was a drink they sold over there. I don't know the brand name, but I saw it in the store, and you can buy it in 2-liter bottles (like they sell Coca Cola in).

It's an ugly, pale red color...I didn't try it by itself, but I guess children like it. All I could taste was the Jameson.

Shelly, I like that you would have replaced the beer if the drinker didn't like it. They were probably afraid to tell you because they didn't want to get charged for another one. At least that's probably how I would feel if I didn't like something I was served, but I have had bartenders give me another drink with no questions asked if I didn't like the one I was served.

message 35: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) The red lemonade I'm referring to wasn't carbonated. Unless the Jameson killed the carbonation.

message 36: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) 7 'n' 7 Delicious! Though, admittedly it is different than Jameson...

message 37: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) PS. Donna, I read your post really fast and thought it said "bleach." So now when I drink whisky and sprite, I'm going to think of bleach. Woo Hoo! :)

message 38: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Trainor | 23 comments Ooh, ugh, whiskey & sprite!? Yuk. I do like sprite in my gin, but whiskey would be a different matter, I think...

Of course, now that we're talking about bizarre additives, I'll have to bring this back 'round to being a beer thread :) What sort of strange things have folks here tried in their beer?

My husband likes tomato juice in his beer. {shudder} There is an actual name for this travesty, but I think I have blocked it out.

I've always wanted to try an Irish Car Bomb (shot of Bailey's dropped into a pint of Guinness) but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Has anyone had one? There was *someone* on here waaaay back who was another Guinness fan, right? ;0)

Anything else go in beer? I can't think of anything.

shellyindallas I've had a Michelada before, which is like a Bloody Mary but w/ mexican beer instead of the vodka. So, that's like beer with tomato juice. Mostly though, it's served with just the lime and spices and a salt rim. But I bartended and there were tons of people who would order a Bud with a can of tomato juice on the side and then mix it or just use the tomato juice as a chaser. Supposed to be good for a hangover (?).

I love Irish Car Bombs. The way we make them down here is with both Jameson and Baileys in the shot. They taste like a milk shake (to me anyway).

I had a few customers who'd traveled to Germany tell me that people put Coke in their wheat beers over there, so I tried it. It's not as bad as it sounds, but it definitely didn't taste good.

Also, Shandy's are big. I've never been to Ireland--but apparently it's lager + sprite, or lager + lemonade, or lager + limeade. I've had the lager + sprite thing. It's okay. Good for hot days and good for people who don't normally drink beer.

Then if you're mixing beer w/ another beer Stouts are good w/ sweeter beers. So like, Young's Double Chocolate w/ Lindeman's Framboise or Kriek. Or Guinness with (either half or just a quarter) of pear cider is good.

Finally, I love a splash of Guinness in my spicy Bloody Marys!

shellyindallas ps- I'm not a drunk I swear! (not that there's anything wrong with that...)I know it sounds like I must be a real lush, but I only drink occasionally.

message 41: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Trainor | 23 comments Guinness with pear cider sounds amazing! I'll have to try that sometime.

Forgot about Shandy's. I think I've tried the lager + lemonade version. Not bad, but not my favorite.

message 42: by Valerie (new)

Valerie When I was in college, we'd occasionally have a drink (or ten) called a "Flaming Dr. Pepper" (I'm not sure if this is well-known drink or not...). You'd have a shot glass filled with amaretto and a bit of 151 (which is rum, I think), light it on fire and drop it into a mug of beer, and then bottoms up.

It did actually taste like Dr. Pepper, too.

shellyindallas yeah Valerie, we had those too. they were outlawed here! guess one too many ding-dongs set their bangs on fire or something!

message 44: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I was reminded this morning that I recently tried Leinenkugel's. I believe it was their summerwheat, though that doesn't sound quite right. But it was really delicious. Very full, not watery, and a tad on the sweet side. Or maybe more appropriately, not very hoppy at all. Yum!

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