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Old
06-11-2008, 02:08 PM
  #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPhish5858 View Post
Maybe i should try that Magic Hat variety pack. Ive never really had a "good" beer that i like besides some of the Sam Adams seasonals. Maybe ill find something i like. Right now all i drink is Miller Lite and im told i have bad taste in beers.
It's not that you have bad taste in beer, it's that the beer you drink tastes bad. Sam Adams is making some decent stuff right now. They appear to have adopted a "shotgun" theory. 20 some different varieties means there's almost surely something for everyone.

If you are new to trying better beer, here's my advice. Find a liquor store that sells "singles" and build your own six pack. Always get 2 of each beer so one 6er would be 3 different beers. This way you can try it a second time if you weren't sure on the 1st one. ALWAYS drink the entire beer!! Many top end beers taste better after they sit a few minutes. Allow the carbonation to dwindle and it changes the taste. Use a glass. Sounds simple but it matters. Different galsses are for different styles of beer. Get a pint, a goblet, a tall pilsner at least. Expect this 6 pack to cost between 7 and 9 dollars. Keep track of what beers you like and find out what style it is. Then find other breweries that make that style and try thier beer in the style you like.

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06-11-2008, 02:14 PM
  #352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Victory makes some excellent and interesting craft beers, which is why they've won competitions. That doesn't mean I want to sit down and drink a six-pack of Hop Devil...in fact, I would distinctly not want to, but I do enjoy one. Golden Monkey is interesting, but also absurd...so on, and so forth.

I would also be careful in how you discuss "traditional recipes and ingredients," as that's not exactly what's going on with most of these breweries. A German would take great umbrage with your use of such language, for example. If anything, American microbreweries have displayed creativity and hybridity that is lacking in the more "traditional" breweries around the world. If you go to England, you're not going to taste too many beers that taste like American microbrews, same goes for the continent.

I am a big fan and a supporter of all microbreweries, but there is a tendency to get so snobbish along those lines that good work done by larger manufacturers (such as Sam Adams) gets thrown out with the bathwater. Many microbrews strike me along the lines of a chef who goes too far in their seasoning...it has an interesting taste, but is there not a more subtle use of ingredients that could create a more delicate balance of flavors?

Such critiques is one of the main reasons I view Rogue in higher esteem than Victory, as they tend to straddle the line a bit better and don't create beers that are overpoweringly lopsided.

I find Hoegaarden rather bland and boring...I enjoy the nice citrus hint in Blue Moon, which is stronger than that of Hoegaarden and gives it a bit nice body, IMO. Allagash White is also very good, but similarly has a bit more going on in it than Hoegaarden.
They ain't called "German Purity Laws" for nothin! Very true.

Also not a big fan of Hoegaarden. I do like alomst everything from Victory. I agrre they seem to almost get a little too "mad scientist" sometimes. Stone is probably my other favorite. Love the Arrogant *******


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06-11-2008, 02:15 PM
  #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
The variety pack is alright. Magic Hat is kinda like a higher quality version of Sam Adams. They make a wide variety of beer that will turn you onto more specialized brewers that make specific types much better. My friends often joke that Magic Hat #9 is the first good beer that people who have seen the light try. Then they espouse it to all of their friends before realizing that they've only found the tip of the iceberg.

Also, Blue Moon is kinda crap. It's by no means low quality but compared to Hoegaarden it's pisswater.

Putting fruit in beer is entirely acceptable when the beer has been brewed specifically to have a type of fruit in it. Doesn't it make more sense to add a fresh ingredient right before serving rather than injecting some ****** artificial flavor that a mainstream American brewer would do? When Miller or Bud make fun of Belgian beer it is like a retarded kid making fun of a valedictorian when the valedictorian manages to color within the lines of a coloring book.
well living in the northeast I dont get all the microbeer options that some of you guys do.
I know what you are saying with the fruit in the beer, I just havent been able to get myself to do it. people put lime in dos equis. I just cant get myself to do it.
speaking of crap, Miller. they wrote the book on bottled skunk piss.

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06-11-2008, 02:21 PM
  #354
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Originally Posted by FireStevensDotCom View Post
well living in the northeast I dont get all the microbeer options that some of you guys do.
I know what you are saying with the fruit in the beer, I just havent been able to get myself to do it. people put lime in dos equis. I just cant get myself to do it.
speaking of crap, Miller. they wrote the book on bottled skunk piss.
I dont know anyone can say that. I drink gallons of Miller a day, its great. But then again anything tastes great after gallons.

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06-11-2008, 04:19 PM
  #355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Victory makes some excellent and interesting craft beers, which is why they've won competitions. That doesn't mean I want to sit down and drink a six-pack of Hop Devil...in fact, I would distinctly not want to, but I do enjoy one. Golden Monkey is interesting, but also absurd...so on, and so forth.
Golden Monkey is over the top, but that's just their heavy beer that's popular among certain circles. I wouldn't say they are overly serious with it. It isn't bad but the difference between the beers they really care about and the ones that are mostly experiments is fairly substantial. When the people at Victory put their minds to making a quality beer that isn't over the top they have few equals.

Also, I love Hop Devil, but then again I really enjoy hoppy beers and, as those beers go, Hop Devil is amazing.

Quote:
I would also be careful in how you discuss "traditional recipes and ingredients," as that's not exactly what's going on with most of these breweries. A German would take great umbrage with your use of such language, for example. If anything, American microbreweries have displayed creativity and hybridity that is lacking in the more "traditional" breweries around the world. If you go to England, you're not going to taste too many beers that taste like American microbrews, same goes for the continent.
Yes, American microbrews have led the way in terms of creativity but they have also returned to how certain styles of beer "should taste" unlike, say, Budweiser which has strayed from the path. Beer, even lighter beers, shouldn't taste like water. You won't find a huge variety in Europe but you will find numerous local breweries that brew a small handful of beers that are steeped in tradition.
Quote:
I am a big fan and a supporter of all microbreweries, but there is a tendency to get so snobbish along those lines that good work done by larger manufacturers (such as Sam Adams) gets thrown out with the bathwater. Many microbrews strike me along the lines of a chef who goes too far in their seasoning...it has an interesting taste, but is there not a more subtle use of ingredients that could create a more delicate balance of flavors?

Such critiques is one of the main reasons I view Rogue in higher esteem than Victory, as they tend to straddle the line a bit better and don't create beers that are overpoweringly lopsided.
I've said before that virtually all microbrews make a quality product because they take pride in their work. It's just that I prefer some more than others. I love Rogue too but they go crazy at times. Their Chipotle is garbage and way over the top. I love Dead Guy but it's often put in the same category of Golden Monkey... a good tasting but rather in your face, heavy beer (though I would place it a step above GM.) Rogue has a great variety of beer but I think they have roughly the same percentage of experimental beers as Victory or, really, any other large microbrewer. To be honest, I probably wouldn't support a microbrewer that was too afraid to make a beer that people wouldn't like.
Quote:
I find Hoegaarden rather bland and boring...I enjoy the nice citrus hint in Blue Moon, which is stronger than that of Hoegaarden and gives it a bit nice body, IMO. Allagash White is also very good, but similarly has a bit more going on in it than Hoegaarden.
Hoegaarden is designed to have fresh citrus put in it. Blue Moon will be served with citrus in a bar but really is made so it is possible to be drank on its own. You just mentioned how subtle beer has it's place. It certainly does. Hoegaarden is definitely in that category. When I drink wine I can't stand a lack of subtlety and complexity. It's easier to make beer that isn't subtle but still complex, however.

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06-11-2008, 04:55 PM
  #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
Also, I love Hop Devil, but then again I really enjoy hoppy beers and, as those beers go, Hop Devil is amazing.
I enjoy hoppy beers, too, but Hop Devil is borderline ridiculous...and if you have a girl in bed that night you're going to be regretting it.

Quote:
Yes, American microbrews have led the way in terms of creativity but they have also returned to how certain styles of beer "should taste" unlike, say, Budweiser which has strayed from the path. Beer, even lighter beers, shouldn't taste like water. You won't find a huge variety in Europe but you will find numerous local breweries that brew a small handful of beers that are steeped in tradition.
Budweiser didn't stray, they just went down a different path of beer making. Beer should not necessarily taste any specific way, which is my biggest problem with German beer...pretty much the same thing across the board with varying small differences.

And the "traditions" that Americans are building off of are far simpler in their home nations generally...It's what is nice about being in a city getting microbrews as well as quality imports. My only hope is that this city finds a new German beer importer now that Ludwigs is gone...and someone does a better job of importing UK beer.

Quote:
I've said before that virtually all microbrews make a quality product because they take pride in their work. It's just that I prefer some more than others. I love Rogue too but they go crazy at times. Their Chipotle is garbage and way over the top. I love Dead Guy but it's often put in the same category of Golden Monkey... a good tasting but rather in your face, heavy beer (though I would place it a step above GM.) Rogue has a great variety of beer but I think they have roughly the same percentage of experimental beers as Victory or, really, any other large microbrewer. To be honest, I probably wouldn't support a microbrewer that was too afraid to make a beer that people wouldn't like.
Okay, Dead Guy Ale isn't even remotely close to the same stratosphere of "out there" as Golden Monkey, or Hop Devil as far as stretching it out there. It's all fine and good to be out there, but the majority of Victory's main products are beers where they push the envelope...and that's fine and good, and I do enjoy Victory, they just don't make too many beers that I'll want a couple of during a session. DG Ale is a hoppy ale, where as Golden Monkey is a stretched out Belgian with big flavors and alcohol. Hop Devil is a really powerful IPA...I like both (a lot), and they're excellent and interesting craft beers...but I'm far happier if I know I'm going to be drinking in a given night and I see Yards, Stoudts, etc. on tap at a given establishment.

Rogue is very experimental, but their experimental beers aren't their staples. I will also admit that Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar is one of my favorite beers out there...a great example, IMO, of how nice flavors can be infused without reaching overpowering levels.

Quote:
Hoegaarden is designed to have fresh citrus put in it. Blue Moon will be served with citrus in a bar but really is made so it is possible to be drank on its own. You just mentioned how subtle beer has it's place. It certainly does. Hoegaarden is definitely in that category. When I drink wine I can't stand a lack of subtlety and complexity. It's easier to make beer that isn't subtle but still complex, however.
Well aware of how Hoegaarden is designed, still find it incredibly overrated. It's treated as if it's the king of the belgians, but it's low down the list of belgian beers I'd be interested in ordering...and I would and do order a Blue Moon before it.

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06-11-2008, 05:04 PM
  #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Well aware of how Hoegaarden is designed, still find it incredibly overrated. It's treated as if it's the king of the belgians, but it's low down the list of belgian beers I'd be interested in ordering...and I would and do order a Blue Moon before it.
I just can't order Blue Moon instead of Hoe or Allagash White (which, now that I think about it more, I enjoy the most out of the three.) However, if I need to drink out of a bottle I would choose Moon or Hoe. Again, Blue Moon isn't crap. Also, I compare Hoe against other mass produced Belgian beers. It doesn't do nearly as well as people think against local belgian beers or even American microbrewers that specialize in Belgian styles.

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06-11-2008, 05:17 PM
  #358
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Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
I just can't order Blue Moon instead of Hoe or Allagash White (which, now that I think about it more, I enjoy the most out of the three.) However, if I need to drink out of a bottle I would choose Moon or Hoe. Again, Blue Moon isn't crap. Also, I compare Hoe against other mass produced Belgian beers. It doesn't do nearly as well as people think against local belgian beers or even American microbrewers that specialize in Belgian styles.
I also have to come down on the Allagash side of witbiers I find Hoegaarden slightly overrated, and quite overpriced in the PA suburbs. It's also annoying that it is the most common Belgian beer in normal bars, and thus occupies the "See, we have a great beer selection!" spot in the taps. Blue Moon is a notch down from it for me, but it's also (at least) a price level down, too. Allagash is generally at or just below Hoegaarden, and I think it's the best one.

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06-11-2008, 11:21 PM
  #359
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I just bought a home brewing kit on MrBeer.com... I hope it doesnt suck!

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06-11-2008, 11:35 PM
  #360
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Originally Posted by DeadPhish5858 View Post
I dont know anyone can say that. I drink gallons of Miller a day, its great. But then again anything tastes great after gallons.
I just hate it. then again I have never been high on Bud or coors either.

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06-11-2008, 11:37 PM
  #361
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I can't get into Blue Moon or Hoegaarden at all... i find them both terrible.

As for Victory and Hop Devil in specific, i know what you are saying about the too extreme tendency, but i think you (Jester) are speaking more from your personal taste than a general rule for beers you can sit down and drink a few of. I know quite a few people who can drink that stuff like its water... and if you're thing is hoppy as **** beer, then you can't do much better than Hop Devil.

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06-12-2008, 10:02 AM
  #362
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Originally Posted by The Inebriator View Post
I can't get into Blue Moon or Hoegaarden at all... i find them both terrible.

As for Victory and Hop Devil in specific, i know what you are saying about the too extreme tendency, but i think you (Jester) are speaking more from your personal taste than a general rule for beers you can sit down and drink a few of. I know quite a few people who can drink that stuff like its water... and if you're thing is hoppy as **** beer, then you can't do much better than Hop Devil.
...and be farting up a storm.

the point isn't that Hop Devil isn't good, it is, it's that it's part of a larger trend towards beers that are overpowered by one ingredient or taking a style as far as it can go without breaking it.

it's like Samichlaus, which is the strongest lager in the world and made in Austria...crap is absurd, but they manage to pull it off without making it undrinkable, which is worth notice.

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06-12-2008, 11:49 AM
  #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester
...and be farting up a storm.

the point isn't that Hop Devil isn't good, it is, it's that it's part of a larger trend towards beers that are overpowered by one ingredient or taking a style as far as it can go without breaking it.

it's like Samichlaus, which is the strongest lager in the world and made in Austria...crap is absurd, but they manage to pull it off without making it undrinkable, which is worth notice.
The Hop farts/***** can be quite brutal, i must say.

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06-12-2008, 11:53 AM
  #364
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The Hop farts/***** can be quite brutal, i must say.
Indeed....and with g/f regular sleeping over, I avoid them.

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06-12-2008, 11:59 AM
  #365
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Originally Posted by Jester
Indeed....and with g/f regular sleeping over, I avoid them.
Screw it... I just let 'em fly. If i've had more than 3 or 4 beers i also snore like a Grizzly bear. If she can deal with that 1-2 punch combo, you know that she's a keeper.

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06-12-2008, 12:49 PM
  #366
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
...and be farting up a storm.

the point isn't that Hop Devil isn't good, it is, it's that it's part of a larger trend towards beers that are overpowered by one ingredient or taking a style as far as it can go without breaking it.

it's like Samichlaus, which is the strongest lager in the world and made in Austria...crap is absurd, but they manage to pull it off without making it undrinkable, which is worth notice.
To be fair, Hop Devil gets reviewed very highly and extremely consistently. It's obvious not your personal taste but it's certainly not a Golden Monkey that either gets brilliant reviews or very mediocre reviews.

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06-12-2008, 12:50 PM
  #367
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Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
To be fair, Hop Devil gets reviewed very highly and extremely consistently. It's obvious not your personal taste but it's certainly not a Golden Monkey that either gets brilliant reviews or very mediocre reviews.
I think Hop Devil tastes fantastic...that doesn't alter the fact that it's a beer skewed to the far end of a spectrum, which is my point about Victory.

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06-12-2008, 12:56 PM
  #368
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Stepping in half-way into this discussion, but I find Prima Pils to fall nicely into the middle of the spectrum. Same with their Doneybrook Stout and Whirlwind.

Although, these are also my least favorite Victory varieties...

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06-12-2008, 01:07 PM
  #369
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Stepping in half-way into this discussion, but I find Prima Pils to fall nicely into the middle of the spectrum. Same with their Doneybrook Stout and Whirlwind.

Although, these are also my least favorite Victory varieties...
Prima Pils is pretty damn extreme for a Pilsner. The reason it comes off as more moderate is because in comparison to the other stuff that Victory puts out there, the starting point is far milder style of beer. IPAs (Hop Devil), for example, are inherently very hoppy (specifically made to survive the passage from the UK to India during the age of sail and hops allow a beer to last longer). Personally, I think Prima Pils is another example of Victory being a bit overly reliant on throwing hops in things. Another beer I like, but it definitely fits into their tendency to really throw a ton of ingredient flavor into their beers.

The starting point of a Stout is a very extreme taste, so if one is going to make one it's hard to push it too far...

Whirlwind is well down the list of White Beers I'd bother to order.

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06-12-2008, 02:32 PM
  #370
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I think Jester has this pretty well stated throughout.

Microbreweries are in the business of taking a traditional style beer and going well over the top. It is done for, the market (many American beerdrinkers like the battle to see which brewery can out: hop, spice, citrus, chocolate or whatever one another) and for the fact that Europe has already established the old world, tried and true styles. Why remake Schneider Aventinus? It's one of the best beers in the world. Don't simply copy Paulaner Heffe, copy it but with a twist!

Me. I prefer the real deals over most of the microbrews. I always try the seasonals, but in the end I like my beer from Ireland, Scotland, England, Belgium and Germany with the last 2 leading the way. That reminds me my fridge is out of Ayinger brews right now.

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06-12-2008, 02:48 PM
  #371
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I think Hop Devil tastes fantastic...that doesn't alter the fact that it's a beer skewed to the far end of a spectrum, which is my point about Victory.
I dunno, I'm not sure that placing various tastes on a spectrum is the best way to go about things. Sure, there are adventurous beers made by microbrewers but virtually all microbrewers also make traditional styles that aren't too far from what one would find elsewhere in the world. Ommegang is a great brewery and they have styles that are extremely similar to Chimay's varieties but at a significant reduction in cost.

Perhaps a lot of this is a rebellion against large domestic brewers which have sought for decades to make the blandest, most uninteresting beer possible. Despite that, American microbrews certainly aren't slouches in international competitions, even in categories that don't necessarily reward craziness.

You can get extreme beers from microbrews but you can also get pretty amazing traditional style beers as well. It's really only the smaller microbrewers that tend to stay with a single gimmick. Weyerbacher generally sticks to very high alcohol beers and have a bit of reputation for that now. Reading Brewing Company makes a very standard beer and that's likely the extent of their ambition.

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06-12-2008, 03:07 PM
  #372
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Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
I dunno, I'm not sure that placing various tastes on a spectrum is the best way to go about things. Sure, there are adventurous beers made by microbrewers but virtually all microbrewers also make traditional styles that aren't too far from what one would find elsewhere in the world. Ommegang is a great brewery and they have styles that are extremely similar to Chimay's varieties but at a significant reduction in cost.
Ommegang is a brewery that I would use the term "traditional" in discussing the types of beers they put out. Across the board those are beers that don't necessarily push for over the top flavoring and pushing a production style to the near breaking point...

And I very much think placing taste on a spectrum is valuable...When I cook food, I think of salt and pepper on a spectrum...same goes for beer. You can have a subtly smoked beer, or you can have a beer that tastes of smoked sausage, it's spectrum. You can have a moderate IPA, and an extreme IPA like Hop Devil.

I think you're taking my critique of Victory as indicative of a lack of appreciation for the beers they put out, it's not. I like Hop Devil...and I like Golden Monkey in a certain environment/mood. My critique of Victory is simply that seemingly everything they put out has some pretty loud and obvious notes to the beer, rather than multiple chords really at play.

Weyerbacher is another brewery I would critique, and, yes, it would be the fact that they seem to really push alcohol content for the sake of pushing alcohol content. They make some nice beers, but the effort to get alcohol content into beer has ramifications the further you go up the ladder...it's why something like Samichlaus is interesting -- it's hard to do, but it imparts some flavors.

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06-12-2008, 03:34 PM
  #373
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
And I very much think placing taste on a spectrum is valuable...When I cook food, I think of salt and pepper on a spectrum...same goes for beer. You can have a subtly smoked beer, or you can have a beer that tastes of smoked sausage, it's spectrum. You can have a moderate IPA, and an extreme IPA like Hop Devil.
You can perhaps put a single attribute of a beer on a spectrum but, it just seems that putting the entire beer on a spectrum is oversimplifying the beer. Just judging bitterness or hoppiness doesn't say a whole lot. It's useful as a starting point but I need more information. It's akin to judging good wine in a very simple way.

Quote:
Weyerbacher is another brewery I would critique, and, yes, it would be the fact that they seem to really push alcohol content for the sake of pushing alcohol content. They make some nice beers, but the effort to get alcohol content into beer has ramifications the further you go up the ladder...it's why something like Samichlaus is interesting -- it's hard to do, but it imparts some flavors.
Weyerbacher succeeds in making high alcohol beer palatable but they really do start making decisions that affect the taste of their beer in favor of alcohol content. They would be my poster child for over the top beer rather than a brewery like Victory or Troeg's (very underrated, imo.) It's nice to get a variety pack from Weyerbacher but they only have a few styles that I'd drink an entire case of.

That's not to say that all strong beers are gimmicks. Traditional dubbels and tripels are strong beers that have alcohol levels and tastes that would blur the line between your distinction between an American brewer pushing the limits and a traditional brewer making traditional beer.

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06-12-2008, 04:57 PM
  #374
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I was at Monk's briefly last night. Time enough for one Saison Dupont. Would have liked to have gone for a session, but one of the group had had a whole bottle of sake at sushi before that, and he wanted to see the old frat house.

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06-13-2008, 04:23 PM
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DeadPhish5858
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So i've taken my first step in trying some new beers besides Miller Lite. I bought the Flying Dog combination 12 pack. It should make for an interesting night.

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