Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Guinness and Travel Update

Hey look, I'm a Guinness!


(66% dark & bitter, 100% working class, 66% genuine)

Okay, we all know Guinness is the best possible score on any "What Kind Of Beer Are You" test, so you can just go on and pat yourself on the back now. Like the world's most famous brew, you're genuine, you've got good taste, and you're sophisticated. What else can I say, except congratulations?

If your friends didn't score the same way, get ready for them to say: Guinness is too heavy; it's an acquired taste; it's too serious--and they probably think those things about you at times. But just brush 'em off. Everybody knows Guinness is the best. Cheers.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 84% on workingclass
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 34% on genuine
Link: The If You Were A Beer Test written by gwendolynbooks on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

I am in Canada until tomorrow morning and the liquor store by my hotel allowed a mixed six-pack, so MANY IPA reviews are on the way!


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Frozen Pomegranate Sangria

Frozen Pomegranate Sangria
Originally uploaded by jennybento.
I was in Austin last week, and had the opportunity to try Chango's frozen pomegranate sangria. A little to red winey for me, and not enough pomegranate, but still VERY tasty. What a concept. I love slushy liquor.

I also had the traditional Shiner Bock, which was quite tasty. I attempted to take a photo of myself at SXSW wearing our Drinking Problem stickers, however, the lighting was weird and I was too busy drinking (for the blog, of course) to be able to do this well.

I also had a good kind of Pale Ale at Austin's Club Deville, and a great slushy Top Shelf Margarita at Iron Cactus. But mainly I stuck to Shiner Bock. When in Rome, and all!

Austin does have an excellent seeming beerpub, but I was sick, so I didn't get a chance to drink too much. Sad. Oh well, I will try to make it up in Vancouver, BC, where I am heading next week.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

McDonald's New Premium Roast Coffee

I am a sucker. Just last week I posted an entry regarding the frivouous use of the word 'premium' in the advertising world. Today, I went out to buy a cup of coffee at McDonald's, primarily becasue it was new, but also becasue it was advertized as being 'premium'. Sigh. The advertising for this coffee promised me not only a better coffee, fresh brewed from 'premium' roasted beans, but also a special creamer and a neat-o space-age sippy-cup top. I got none of these things. The coffee is just as acrid, metallic, and burnt-tasting as before; it is certainly no more robust than the brown water they've served in the past, and I got mine with the usual punch-out style lid and I had to use the standard creamer (McD's: news flash: just becasue it coats the inside of my mouth with an oily film does not mean it is plesantly creamy). All in all, this coffee is not noticeably different than the regular stuff they were serving before, it just costs a whole dollar now.

Wow, after re-reading this post, I sound like a whiney bitch. Sorry folks. I know it's just McDonald's coffee, and I should have expected as much.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Saranac 12 Beers of Winter

In lieu of a comprehensive post detailing the finer points of each of the 12 beers in the winter case from the Matt Brewing Company, I'll take this opportunity to detail the best and the worst of the box.
The best:

The Caramel Porter
I like apples, and I like caramel, but the two of them together in the form of the caramel-apple available at the county fair is a better treat than either of the two. I don't know how they did it, but Saranac has made a tasty treat of a beer in the form of a caramel porter. I was a little drunk when I first tasted this beer, but I could still tell that it was a very good beer. It's got the deep, full body of a porter, but the bitterness is cut with the sweet, sweet flavor of caramel. This is not a particularly sweet beer, it's just very tasty.

The worst:

The Oatmeal Stout
Stouts get their flavor from the long roasting of the malted grain and the huge amount of hops added for brewing. The bitterness is usually cut with something palatizing, like a sugar, a fruit, or, in this case, oatmeal. I've had some pretty good oatmeal stouts in my time, and this was pretty bad. The oatmeal does a poor job of compensating for the bitterness, and there's a sour, almost vinnegary flavor that pervades each swallow. All in all, a rather unpleasant beer.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Warsteiner Premium Dunkel

In the commerce of everyday life, there is a propensity for those who are peddling their wares to use a few descriptors in the sales pitch which make the good sound better than it really is. I have no gripe with this--it is the nature of advertising itself to raise the interest of the buyer for one item above that for other, similar items. My complaint is that marketing execs all use the same goddamn words to describe their product, rendering the words that they do use totally meaningless. In the absence of their intended meaning, the words take on a rather differed role, that of the red flag. Premium is one of those words. The red flag is: We couldn't think up anything better to say about this swill, so we'll call it premium and charge twice what it's worth.

Think about places you get 'premium' goods: Chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, larger mailboxes on free email sites, 'whiter' paper at the copy shop. Come on. It's the same shit, just with the word 'premium' on it.

I can imagine what the people at the venerable Warsteiner brewery must have been thinking when the first vat of Dunkel was ready for tasting:

Brewer #1: So, what do you think?
Brewer #2: Meh, it's a bit malty.
Marketing Guy: 'A Bit Malty' isn't going to sell beer. We need to make it sound exciting!
Brewer #2: It's really not that good.
Brewer #1: It's just kind of mediocre. It's not bad, but...
Marketing Guy: It's Premium! That's it! Premium always works!
Brewer #2: So, uh, you guys wanna go get a beer?

So, ornery as this post is, the beer is not too bad. It's not great. It's mediocre, and it's not worth what I paid.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Bundle of Beers--Reds and Great Lakes

I went to a red beer tasting at my most local liquor store. Here was my breakdown of the beers I tasted there:

Mendocino County Red Tail--nothing special, like most Mendocinos, for me

North Coast Red Seal--Not bad, but more of a brown

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale--Eh okay.
Saint Rogue Red--This was okay, but I was kind of down on Rogue after that Chipotle incident.

Founder's Red Rye--Always one of my favorites.

Avery Redpoint--Although I have always liked the Avery beers I have tried, this was AMAZING. The
tasting guy recommended the Avery Maharajah as well, which I bought but have not tried. The taster man agreed with me about these two being the best.

In addition, I have had these beers this week, in order of worst to best:

Elmwood Pale Ale--This kept foaming mysteriously out of the bottle. It was a little vinegary. I wonder if this had gone bad. It was gross.

Elmwood Nut Brown--Also not great. Apparently Central Illinois' only brewery is bad.

Monty Python Holy Grail Ale--I know this is totally a gimmick, but I tried it anyways. It wasn't good. Getting through it wasn't super fun.

Great Lakes Elliot Ness Amber--Amber's not my favorite variety, but this was good. I am starting to love Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager--Lager is even less my favorite, but this was great! I almost never taste lager, but this was flavorful and refreshing!

Goose Island 312--I love this beer, and I have had it before, but it's a great hefeweisen!

Great Lakes Burning River--I love Great Lakes and they make a great Pale Ale!

This is 12 kinds of beer in 4 days. That's a tad excessive--but I didn't drink a whole beer of all of them!

I also tried Diet Code Red--awesome. Sadly I can only find it at the lunch truck near my work.


Label label label

Reader Vanessa mentioned that Eric's beer bottle illustration comes from this Bosch painting:

Still, why is it on the beer bottle?

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