Friday, April 28, 2006

Old Jamaican Ginger Beer

So it turns out that Ting has a sibling and it's Old Jamaican Ginger Beer. Real sugar! That was pretty much the hallmark of this soda. Sweet, and very clearly sugary aftertaste. It's very gingery and a little hot, but pretty unoffensive. Very natural ginger flavor. Good.

The thing that was odd about this soda is its confused heritage. It's called Old Jamaica, and that made me assume the COUNTRY of Jamaica. Especially since Ting also claims Jamaican heritage. But the bottle says Jamaica, WI. Wisconsin? I am pretty sure Jamaica, WI has NO grapefruits, which is essential to Ting. Then I realized it meant Jamaica, West Indies. Ahhhh that makes more sense. But then, in large letters, PRODUCT OF CANADA! Huh?

It also proudly non-alcoholic. I guess with the whole "beer" thing they had to clear it up.

I do enjoy on their website that they have a beverage called Mauby Fizzz. I want to drink something with many zzzzzzzs.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA

Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA

is great.

so good.

I am at a loss for words.

It comes in a large bottle and is only available in the summer, supposedly, but I got it a couple of months ago. It was on the recommendation of the guy at my local liquor store who ran the tasting. I have been awaiting some righteous occasion to drink it, yet it was the only beer left in my fridge, which I felt was pretty righteous an event.

It's very thick and creamy. Big creamy head. I assumed this would be super hoppy, but it isn't. It does have the sweetness of a Dogfish 90 Min. Pretty bitter aftertaste. Wondiferous. It's almost a very hoppy creamy red.

It even inspired this man to want to marry the Avery brewery.

It's 9.9% alcohol and you feel it RIGHT AWAY. It's part of the Avery dictator series, which I have not tried much of.

Also, note, Avery has numbers in the titles of the web pages for its beers. The number being 303.440.4324. I first thought this might be a Dewey Decimal Classification as I could only read 303.44 in my browser window. I think on second thought it is not, but 303 is the number for social processes including some revolution, which only makes me love Avery more!



Ting! It's such a great name! It's also pretty good. It claims to be "A little island sunshine in a bottle!" Well it is. It's 6% Jamaican grapefruit juice. I didn't even know Jamaica had grapefruits. But it's tasty. It's like fresca but sweeter (as it isn't diet) and also tastes more like real juice.


I bought it at an international foods store in St. Louis. TING!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Steaz excitement

Root beer is a soda flavor before we found ACTUALLY good flavors to make soda out of. Bleh. I mean what other root flavored things do we drink people?! What is this Sub Saharan Africa?!

I am lodging an official complaint about how unfair it is that all through the period that Eric and I lived in the same place Eric would always get root beer and I unthinkingly would take a sip of his beverage thinking he had good taste and then freak out because it would be root beer, the foulest beverage on earth. But now? Oh now he agrees root beer=evil in a can. No fair.

I have seen Steaz, but the name was weird and it never occurred to me that it was soda and tea. I believe it is shelved near the super foul cranberry soda, so I have been conditioned not to buy it. It sounds awesome though. I love fake green tea beverages, and the ginger ale one sounds scrumptious. Perhaps we will have to get one of the other beverage bloggers to "take one for the team" on the root beer. Or a guest blogger. Anyone want a root beer Steaz?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Green Tea which is neither tea, nor green.

I had the opportunity to try Steaz Green Tea flavored cola this weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not a big fan of things that taste like green tea but aren't a cup of hot tea. I think green tea ice cream is pretty gross, and I find the green tea available in bottles at the store pretty unexciting. Nevertheless, I gave The Healthy Beverage Company the benefit of the doubt and gave their cola a try. Steaz beverages come in several varieties, including fruit flavors, a ginger ale, and a root beer, all made with Ceylon green tea. The thought of a tea-flavored root beer really turns my stomach, as I'm sure Jenny's stomach is turning at the thought of a root beer, period. The cola flavor was mild, the green tea flavor strong enough, and the carbonation pretty weak. It was a very refreshing beverage, though it was very sweet, and alarmingly brown. Seriously, I've never seen a soda as deeply colored as this one. The label says it's made from all organic ingredients though, so I figure it can't be that bad for me. Soda + teaz = steaz. Eric + Steaz = happy. Unless it's the root beer. Ick.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Canada Part Deux

The long awaited sequel to Canada Beer tasting is sadly, not happy....due to my aforementioned beer "issues" caused by bad Canadian beer. I meant to write this up with incredible flourish, but you sadly get only the field notes. Most of these beers were okay, but I haven't run into anything outstanding lately. And I have been very much lied to by labels advertising an IPA which is really not. Also, all Canadian beer seems musty.

Phillips IPA
rated the best ipa in canada. i agree so far. there was a warning not to try it unless you really like ipas, and i could see why. it's very bitter, but doesn't have the sweetness that usually comes from a lot of hops in ipas. kind of like the dogfish ipa without the aforementioned sweetness

cutthroat pale ale tree brewery
bitter, but a weird aftertaste of oolong tea. a little bit sweet at the beginning. good.

Paddywhack IPA
darker than a usual ipa, more ambery. but hoppy and meteoker

tree brewing hophead

smells like raw hops, and a little musty, but does not taste that way. bitter, and hoppy. good.

alexander keith's IPA

uh, more like lager. are there even hops IN THIS? Okay I am exagerating, but this is an okay lager. their slogan is those who like it, like it a lot. well i do not like it, and i do not like it a lot.

Sopalali punch

I had this at a First Peoples Restaurant. Sopalali is a bitter berry. The punch was Sopalali juice, cranberry and ginger ale. I LOVED it. However I had the Sopalali dessert and it was not very good. It was made well, but the Sopalali was just too bitter! The mixed punch though was great.

C Plus
This is the Canadian Orange Crush. Good, not as sweet. Seemed a little medicinal.

beacon ipa
This tasted like a legit ipa mixed with old milwaukee. Okay, but WHY?

Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale
Again, like a pale ale and Old Milwaukee. Far more lagery. Does pale ale mean lager in Canada?

Old Yale brewing Company's Sergeant's IPA
This was a bit better. More hoppy, a little more bitter and maybe mixed with Miller Highlife (ie very carbonated).

And that is finito with Canada. Good riddance! They come over here illegally and take our JOBS!
And their beer isn't even very good! (With the exception of Steamworks)


Open Letter to Beer

I don't mean to alarm you, Beer but you're just not doing it for me recently.

It is with a heavy heart I disclose this. Beer, I'd like to say it's you and not me, but it's really you. And a little bit of me. But mainly you.

Sure, we've both been busy at the office, but it is times like then that I think of you most. But what do I come home to, but more disgusting Elmwood Pale Ales in the fridge? And when we go out? You embarrass me with the liked of the Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale. Sure you SAY RED and ALE, but you were really like a lambic the whole time. Sure you aren't a lambic in so many words, but everyone knows it. My friends even turned up their noses at you. My god YOU EMBARASSED ME BEER! We haven't had these sorts of problems. I mean when you've embarrassed me before, it's pretty much been equally my fault. Now, I think this is squarely you.

And then there was Canada. Known for beerdrinking! I thought it would be like a second honeymoon! Don't get me wrong--it started out great, but your true nature soon revealed itself ONCE again.

And now I am going to Missouri tomorrow. And we all know that doesn't bode well in general, but Beer, you have always been a shining beacon of hope in MO. I really hope you won't let me down.

Now I am not saying this is an untimatum. Beer, we're in it for the long haul. But I just can't consistently work up the enthusiasm I once had for you. I know this is a rough patch and we'll make it through. But Beer, can I get a little reciprocal lovin?


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Once you've had BlaK, you never go BacK.

I picked up a 4-pack of Coca-Cola BlaK this weekend, and it's pretty good stuff. The beverage, for sale in a cute little 8 oz bottle, purports to be a "fusion of Coke effervescence and coffee essence." Yeah, it is, pretty much. I remember when Pepsi Kona came out, when I was in, like, middle school, and I recall having enjoyed it. While pulling all-nighters in college, I would occasionally try to re-generate the flavor with a Pepsi and a cup of cold coffee, with gut-puckering results. This stuff is pretty good though. Light carbonation, decent coffee flavor, a hint of caramel, though it is perhaps too sweet. On the whole though, it gets my approval. I bet this stuff would be awesome in a float with some vanilla ice cream.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Diesel Sweeties

It seems my sweettalking to beverages is also in play at Diesel Sweeties:


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yes, I blog about beverages

Today I opened my fridge and babytalked to a beer. A squeal and babytalked. To an inanimate object. In my fridge. Have I lived alone too long?

I don't like animals or children, so I guess I must defer my babytalk to beer.

In my defense, it was an Edmund Fitzgerald Porter which I did not realize I had. The exact beer I said I wanted to a coworker earlier.

Perhaps this short post has told you more about my drinking than 10 posts.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

O Canada Part I

I had an unforgiving cold after a lot of travel, which made it so I could not taste many of the wonderful beers in Austin, TX. However, I tried to make up for that when visiting Vancouver, BC. I also brought three beers back, So there will be more on the way.

First, it seems that good beers come in the can more often in Canada. I liked that, especially as a traveler since I could throw them in my luggage and worry less than I would with a bottle. Even the microbreweries I visited all had cans. I know some microbrews here are trying it out, so that's exciting.

Also, Molson does not give tours. I did get this hasty image from outside the gate though:

Another distinctive Vancouverian beer observation is that cream ales are HUGE there. It didn't sound good to me and when I read this and saw "Low hop bittering" I didn't look any further.

My favorite part was that at least at the liquor stores *I* went to, you could mix and match a six pack. Oh happy day--an entire six-pack of different IPAs!

While in Vancouver I visited the Granville Island Brewery and Steamworks Brewing. Granville Island Brewery was closing for an event when I got there so sadly, the tour was cancelled.

There's no beer for you here at the inn, little girl!

They do have a cool website on which you can see which one of their beers you are. I am sure it is no surprise to loyal readers (ha!) that I am the English Bay Pale Ale, although I totally did not fix that. You'll have to wait to see if that is a good or bad thing, as I have a can of it in the fridge awaiting tasting. They also can change your name into a beer name. I got a chance to walk through their store, which sells a hammer that has a bottle opener instead of a nail puller. Which I loved.

I did eat a meal at Steamworks (excellent fish and chips) and they have enclosed the brewing equipment in glass, which was neat. They had so many pale ales I was at a loss! I had their seasonal, the Northwest pale ale. It was hoppy, but more citrusy than anything. Good. But their Empress IPA was amazing. My half tipsy note about it said "Brilliant!" It had a very
espresso-y tinge to it, which I have only seen in porters, but in the IPA it was GREAT!

The next night I was at a work function and at the mercy of the few beer options served. This was the day to try out Canada's larger breweries, I guess. I had Kokanee which, from the packaging looks like Hamm's or Busch.

Drink me only in emergencies

This is truly one of the worst cheap beers I have ever drank. Not tasteless like most, but actively bad. And this from someone who finds PBR drinkable, at least. From their website it appears they put the beer in a centrifuge, take out the yeast and reuse it. That seems odd and gross, so I am going to chalk up the bad Kokanee to that.

I then jumped at the chance for the Okanagan Extra Special Pale Ale. This can looked most like....MGD.

I misread the can and thought it was an Extra Pale Ale, which got me very excited. The website says it's the number one craft brew in Canada. Wow, Canadians must have very different beer interests than me. It claims to be hoppy, but it actually was extra weissy. It was bad. Musty! After all this I actually turned down more of the free actively bad beer. Canadian cheap beer is not so much unimpressive as actively, aggressively bad tasting.

In Part II I will review much better beers (IPAs!) and some traditional First Peoples' beverages. ODP--your source for international and multicultural beer reviews. Which Canadian IPA will reign supreme? Is it possible that *I* could hate a bar in a library as much as I did? Find out in the NEXT STUNNING INSTALLMENT!


flickr soda

Kurt pointed out this photo on flickr:

which got me thinking to do some searches on flickr in different drinks. Perhaps this is the librarian in me, but I was interested to find that the clusters around "soda" are:

The Coke Cluster: pop, coke, drink, cocacola, cola, can, red, bottle, glass, macro
The Jones Soda Cluster
The Dr. Pepper Cluster
The Mt. Dew Cluster

While Coke is the reigning champeen of soda, I was surprised to see no Pepsi. Also, while Dew and Jones have cult followings, who knew Dr. Pepper was so photogenic?

A beverage search divides things into two groups:

Group 1: drink, coffee, food, glass, alcohol, soda, red, cup, beer, tea
Group 2: Coke

I know how much Coke influences the drink market, especially worldwide, but I thought, at least with the artsy/techy peeps on Flickr it would not be THIS dominant.

Beer, however, brought up the BEST clusters.

2 which are predictable but oddly seperate:
Cluster 1: bar, pub, drink, glass, bottle, alcohol, pint, guinness, london, nyc
Cluster 2: party, friends, drinking, drunk, fun, people, night, booze, girls, girl

2 physical locations (Japan?):
Japan cluster: japan, food, tokyo, dinner, asahi, restaurant
Germany cluster: germany, munich, bier, deutschland, oktoberfest, europe

and one conference I have personally attended:
SXSW Cluster: austin, texas, sxsw

This might make it a hard sell to people trying to convince their boss to give 'em the cash! But we've learned people from the big city, especially abroad, who love emerging technologies and music LOVE beer.


Group 1: cup, cafe, food, mug, breakfast, espresso, drink, latte, table, tea
Group 2: starbucks, cameraphone, japan, tokyo, moblog, mocha, seattle
Group 3: nyc, newyork, newyorkcity, manhattan

All pretty understandable. Then this:

Group 4: mac, apple
Group 5: girl, woman

So women who use Apple products love coffee? Hmmm. All of the beverage generalizations resemble me. I fit in! Or at least that counterculture hipster thing Starbucks is selling is working WAY too well.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Soda Kills

Recent developments show that some sodas have benzene in them. Which can kill you in the long run. I don't think you should change your soda drinking habits, unless you drink really odd sodas (like Diet Orange Crush? or Diet Slice?) by the case. A good summary is available here.

Now don't say the beverage blog doesn't care about your health!

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