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#342316 - 14/02/2011 22:15 My (Your) favorite Beer
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I suppose this can get into market research as well, but I'll try to keep numbers out of it. smile

My all-around favorite beer-producing nation is Belgium. IMO, they simply have no equals for my tastes. That said, they also have what's perhaps the beer I despise the most of all I've ever tasted. Stella Artois.

I'm primarily an Ale fan, and the more fermentation, the better - including in-bottle yeast deposits. Because of this, so far my main go-to beer, which is easy to obtain locally and well-priced compared to most other domestics and premiums, are the beers of Unibroue, of Chambly Quebec. Without hesitation, I give them absolute top honors as the best brewery in all of North America, regardless of size. I can't say I've ever had anything from them that I haven't at least liked somewhat.

My goto products from Unibroue (primarily the first three):

Trois Pistoles - Abbey-style strong dark ale
Maudite - Strong amber red ale
La Fin Du Monde -Tripel-style golden ale
Noir de Chambly - Belgian-style black ale
Blanche de Chambly - North America's first Belgian-style white.

I like Unibroue's stuff so much in fact, that I think they can more than hold their own against almost anything from Belgium. And believe me, I also love me some Chimay and Westmalle.

Recently I also bought nearly a case (of 750ml bottles!) of a beer I'd only had once before, two years ago and fell in love with. It's apparently from the only Abbey/Trappist brewery outside of Belgium, Koningshoeven in the Netherlands. The beer is their La Trappe Quadrupel. It's the only one I've ever been able to get from them here locally and it's practically a dessert beer. At 10.5% ABV it's not something you're going to knock down bottle after bottle either. wink

On a domestic note, like almost everyone around here, I also quite like Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, which is nowhere near as bitter as a true IPA. Probably my favorite "mass-produced" beer is Blue Moon - which is a Molson Coors product. It's done in a more micro style and apparently even though claimed to be from Colorado, some of it is actually brewed here in Canada and exported to the US. It's not available for sale in Canada and the closest to its recipe is Rickard's White, which is also a Molson brand.

Ok, now I have to get back into the kitchen to finish off the lobster risotto I started doing prep for an hour ago.

Oh.... I won't touch Labatt's Blue, even when it's free. wink


Edited by hybrid8 (14/02/2011 23:23)
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#342318 - 14/02/2011 22:38 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2089
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Interesting - I only see Belgium as a producer of beers I drink to get drunk, not to enjoy. I far prefer the Bavarian beers, if we are looking at lagers or pilsners (remember Stella is a lager), or British real ales (as defined by CAMRA - http://www.camra.org.uk/)

That said, I tried the local SF brew Anchor Steam yesterday (Robotic gave me good advice) and it was excellent. A bitter, hoppy brew.


Edited by frog51 (14/02/2011 22:40)
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#342322 - 14/02/2011 23:27 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: frog51]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Yep, I know Stella is a lager. I don't prefer lagers, but there are a number of them I also quite enjoy. Just not Stella, which to me tastes just acrid.

Perhaps my opinion of Belgium is very heavily slanted because of their particular exports available to me. Really, apart from Stella, most everything else is really premium abbey-style stuff. Ok, there's also Hoegaarden, but it's a white, which I've already mentioned I quite like. Leffe, blonde and Brune, also much enjoyed.

My favorite German beers are all white ales, but I've had a pils here and there that I've enjoyed as well. I wish I'd kept track of them all. I now actually have an app to do just that. smile

I'm not a fan of most British/Irish beers, lagers or ales. I've had a few stouts I've enjoyed, but it's really hit and miss. I don't mind a Guinness at all though.
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#342334 - 15/02/2011 00:40 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
I share your bafflement in Stella. How could a country that produces so many great beers produce Stella? It's inexplicable.

I've twice managed to visit Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, one of the few remaining classical lambic breweries. Sadly, I can't buy their stuff locally, so I instead need to carry it back on the plane, but with stupid U.S. travel restrictions on liquids, it can be difficult. Their beers are far more rich and complex than the more-easily-available Lindeman's lambics. The only minus is that they're decidedly acidic. I can't drink a full pint of the stuff before I start having, umm, negative reactions. (I couldn't drink a full pint of orange juice either, for much the same reason.)

I also agree with the joys of German beers and even pilsners from the Czech Republic (versus the American varieties).

Most beers I drink, however, come from my local increasingly-less-micro-brewery, St. Arnold, which does a lovely klsh ("Fancy Lawnmower Beer") and my favorite spring bock.

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#342335 - 15/02/2011 00:46 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13863
Loc: Canada
I'm all for true British Ale -- nectar of the gods!


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#342345 - 15/02/2011 02:35 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12016
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: DWallach
I share your bafflement in Stella. How could a country that produces so many great beers produce Stella? It's inexplicable.

If I drank beer I would avoid that one for the awful Adrian Brody commercial alone.

So yeah, I guess if I had to pick, my favorite beer is of the "root" variety...and I don't even like that kind all that much...except with some vanilla ice cream smile

Anyway, sorry, continue smile
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#342350 - 15/02/2011 03:38 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Dignan]
JBjorgen
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Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3476
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
I'm 33 and I've never tasted beer. I don't really have a problem with it, just never thought it was for me.
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#342351 - 15/02/2011 03:42 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: mlord]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
The beer I try to always have on hand these days is Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale. It's a good "gateway beer" for anyone who comes over that drinks yellow fizzy macros, and it pairs well with just about anything, especially another. I'm also rarely without at least a sixer of Yuengling Lager, which is my go-to beer when I'm out at an unfamiliar bar -- almost any place around here will have Lager on draft, and if they don't, I'm probably in the wrong bar.

Other all-time favorites include the aforementioned Unibroue roster (especially Blanche de Chambly and Fin du Monde), just about anything from Troeg's, especially Dead Reckoning Porter, Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss, Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weiss, Allagash White, Dogfish Head 60 and 90 Minute IPA, Victory Storm King, Magic Hat #9, Stone Ruination IPA, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale... those are all definitely in the top tier.
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#342352 - 15/02/2011 04:06 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
Im mostly on the dark side:

Sam Adams (the regular blend, not the seasonal crap)
Guinness
Miller highlife (on my light days, in the bottles only)
Steel Reserve 211 (When I want to get hammered)

And usually any darker beer. I like to switch around.

Im sorry but Blue Moon is a horrible girl beer IMO

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#342354 - 15/02/2011 04:59 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Lately, I've been, uh, cash-poor. Which means I've been drinking a lot of PBR. It's still darned good for a dirt-cheap beer. I did have some Redhook ESB in my fridge, and I've been slowly working my way through that. It's a decent middle-of-the-road ESB.

I think my favorite beer I've ever had is Old Speckled Hen. It's yeasty and malty; it's the most like liquid bread of any beer I've ever had. There's a major problem with it, though: it's sold (at least in the US) in clear bottles, and it's hard to come across them before they skunk up. You can also get it in widget cans, but I've never had a widget can beer that I thought was good at all. They all have, to me, a very oily mouthfeel.
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#342355 - 15/02/2011 05:04 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: JBjorgen]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12016
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: JBjorgen
I'm 33 and I've never tasted beer. I don't really have a problem with it, just never thought it was for me.
I've tasted beer on two or three separate occasions (two or three sips total). I try it every 3-5 years to see if my tastes have changed, and each time I try it I feel like gagging.


Edited by Dignan (15/02/2011 05:04)
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#342358 - 15/02/2011 06:48 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Dignan]
Cris
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/02/2002
Posts: 1896
Loc: Leeds, UK
I'm not really a fan of beers & ales. I like a really good larger every now and then. I can only find my favourite on holiday in Austria http://www.zipfer.at really refreshing after a hard day skiing !!!

Not a fan of the Belgian Monastery ales, you can feel the hairs on your chest grow as you sip smile

Cheers

Cris

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#342360 - 15/02/2011 10:17 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: JBjorgen]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2410
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: JBjorgen
I'm 33 and I've never tasted beer. I don't really have a problem with it, just never thought it was for me.


I don't know anything about beers, I just occasionally (rarely) drink it. Some beer I like, some I don't, but can't even remember names and types.

What's the difference between beer, ale, lager, or else?

I remember in Iceland I used to drink a non-alcoholic malt drink which you could find anywhere, which I loved. But I guess it doesn't count. smile
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#342361 - 15/02/2011 10:31 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: DWallach]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1474
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: DWallach
I share your bafflement in Stella. How could a country that produces so many great beers produce Stella? It's inexplicable.


Oddly enough, I love Stella. It is one of my favorite beers ever.

Old Speckled Hen was amazing, but the only place I ever had that was in Singapore. The guy I was on travel with (now my boss) couldn't remember the name and kept referring to it as 'Old Spotted Chicken', which confused the hell out of the bartender. Fun times. In Japan, I had Sapporo Dark and Kirin Lager, both which were great and taste completely different from what we get stateside.

Killkenny is really good stuff, also. I also like Longboard. I tried Session Red for the first time on Saturday, and it is pretty decent. We have a local brewery (Papago) that makes a Vanilla-Orange Wheat beer which is really good.

When I head out east, I have to get my fill of Yeungling Lager, which we can't get back here. There is a pub out in the Aberdeen area that makes 'Resurrection', which is awesome.

I like a ton of different beers and styles, it is hard to name them all off the top of my head. Normal, no special occasion beer is Corona.

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#342367 - 15/02/2011 13:14 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Tim]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
I suppose I should attempt to drag this thread vaguely sideways into wine and spirits. I first discovered and got into beers in college, but in the past few years I've been learning more about wine and cocktails.

The trick with wine, I think, is getting to the point that you have a sense of what different varieties taste like. Just like I can say that I prefer certain kinds of Belgian or German beers, I can now say that I like several of the subtle French and Italian wines over many of the California ones that try to hit you over the head with an oak barrel. (Yet, my favorite wine, bar none, is made in California in an Italian style.)

More recently, I've been trying out various cocktails. My realization there is that most bars are garbage, but these new "craft cocktail" / "mixology" bars can do some amazing things with simple ingredients. I'm enamored with how great something as simple as a sazerac can be.

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#342371 - 15/02/2011 14:54 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: DWallach]
Phoenix42
veteran

Registered: 21/03/2002
Posts: 1376
Loc: MA but Irish born
I share your bafflement in Stella Budweiser. How could a country that produces so many great beers produce Stella Budweiser? It's inexplicable.

Not sure what I currently have at home, it is a 12 pack imported from I think Germany of hefeweizen. But I was in a rush and the price of ~$13 made the decision easy.

I like some of the Sam Adam seasonal stuff, but my brother-in-law (the foodie one) commented that all the Sam's stuff is the same with just minor tweaks here and there. Given the little bit of brewing I have done, this is very possible true.

In New England we are pretty spoiled for breweries, some of the local brews I really like are:
Smuttynose Winter Ale - Portsmouth NH
Anything by Alagash who do great Belgian-style beers - Portland ME
I drank a few growlers of Berkshire Ale from the other BBC while doing the siding on my house (single store, I'm not completely stupid!).

One really disappointing bear that comes to mind is the Blue Moon Winter, the regular brew is great, but the winter crap has like a caramel syrup added in. Ugh frown

I've never been into spirits, which is unfortunate as we name hte firmware releases after single malt scotches and have a stocked bar for the occasional sampling session.

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#342372 - 15/02/2011 14:57 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Phoenix42]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5745
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
I share your bafflement in Stella Budweiser <insert just about any British lager>. How could a country that produces so many great beers produce Stella Budweiser <insert just about any British lager>? It's inexplicable.


Edited by andy (15/02/2011 14:57)
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#342373 - 15/02/2011 15:34 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: andy]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1474
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: andy
I share your bafflement in Stella Budweiser <insert just about any British lager>. How could a country that produces so many great beers produce Stella Budweiser <insert just about any British lager>? It's inexplicable.


When I was in the UK, the hotel I stayed at had somebody paying like 3 or 4 pounds for a bottle of Budweiser (each) nightly. That lead to a great conversation with the bartender (who was from Australia) about the different styles of beer, who drinks what when it is exported compared to who drinks it locally, etc.

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#342374 - 15/02/2011 15:44 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Tim]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I started my drinking with cocktails, then I started wines and finally I started beers. I drink all of them now and of course prefer wine, but I have a serious appreciation for beer. Much more so than for any hard liquors.
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#342375 - 15/02/2011 15:51 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Tim]
jmwking
addict

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 677
Loc: Washington, DC metro
I almost never drink beer anymore. Wine with dinner. Bourbon on ice (just like my sainted grandmother taught me) or Scotch, neat or with a splash, when I want to sip something.

My every day bourbon is Old Forester relatively cheap but tasty. My usual Scotch is Aberlour, regrettably not so cheap.

-jk

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#342378 - 15/02/2011 16:14 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: jmwking]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
I don't see the appeal of Budweiser at all. Its tasteless. I was at a bar once where they had some kind of official promotional event and we all got bottles of 1 day old Budweiser to try. I assume that it was just bottled the day before and not that they had actually made it from scratch within the last day.

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#342382 - 15/02/2011 17:57 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: andy]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5355
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: andy
I share your bafflement in Stella Budweiser <insert just about any British lager>.
My bafflement is why would anyone actually drink any of that vile stuff on purpose?

crazy

tanstaafl.
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#342385 - 15/02/2011 19:24 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: JBjorgen]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3152
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: JBjorgen
I'm 33 and I've never tasted beer. I don't really have a problem with it, just never thought it was for me.

Same here (okay... I'm over 33). I've waved it under my nose, but the stuff smells like piss to me, so my desire to have a taste roughly equals (but has a slight edge) on my desire to lick a urinal.

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#342386 - 15/02/2011 19:27 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: canuckInOR]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
You were probably smelling a Stella or Bud. Or Labatt's Blue. I think they're at least 50% piss by volume.

I was of the same opinion until I discovered beers I really liked.
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#342388 - 15/02/2011 19:41 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12016
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
You were probably smelling a Stella or Bud. Or Labatt's Blue. I think they're at least 50% piss by volume.

I was of the same opinion until I discovered beers I really liked.

Each time I've tried it, it's been a different kind of beer, and each time it's tasted exactly the same to me and equally TERRIBLE.

I doubt this is a question of brands.
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#342389 - 15/02/2011 19:50 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Dignan]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
To be honest, I'm not that keen on beer, ale or lager. I've just learnt to tolerate it but its generally too gassy for me to drink comfortably and I don't really like the bitter taste.

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#342393 - 15/02/2011 21:53 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: Dignan]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Originally Posted By: Dignan

Each time I've tried it, it's been a different kind of beer, and each time it's tasted exactly the same to me


The stuff I mentioned in my first post, compared to a pilsner like Bud, is practically like comparing wine to beer. At least sparkling wine to beer. wink

In soda terms, like Seven-Up compared to Coke or Pepsi. Seriously, abbey-style ales are that different.
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#342394 - 15/02/2011 22:00 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3152
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
You were probably smelling a Stella or Bud. Or Labatt's Blue. I think they're at least 50% piss by volume.

I was of the same opinion until I discovered beers I really liked.

Heh... nice of you to throw in the Canadian brew. wink

It's pretty much all beer, so far (and living in Portland, I've had quite a few micro-brews pass under my nose). But the same holds true for wine, too. I just don't like the smell of most alcoholic drinks.

It is kind of disappointing, in a way, because I'd like to explore the use of wine and beer in cooking, but I have no idea where to start, and then I'd be left with open bottles of stuff that no-one in the house is going to drink.

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#342398 - 15/02/2011 22:45 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12016
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Originally Posted By: Dignan

Each time I've tried it, it's been a different kind of beer, and each time it's tasted exactly the same to me


The stuff I mentioned in my first post, compared to a pilsner like Bud, is practically like comparing wine to beer. At least sparkling wine to beer. wink

In soda terms, like Seven-Up compared to Coke or Pepsi. Seriously, abbey-style ales are that different.

The difference is that Seven-Up is tolerable to me, whereas I have to go brush my teeth after tasting beer. The taste is pretty much offensive to me, and I haven't been tasting things like Bud or Milwaukee's Best, but some middle of the road stuff like Sam Adams Octoberfest and Blue Moon (which you've mentioned). No matter what, it tastes just plain disgusting.

It's funny, there's more people in this thread who have said that they don't drink beer than I've met in my whole adult life.
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#342401 - 15/02/2011 22:59 Re: My (Your) favorite Beer [Re: jmwking]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
Originally Posted By: jmwking
My every day bourbon is Old Forester relatively cheap but tasty. My usual Scotch is Aberlour, regrettably not so cheap.

For just sipping, I enjoy port or an aged (aejo) tequila. I'm a bit new to the whiskey/scotch game, and I've found that I like rye whiskey more than bourbon. I haven't really dug into the wild world of Scotches enough to have strong opinions, but I definitely enjoy the good, smokey stuff.

And as to the other thread about Stella/Budweiser/etc., there's a wild, diverse world of beers out there. The good ones don't advertise on TV or the jerseys of your favorite sports team.

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