Monday, May 25, 2009

About This Beer Drinking Thing

Only 15 months into my serious beer drinking/logging/writing phase of life, and man, it's grueling.

I just want to drink beer.

Obviously, I've fallen dangerously far off the beer bloggin wagon, but I think I can get myself back on. But recently, I've had much more trouble finding complete satisfaction at the bottom of a once filled glass of suds. And I've had little luck finding exquisite, affordable, available beers, and thus have found myself resorting more and more to old favorites. Your Summit, your Surly. Hence, the stalled blog. With the drought, apparently, also come those words you almost need to follow with a sigh. Hence (sigh), thus (sigh).

Man, life is tough when you just drink beer and can't get yourself to write about it. I need a beer.

I have had my share of beer in the past few weeks, though much of it now comes in the softball field parking lot. Those beers, as you might imagine, don't inspire much reflection. Would I love to introduce the guys to the finer brews? Absolutely. I think, however, some of the experience gets lost when you're standing on a sunflower seed-filled tar slab in your sweaty mesh splendor.

As for the non-softball imbibing, here's a list. Finally had a Pauwel Kwak (it's the one that gets served in the goofy glass). Liked it. Part of the fun of drinking a Kwak is the glass, and I'd bet its overall ratings would fall a tiny bit if it came in a pint glass. Just my opinion. Well hidden 8% ABV. Strong spicy Belgian flavors.

Boulevard. Bought the sampler pack (6 varieties, of which I've now tried 4). From best to worst: Single Wide IPA, Pale Ale, Lunar Ale, Zon. I've expounded on this before, but I've backed off the hyper IPAs to the more modest ones, and the Single Wide fits the bill. Nice grapefruit aroma, really delicate piney hops, without the syrupy butterness that comes with the next category.

The Double IPAs. Had Founders Double Trouble (finished its sentence in my basement) and Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA (a limited release, you know...) Talk to me again in November, maybe I'll be ready for these bad boys again. I mean, these are two excellent beers, that on the right day, I could see myself recommending to the highest degree. Just not on these days. I will say, I opened the Founders at the wrong time (well after midnight). I still appreciate these beers; love the smell, love the first touch of the lips, but a whole bottle can be a little much. The same could be said for the Double Crooked Tree, but man, how can you pass up a 13.6% IPA? Even if it sucked I'd have to try one. I actually liked it better than the Founders, thought it was balanced better, especially considering the extra jolt of alcohol. Neither tasted too boozy, either, which was surprising. Again, check back with me around November.

Two Southern Tiers: Uber Sun and Big Red. I'd just like to see Southern Tier do a subtle beer. Just once. I don't understand an imperial summer wheat ale. Not refreshing enough to be a summer guzzler, not tasty enough to be a strong ale sipper. As for Big Red, it was tasty, but was hopped out of its mind. This was a red ale like Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner is a pilsner. Show me something a little more delicate.

Yes I'm a tad bitter. I need some good summer beers to bring me back. Suggestions?


Anonymous said...

first time poster long time reader. i've heard blue diamond makes a fantastic lager that could hit the spot on a warm summer day. cheers.

SwallowEvil said...

Brau Brothers makes a Strawberry wheat that is pretty good on a hot summer day. Nothing too special but the aroma is nice. Worth a try.

On a side note, I normally don't drink before a softball game but I had a miller lite before last night's game and played the worst game of my life in the field. Coincidence, I think not...A suggestion came to mind though. Maybe you should limit yourself to a couple of weeks of miller lite only. Your balance is off man, too much yin and you need some more yang to bring it all together again.