Top Ten BEER
Owen takes a whimsical look at his beer "pet peeves."
Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events and the Classic City Brew Fest)
takes this opportunity to share some of the things that really "tick
him off" when it comes to preconceived notions about beer. Have
you ever witnessed any of
these beer transgressions, or worse yet, have you committed any?
Drop Owen an email to
comments and opinions.
Commercial Beers -- Blind Tasting Comments...
Never mess with a man dressed as a hop -- this is Owen's favorite Halloween costume.
(Check out those yellow lupulin glands!)
10.) The idea that all dark beer is really strong.
Not true - a delicious, roasty Dry Stout has less alcohol than a standard American Lager. The Stout also has more complex carbohydrates and tannin-like compounds that are good for your heart. Don't be afraid of the "dark."
What's up with this? If you enjoy flavorful foods, why not drink flavorful beers? Drinking nothing but light American beer is like condemning yourself to eating nothing but fast food hamburgers the rest of your life. Experiment with different beer styles and try to find new favorites with flavor and personality. Live a little! If after years of sampling and trying different beers you still find that you can only stomach light beers, this means that you probably don't like beer!
Some of the world's most flavorful, gourmet beer styles have over six percent alcohol. In some states, an adult can go into almost any convenience store and buy a jug of horrible, high alcohol, fortified wine, but wonderful Trappist Ales, Belgian Tripels, Scotch Ales, and Barley Wine Ales can't be sold.
Arrrgh! How many times have I heard this misconception?! Bock is a wonderful, malty lager beer from Germany. It is sweet, clean, clear, and probably one of the world's most flavorful beer styles. "Bock" is the German word for goat, and since most Bock beers have a higher alcohol content than most people are used to, these beers can have a "kick" like a goat.
Cold numbs the tongue. Ice cold beer is beer without flavor. The English have the correct practice of serving their flavorful ales at cool cellar temperatures (50-55 degrees F) that allow the palate to actually experience the flavors of the beer. Take time to warm up a frigid beer with your hands before you drink it -- you'll be able to taste how pleasant (or unpleasant) your favorite beer really is.
A huge part of enjoying a wonderful beer is being able to smell that wonderful beer. Swirl and sniff your beer before and after each sip to really appreciate the flavor. Cigarette smoke destroys your ability to enjoy the aroma of beer.
That beer in the green or clear bottle could very well be a marvelous, well-made beer, but those bottles provide no protection against light that can give the hops a skunky smell and taste. If you buy beer in green or clear bottles, make sure it has NEVER seen the light of day.
There are more styles of beer in the world than wine. Beer has its own history, depth of character, and charm. Some Belgian beers taste just as complex and robust as many wines, and there are food and beer pairings that work better than wine. Open yourself up to the incredible world of beer styles from around the world -- you will be impressed and amazed!
Beer is a very poor choice for someone who wants to become intoxicated as quickly as possible. Beer has the LEAST amount of alcohol of any alcoholic drink, and beer has an extremely high water content. I am upset to see a few people each year at beer festivals who are not there to taste the different styles of beer, but rather to drink as much as possible and be rowdy and obnoxious. Beer is an impressive beverage, full of history, diversity, and flavor that offers great benefits in moderate consumption. Consume beer wisely and appreciate it for the fine beverage it is.
Don't get me wrong -- American Lagers are respected beers that are quite difficult to produce well. But going into a beautiful brewpub that prides itself on the careful and thoughtful production of its own food and beer and ordering a bottled light beer is like going to one of Napa Valley's best winery tasting rooms and asking if they have any wine in a box. Next time you sit down at a brewpub, order a sampler tray of all the fresh beers made at the location -- chances are you will enjoy the experience and find a delicious beer.
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