General Discussion

Beer...?
ozoneocean at 6:44AM, April 7, 2011
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I really don't know much about beer.
People talk about pilsner, stout, ale, larger, bitter… And I have NO idea what they mean! Where do people acquire such knowledge?

The only beers I can really drink with any sort of appreciation are Guinness, Kilkenny Ale, or maybe some special stuff brewed by smaller breweries like Little Creatures in Fremantle. Apart from that they're all pretty soapy, watery and bitter.
The worst culprits in my experience are the various mass-market Aussie beers I've had- VB, Fosters, Swan Larger, Emu Export. I tasted Bud while in the US and that was almost exactly the same.
—————

So what's you stance on beer?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
JustNoPoint at 7:04AM, April 7, 2011
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I have never tried any alcoholic beverage :P

Though one time when I was young I was reaching for a can of soda I sat down and accidentally grabbed my dad's beer. To make it worse it was the beer he had finished and was using as a cigarette ash tray X-(

That traumatic event may have been one of the reasons I never tried anything. It was so horrible!!! ACK I was younger than 10 but don't remember exact age. Just the event. My dad drank Old Milwaukee by what seemed the gallons.

—–
My stance on beer? In the US too many ppl want it just to get wasted and sh*tfaced. In Arkansas especially there isn't much to do so ppl just drink. I really can't stand it. And seeing a woman drink or smoke has even become an instant turn off.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
BffSatan at 7:13AM, April 7, 2011
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Cider>beer.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
gullas at 8:53AM, April 7, 2011
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I especially like Strongbow(apple brewed, almost cider), Carlsberg(locally brewed, otherwise it's horrible), Heineken and few Icelandic types like Gull, Thule and Kaldi's Crhistmas brew(change the recipe each year)…
Favourite cough medicine: Jägermeister

But lately I've been growing very fond of gin, Beefeater and Bombay Saphire especially…
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:40PM
Genejoke at 8:58AM, April 7, 2011
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Someone
really don't know much about beer.
People talk about pilsner, stout, ale, larger, bitter… And I have NO idea what they mean! Where do people acquire such knowledge?

Well aside from running bars etc, the internet is your friend, copy/paste-tastic post coming


Someone
Pilsner (also pilsener or simply pils) is a type of pale lager. It takes its name from the city of Pilsen (Plzeň), Bohemia, in the Czech Republic, where it was developed in the 19th century and where the original Pilsner Urquell beer is produced today.

Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water, and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery.
There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout, and imperial stout. The name porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark beer popular with street and river porters of London that had been made with roasted malts. This same beer later also became known as stout, though the word stout had been used as early as 1677. The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined.

Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers' yeast. The yeast will ferment the beer quickly, giving it a sweet, full bodied and fruity taste. Most ales contain hops, which help preserve the beer and impart a bitter herbal flavour that balances the sweetness of the malt.

Lager (German: storage) is a type of beer that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. Pilsner, Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager.
Pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world. There are also dark lagers, such as Dunkel and Schwarzbier.

Bitter is an English term for pale ale. A boy's bitter has less than 3% alcohol by volume, while a strong bitter has at least 7%. Bitters may be a dark amber, or as light in appearance as a golden ale.
By 1830, the terms bitter and pale ale were synonymous in England where breweries would tend to designate beers as pale ale, though customers in the pub would commonly refer to the same beers as bitter.

Personally I prefer spirits.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
usedbooks at 9:57AM, April 7, 2011
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I don't like the taste of alcohol. No matter what people tell me (that it isn't about taste), I can't see enjoying it. The only thing I've used beer for is to kill slugs in the garden.

There are only a couple alcoholic drinks I could sip without gagging, champagne and a really sweet dessert wine I tasted on a winery tour in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. I also forced myself to drink a glass of red wine once because the party host had only wine and Perrier – and Perrier is TERRIBLE. In any case, no thanks to beer. None of my female friends like it either (even the ones that enjoy other kinds of alcohol). I don't mean to stereotype, but it seems to appeal more to male tastes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
skoolmunkee at 10:35AM, April 7, 2011
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My sister and a friend of mine love (good) beer and always tried to get me to like it, but whatever they gave me I just couldn't drink. There's a core flavour there that I just dislike strongly. It's that soapy bitterness that oz mentioned. Every beer is going to have it, even the ones that advertise being ‘less bitter.’

Spirits, ciders, wines, etc are all fine. I don't have an issue with alcohol (except ones with flavours I dislike, like the anise ones). I don't tend to drink much at all though, mostly because I see it as expensive and wasteful. :]
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
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patrickdevine at 12:09PM, April 7, 2011
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I love beer! Or rather I like stuff brewed by local craftspeople that actually care about what they're doing. As far as acquiring knowledge about it all I can really say is try new stuff to see what you like. I know that when most people in the US refer to beer they're usually referring to a lager, I'm still a little hazy on the difference of a lager and a pilsner, I think pilsners tend to be more goldish in color and the brewing process is different. Ales tend to be a bit earthier in color (amber, red, brown,) and a lot stronger in flavor and much higher alcohol per volume. One of my favorite variations on ales is India Pale Ale which was developed by the British for export to India and was double-hopped, supposedly so it wouldn't go bad during the trip. Stouts and porters I'm also a little unclear on their difference, I know they're both dark though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Product Placement at 12:14PM, April 7, 2011
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ozoneocean
So what's you stance on beer?
Meh. Never been much of a beer drinker.

That partially has to do with my inability to burp, which limits my consumption rate of most sodas and other fizzy beverages to few glasses before I start feeling bloated.

When you try beer for the first time, chances are that you're not going to like it but over time (sooner for some then others) the taste starts to grow on you. For me it used to be that the first few sips were all right but subsequent sips produced this displeasing metallic like aftertaste which made finishing an entire pint a displeasure. I quickly noticed that some brands produced less of that aftertaste and some none at all, which bumped them up my “favorites” list. Eventually I got over that aftertaste issue of mine as well.

Kinda interesting how it seems like there are allot of people here who don't like alcohol in general.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:53PM
blindsk at 12:41PM, April 7, 2011
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Product Placement
Kinda interesting how it seems like there are allot of people here who don't like alcohol in general.

I'm still confused by the fact that there is non-alcoholic beer. Maybe it's used as a means to wane alcoholics off of their addiction or something, but that's just a shot in the dark.

Anyway, I'm sort of in the same boat as ozone, I know brands, but I'm not familiar with the classifications. As far as American beers go, my favorite would have to be Sam Adams. I believe that's an ale and a bit on the darker side, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

A funny experience I had with beer: at some party the host bought this beer called New Castle. My friend and I were commenting on how full it tasted and we genuinely liked it. We praised it so much that a British exchange student walked over and started laughing at us. According to him, the brand is typically the beverage of choice by low-lifes and is practically equivalent to the American “Natural Light.” Definitely took me by surprise. Different cultures certainly hold beers in different regards.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
Chernobog at 2:27PM, April 7, 2011
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I'm not a beer snob nor a heavy drinker by any means, but I've acquired a taste for some versus others. For a long time, most beer just tasted like stale dishwater to me. To a degree, some still do. And unfortunately, a lot of American beer is watered down chemical swill, but you have to expect that with the mass marketed stuff. Comparatively, go to a place such as Germany; they are VERY serious about their brewmanship there. I've had good experiences with Mexican and Jamaican beer too.

I'm also fortunate enough to live a few blocks away from a microbrewery. They have a wonderful raspberry wheat beer.

My favorite is Pabst Blue Ribbon (smoother than most, I find). I also like Negra Modelo, Amstel Light, Bud Light Lime (tastes better than the other light lime beers), ‘black and tans’, and Guinness. I can tolerate Miller Lite.

I'm not real picky. If someone's hospitable enough to offer me something, I'll take it. However, Heineken, Busch, Sam Adams, and Coors are just… egh, although I'll admit Sam Adams taste better with pepper in it, for some reason.
 
 
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ayesinback at 3:57PM, April 7, 2011
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I generally prefer wine over beer, but on a hot summer day a cold beer hits the spot. And some foods like pizza or chili taste better with a beer. But it has to be COLD - warm beer might be useful as some kind of antiseptic, but not as a beverage.

At home, I like the Yuengling lager (a recent discovery). At a bar, Amstel light is usually a safe choice (because beer IS fattening and this light doesn't taste too much like flavored water). But when it's available on tap, I always choose a Guinness. Guinness is the only stout I've ever tried, but I really like it. I even think it's pretty with its deep creamy earth tones.

under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
OnlyFoolsAndVikings at 4:30PM, April 7, 2011
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I saw the title and immidately thought of that Simpsons Episode:
“I'd like a Coffee.”
“Beer it is.”
“No a Coffee”
“…Beer?”
“…Coffee, Coff-ee.”
“..Be-er?”
“C…O…”
“B…E…”

Anyway, tasted beer once, tasted like dried cat piss, so, it looks like I'm always going to be the designated driver at parties. *sips coke methodically*
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:21PM
Genejoke at 4:41PM, April 7, 2011
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I can't believe there are so many people who have never had a beer, that is just alien to me.

Perhaps it's because I'm english.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
BffSatan at 8:51PM, April 7, 2011
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Corona is alright for a beer.
I still would drink a jagerbomb or a rum and coke over a beer any day.
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DAJB at 4:17AM, April 8, 2011
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usedbooks
The only thing I've used beer for is to kill slugs in the garden.
Well, at least they die happy!
;-)

Genejoke
I can't believe there are so many people who have never had a beer, that is just alien to me.

Perhaps it's because I'm english.
Absolutely.
“For a quart of ale is a dish for a king” - Shakespeare. And he tended to know what he was talking about!
;-)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
ozoneocean at 5:39AM, April 8, 2011
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You really have to wonder why it's such a popular beverage…?
It's hard for me to judge since in my own case, it looks as if I might be a "super taster"- which would mean I'm over-sensitive to bitter flavours.

But generally it seems that the popularity might be down to it being a cheap, universal, alcoholic beverage.
When I want to get high on alcohol, I choose wine (mainly red). The flavours are way more interesting and it takes a lot less drinks.


I'm also at a loss with things like Whisky, scotch, cointreau, brandy etc. -The flavour in those is pretty much akin to going to see a heavy metal band live and standing right in front of the speakers- no sound, just a screaming decibel drill paired with a body-reverberating rhythmic thud. Perhaps that's the reason they're usually paired with cigars?
 
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bravo1102 at 9:32AM, April 8, 2011
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ozoneocean
You really have to wonder why it's such a popular beverage…?

Hardly, as my ever so wise and all-knowing Medieval Studies professor used to say, “It's liquid bread.” Can't drink the water? Drink the beer. A staple of the pre-modern world. Manage your intake and you'll learn how to can get full before you get drunk!

And the only thing from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves worth remembering? Friar Tuck saying, "They say grain is the staff of life but God intended it for a higher purpose; let us discuss beer."

Dark, rich, frothy and tasty. Ales, Lagers and stouts. Bock if you really want awesome beer taste.

One day I went to an Irish pub had Guiness on tap and I was hooked. It's not bitter served on tap at slightly cooler than room temperature. Them Irish know how to make beer. I almost didn't mind all the songs about how evil the English were and they didn't mind that I was wearing a British DPM uniform jacket.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ozoneocean at 10:01AM, April 8, 2011
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bravo1102
Hardly, as my ever so wise and all-knowing Medieval Studies professor used to say, “It's liquid bread.” Can't drink the water? Drink the beer. A staple of the pre-modern world. Manage your intake and you'll learn how to can get full before you get drunk!
Yeah, but Mead and Cider were popular in the distant past too and neither is as popular as beer today, so the mystery remains.

Mead is better than beer in every possible way :P
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 10:48AM, April 8, 2011
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Beer and lager have better publicists.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
ayesinback at 11:02AM, April 8, 2011
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Bar-keep! Fetch me a pint of that thar mead on tap. ey? then a bowl of your wassail if you please.

No? FINE. A Mike's hard lemonade then (that's good stuff, too)
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Tim Wellman at 5:34PM, April 8, 2011
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If you have drank beer for several years, you develop a real appreciation for it… and I don't mean the expensive stuff (it's mostly just that, no better, in fact most smaller breweries suck at making beer… it's just the ‘cool’ thing for snobs to drink). I love the taste of beer… Bud, Miller, you name it… good American beer (and trust me, I drank all the expensive imported stuff in college… because everyone said I was supposed to). I drink around a 12 pack a day, every day, and have for years… it's just a great taste you can't find anywhere else and nothing quenches your thirst like beer… cold beer and a cheap cigar… if they don't have that in heaven, I'd prefer to go to hell (provided they have beer and cigars).

I think any real beer lover will drink plain old mass-market because you just develop a taste for whatever is convenient… everyone else is just pretending to like beer.

A little known fact, everyone in medieval England drank beer instead of water. You could die from drinking the water. Even children drank beer, the average consumption was 2 gallons a day. There were 3 strengths, because they used the same ingredients to make 3 batches (mostly monks made beer). The first batch was probably close to 9% alcohol, the second batch was around our average beer these days, and the third batch, for children, was about half the alcohol content of our modern beers.

Another little known fact, when the pilgrims came to America, they didn't pick Plymouth Rock to land because it looked nice, they had run out of beer onboard ship and needed to land anywhere they could.
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shirkersama at 9:19PM, April 8, 2011
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My minimal experience with alcohol:
Beer: I've tried two or three mass produced beers and they were all disgusting.
Whiskey: My family has a weird history of being able to drink whiskey like it's water, and I most certainly inherited that trait. Other people talk about how strong it is and what not, but to me it tastes great. There is, of course, a little burning when it goes down but I like the sensation. It's kind of like when food is just the perfect amount of spicy. Despite having never been drunk I can drink shots of whiskey one after the other with no problem.
Wine: Wine is hit and miss with me. I either love it or hate it. I like both red and white wine, but sadly I have a tendency not to pay attention to what I'm drinking beyond if it's red or white so I'm not actually sure what I like and what I don't. I also tend to like wine coolers, though no matter how much I drink them I don't get the alcohol effects at all.
Sake: I know sake is wine, but it deserves its own category because it is the greatest liquid in the world. It tastes better than wine, and has a similar sensation to whiskey but where whiskey burns, sake just warms.
Maybe my views are skewed because I have a very high tolerance to alcohol though… My sister and I drank an entire bottle of sake, with me drinking three or four more glasses than her, and I didn't feel a thing. By the time the second bottle was through, I drank four wine coolers and I drank a glass of some other kind of wine I was feeling slightly fuzzy but that was all.

I really want to drink now :/

As for why beer is so popular: everyone I know drinks it simply because it's cheap.

Meh
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:34PM
Lonnehart at 10:30PM, April 8, 2011
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Eh… I don't mess with beer… especially after two of my family members went and drank themselves to death… and… oh…

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…from 0:14 to 1:08… :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
Ironscarf at 3:29PM, April 9, 2011
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ozoneocean
So what's you stance on beer?

It staris just like my normal stance, but after eight pints or so it tends to develop a slight lean.

We Brits used to drink bitter, which wasn't chilled or carbonated, but kept at cellar temperature by an expert cellar man. If he didn't keep a good ale, you went elsewhere. Now frozen carbonated beers have taken over, much like the Fosters you describe - they have the advantage of always being the same everywhere you go and being easily transportable: real beer does not travel well.

The authentic product is still available but is now known as real ale and is made on a smaller scale by a host of specialist breweries. For this reason it often carries esoteric names like Waggle Dance or Tanglefoot. It doesn't have the cool image of the commercial gnat's piss though, which comes from huge advertising budgets, so the younger generation would rather drink beer that tastes of weasel waz than a great tasting beer with a name like Weaselwaz.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
skoolmunkee at 10:17AM, April 10, 2011
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Tim Wellman
I drink around a 12 pack a day, every day, and have for years…

I'm sorry but… that sounds like too much to be particularly healthy.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:44PM
patrickdevine at 10:09PM, April 10, 2011
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Really down on snobs eh, Tim? The smaller brewery stuff is generally what I prefer, I'll drink stuff like Bud, PBR or Miller when that's available though. What can I say, I just don't think those beers have much flavor to them. I'll admit though, there's been some terrible stuff to come out of small breweries too.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
bravo1102 at 1:48AM, April 11, 2011
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ozoneocean
bravo1102
Hardly, as my ever so wise and all-knowing Medieval Studies professor used to say, “It's liquid bread.” Can't drink the water? Drink the beer. A staple of the pre-modern world. Manage your intake and you'll learn how to can get full before you get drunk!
Yeah, but Mead and Cider were popular in the distant past too and neither is as popular as beer today, so the mystery remains.

Mead is better than beer in every possible way :P

Only to you. :p

Every civilization that has had both, beer won out. Mead is expensive to produce and keep. It's also more seasonal than beer because anyone who grows wheat can make beer. Mead is harder to make and if not done right or when spoiled is SOUR ick that you can't even spread on bread. Beer is often still drinkable. Liquid bread versus sweet icky stuff you have in the springtime that lasts longer and tastes better on corn cakes washed down with beer and cider.

Cider is still popular in the USA. I grew up near Delicious Orchards Colts Neck NJ and Battlefield Cider is a big deal around here. Named for Monmouth Court House Battlefield which was also in prime apple growing country. But then the Continental Army was happy they captured the beer stores of the Brits after the battle. Not cider, not mead; beer.

And the Pilgrims weren't forced to land in Massachusetts because they were nearly out of cider or mead.
They didn't rush out to get honey to make mead. They grew apples for hard cider and wheat to brew beer.
You can keep beer in a barrel and have it last an ocean voyage. Can't do that with mead. You can't make HUGE barrels of the stuff relatively quickly. It won't keep a few months in a damp cellar like beer.

No mystery. Beer is commonly made, easily stored and shipped. Mead isn't. It was a special occasion, seasonal drink.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
ozoneocean at 3:14AM, April 11, 2011
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bravo1102
No mystery. Beer is commonly made, easily stored and shipped. Mead isn't. It was a special occasion, seasonal drink.

No, I think your argument is skewed.
OK, a quick historical survey Tells me that for mead things were primarily dependant on bee populations- When those were plentiful it was easy to make mead- as population spread increased and the forests gave way to cultivated lad, bees deceased. Mead seems to be one of the earliest beverages, a drink more suited to the wild and wooly days before the world was tamed, farmed and deforested.

Around the Mediterranean grapes were easier to grow so wine remained popular there, beer in the middle east… Mead was going strong in Scandinavia and England until the reformation when bee-keepers suffered a decline.

Due to various reasons, some cultural and sociological (and others mentioned above), in later years mead became more expensive to produce.

It really does seem that beer won out because it was a cheap sort of bog-standard, basic alcoholic drink that anyone could make anywhere. Not a beverage of preference.
-and whatever was the easiest alcoholic beverage to make in whatever region was the most popular there.


…And that gives me an inkling as to the future of beer:
Will it continue to be as popular? Right now that's only the case because of the large brewing monopolies really, and their continued promotion of the drink. The old cultural, practical and sociological reasons for its popularity have altered now. The big industries that produce most beverages could just as easily switch gears to make anything else (except mead ironically because bees don't fit well with industry and mass production), so if broader community tastes begin to shift to something else, or fragment, there's nothing to keep beer in the central spot.
Interesting :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
bravo1102 at 4:15AM, April 11, 2011
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Cider is posed to make its comeback.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM

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