Right off the top, let me say that I am no great beer expert. I HAVE been drinking more suds lately and enjoying them, but I am nowhere near as well traveled in beer as I am in single-malt whisky. That said, I wanted to start a discussion about beer, especially since I understand it to be an OLD tradition (started with the Egyptians, so I hear) and one which I do enjoy.
Among my favorites are:
Don't ask me why about that last, other than it's a bit too hoppy for my taste. I like their dark brews. They have a Honey Porter which is lovely and (I think) an Oatmeal Stout which, while it's no match for Guinness, has its moments.
As to more pedestrian fare, make mine Bud or Coors (the ORIGINAL, NOT Coors Light!), please. Either work GREAT in front of a baseball or football game, especially with a dog in hand. I should mention that the brew which bears my surname I wouldn't hit a dead dog with!
I used to enjoy Molson Export Ale quite a bit. There was an Indian restaurant in Winnipeg called "India House" where I regularly washed down my Rogan Josh with one of those. Not much traveled in other Canadian brews, but always open to suggestions!
You are the one who handles the dough with a big shovel,
Mixing in a pit, the bappir with sweet aromatics,
Ninkasi, you are the one who handles the dough with a big shovel,
Mixing in a pit, the bappir with honey,
You are the one who bakes the bappir in the big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grains,
Ninkasi, you are the one who waters the malt set on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates,
You are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.
You are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
You are the one who holds with both hands the great sweet wort,
The filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.
Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
Like the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.
Apparently this is a more accurate rendition of the original -
I think it's key to have noble dogs keeping away the potentates.
I love beer! Thanks!
Newcastle Brown Ale
Smithwicks Irish Ale
Not a big fan of Budweiser products.
Strangely enough, I never did like Guinness, until I went to Ireland. The fresh, unpasteurized version, on tap in a pub that keeps their lines cleaned tastes nothing like that which you get in America. The bitterness I've always tasted in Guinness served in the US was gone, and it was excellent.
I know exactly what you mean about the Guinness, Pat. I was in Derry on a job once, and my hosts took me pub-crawling the last day I was there. One pub we went to ... man, I don't know how, but they NAILED it. To me, when Guinness is good, it's great, and when it's bad, it's still pretty good. I've also heard that it doesn't travel very well, and to taste it in the home country (or near that!) showed off that truth pretty damned well. This one pub, though ... I don't know whether they got a really good keg or what, but WOW.
Guinness draught is the only way to drink that beer in my opinion. It's also different in Kenya than in the USA.
We like some of the same beers. I think modern beer has been ruined by conglomerate takeovers, and my taste has went more into the craft beers. The problem here is that InBev and others are trying now to do craft beer. That seems kind of silly.
I'm trying to get ahold of some Victoria from Mexico and try that out. No luck so far, and when people tell me to go to "The Mexican Store" I'm having trouble finding that place too. LOL
I was surprised recently to discover how good Sam Adams Black Lager can be. As for other brews of other countries I buy Tusker, a Kenyan lager, from the World Food Market in St. Louis. They don't have everything, but there is a fairly good selection.
Talk beer and it's hard to shut me up. Today I bought some Lemp beer which was originally made in St. Louis , Mo. by the Lemp brewery. Said to be "america's first lager beer" it's refreshing and tasty with a strong taste of Cascade hops. (A similar beer by Miller/Molson/Coors is Batch 19.) Lemp standard lager was a staple in St. Louis before my time, but Adam Lemp's relatives made beer in St. Louis as well. Griesedieck Brothers beer was very popular here way before Budweiser. Joe Griesedieck headed up Falstaff brewing company and I drank that beer in the early 1970's. Some of my beer tastes may be a carry over from hearing TV commercials as a child.
Recently a family member of the Griesedieck dynasty has tried to bring back Griesedieck Brothers beer. I've found 2 kinds here and tried the lager beer. About 2 or 3 sips and I said "hello Falstaff."
When it comes to beer, I enjoy Blue Moon and Corona Extra as well. The Sam Adams beers are equally good. In addition, I've always liked Beck's, Heineken and Stella Artrois. I've never had the pleasure of drinking Guinness from the source, but I've always enjoyed the bottle version.
In college I used to purchase Hamm's in bottles by the case. Of course, during that time of my life I was also taking swigs out of a bottle of Old Grand Dad Whiskey. (Yikes!)
Loren might have said it already, but I got this from somebody. The real secret of Guinness beer is to get it on tap as a draught. This is why the local beer is so much better because it is not pasturized. Any of it that we get here is pasterized, so Guinness in Ireland would be a real treat.
I did say so briefly above, Michael, and Pat was good enough to expand on just WHY Guinness is so different there vs. here.
Still, I find Guinness palatable enough on this side of the puddle, though when I've had it in Limerick or Derry ... HOOBOY!