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What's Your Favorite Domestic Beer and Why?

I'm wondering what everyone else likes to choose when they're limited to only domestic beer...

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  1. Allagash Tripel (or is it the Grand Reserve?)

    Anyway, I like it bc it is the closest thing I've had to Chimay Grand Reserve from the US.

    As far as beer-beer goes, the type you drink out of a bottle while watching a football game, I like Lagunitas IPA (but it is still better out of a glass).

    3 Replies
    1. re: whiner

      Whoa, I gotta try this Allagash Tripel then. Chimay Grand Reserve is my favorite beer.

      1. re: camarokyle

        I'd say that Delirium Tremens trumps the Chimay. Although, I've once tried an expertly aged Chimay that was heavenly. It had a kind of Port wine nuance to it.

      2. re: whiner

        Allagash Tripel is nothing like Chimay Grande Reserve. It's stylistically most like Chimay Cinq Cents, which is the tripel of the Chimay line-up. The most Grande-Reserve-like offering from Allagash would be Four, which is an incredible brew in its own right.

      3. Anchor Liberty Ale - because I can get it if I want one. Not a huge beer drinker but I'll drink this and Sierra Nevada.

        1. I have now come full circle and can no longer drink any beer laden with Belgian candi sugar. Quaffable, crisp treats are the rule of the day for me. With that in mind, the beer to end all beers is Prima Pils from Victory(pfff. domestic OR otherwise).

          http://www.victorybeer.com/pils.html

          It suffers from consistency issues for us out here on thewest coast and some bottles have literally exploded on me, but when its good, its ambrosiacal (wait, is that a word?).

          Dry, resiny, crisp malt. Its all I could ask for. Need some. Now!

          9 Replies
          1. re: krushdnasty

            Just about anything from Victory will satisfy me. I love the Hop Devil.

            If I had to choose only from the old line big beer companies, then it would be Schlitz or PBR.

            1. re: RIChowderhead

              Michelob, Lowenbrau. My favorite old-school American macrobrews.

            2. re: krushdnasty

              My boyfriend lives about 30 minutes from the Victory Brew House in Downingtown, PA. I must say that the Whirlwind Summer Ale is my favorite domestic beer.

              1. re: krushdnasty

                Did you see that the NYTimes just declared the victory pils the best of the american pilseners?
                I like it too, but I think I like the lagunitas one better

                1. re: bolivar13

                  I don't think the Times got into this, but Lagunitas makes a Czech-style pils, while IIRC Victory's is German-style.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    I like both German and Czech style pils about equally. I tried Lagunitas and thought that it was poor. Not saying that one couldn't like it but I didn't find any "Czech" character in it (i.e. Saaz spiciness, earthiness).

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      In my recollection, having only tried it once, I recall Lagunitas Pils being similar to Pilsner Urquell. FWIW, last time I looked, they had similar scores on BA. Do you like PU? Think it's better or worse than Lagunitas?

                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                        Freshness is extremely important with pilseners - I've had Pilsener Urquell one time where it was flowery and amazing, every other time it's been mediocre.
                        With Victory and Lagunitas I've had much more success getting good ones, but there are definitely a number of times where they've been nothing special either.
                        The hop character is the first thing to go, so Chinon00 - you may have just had old beer.

                        1. re: bolivar13

                          I had Lagunitas Czech Pilsner on tap at the same spot so maybe it was a bad keg? I'll try it again in bottle.

                          Thanks

              2. Right now its Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA for the hops and drinkability.

                Ask me again in a week and it will probably be different.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LStaff

                  Second the Bear Republic Racer 5. Also Lagunitas "Freak Out" and Arrogant Bastard and Sierra Nevada in the big bottles. Trumer Pils for clean pilsner style beer.

                2. Loving Pizza Port/Lost Abbey's Old Viscosity right now. Very smooth old ale, with a kick that is hidden - very good on a cold, New England night.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Truh

                    I agree on the Old Viscosity, had one tonight, it was...awesome!. See if you can get your hands on Old, Old Viscosity...its been bourbon barreled for extra tastiness...Lost Abbey's Lost n Found was amazing with the raisin yeast, quite tasty...

                  2. if by doemstic you simply mean made in the us, then pisgah brewing's goldenrod pilsner.

                    if you mean mass-market beers brewed in the states, this (asheville, nc) is PBR country (although it was called pabst back home, and that's still what i call it; no peeber for me).

                    1. By "domestic" you're not limiting this to what is commonly referred to as "domestics" at a bar like: Bud, Bud Light, Miller GD ??? They all suck, pretty much...

                      But if you mean "produced in the USA"...

                      If I can only pick one beer it's probably going to be a great pale ale... And I've yet to taste a better IPA than Three Floyd's incredible Dreadnaught. The price has now hit $9.00 for a 20 oz bottle, unfortunately.

                      The closest thing to Dreadnaught (about 90% there) at about half the price is Great Divide's Hercules IPA. And at a reasonable price (8.99 or 9.99 a six pack) with about 75% of the Dreadnaught quality intact, Three Floyd's Alpha King is a great rich everyday "domestic" IPA. At the 5.99 or 6.99 price point, 2 midwest breweries make awesome IPAS... Boulevard out of Kansas City and Goose Island out of Chicago.

                      You ask WHY those are my favorites... what all those beers have in common is that they are "big" IPA's and they are brewed in the more "sweetish" style with alot of floral aromas, etc. They are not the more bitter style like Victory Hop Devil, Sierra Nevada, etc. The afore-mentioned Anchor Liberty is a great beer, but again in the more bitter style. I really like the bitter styles but love the sweeter styles.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chicago Mike

                        I know what you mean by the "Sweetish" and more bitter styles. But in the one man's tastes is another's whatever department, I find Victory Hop Devil to be more sweetish, and have a nice hop aroma. I've always found that I can only take so much of the hugely bitter styles.

                        Interestingly, all the British ESB's I've had (especially on cask in England) were always malty enough for me.

                      2. Stone IPA. It never disappoints.

                        If you mean something more commonly available, Sierra Nevada is a good pale ale that's pretty widely available. In a pinch, Sam Adams is acceptable. Bud/Miller/Coors/PBR are crap and I won't drink them.

                        1. I'm a fan of Rogue Dead Guy Ale as a session beer-- very drinkable with great balance between malts and hops, and readily available. I'd also put in a vote for just about anything from Russian River brewery (especially Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger IPAs), Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale, Drake's Russian Imperial Stout, Rogue's Chocolate Stout and Shakespeare Stout, and Bison's Gingerbread Ale.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mercuryflyin

                            I second your vote for Dead Guy! My favorite domestic beer by far.

                          2. Jamaica Sunset IPA from the Mad River Brewery in Blue Lake, Ca is my go to beer. Its not the "best" beer, but the best for daily quaffing.

                            1. This begs the question, what is domestic? I hate going to a bar with domestic specials and ordering a Sierra Nevada and being told its not domestic.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: MVNYC

                                That's probably because their domestic specials are for the macrobrews that use rice instead of barley (cheaper) and add all kinds of chemicals (cheaper). Sierra Nevada and most other microbrews are just as expensive as imports and thus get classified that way for purposes of "domestic specials" in bars.

                                1. re: Willy3000

                                  Yeah i understand that, its the actual meaning of domestic that i was making fun of.

                                1. re: netmover

                                  Milwaulkee's Best Light!!!!!!!!!!

                                  PBR!!!

                                  1. re: bakuninhong

                                    Seriously? You enjoy "The Best"?? And Pabst?? You have to be kidding!! :D They don't make worse beer than that!! LOL!!

                                    We used to have a friend in college who drank those two beers all the time (that's how I got the nickname "the best" for Milwaukee's best) and we always joked that we'd hate to see what Milwaukee's Worst was! :D

                                    Actually, Pabst is OK, if you get it before it's gone skunk....we just don't find it that way very often around here...

                                2. Anchor Steam, because their is little if anything else like it. I can find many beers in different styles, except steam beer.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Captain

                                    Keep in mind that the term "Steam" is Anchor's name for the beer, so there may be more "steam beers" out there, just not called so since it would infringe on Anchor's naming rights. Kind of like Q-tips, or Bandaids, or jello - which are brand name products, but used by consumers as the name of any similar item. You might also find it classified as California Common. But you are right, not many amberish beers out there fermented with lager yeast at ale temps. I think Flying Dog Old Scratch is supposed to be in this catagory.

                                    1. re: LStaff

                                      I know it's California Common beer in the technical name, reading Charlie Papazian set me straight on that years ago. I've heard of some smaller brewers making a few beers fermented at higher temperatures with lager yeasts. But most are tough to come by and see little production. For the most part, only hopheads or homebrewers would know the style of beer as a "California Common" beer. And labelling a beer as such gets it little attention because most potential purchasers don't know what it means. If you label something as an IPA, someone who has bought IPAs before has an idea about what to expect form the beer, and should not be disappoitned to taste banana-like esters and the flavor of fuggles (or some other ale) hops. If you label something as a Belgian White Ale, then a person who had had Duvel might know what to expect. I think this is a case in which the "steam beer" trademark has become nearly as effective as a patent. It might not be the only one available, in this style, but the competitors in this style are few and not selling much.

                                      I've read about the "steam" name being attributed to two things, one a method of cooling the wort which encased the brewery in condesation (wort pumped onto a rooftop or something above the brewery) and the hiss that kegs would make when tapped (which I think I read in my copy of "The New Complee Joy of Home Brewing").

                                      I do think that book is wrong in one respect, but I have never done the research to figure out if it is so. It refers to "Negra Modelo" as the only black lager available. I know I've had Kostrizer many, many times and it is a black lager. So . . . .

                                      1. re: Captain

                                        I don't know exactly what Papazian says about Negra Modelo, but it is generally thought to be a Mexican variation of the Vienna style named for the brewer who developed it. Basically, a "Santiago Graf-style Vienna" differs in that it has a small percentage of roasted barley added to its grain bill. (There's more info in the George and Laurie Fix book on Oktoberfest/Vienna/Marzen). Maybe that's what CP was referring to.

                                        1. re: Captain

                                          I've had Kostrizer Oktoberfest flown in for the occasion in Lantana, FL. Best beer I ever drank in my life. So creamy and smooth I could've sworn it was a dairy product. Mmmph!

                                          1. re: Captain

                                            The book is wrong. Samuel Adams makes a Black Lager. It's excellent.

                                            And I don't remember Negra Modelo being black. Must've drank too much of it.

                                            1. re: RIChowderhead

                                              I dunno if I'd label it "excellent". "Tolerable" is closer to the mark.

                                              1. re: Josh

                                                Yes. Excellent may have been too exuberent.

                                              2. re: RIChowderhead

                                                I recall Einbecker also doing a schwarzbier.

                                            1. re: Alan N

                                              I love Rolling Rock - it's so floral, perfect for a hot day.

                                              1. re: throwbookatface

                                                Rolling Rock definitely has a special spot in my heart for excruciatingly hot summer days. Overall though I have to say that my love for the old 33 is more sentimental than anything else. It's far from my favorite beer on taste or other factors, but still gives me warm fuzzies.

                                                1. re: SandraLewis

                                                  I agree.
                                                  Always a good lawnmower beer. The flavor profile is slightly different now than when it was made in Pennsylvania, but whatever one thinks of Anheuser-Busch, I think they did a pretty creditable job overall of re-creating the distinctive flavors in RR (which technically speaking, were actually flaws!)
                                                  Even though I was always partial to more distinctive beers (even 40 years ago) I always managed to keep some RR 7 ouncers around in the fridge.

                                          1. Domestics, as in made in the USA: When travelling around the US, my typical beer order is Anchor Steam or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale due to their wide availability and general deliciousness. Around home, I'm loyal to Brooklyn Brewery. I "imprinted" on BB when I first became interested in beers, being a Williamsburg(h!) resident at the time they opened up shop there. My favorites are the IPA and Brooklyner Weisse, and the Lager for everyday.

                                            16 Replies
                                            1. re: The Engineer

                                              Couldn't agree more. I ended up ordering a draft of Brooklyn Lager while I was out last night just because I didn't really care for the other beers on tap, and it tasted so, so, good, I couldn't help but think it was the perfect beer. A guy sitting next to me was also talking about how good the Brooklyn Lager was.

                                              I don't always order it, and if its not available, I'll get Anchor or Sierra. I can't decide if I like the Sierra Wheat beer or not. It's so light in flavor that I end up drinking it without even noticing. That said, I like very light flavored beers - except Pilsners - too bitter for me.

                                              1. re: cheapskate

                                                I'm very jealous of the New Yorkers. I wish I could get BB stuff out here. For some strange reason, they won't ship to the west coast.

                                                1. re: Josh

                                                  When i lived in NYC I was jealous of the californians. We dont get alot of the good West coast beers there. Now that I am in SD, i do miss Brooklyn though. I know when i move back i will gravely miss all of the great local stuff out here.

                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                    When I was in NYC, I went to a great pub in Greenwich Village that had a number of East Coast micros I'd never heard of. That was my first exposure to Victory Hop Devil, which has become a big favorite of mine. I would dearly love to live in NYC. Expensive, but no place like it.

                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                      Was it the Blind Tiger? they moved and have not been able to get their liquor license yet. The Blind Tiger is where i had many west coast beers like stone for the first time

                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                        Yes! That was it. Cool place, though very crowded. Wound up sharing a table with some other west coast tourists. They had an impressive selection of stuff.

                                                  2. re: Josh

                                                    I don't know for sure why you can't buy Brooklyn Beer where you are, but my guess is its an economics issue. You'd have to basically truck it, refrigerated, from Brooklyn to Cali (or anywhere else), at a significant cost. If you had a distributor that really, really wants it, that might work out, but failing that, you would have a hard time making any money if you had to compete with already established local beers that have strong distributor support. Plus, if they can already sell what they make locally, there's really no reason to invest in an expansion to do a very low margin business by trucking your beer 3000 miles away.

                                                    1. re: cheapskate

                                                      Yeah, and it kind of goes against the whole idea of a regional brewer. I think that's important to the powers that be at BB.

                                                    2. re: Josh

                                                      I feel the opposite, I feel like a bad "beer-head" because I have never been a fan of any of the Brooklyn brews. Hope its not heresy.

                                                      However, I am insanely jealous of your access to New Belgium. One of my favorite things about my trips to Vegas.

                                                    3. re: cheapskate

                                                      Absolutely. Love Brooklyn Lager. It may not be the most exciting beer, but, man, it ALWAYS tastes good. Been big on Stone IPA this summer and most offerings from Dogfish head. Actually picked up a six-pack of Stone's "oak-aged" Arrogant Bastard last night. Hopefully it will be somewhere worth the exhorbitant price I paid for it.

                                                      1. re: Whigsboy

                                                        I didnt know they sold six packs of oaked bastard. i will look out for that as i dont always want to drink a whole bomber

                                                        1. re: Whigsboy

                                                          Agree with the good reviews of Brooklyn Lager. Tasty brew. It is here in Chicago. The pennant ale is o.k., the brown is good but not that good. Very quality all of them.

                                                      2. re: The Engineer

                                                        I like Anchor a lot (though draught Anchor is somewhat inconsistent in my experience). Am I the only person who *doesn't* really like the "Sierra Nevada" style of beer? It has that weird metallic, kind of floral flavor that seems to be shared by a lot of US microbrews. I don't really like that specific taste much at all.

                                                        I do kind of rate Stone, though. I am not crazy about all of their stuff, but it's at least interesting.

                                                        1. re: The Engineer

                                                          Interesting side note: The family that owns Anchor Steam also owns Maytag Blue Cheese out of Iowa.

                                                          1. re: PikeOuttaPlace

                                                            Really? That's strange. Love Maytag, much more so than Anchor Steam.

                                                            1. re: Whigsboy

                                                              Well, Fritz Maytag owns (owned?) Anchor Brewing . . . the Maytag family (of washing machine fame) owns the dairy/cheese.

                                                        2. PBR - Pabst Blue Ribbon. it's a very underestimated beer. it just tastes perfectly like beer, very pure and drinkable.

                                                          47 Replies
                                                          1. re: jjb75

                                                            If thats what beer tastes like, i dont want to drink beer.

                                                            Seriously though, just because beer tasted that way while you were growing up does not mean thats the only way beer should taste. Prior to prohibition there were so many other styles popular in America. The craft brew industry was a rebirth of sorts for real beer here in the United states and it also allowed good foreign beers to finally be imported as there wasnt as big of a market before.

                                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                                              actually, MVNYC, i have lots of beer drinking experience from the U.S. and abroad and PBR is still my favorite domestic beer. sorry. it used to be Shiner Bock until a couple of years ago when i tried PBR. PBR and Shiner are real beers created from European immigrants. most craft brew is too hoppy for me.

                                                              1. re: jjb75

                                                                Nothing to be sorry about, if you like PBR by all means drink it. Taste is completely subjective. To me PBR is bland and inoffensive which i suppose makes it better than the big three. If i were asked to do a blind taste test i dont htink i could tell which one was PBR and which one was Bud. I dont think most other people could either
                                                                PBR may have been originally developed by a European immigrant but its far from a traditional style beer now. Reall beer doesnt use corn.

                                                                There are plenty of craft brews that are not too hoppy that you might enjoy.

                                                              2. re: MVNYC

                                                                PBR when it's cold and on tap hits the spot for me sometimes. Or even in a bottle. It's not necessarily "good" beer, but I like it on occasion, despite (or because of - I'm not sure which) its current trendiness.

                                                                I think the problem is that most of the time you see it in cans... and most beer tastes crappy from a can.

                                                                1. re: will47

                                                                  Why do you think canned beer doesn't taste good? I've had many canned microbrews that taste great.

                                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                    Maybe he wasn't pouring into a glass.

                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                      Straight out of the can definitely makes a difference, but even decent beers (poured into a glass) taste slightly different to me. I'll have to try a blind taste test sometime and see if I can really taste the difference.

                                                                      1. re: will47

                                                                        I think that would be very interesting. Depending on where you live (and maybe time of year), perhaps you can find cans of Brooklyn Lager, for example, in addition to the regular stuff.

                                                                        1. re: will47

                                                                          I know of at least one example which is no contest, and that's Heineken. Out of a can is far superior to the skunk-fest that is the bottled brew.

                                                                      2. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                        I think cans are coated inside now so they dont impart a metallic taste...they have a huge advantage over bottles in protecting from light. Those tall cans of Guiness, Boddingtons and Sapporo are pretty good. I think more quality beers should be sold in cans to reduce the stigma. I wonder if there is a higher start-up cost for canning machinery for the microbrewers.

                                                                        1. re: kenito799

                                                                          In the last few years there has been quite reasonably priced canning equipment available to small breweries.

                                                                    2. re: MVNYC

                                                                      I don't know about you, but I've made a HUGE effort to try all of the old man lawnmower beers out there in our country. They are dying sadly--it really is a disturbing thing to see all the easily drunk beers of our past being swallowed by the larger companies, luckily Pabst is making it out okay.

                                                                      So far I've knocked back: Wiedemann, Cook's Goldblume, Ballantine, Schaefer, Black Label (?), Blatz, and a couple of others whose names I can't remember.

                                                                      But if it's inexpensive and comes in a can I don't recognize, I make a point to drink it. My favorite cheap American beer so far is Rainier in the white can--if I remember it was a nice clean one without that slight funk I taste in PBR (which is my go to beer for gatherings).

                                                                      However, I'm also a hop junkie and belgian beer fan. Once I spent five hours in Brugge drinking beers from a terrific beer bar, made it to fifteen beer in an extraordinary feat of drinking--and I remember all!

                                                                      Also drank beer across the Czech Republic some time ago, making a pilgrimage to Plzen and taking the tour of that brewery. I must've had myself ten or more beers and two meals for less than ten bucks!

                                                                      God I love beer in all it's incarnations...what a gorgeous wonderful idea.

                                                                      1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                        "...luckily Pabst is making it out okay..."

                                                                        Pabst? PABST?? OKAY???

                                                                        In reality, the Pabst Brewing Co. is gone, bought by S&P - a company that bought and then ran into the ground several other breweries like Falstaff, General [Lucky Lager] and Pearl, took the more famous Pabst name as it's own, and put all it's brands under that ownership, closed the Milwaukee brewery, moved the headquarters to Texas (no Pabst brewery there but it's where Pearl was), bought the labels of Stroh (and, thus, the Heileman brands, as well) and eventually closed ALL it's breweries and has Miller make most of it's beers.

                                                                        And they sure own a lot of famous brands- Ballantine, Schaefer, Schlitz, Schmidt's, Black Label, Falstaff, Lone Star, Pearl, Old Style, Stroh, Rainier, Olympia-- the list goes seemingly on forever.

                                                                        And they have, what, less than 4% of the US beer market? 30 years ago, those brands under one umbrella company would have dwarfed A-B- 90 million barrels to their 39. They own the labels of 9 of the top 12 breweries of 1977! It's sad what S&P has done with those brands (...ah, but I'm still bitter about what they did to Ballantine XXX and India Pale Ales back in the late 70's and early 80's- can you tell?) <G> ...

                                                                        1. re: JessKidden

                                                                          Thanks for the info. I'm definitely sad about Lucky. Here in LA we used to get those little round bottles in twelve packs and it was tasty. Not the greatest beer in the world, but an excellent all night drinker.

                                                                          Man, there's nothing anymore...everything is owned by one guy.

                                                                          One guy.

                                                                          Was the Ballantine India Pale Ale good? I've only had the one in the green forty, pardon my ignorance.

                                                                          1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                            re: Lucky- I lived in LA just when I was really getting into beer, around 1976. General, at the time, seemed to supply every different supermarket chain with a different one of their brands. The one I liked best (well, actually the only one that didn't taste the same) was a "superpremium" they had called "Lucky Red Carpet". Tasty, stuff. But my favorite beer in LA (tho' hard to locate at the time) was Rainier Ale.

                                                                            "Was the Ballantine India Pale Ale good?"

                                                                            Oh, it was great stuff, especially for the time. (Today, it would be just OK). I only had it a few times from the Ballantine plant in Newark, when it was still "aged in wood for one year" (but they had dropped bottle conditioning long before my time). But even the BIPA that came out of Falstaff's Cranston brewery was amazing, but it slowly went downhill (less hops, less alcohol) as the years went by and the brand shifted to Ft. Wayne- it's as if Falstaff wasn't paying attention to what was happening in the beer world and they were going the opposite direction. The final batch I recall came out of Pabst's Milwaukee plant around '96 and it was like Ballantine India Pale Ale Light by then.

                                                                            Occassionally, when drinking fresh Bigfoot (coming soon) I'll get a deju vu of BIPA.

                                                                            "I've only had the one in the green forty..."

                                                                            Yeah, that's Ballantine XXX Ale. Different animal. And, despite what you may read on the 'net, it's NOTHING like it was out of Newark or Cranston or Ft. Wayne. Heck, I remember liking the version out of Milwaukee a lot, too. This Miller-brewed stuff is horrible.

                                                                            Here's a great article on the Ales of Ballantine-
                                                                            http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-63841...
                                                                            (but, note, that since the article was written, all Ballantine XXX Ale is coming from Miller.)

                                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                                              JessKidden, could you please write a book about the history of American beer? I am in my 30s and I remember my dad drinking Schlitz, I drank Rolling Rock, National Bohemian and Ballantine Ale in college, but the viewpoint of the beer lover of the present runs something like this: pre Sam Adams = macrolager swill. Post Sam Adams = macrolager swill for 90% of America and craft brews and imports for the elite 10%. Your posts indicate that the picture is far more complex and the creeping dominance of mega-corporations (as in all aspects of American life) played a large role.

                                                                              1. re: kenito799

                                                                                That's the sad thing.

                                                                                I'd love to read a history. There's nothing wrong with the cheap beers of the past, it's the corporate beers of today that are the problem.

                                                                                Jess, Have you ever had Huber Bock out of a returnable bottle? That was my favorite beer when I lived in Chicago six years ago. They've switched to regular bottles and a new formula since...no good.

                                                                                I'm sad. Microbrews taste good, but they aren't so good for the budget conscious. Sometimes I just want to drink a bunch of beer on the back porch with my good friends.

                                                                                1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                  Well to broach the topic of cost you tend to get what you pay for however beer purchased at brewpubs is decidely cheaper (usually around $7 for a 6er) compared to $12/6er at a beer bar or over $30/case at a distributer. For me though the absolute best bang for the buck (where I live) is Bitburger cans @ $17.99/case. Are there better German Pils? Yes. But if you like a standard Pils that price is priceless.

                                                                                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                    I miss Huber and its sister beer Rhinelander ... When I was in college in the early-1990's, Rhinelander was $4.50 a case [bar bottles].

                                                                                2. re: JessKidden

                                                                                  I'm jealous of your beer experiences. You are now my hero.

                                                                                  I don't like the Rainier Ale that you can get now, too skunky and cheap tasting. It seems to have been brewed solely for alcohol content. But the Rainier Lager in the white can, which I haven't had in about four years, was really nice and clean tasting.

                                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                    Great post. Until your post, I had heard of maybe 3 beers mentioned in all the previous posts. You mentioned several that I used to enjoy, but can no longer get. These "micro-brewery snobs" are typical of what our beer-drinking country has come to. Damned shame.

                                                                                    1. re: dhedges53

                                                                                      The only thing that I see as being a damned shame is that you are missing out on all the great beer happening in the US because of your own willful ignorance.

                                                                                      Instead of complaining about "snobs" why don't you get your butt into a brewpub or liquor store and try some of these beers you've never heard of. You might even find you like them!

                                                                                      1. re: dhedges53

                                                                                        "These "micro-brewery snobs" are typical of what our beer-drinking country has come to."

                                                                                        Huh? Now, I do have some differences with the "micro-brewery snobs" (heck, I have differences with all "snobs") but I have NO problem with the vast majority of microbrewed craft beer or the drinkers of those beers, since THEY have the spirit and the desire to renew American Beer. (If old Peter Ballantine were to belly up to the bar today, I'm sure he'd be drinking an American IPA over his old namesake ale...)

                                                                                        If you have a complaint about the condition of our "beer-drinking nation", I suggest you place your blame on the giant, multinational megabreweries (whether of US, Mexican, German or London-by-way-of-South-Africa origin) whose beers dominate the market to the point of 90-95% (close to 50% of all beer in the US is "light" beer!). Blaming a sub-set of drinkers that account for 3-4% of the beer seems misplaced to me.

                                                                                        Do I miss some of the "old" brands- yeah. Am I interested in the history of brewing in the US, even those breweries which put out a dull product (i.e., "North American Light Lager")- yeah.

                                                                                        I miss Ballantine India Pale Ale but I'm happy to have HopDevil, 60 Minute Ale, Pikeland Pils and literally hundreds of other brands to drink while I indulge in nostalgia.

                                                                                        1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                          I love the good stuff, but if I'm travelling and see a six pack of American swill--that's what I buy.

                                                                                          And someone please bring back returnable bottles!

                                                                                          1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                            yeah a case of those 16 oz returnables of Natty Boh was probably $10 in the 80s...

                                                                                            1. re: kenito799

                                                                                              In 01 I was getting a case of Rheinlander for $9! And it tasted good too. I loved the irregularity of the labels and the used quality of the glass.

                                                                                              So sad, the demise of the returnable bottle.

                                                                                        2. re: dhedges53

                                                                                          What i think is a "damned shame" is that someone interested in food enough to go to a site like chowhound, would simply dismiss all the varied beer produced in the country.

                                                                                          Craft beer is exactly what the name suggests. It is returning art back to brewing. There used to be a time when craftsmanship valued across the board, not just in brweing. The movement back to hand crafted ales is similar to what is happening in various industries as people are beggining to realize that a better product can be made by those who truly know and love their craft.

                                                                                        3. re: JessKidden

                                                                                          I only had BIPA once. It had to be around 1977. I thought it was very sweet compared to everything else I had tasted at that time.

                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                            Yes, very sad. When I drive past the former Nawagansett site I get a far away look in my eyes (yes, it was Narragansett, but a heavy RI accent after a few can change the whole language)

                                                                                          2. re: JessKidden

                                                                                            Yes, Ballantine Ale used to be great! It's a damn shame.

                                                                                            1. re: Bat Guano

                                                                                              No one will read this comment now, but - Green Death! Wow, haven't heard that in a while. But that's what we used to call Haffenreffer malt liquor back in the 80s in NYC; not the Ballantine's ale. (And for good reason, methinks.) But, to my cursory understanding, they're both made by Falstaff? Anyway, that was my token trip down memory lane.

                                                                                              1. re: bmiddleb

                                                                                                (Actually people will read it, since adding a post puts the thread at the top of the forum).

                                                                                                From what I've seen (and it will probably be confirmed by some others here), "Green Death" was a nickname given to a number of ales and malt liquors - especially those than came in green 40's, naturally- and depended on regional availablity. I first heard it applied to Rainier Ale (whose cans were also green) living on the West Coast in the mid-1970's. I think I've also read that it was used for Mickey's ML and even Heileman's Special Export -which sort of morphed from a super-premium to a "high gravity" beer in it's marketing- was even called "Special EX" at one point?

                                                                                                But, yeah, on the East Coast Haffenreffer Private Stock Malt Liquor did seem to have the "Green Death" nomicalture to itself for a long time, but I have heard that folks used the term for Ballantine XXX Ale (in the pre-internet age, of course, "regionalisms" stayed regional).

                                                                                                It WAS brewed by Falstaff along with Ballantine Ale but since then, Falstaff's parent company bought Pabst and folded some of their old brands into that company's portfolio (others they dropped and in the case of Narragansett, sold/leased to another company).

                                                                                                Pabst has seemingly shrunk the HPSML distribution back to New England (it had been much broader 10-20 years ago). It's currently being brewed by City Brewing Co. in Latrobe PA (old Rolling Rock facility) using the dba of "Private Stock Brewing Co." (huh? Why not "Haffenreffer"?) after a few years at The Lion where they still used "Narragansett" as a dba for awhile, then switched to "Pabst".

                                                                                                Ballantine Ale, OTOH, is brewed by Miller, in OH or NC, usually. It's distribution has also shrunk (it was once national) to mainly the northeast. Neither product is the same as it was 20 years ago, when they came out Cranston, RI.

                                                                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                  Ahh, yes, yes, yes, I remember them well, yes, yes,yes. A nice summation of the Green Death as verses the Black death Svarte Dode or brennevin of Iceland.
                                                                                                  "twas a dark day when they stopped importing Bail Ale into Maine, Genny Cream Ale as well. We now drink a new "local' beer Upta Camp to remind us of our lovely summer cabin or Camp.

                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                    Pabst's Ballantine Ale website claims they still have two Maine distributors:

                                                                                                    PINE STATE BEVERAGE COMPANY GARDINER 04345
                                                                                                    NAPPI DISTRIBUTORS INC 615 MAIN STREET GORHAM 04038

                                                                                                    New England, of course, was the last big "ale" market in the US before the craft era.

                                                                                                    Of course, the beer itself is a poor imitation of the once great ale- if you don't find it, you're probably better off...
                                                                                                    __

                                                                                                    Speaking of GCA- Two more beers that have been called "Green Death" (if one is to believe the internet- always a risky business)

                                                                                                    Rolling Rock
                                                                                                    Genesee Cream Ale (brown bottles, but green label)

                                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                      We are about 3hrs. (at 85 mph) north of Portland and our local stores no longer carry it. I'd look for Bale Ale, when we go to Portland, but I usually bring back other imported beers that we can't get up here.
                                                                                                      I do, however, still know how to make the 3 ring sign!

                                                                                          3. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                            Thank you very much for indulging the midwestern classics. "old man lawnmower beers"--I love it! I'm a chef who loves my truffles, foie gras, traditional balsamics, etc. But, I can still get down for a good cheeseburger and taco truck fare. If these folks don't like the dad beers out there, fine, but I think some are making a point to be snobbish. As for Rainier Beer, well, I'm a Seattle native and Rainier's good, but Olympia was killer in the mini bottles.

                                                                                            1. re: PikeOuttaPlace

                                                                                              I don't drink macrobrew for the same reason I don't eat Wonder bread or Kraft singles. If that makes me a snob, so be it.

                                                                                                1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                  MVNYC, I don't know if you get the O'Brien's e-newsletter, but they're doing a 15 beer Belgian tasting Saturday at 4pm with matching cheeses. All three Westvleterens are included in the tasting. It's $60, but seems like it'll be a good time. Those events there usually are.

                                                                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                                                                    Thanks for the heads up. I think i might attend this.

                                                                                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                      It's actually sold out, but there's a second one the following week if you hurry.

                                                                                                  2. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                    Taste is subjective to a point. But to go back to what (presumably, anyway) makes people interested in reading/participating in a board like this one, it's seeking out the off-the-beaten path spots and learning about what great undiscovered treasures there are out there.

                                                                                                    If flavrmeistr went on to any other discussion topic on here and made the same types of comments, he'd get the same amount of grief. Can you imagine going into the home cooking threads and talking about how great Hamburger Helper is and deriding people who like to make things from scratch? Or going into one of the local food boards and boasting of only eating McDonald's because you're a simple guy with simple tastes, and people who don't go to McDonald's are just snobs?

                                                                                                    If you're having a serious conversation about bread and which bakeries produce good loaves, someone coming in and extolling the virtues of Wonder bread would make you wonder why exactly they felt the need to be chiming in.

                                                                                                    If you go back and read comments I've made, I don't think that I'm mean-spirited in the least. The only time I get irritated is when I'm told that Budweiser (or whatever) is just as good as anything else, and I'm a snob for thinking otherwise.

                                                                                                    That's simply not true. You may enjoy Budweiser more than Chimay (to pick something at random), but that doesn't make it "better". When you know the history of beer production in the US, and how the big three came into being, it is obvious that you're not talking about an organic process of people naturally preferring what they have to offer.

                                                                                                    People who live in areas without a selection of real Italian restaurants may love the Olive Garden, but that doesn't make it good Italian food.

                                                                                                    Read through some of the beer discussions on here, and you'll see that 99% of the time what I'm doing is sharing information and learning things from other "beer snobs".

                                                                                                2. re: PikeOuttaPlace

                                                                                                  mmm...mini bottles.

                                                                                                  Down here in LA we were able to get Lucky Lager in mini bottles until about four years ago...man it was good.

                                                                                            2. re: jjb75

                                                                                              Is Pabst Blue Ribbon beer? I never knew. I thought it was beer flavored seltzer.

                                                                                              1. re: jjb75

                                                                                                Yesuh! Me too and Gennese Cream Ale, tastes just like th label says and cheeeeep!
                                                                                                Redneck, white sox and blue label beer! Seventies C&W hit.

                                                                                              2. Im not a beer snob, or food snob like some...

                                                                                                I drink & eat what I like, and dont care whats is popular, p.c., or trendy.

                                                                                                My favorite Domestics:

                                                                                                Leinenkugels Honey Wheat
                                                                                                Budweiser
                                                                                                Rolling Rock
                                                                                                Miller High Life

                                                                                                I am a shot and a beer guy, a shot or two of Cuervo 1800, and a few bottles of beer at the end of the day takes the edge off nicely.

                                                                                                20 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                  Either way if you are drinking shots of tequila and drinking bud, you arent really doing it for the taste. Drinking beers other than macro american lagers doesnt make you a snob, but it does take actual thought when taking a sip. It doesnt make you trendy either. While i wouldnt expect everyone on chowhound to share my love of beer, i would expect the essence of what makes one come to a site like this would result in a little more experimentation and an ability to see that well made beer is not consumed because it is trendy.

                                                                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                    yawn,

                                                                                                    I mentioned the beers I like, deal with it, judge it if you may.

                                                                                                    I really dont care.

                                                                                                    Also I sip tequilla, and start with Leinenkugels Honey Wheat, or a Red Stripe,,and then move onto the cheaper dometics.

                                                                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                      Though I like Rolling Rock, I do agree Budweiser is a good pairing with tequila, though I usually just drink tequila when im drinking tequila, and pair American beer with BBQ, ball park type food
                                                                                                      etc.
                                                                                                      Never tried Leinenkugels Honey Wheat. Is it avail. in the Northeast do you think?

                                                                                                      1. re: onlytwomuses

                                                                                                        It is a Wisconsin beer, and in the bars down in Illinois (if they carry it) charge an import price.

                                                                                                        My love is Tequilla, but I gotta have something to drink with it, and a good wheat beer with some silky sweet honey do it for me.

                                                                                                        I am not sure about its availability outside the midwest.

                                                                                                        I know many will consider it a strike against them, but Miller owns them now, but lets them brew as they have been at the family brewery in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin, they also brew some in Milwaukee because of demand. I have gone on the tour of the 80 person brewery in Chippewa Falls and it is an experience to see beer brewed. Also the free samples in their tap room of fresh beer is unmatched for me.

                                                                                                        1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                          Could you mail me a case of Leinies? We're dry on the west coast! Throw in a case of Rheinlander and Huber Bock while we're at it...

                                                                                                          Can you get Stroh's out there? I need some because it's America's only fire-brewed beer!

                                                                                                          1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                                            "Can you get Stroh's out there? I need some because it's America's only fire-brewed beer!"

                                                                                                            Does the Pabst-owned, Miller-brewed version of Stroh still claim "fire brewed"? Now, granted the feds aren't as fussy about such things as they once were on beer labels (for some reason they let A-B's new Rolling Rock, brewed in Newark, NJ still say "From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe..." on the label), but, I rather doubt Miller converted it's breweries to "fire brewing"- which was, IIRC, a open gas flame heating the brew kettle rather than steam- they claimed the direct flame slightly carmelized the wort. When Stroh first expanded and bought the Allentown PA brewery of Schaefer, they made a big deal about converting that brew house to "fire brewing" but don't recall if they did the same at the several Schlitz breweries they later bought...

                                                                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                              Yes and Schaefer put that old A-town fave Horlacher on the rocks and Gibbons Ale and Dobre Piva too.

                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                Dobre Piva? I'm surprised to find a Russian name for what I assume was a pre-craft beer revolution American beer. Was it from PA?

                                                                                                                1. re: RIChowderhead

                                                                                                                  Sorry, that I took so long to reply. Dobre Piva was a Polish coal miners' beer out of the Scranton area. We used drink it and Gibbons's Ale at Muhlenberg College in the 60's.

                                                                                                      2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                        Judge it if you may? Ah the famous pot and kettle. Your implication was that people who choose to drink well crafted beer do so for reasons other then taste. Yawn indeed

                                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                          all a matter of opinion, and what each individual considers a "well crafted beer".

                                                                                                          have a great afternoon, and enjoy your beer.

                                                                                                          1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                            semantics, replace well crafted beer with micro or craft brew. Have you ventured out of the realm of honey wheats and mass produced alagers? I'm curious.

                                                                                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                              yes,

                                                                                                              I have been to some microbreweries, and find some of the small batch beers they make acceptable to my taste. However for the price and availabilty I tend to get either a mass produced domestic, or Harp, or Red Stripe.

                                                                                                                1. re: PikeOuttaPlace

                                                                                                                  I believe the reference is to American Light Lagers.

                                                                                                              1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                Corn and rice are added to beers like Miller and Bud to increase the alcohol content while being flavorless. Honey serves much the same purpose, since the sugar basically gets completely fermented out by the yeast. Traditionally beer has been made from grains like wheat and barley, which are flavorful grains.

                                                                                                                I suppose on a certain level, one could consider Bud and Miller well-crafted. If you're after a watery, flavorless brew, then they are certainly well-crafted examples of that style.

                                                                                                            2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                              I'll take a Leinies any summer day.

                                                                                                          2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                            Do they make a Honey Wheat also, or are you talking about the Sunset Wheat?

                                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                              Sorry for the late response,

                                                                                                              It is techincally called a Honey Weiss

                                                                                                              www.leine.com

                                                                                                              1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                Thanks.

                                                                                                                Most of their beers don't make it to most of New England, so I haven't seen it. I'll keep my eyes open.

                                                                                                          3. Sam Adams (the regular ol' lager and of course the seasonal stuff - summer ale, octoberfest, etc.).

                                                                                                            1. If it needs to be cheap, the "Champagne of Beers" Miller Hi-Life is the one for me. Given a choice of nationwide brews, Summit Extra Pale Ale from Minneapolis, Old Thumper from Portland Maine, Bahgwans Best from Seattle.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Andrewski

                                                                                                                old thumper is good, just had it for the first time recently.

                                                                                                                1. re: ghbrooklyn

                                                                                                                  "Old Thumper" is, sadly, not as good as it once was. True, it's now brewed in Maine, but . . .

                                                                                                                  http://www.ringwoodbrewery.co.uk/old_...

                                                                                                                  1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                    I don't know what old thumper used to be like, but that has been my drink of choice lately. an astonishingly good beer for my palate. Super low carbonation levels make it silky silky.

                                                                                                                    also, based on the bottle i read yesterday, it is brewed in maine. the yeast is imported from ringwood.
                                                                                                                    (it is still brewed at ringwood for UK obviously)

                                                                                                              2. Yuengling Traditional Lager is my go-to domestic. Longneck Budweiser makes an appearance when eating blue crabs.

                                                                                                                1. Hands down it's Anchor Steam Ale. I squeal like a little kid when I find myself in a bar that has it on draft. Delicious and perfect beer from one of America's oldest microbreweries. Second on the list is Brooklyn Pilsner.

                                                                                                                  1. Dale's Pale Ale these days. Delish

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: mobahat

                                                                                                                      Get over to Waterfront Ale House on Atlantic in Brooklyn Heights right now for Dale's from a cask! Holy crap it's good!

                                                                                                                    2. Dortmunder Gold or Burning River from Great Lakes Brewery for me.

                                                                                                                      1. a second on Leiney Honey Wheat and Yuengling Traditional Lager. Blue Moon or just about any wheat beer.Maybe a PBR for old time's sake, if available. I fondly remember the unique taste of Busch from a spring break trip to Fla in '67 when it was about the only thing available in abundance. Still remember that taste even now.

                                                                                                                        1. Boulevard Brewing Co.'s (KC) Pale Ale and, on occasion (mostly the summer for some reason), their unfiltered Wheat.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Mushroom

                                                                                                                            Abita Purple Haze - made in New Orleans and found around the southeast. I've never had another beer like it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: eastiefoodie

                                                                                                                              Actually made in Abita Springs, outside of NO proper IIRC

                                                                                                                          2. Good idea for a post - I've now got some new ones to keep an eye out for! I love a good hearty ale, but I also like a lighter one. Noone's mentioned yet Samuel Adam's Cherry Wheat beer, but boy, it is refreshing and just a little sweet, with a real cherry taste that comes thru. Hard to find out here on the Left Coast, tho. Sierra Nevada's brews seldom disappoint; they were my first loves when I discovered brews with guts and heart.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Seldomsated

                                                                                                                              Cherry Wheat tastes like soda - it's more like an emulation of the style than the true style, like most of Sam Adam's beers.

                                                                                                                            2. when i look at the subject and it says "limited only to domestic beer," i don't expect craft beers to be included. i think this subject should be limited to those beers that come in a can!!! the true american packaging... that being said:

                                                                                                                              YUENGLING is my "old faithful" as we used to say in college. a close second would be PBR, and a small market beer up in wisconsin that was just a local brew is called POINT SPECIAL, and it is delicious for a small market can. we had gennessee in upstate ny, but that crap was... well,... crap.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                                                                                                                                Sherwood Forest Archer Ale. Excellent micro-brew in a can. I have no idea how far away they distribute it though. It's made in Northborough, MA.

                                                                                                                              2. Given my druthers, I'd say the proet my Husband makes...but I suppose I have to say commercial Domestics.

                                                                                                                                I love Anchor Steam for a basic brew-Anchor porter to go darker.

                                                                                                                                Hollywood blonde is another favorite of mind.

                                                                                                                                Telegraph in Santa Barbara makes some fabulous beers.

                                                                                                                                Sam Adams Utopia is good for a heavy hitter.

                                                                                                                                Any type of Nigorizake for a domestic Sake.

                                                                                                                                Firestone 10 is amazing, a new favorite of mine.

                                                                                                                                SO may beers' I can't choose just a few!

                                                                                                                                1. On a long hot Sacramento summer day nothing is better than an ice cold Budwieser, finished in two or three "chugs". While I know it wasn't Bud's slogan, "it's the beer to have when your having more than one" For food drinkin' and cold weather suds I like Downtown Brown from Lost Coat Brewery

                                                                                                                                  1. Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, I've read this post a number of times, and it has just hit my memory cells. If there is a beer that could get me to cross New York City just for a taste, because I could only find it in certain places, this is it. Indeed, I have gone to the Lower East Side, which I rarely frequent just for a drop of this sweet beer.

                                                                                                                                    The first time I had it was at the now-closed Blind Tiger, from the beer pump, and then it was simply sublime. From the tap, it's excellent, but not quite sublime.

                                                                                                                                    Anchor Steam I can find in most cases within a four or so blocks from whereever I am in NYC.

                                                                                                                                    1. There was a Belgan style wheat beer from Texas that I used to get here in NJ... maybe Celis was the name? I loved that stuff, but can't find it anymore. Call it an ex-favorite domestic.

                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                                        Celis is an interesting story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celis

                                                                                                                                        We get it in VA now, after a long hiatus.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                          ...and the Celis story is about to get even more interesting:

                                                                                                                                          http://www.austin360.com/restaurants/...

                                                                                                                                          I'm pretty sure I've seen Celis' two new Belgian beers in NJ-

                                                                                                                                          Grotten Flemish Ale and Grotten Brown.

                                                                                                                                          And you gotta love this Belgian beer label:

                                                                                                                                          http://belgianstyle.com/mmguide/examp...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                            Ah, interesting!

                                                                                                                                            I had some Real Ale beer the last time I was in Texas, and it was uniformly outstanding.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                              Celis White, that was it! No wonder I like Hoegaarten too...

                                                                                                                                              I hope the new stuff (real ale) finds its way to DBA soon.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                                                Hoegaarten, completely forgot that one. didnt even know it was domestic, what a sucker I am.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                  To clarify, Hoegaarden is Belgian, Celis is domestic.

                                                                                                                                        2. Wow. So many beers, so little time. Here is a list of IPA's I just tasted:
                                                                                                                                          Acme IPA

                                                                                                                                          Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA “The Continually Hopped”

                                                                                                                                          Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial

                                                                                                                                          Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA

                                                                                                                                          Stoudt’s Double IPA

                                                                                                                                          The Stoudt's has become my favorite followed by the Dogfish 60.

                                                                                                                                          Both with a nice floral nose full of hops and a good clean bitter finish.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Wineman

                                                                                                                                            The 90-minute Imperial is like a mule-kick, strong and dangerous. I really liked it.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Wineman

                                                                                                                                              I love pretty much anything and everything from DGH. If you ever get the chance, pick up some 120 minute IIPA, one of the best beers I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                            2. Has anyone ever had the pleasure of downing and ice cold Erlanger ? I beleive it was a Jos. Schlitz product in the late 70's - early 80's. It was in a short brown bottle with a parchment style label.

                                                                                                                                              Funny how no one drinks Schlitz today but in 1974, it was America's #1 selling beer. Interesting.....

                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: TonyO

                                                                                                                                                Yes, Schlitz use to have over 15% of the market but it is now closed. Their brewery in Tampa was bought by Yuengling in 1999. If I remember correctly, it was owned by Stoh's then.
                                                                                                                                                I so remember Erlanger. Are they still around? Probably went away with the demise of Schlitz/Stoh's
                                                                                                                                                For mass produced domestic beer, Yuengling is my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Wineman

                                                                                                                                                  You mean for mass produced domestic beers on the east coast. I'm very sad about the lack of Yuengling on the west coast...not being from there it was recently that I tasted it.

                                                                                                                                                  But, damn, what a great beer for the price.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: TonyO

                                                                                                                                                  "Schlitz ... in 1974... was America's #1 selling beer"

                                                                                                                                                  Do you have a source for that stat? I have an unorganized bunch of brewery sales figues for much of the post-Prohibition era, but they are total sales from a brewer, not sales figures for particular brands. Would love to find a breakdown of sales by brand.

                                                                                                                                                  1974 sort of marks the beginning of Schlitz' rather quick slide from #2 to being bought by Stroh in less than a decade. A rather well documented decline, brought on by poor management, a change in brewing methods and a cheapened recipe on top of a price rise.

                                                                                                                                                  Around '74, Schlitz's brands (Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Primo, Malt Liquor, Encore) had about 15% of the market to A-B's (Bud, Bud Malt Liquor, Michelob, Busch Bavarian) 23%. (Source- Business Week magazine). Would seem difficult with those numbers for Schlitz to be the #1 brand (altho' clearly Schlitz the brewer was strong in some regions- NE, the South & upper mid-West and were #1 in sales some states- Vermont, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, N&S Dakota, etc- source: FTC)..

                                                                                                                                                  "Has anyone ever had the pleasure of downing and ice cold Erlanger ? I beleive it was a Jos. Schlitz product in the late 70's - early 80's."

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, Erlanger was one of Schlitz' attempts at a what was then know as a domestic "super premium" beer(a bit more expensive to make, but sold for quite a bit more). Erlanger was the first "macro" brew in many years that was "All Malt" (tho' you could hardly tell).

                                                                                                                                                  Most of the big brewers were very envious of A-B's success with Michelob, which dominated by the segment. Schlitz tried a few of them (Encore, Primo, Erlanger), Pabst had Andecker, IIRC Stroh kept Erlanger for a time and tried Signature before buying Augsburger. Coors had Herman Joseph's, Coors Gold (now a cheapo IIRC) and some beer that was "shared" with a German brewery and Molson. Miller just said, "Screw it" and went out and bought the rights to label their superpremium entry "Lowenbrau".

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                    Jess, would you happen to know if Stroh's is an all barley malt beer? I remember reading the bottle and it said nothing of cereal grains on the side. Just curious.

                                                                                                                                                    Do you own the domain beergenius.com because you should. Fascinating history.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: TonyO

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, Erlanger was around, but I really never found much difference between the "super premiums", and the regular brews. I also remember that Schlitz was always runing neck and neck with Bud (in the Northeast anyway). I could never understand the fascination with Bud then or now. If I had just one I would get a headache.

                                                                                                                                                    An interesting sidelight. When I was in college ('70 - '74) the local stores would have beer wars (just like gasoline distributors' gas wars). Kegs (15 gal - I think they were considered 1/4 kegs) of Bud or Schlitz would sell for $10. There'd be a keg going constantly on each floor of a dorm. It was ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                    Down further in this thread someone mentions Augsburger. I discovered that beer in the late '70's. It was a definite improvement over the usual swill. Too bad it disappeared.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RIChowderhead

                                                                                                                                                      Augsburger never really disappeared. It's one of those brands that kicked around a lot. By the 70's, it was coming out of the small Huber Brewery in Wisconsin, yet it eventually acheived pretty good distribution (I could find it in NJ). Then, the Huber family sold the brewery and, inexplicably, the new owners sold the Augsburger label to Stroh a few years later.

                                                                                                                                                      Stroh (and it's then new puchase, Schlitz) had tried a number of "superpremiums" but couldn't break Michelob's hold on that segment so bought Augie and, oddly, the brand then seemed to disappear from some markets, even, tho', Stroh was attempting to become a national brewer.

                                                                                                                                                      Meanwhile, Fred Huber buys back the brewery but his premium brand is gone and he starts bottling the Berghoff line (a brand they'd been brewing for the Chicago restaurant which once owned it's own brewery in Indiana)and eventually buys the label. (Rumor was it was the old Augsburger recipe).

                                                                                                                                                      When Stroh went under in '99, Pabst got the brand (Miller brewed it) but in 2003 they licensed it to Stevens Point, who converted back into an all malt beer.

                                                                                                                                                      Here's a nice rememberance of Fred Huber by Michael Jackson-
                                                                                                                                                      http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/1...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for posting that link. I enjoyed reading it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                          Yes, that's the name I remember Augsburger under. Huber. That is a nice piece by Jackson.

                                                                                                                                                          It disappeared from the So. New England places where I used to find it somewhere around 1980.

                                                                                                                                                    2. The American beers I reach for:

                                                                                                                                                      Shiner Bock

                                                                                                                                                      Sam Adams Oktoberfest

                                                                                                                                                      Arrogant Bastard

                                                                                                                                                      1. Yeungling Premium is hard to find, but even better than the Lager. When I can't get that, then Lager will do nicely.

                                                                                                                                                        Also like both Abita Turbodog, and slightly lighter - Abita Amber. Has the slightest anise flavor which I just love.

                                                                                                                                                        Really enjoyed Rockbottom's Chicago location microbrews recently, and their cask beer too, but don't live in Chicago so can't get it regularly.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Wineman

                                                                                                                                                            Finally tried the Black and Tan (which is made with Premium and Porter) and I enjoyed it. I have never been a Stout or Porter fan but I did like the B&T - smooth and somewhat creamy. Still like Premium but thanks for the rec.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Obviously it all depends upon one's mood -- what you feel like drinking at the time . . . sometimes "X" just hits the spot, while other times it would just never do! Also, I think a lot depends upon where you are at the time. For example, I love Abita Amber on tap with oysters while in New Orleans, but out here, in California . . . uh, no.

                                                                                                                                                          So, in that spirit (and with the acknowlegement that I live in Berkeley, CA), my Top Five (alphabetical order) are:

                                                                                                                                                          Anchor Brewing Co. Steam Beer
                                                                                                                                                          Gordon Biersch Marzen
                                                                                                                                                          Mendocino Brewing Co. Red Tail Ale
                                                                                                                                                          Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Pale Ale
                                                                                                                                                          Triple Rock Red Rock Ale

                                                                                                                                                          Then again . . . .

                                                                                                                                                          1. Just about every beer mentioned so far is unavailable to me. I live in a region of Florida where the selection of beers is very, very limited. I can't even find Japanese beer (made in Japan that is) any longer.

                                                                                                                                                            But I stray from the topic. I find that I generally buy either Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Liberty Ale, or anything (except cherry wheat) made by Sam Adams (Although I can only find about 3-5 varieties within a hundred miles).

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                                                              Where in Florida? A quick run to the Tampa Bay area in a pickup truck would be worth the trip.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Wineman

                                                                                                                                                                If you can tell me where in Tampa I can find Japanese made Japanese beer (not that nasty feuxpenese drek made by AB and Molson), I'll even meet you to down a few! I'm especially interested in Sapporo Draft,Yebisu, and Kirin Lager.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                  Either Total wine oer World of Beer, both in Clearwqter I believe
                                                                                                                                                                  I live 150 miles south of there but I have a Total Wine here in Ft myers. About 350 different beers from all over the world.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bkhuna

                                                                                                                                                                    Kirin and Sapporo are both brewed in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                      The Sapporo bottles I drink say "imported" on them...then you see it says made in Canada. Are these brewed by Molson?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kenito799

                                                                                                                                                                        Ah right, yes Sapporo is Canada. Kirin and Asahi are Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kenito799

                                                                                                                                                                          I believe Sleeman makes Sapporo in Canada. And Sleeman has been acquired (or will be shortly) by Sapporo.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Coors Light

                                                                                                                                                                  In my opinion there is nothing better than a cold Coors Light on a hot summer day. Do I think it's the best beer out there? No. But unlike water it offers a slight buzz while quenching the thirst.

                                                                                                                                                                  I have to place myself in the group of those that think that Sam Adams is completely overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                    How is Sam Adams typically rated, and why is that overrating?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                                                      being the most prominent "craft" brewer, theyre what people think first when upgrading from the big macros. thus theyre highly regarded by many. similar to the layperson's perspective of a Corvette without regards for the TVRs, Paganis, and Maseratis of the world

                                                                                                                                                                      Ive given Sam Adams a shot many times. Ive bought different mix packs to try as many as I can, especially when the local marts have a sale.

                                                                                                                                                                      To me, they just dont have a depth or complexity. The initial mouthfeel is what the style is SUPPOSED to taste like, but then it just continues very flat.

                                                                                                                                                                      Your Tastebuds may Vary...

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree; Sam Adams is completely overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                                                        You say Sam Adams is overated but it's all a matter of perspective. Maybe its because I live down the road from the brewery or maybe because they are something like the 6th largest brewery but I just don't think of them as being in the same category as microbrews or craft beers. When compared with the buds of the world IMO Sam is far superior and in that sense not overated. When compared to craft brews I would agree it is overated. I can't tell though how many times I have been at a bar and been very happy to be able to have Sam when my other options were Bud and Budlight

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I admit I am spoiled since I live where Sierra Nevada is brewed, but I don't think they're on radar as a "domestic" (still a "micro"). So when faced with an only domestic palette, I usually drink liquor. Yeah, SN is that good, locally.

                                                                                                                                                                        But on a HOT sunny day, any domestic ice cold does nicely. Pabst in BOTTLES (only) is my standby. Often $7 a twelve pack. You know, it was voted America's best beer in 18-- somethin. Obviously.

                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cyanbodie

                                                                                                                                                                          "I admit I am spoiled since I live where Sierra Nevada is brewed, but I don't think they're on radar as a "domestic" (still a "micro")."

                                                                                                                                                                          Sierra Nevada was the 10th largest brewery in the US last year, so with the demise of Rolling Rock, that puts them in the #9 spot with no one close to them. They are far and away the biggest former microbrewery, largest than many old regionals like Matts, Huber, Anchor, Pittsburgh (Iron City), Straub, Spoetzel (Shiner), etc.

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.breweryage.com/archives/wi...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                            Quite true -- Sierra Nevada long ago shed its "micro" tag for a "regional" one.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                              Hey guys, thanks for setting me straight. I didn't think they wre big enough to be "domestic" but "regional" makes sense (and I find SN hidden away here and there all over the country). Anyway, tasty stuff. And it still tastes like micro.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cyanbodie

                                                                                                                                                                                Well for people in the US, any beer produced here is domestic, whether it's a micro-brew or not. Domestic just means it's produced in the same country.

                                                                                                                                                                                Personally, I don't care for the taste of Sierra Nevada - it's got that almost metallic taste that seems to be preferred by a lot of smaller US brewers. I don't think I've ever had a US "IPA" or other english-style ale that was still smooth the way a lot of English ales (e.g., Fullers) are.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Yuengling's Lager out of Pottsville, PA. It tastes GREAT!
                                                                                                                                                                          The brewery is the oldest one in the USA.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Most of the local beers are long gone or bought out by Heilmann, which means that only the label remains. The beer is the same cheap barley water no matter what the label says. I miss National Bohemian and Tuborg from Baltimore. Also Buckhorn, Stevens Point, the original Hamm's. Most of the so-called micro beers I've tried are too yeasty and heavy to consume comfortably. A decent lager or pilsener is all I need.
                                                                                                                                                                            Tsing-Tao, Singh Ha, Presidente and Pilsner Urquell are my stand-bys.

                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                              Someone is slipping Haterade into all those macro-brew bottles.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                some people want to drink a 12 pack in a day without keeling over--better for them to drink the Bud Lite. Three craft beer servings provide another kind of beer enjoyment evening, about quality over quantity...the fixation on the latter is pretty much an American cultural disease, compare it with the European approach to drink, food and life...

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                From the list you provide, it seems as if you enjoy the taste of beer that has been skunked.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                  The proper term is "foxed" and micro beers are just as prone to it as anything else. What I enjoy is a beer that I can drink more than 12 ounces of without experiencing a splitting headache or a ballistic gastrointestinal purge. If that makes me a bad person, so be it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                    Any beer is prone to skunking if it's in green or clear bottles. Brown bottled beer can also be skunked, though it's less prone under those conditions. Canned beer or beer in red glass bottles aren't susceptible to that problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tsing-Tao, Singha, and Urquell are normally skunked by the time they reach your liquor store shelves. Try a fresh Victory Prima Pils and you'll notice the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Foxed" is usually meant to suggest improper fermentation/ spoiled during fermentation (something a brewery should pick up BEFORE sending it out).

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Skunked" (or, in the UK where, apparently, they don't have skunks, "catty") is the term for beers which are "light struck"- exposed to sunlight or flourescent light. As Josh noted, green glass offers little protection from light (less than 1/2 hour) and light, hoppy beers are particularly prone to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I will disagree slightly with Josh, tho' on "...skunked by the time they reach your liquor store shelves" since the trouble really begins AFTER the beers are taken out of their closed cases and put ON the liquor store shelf (I consider it beer murder!). I NEVER buy Pilsner Urquel other than a full, sealed case (so I can also check the date code- I like it 3 months old or less). It also comes in closed 12 packs in many regions.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Haven't had a Singha or Tsing-Tao in over 20 years...so, can't speak for how well they make it the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                      If available in your area, I agree, Prima Pils in a great US pilsner (my favorite, until they started distributing Sly Fox's Pikeland Pils in my area and now it's a tie...<g>). Again, as fresh as possible (I like the "Best By" date to be two months away, at least).

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                      I was actually being serious. I think you actually do like the taste of skunked beer. It is virtually impossible to get any of those beers not skunked in the US. sO i am assuming it is the skunked taste that you enjoy because that is what they have in common. It is either that or you are one of the many who chooses their beer based on colour of bottle + being imported. I gave you the benefit of the doubt there.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Which beers have you had that caused you such discomfort?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                        The "skunked" thing might be a reasonable assumption and may actually happen on occasion depending on how the beer has been stored and handled. However, as Jess pointed out, it's not always the case. In south Florida, home to many Cuban and Dominican immigrants, the Presidente is fresh and creamy. It's sealed in boxes and it moves quickly. Miller is importing huge quantities of Pilsner Urquell, which also moves pretty quickly. Here in the DC area, with a sizable Chinese population, Tsing Tao is a big seller. As a side note, both Tsing Tao and Presidente are authentic German recipies, the breweries in both places having been built and run by German missionaries for years. It seems that what I really like are German beers. My favorites to date are Kostritzer Octoberfest and Augustinebrau Maximator, the latter of which is not available in the US. I'll throw in Carlsberg Imperial Stout, also unavailable local. As for my unpleasant experiences, they have mostly been with those brewhouse places that make their own. Nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                          I tend to agree with Josh on this one. Pilseners and light lagers are not a style that travels well. By the time a Tsingtao or a Urquell reach the US they have already aged past their prime. I lived in the Czech republic and drank more than my share of pilsener there. the difference in freshness is overwhelming, i simply do not drink Czech beer in the states. Even the stuff in kegs tastes off to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As for TsingTao, i have never had a bottle of that that was not a skunky nightmare.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have only had Presidente in NYC, which also has a sizable Domincan population. Everytime i tried it, it was skunked as well. However NYC is a bit further away, so the next time im in Miami, i will give one another go.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The problem with almost all imported lagers is freshness. Freshness really is key for me in enjoying a lager.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As for brewhouses, they range the spectrum from bad to good. Most of the chains end up produing pretty mediocre beer. My top choice would be Pizza Port in Solana Beach CA. They truly make some awe inspiring beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think I've been there. My wife has an uncle in Cardiff. Good pizza pizza. I believe it was a Budweiser that I had with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                              That is a true shame, their beer is excellent across the board. They make many different styles too, Eveyone can find something they like there.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                                I think he must be yanking your chain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's what i thought..........

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! Not really. I actually did eat at a pizza place that made their own beer on Highway One in Solano, CA. A big two story place, big bar, mostly open to the air. As I wasn't in an experimental mood that particular afternoon, I ordered a Bud with my pie. Simple guy, simple tastes; no regrets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That would be Pizza Port, home of one of the best craft breweries in the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Degustibus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: brentk

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My loss, apparently. I'll be out that way in a few weeks and give the house products a whirl. Gotta be better than that Farting Dog Heiferwizzen I had yesterday. I'm trying, boys. I really am!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't be shy about asking for a taste. You don't need to commit to a whole beer. Craft brew places will happily give you a small taste of whatever's on draft so you can see if you like it enough to order one. Just step up and ask for a taste of what you're curious about.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Don't laugh - I love many great craft brews - 90 min IPA by Dogfish Head for example and too many others to name -

                                                                                                                                                                                  However, since I cook and eat (out/in) A lot of Asian or Mexican food - I find a ICE COLD Miller Light (not Highlife...Light only) is a great stand in for Asian/Mexican beers....

                                                                                                                                                                                  Really!

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jbyoga

                                                                                                                                                                                    That's only because most Asian/Mexican beers are similarly devoid of flavor. Fortunately, craft brewing is coming to both nations. Hitachino Nest (Japan) makes some of the best beer around.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                      yes - although I prefer to think of them as complementing the cusine without overpowering it...:)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbyoga

                                                                                                                                                                                        I wouldn't really agree that the flavors are complimentary. Hoppy beers work well with spicy and cilantro-seasoned foods. Brown ales do well with seared meats and sweeter flavors. Seems to me that Asian/Mexican food is just like any other in terms of beer pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Climax India Pale Ale brewed in Roselle Park, N.J. A great IPA more in the British than American style. I like Anchor Liberty Ale, but I can rarely get it fresh in N.J. Brooklyn Lager is great for a malty, Amber beer. Perhaps my favorite American beer would be Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. I can only get it at the Stoudt's Microbrew Festival. Last time they brought it was years ago. Geary's Pale Ale is great. Made with special Ringwood Yeast. My favorite that is no longer being made was Wild Goose from Cambridge, Md. Another beer that was open fermented using the special Ringwood yeast from England. The brand was resurrected by Frederick's Brewing Co. but they changed the yeast and it was a completely different beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                                                                                                      "I like Anchor Liberty Ale, but I can rarely get it fresh in N.J."

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, what's up with that? A great beer (and IIRC, we were one of their first East Coast markets) but it seems it's always old. (And that dating system of their's give me a headache trying to decode it.) Last time I looked for it last month, I could only find 2004 Liberty Ale. (BUT, next to it was the new batch of Old Foghorn in 12 oz. bottles- a beer that could have had some age to it with no problem). On top of it all, most retailers in NJ keep it warm when it clearly states "Keep Refrigerated" on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe it's the fact that it's got so many different distributors in NJ, so it's such a minor brand for them, no one really cares about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.anchorbrewing.com/beers/st...

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Climax India Pale Ale brewed in Roselle Park, N.J"

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I should drink that more often, but that growler size often put me off. I don't see it as often as I used to, when my "local" was Marketplace Liquors in E. Bruns. Does he still self-distribute? I could never understand why the stuff was on the warm shelf (as well as the cooler) when the brewer himself delivered it. I never see it on tap anywhere, either (but then NJ has such a lousy beer bar scene for such a populous state).

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Climax is still distributed by the brewer himself. I had an article somewhere explaining how to decode the dating systems of different beers including Anchor Liberty, but can't find it. I usually hold the beer up to the light to check for floaters or cloudiness. Climax may be getting a canning line soon. I know the brewer (he taught me how to homebrew) and he is looking to someday sell six packs. I hate getting growlers. Last time the beer was flat and I had to return it. A great place to go to get Climax beers on tap is Antones on South Ave. in Cranford. 45 taps of imports and microbrews, including most of what Climax offers.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I know *how* to decode the Anchor dating system, it's just so damn hard to do it from memory while standing in a liquor store <g>. The explanation is here (I used to carry a "cheat sheet" I printed up on a index card, printed in a very small font size with date code formulas on it in my wallet but have lost it):

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us...

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never gotten up to visit the Climax brewery and it's been many years since I've been in Antone's, too (last time I'd guess there were only about 15-20 drafts). Just don't make it up that way since moving to Monmouth County and losing my job in Middlesex County. I have to go up there at the end of the month, maybe I'll stop by for a draft...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad to hear that Climax is jumping onto the new micro canning bandwagon- would love to make a NJ beer my regular IPA.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Abbey Brewing Co's Brown, Porter,IPA only available on site in South Beach, Miami, FLA. BY far the best! Beware...You are now entering a NO SWILL ZONE!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Soak up the sun and suds in South Beach...C U BY THE C ???

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. TOPIC DRIFT: One of the things that has struck me in this thread (one of many) is the wide variety of the NAMES used by various producers for their brews.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Among my favorites is:

                                                                                                                                                                                          Buffalo Bill (Hayward CA)
                                                                                                                                                                                          Alimony Ale
                                                                                                                                                                                          "The Bitterest Brew in America"

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I was lucky enough to spend my formative beer-drinking years in Fort Collins, Colorado. So many amazing microbrews, but current favorite (what I buy when west of the Mississippi) is 1554. Oh. So. Good.
                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.newbelgium.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chao

                                                                                                                                                                                              I am insanely jealous. I just posted fat tire as one of my favorites and I am completely helpless and unable to get it out here in NJ

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. If I can't have my Guinness or Smithwick's Ale, I like Boulevard's Brewing Company (Kansas City based) Pale Ale and their Irish Ale.

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.blvdbeer.com

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. My favorite micro is Dortmunder Gold by Great Lakes Brewing Co. out of Cleveland. Unfortunately, the brewery doesn't distribute as far as New York City because they don't use preservatives (a good thing), thus the beer can't really travel far. I have to wait until I visit friends, or they visit me by car (or on the off chance I end up within the distribution area).

                                                                                                                                                                                                Otherwise, I like lawnmower beers and boutiques from overseas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                When I want to get "my beer on," I go down the street to: http://www.spuytenduyvilnyc.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                I "grew up" drinking beer at the Brickskeller in D.C., so it's nice to have a respectable replacement around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: benmeddle

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know of any craft breweries that add preservatives, save natural ones such as hops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ...or why ANY beer would need "preservatives" to make the 6 hour drive across I-80...

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Surprised no one has mentioned the PA brew Stoudt's yet. Though it seems sometimes it spoils sitting on the shelves too long - nothing worst than spoiled beer. That's why in the northeast popular fast turnover beers like Yuengling that are nevertheless pretty well-made are safe bets for freshness and clean if unremarkable taste, sort of a super-lite beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodcheck

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. Go to a bar in greater Pottsville sometime (Club 18 or similar) and drink a 35-cent, 7-ounce glass of Yuengling Premium and you'll understand. Best beer ever? Not hardly, but I'm wagering you'll cherish it. It's all about the context, son.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kb612

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never had (or even seen) Yuengling "Premium" (and I live in Philly). Could you please describe the flavor versus Yuengling lager? What other beer is it comparable to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Terrapin Rye Pale Ale (Athens Ga.). Pour a glass and breath the aroma- if you know, you know. I used to make a light pale red homebrew using amber DME and honey. It was the best I have tasted and many others agreed.....but way too much trouble to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Clipper City "Marzhon"
                                                                                                                                                                                                      DeGroen's "Marzen"
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dogfishhead "Shelter Pale Ale"
                                                                                                                                                                                                      National Bohemian "Natty Boh"

                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hon

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DeGroen is still in operation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yep, they brew in Delaware now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hon

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do they have the same line up:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marzen
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dunkel
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pils

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I liked them all but I have to admit that I bought a couple cases about 2 years ago and at least 35% of the bottles were flat. These were the kinda problem that hurt their business as I understand. I'll look for though because I really did enjoy them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought the DeGroen label was picked up by Fordham (Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis)- or maybe it's just contract-brewed for the old brewpub? Fordham had brewery in VA and then built a brewery in Dover, DE, which also goes under the name of Southern, IIRC. It's all very confusing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am not sure, I know that Theo came back to oversee the brewing but I gotta say, The Marzen to me just doesn't taste the same . Different water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And now Southern (which I understand owns the DE brewery and leases it to Fordham) is apparently involved with AB in the purchase of Old Dominion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Since i am moving from San Diego back to NY in a couple of months I am sure my domestic choice will change. As of right now it is usually something from Stone, Alesmith or Alpine. When i move back i am sure it will be something from Brooklyn. Brooklyn brewery has really gotten better over the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I usually like drinking locally unless the beer style can deal with long wait times. I tend to favour bars with local brews on tap so this usually isnt a problem. When I go out to bars not of my choosing, I will pray they have something good, otherwise I might just have a Scotch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Paper City, it is really fresh tasting in a way I can't explain. It is tough to find, but I grab as much as I can when I do encounter it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Miss Stroh's. It wasn't just fire-brewed, it fire-brewed Bohemian beer. And in a big Czech town like Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that meant something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And Carling's Black Label? Ugh. Even in college we wouldn't drink that stuff.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gotdebt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But Carlings used to brew Red Cap Ale. This was a fairly respectable brew back before the revolution (I used to drink Molson's Export also - a similar style). Carlings got bought out by Heilmann I think, and they changed Black Label into a light beer, and Red Cap into a cream ale. Now I never see either (no great loss however).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Late to the party. What's with the use of the word "limited?" I don't consider domestic beer a limitation...especially if it's brewed five miles from my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That said, my answer: Great Divide Titan IPA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Definitely a Fat Tire fan, even though I must smuggle it in to my home state (Utah). As for local brews, Squatter's (one of the better local brewpubs) has an excellent 6.0 IPA. And while decidedly hard to find (except for NoCal I'm assuming), Sierra Nevada's new(ish) IPA is outstanding.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't quite know what the story is, SN IPA isn't even listed as a bottled product the last time I checked their website, but we've got tons of it here in New Jersey lately. (Seems to have appeared when Bigfoot hit the state.) I think I read something about it being seasonal, but it sure seems odd to have another late fall/winter beer to distribute, in between Celebration and Bigfoot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        IPA is seasonal, rotating with Celebration, Brown Ale, Summerfest IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a Fat Tire fan as well, but my very favorite beer is Big Sky Brewing Company's Moose Drool (although I can't drink a lot of it).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We just had a new alehouse open up in town run by the former brewmeister of Beermann's - I tried four different brews, liked all four, loved one...I can see I'm going to be a regular...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I'm a big fan of dogfish head's stuff from the east coast (90 minute pale ale is very bright, floral. Chicory Stout is also very tasty). I've only recently been exposed to Lagunitas's brews. Their Maximus is pretty incredible and I also really like their czech pilsner. Also need to plug the Allagash White; for those of you that are blue moon fans, please try this (it's the beer Coors tried to copy when it made Blue Moon)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gatorfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Allagash White is okay, but I think Avery's White Rascal, Brooklyn's Blanche de Brooklyn, and Unibroue's Blanche de Chambly are all better still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gatorfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Allagash White... the beer Coors tried to copy when it made Blue Moon."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seems unlikely, since the Blue Moon brand first hit the shelves in 1995 http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-17416... -the same year Allagash Brewery began http://www.allagash.com/brewery.htm .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Blue Moon/Coors brewmaster who created the beer, Keith Villa, who was IIRC trained in Belgium, first brewed it at the Coors' brewpub at the baseball stadium in Denver, Sandlot Brewing, so it sure would appear that it pre-dates Allagash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I used to like August Schells hoppy pilsner when I could get it in Ohio, but that has t been possible for over 10 years. Is Schell's pilsner still as good, or did I have bad taste then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great Lakes Brewing pilsner now substitutes on the few times I drink beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Pranquester by North Coast is as complex and interesting as good wine; LaConner pilsner is very balanced with Cascade hops giving it a great honeysuckle fragrance to start but nice crisp flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Haha, I love all your topic ideas Danimal n Hustler!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For domestic, I like Miller High Life! For other beers, I like Blue Moon and anything Leinenkugel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hillary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chewonthatblog.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.recipe4living.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Blue Moon and Leinenkugel are also domestic, FYI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Many great bews along the NorthEast Coast, Wachusett Brewing, Shipyard, and of course Sam Adams along with many others. An F.Y.I. there is a Blues and Brews Festival at Nashoba Valley Ski Resort in Westford, MA on August 25th that will offer many beers for sampling, all for $35 at the gate, 1 - 7 PM.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Schlitz - cheap, stiff, and bitter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jimbosox04

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am primarily an IPA man, and love both Alesmith IPA and Two hearted Ale from Bells.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also love, big, sticky barleywines. Hair of the Dog - Doggie Claws and Dominion Millennium come to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: naven

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          you must love Bell's Third Coast Old Ale...yumm...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ommegang Abbey Ale is a favorite of mine. One of the best non-Belgian Belgians IMO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Magic Hat - best fruit beer on the market, great in the summer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anchor Steam - unique and original, no better standby
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rogue Dead Guy - pure flavor and great aftertaste, perfect for a big fat meal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Fat Tire as well, but dont have access on East Coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Bell's Double Cream Stout. It's a perfect cold weather beer. Rich, malty, wonderful. I wish I was back in Michigan so I could get my hands on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. For domestic brews I generally rotate between brews by Summit, August Schell, Bell and Leinenkugel here in Minnesota. I'll buy the Leinenkugel Original Lager in bulk when serving others or in cans when out on our boat. I gave up trying to serve Summit, Schell's or Bell's to people who normally grab a BudMillerCoors Light beer.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love ShinerBock! But then, I also like Natural Light...;-) Bud Heavy, Miller Light, and yeah...Natty Light (which I grew up on)...Those are probably my favorite "domestics". :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Farmgirl22

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Drink any Bell's or Summit brew and you would probably change your mind as to what a good brew is. But like I previously said I don't waste my time serving those brews if someone asks for a light beer. I'll just keep some cheap beer in stock for them but I refuse to go less than Leinie's because I may have to drink it after the party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Shiner isn't a "light" beer...it's an amber/dark lager-type beer. It's got a rather unique taste, and it's really good!! It's difficult to find it fresh around here though, even though we aren't that far from Texas, everyone here drinks "cheap" beer like Keystone or Natural Light. :rolleyes: rolleyes: ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never seen Bell's or Summit anywhere--we've tried everything they have at our local liquor stores, but they don't carry those two. Until we move away from this craphole town, my tastes aren't going to be very differentiated. I'll keep those in mind though, just in case! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You could also try having your buds bring their own beer if they don't like what you have on hand...that's the way we do it around here, and it works well--everyone is happy, no one feels gypped, and it's all good!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm going to have to go with Victory (I live 2 blocks from the brew house). I am quite partial to the Golden Monkey! Its a sippin' beer...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I limit myself to domestics. #1 Surly Furious, #2 Summit EPA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An American classic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rollawaydadew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Boulevard Pale Ale or the seasonal Bobs 47

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: WyCo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree, Boulevard is pretty good. It's a bit disconcerting to see the "floaties" on the bottom the first time you drink it, but after the initial shock wears off and you realize they are supposed to be there it's pretty good stuff! :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I think it's interesting how everyone has a different definition of a domestic beer. I'll risk getting into semantics here. To me, while microbrews are certainly domestically-produced, I don't think they fall into the traditional category of domestics. To me a domestic is either mega-brewed swill or those (as one chowhound so brilliantly put it) old-man-lawnmower beers. It's the latter that are of particular interest to me - regional breweries that somehow survived the twin scourges of Prohibition and the beer giants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My personal favorites in that category are:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yuengling -- we can't get it in Ohio. My boyfriend happens to be going to Myrtle Beach this week, and the only thing I asked him to bring back for me was a case of this stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shiner Bock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ballantine - I especially like the rebus inside the bottlecap, but they're always impossible to read in a dark bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used to drink Straub at the local indie-rock concert hall/tavern, but I can't stomach it anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. LeslieB has a good point about the whole domestic versus regional versus microbrew issue. Now that even microbrews ship regionally, it is hard to nail down what differentiates a microbrew from a regional beer. For example, I'd have considered anything from the Atlantic Brewining Company in Maine to be a microbrew because of their low production numbers and few beer types (though they are amazing, let me tell you; try a Bar Harbor Real Ale). However, I've been able to get Atlantic Brewing Co. beers as far south as Virginia. So is it a regional beer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Boulevard Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co. (makers of the wonderful Fat Tire) used to be microbrews local to only the KC metro area (Boulevard) and Colorado (New Belgium) respectively, but in the last decade they have dramatically expanded their marketing across the midwest. Are they regional beer now since the expansion, or just microbrews with larger production?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That being said, perhaps the distinction is the history of the regional compared to the relative newness of expanded microbrews. For example, Yuengling in Pennsylvania has been a regional marketer for decades, but generally markets in the Mid-Atlantic area. It has had a consistent market share there for ages, and is certainly an established regional beer, but markets pretty large quantities. However, Iron City Brewing Co. (a true Pittsburgh experience) is still only found around western Pennsylvania and never expanded much further (though I could be wrong). Is Iron City then a regional brew like Yuengling is? Or is Iron City just a microbrew with a history?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kcboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Back before the first "microbrewery" of the modern age, New Albion (1976), breweries were grouped into 3 segments- national, regional and local, and that was, more or less, based on total sales/capacity but even then there were a lot of exceptions. Take 1977- Coors was still regional (granted, a very large region, basically west of the Mississippi) but was already in the top five and bigger than "nationals" like Heileman, Falstaff and Carling-National.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soon, some of the "local" breweries would soon be shipping beer well beyond their "local" region (Anchor's first markets outside California were NJ and MA, f'r'instance and Schell was soon picked up by the "importer" Merchant du Vin and appeared well outside MN, etc). For me, *only* breweries that came after New Albion and smaller than the smallest breweries of the time (Straub, Geyer and Anchor at around 10-30,000 bbl) should be called "microbreweries".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As some "microbreweries" grew beyond that size, (some leap-frogging many of the few "old" breweries left) the term "craft beer/brewery" developed (and it's the one I prefer). The small brewers organization and the microbrewery organization merged into the Brewers Association and they came to put the limit of 15,000 bbl. on "micros" but also choose the old "regional" term for breweries in-between the micro and the "Large" (i.e., national) group, even tho' many ship their beers well beyond a "regional" market. Currently, their criteria is 15,000-2 million barrels is "regional" but the suspicion is that will change when Boston Beer Co. breaks that barrier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, note, that for much of it's post-Prohibition existence, Yuengling was a very small and local brewery (when I started buying beer in the early 70's, they had pulled out of NJ, so they may not have even shipped out of state at all by then). In 1977, for example (since I have the book open) it had a capacity of 200,000 bbl and was around the 38th largest brewery in the US- indeed, it was only #9 brewery in PA (only Jones [Stoney's] and Straub were smaller). Pittsburgh was MUCH larger (#3 in PA, # 18 in the US) with a capacity of 1,250,000 and shipped some of their beers to most of the East Coast (they had bought a number of other brands, by then, some from Maryland and Ohio, so they certainly shipped to those states).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail ale from Western Mass

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Osso_Buco

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You guys need to try Geary's Hampshire Special Ale. This is a near perfect domestic that is full bodied with just the right balance of malt and hops. To be perfectly honest it's actually a little on the hoppy side but i prefer it that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is the beer that once drunk becomes the standard to which all others are compared. If you like domestic pale ales and cascade hops this brew takes the cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. What's with all the PBR hate? They consistently win awards each year and I think they won Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With that said, my favorite cheap beers are PBR and the local (Minneapolis) favorite Grain Belt Premium. PBR reminds me a lot of Old Style (same company now) and it fills me with nostalgia. Each sip reminds me of watching Cubs games with my dad back in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Other regional beers that I love are Sprecher, Yuengling, Moose Drool, Goose Island 312, and my all time favorite: New Glarus' Spotted Cow. Yum. For more nationally distributed brands, I've always llike Honey Brown.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: doraji

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "What's with all the PBR hate? They consistently win awards each year and I think they won Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. :)"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, this is a pretty long thread by now, but I'm pretty sure I've got some negative comments up there about the company "Pabst" (I can't comment on the beer Pabst Blue Ribbon since I probably haven't had one in 25 years or so). As no doubt noted, the company "Pabst" is in reality the S&P Corporation, which ran (into the ground) the Falstaff-General-Pearl group, owners of the some of the great old US local and regional brands (and, admittedly, a lot of the worst, too) , picking up even more when they aquired most of the brands of Stroh and Heileman when the former quit the business. (Last I checked, they own 70+ brands, and market about half of them).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Along the way, they changed many of the beers for the worse, dropped others, and destroyed a lot of good jobs and screwed a lot of pensioners, as well. Some folks judge a beer by the beer itself, but one can also buy and drink beer based on their opinion of how the company that brews it has treated it's workers and the communities in which it once was located.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At this point, even calling it Pabst BREWING Company is something of a joke (even Jim Koch, for all his bluster, called his company Boston BEER Company- altho' having the primary breweries in Cincinnati and, soon, NE PA still makes the "Boston" inaccurate). How an outfit that doesn't OWN a brewery can be the "Brewery" of the Year is quite perplexing to me. (Maybe that's what your "smiley" meant?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. It's gotta be Yuengling for my favorite domestic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Although I am an unaplogetic drinker of Budweiser, Miller High Life, Leinenkugels, & Mickeys Big Mouth .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have been going outside of the box recently and have enjoyed some really nice beers. The two "new" beers I have started enjoying are:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            #1 Three Floyds Gumball Head

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            #2 New Glarus Brewing Companies Spotted Cow Ale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nice beers that go great with the 100% agave tequilla I am typicalls sipping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cheers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm a fan of big, full flavored beers with great mouth feel at least at this time of year. Favorites include:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hair of the Dog Adam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rogue's Russian Imperial Stout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Otter Creek Copper Ale, my all-time favorite! I discovered it on a trip to Vermont and can occasionally find it here in Maine. Check it out: ottercreekbrewing.com Their Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout is great too...the beer that eats like a meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Geary's Pale Ale is another favorite of mine. When I'm in a real hophead mood, it's got to be Long Trail IPA (the label understates it as "very, very hoppy"--you can gargle with this stuff) or Shipyard Fuggles IPA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yuengling hands down. As for why, I'm not really sure, all I know is that it's my favorite, the other night after a really long day I sat down on the couch with a cold yuengling and a sandwich, that right there made my day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Russian River Pliny the Elder…
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alesmith IPA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bells Two Hearted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Victory Prima Pils
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Three Floyds Alpha King

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ask me tomorrow and I may have some different ones on there (but Prima Pils always remains a standard).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        can't argue with your list. Pliny is still the standard by which I judge other beers. But there are so many great ones out there, the variety is overwhelming. I just had some dogfishhead 90 minute ipa, and it's a killer. And on a recent tour, the Anchor Old Foghorn. It's a blast if you can find it. Drakes is always a favorite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Somewhat off topic, but i've notice 21st amendment in san fran is bottling their IPA. Canology must have come a long way, because it tastes great out of the can. And, I presume, canning allows the brewer to expand its range geographically.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So have any of you brew fans noticed that your microbrews are canning their ale?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We live in great times, brew-wise and i'm lovin it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I suppose what is considered 'domestic' depends upon where you live. So for me, my favorite domestic beer is Coup De Grisou by Brasseurs R.J. out of Montreal. It's a buckwheat beer made sort of like Belgian wheat beer. Perfect for summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here is the review from that other site: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aaron

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Terrapin Rye Pale Ale from Athens Brewing Co. (Georgia). Hops have sweet aroma and add noted flavor but not heavy or "tarry" or sticky; a light, sweet affect. Great aroma; great balance. If found on tap, exceptionally good nose. Adding rye gives it a more blended / balanced flavor and eliminates some of the noted graininess of some beers. The rye adds a good direction for flavor. A terrific beer that has plenty of flavor but is not too heavy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: byteme55

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Firestone Pale 31 would be one of my favorite domestics. Very clean, refreshing and easy to drink. Their Double Barrel ale is an excellent beer too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Damnation by Russian River would be up there too, but it's not as easy to find nor as affordable. Still, it's about the only beer by an American brewer done in a Belgian style which is anywhere near as good as what our friends across the pond are making, (and yes, I've had many of the offerings from Brewery Ommegang and wasn't all that impressed).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Alesmith X is a easy drinking and tasty beer with one of the best aromas I can recall. A great warm weather beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All the above mentioned beers are brewed in California (as are a good number of America's top beers) so they may not be distributed in your area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Whisper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's too bad Russian River is so hard for you to find. If you try some of his specialty releases, you'll see that in many cases he trumps the Belgians at their own brewing styles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi Josh, Unfortunately Russian River isn't distributed here in Las Vegas, but every once in a while I make a trip to California and pick up a number of different beers not offered here, including Russian River. I've tried a half dozen or so RR beers and you're right, they've all been excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If I could only drink beers from one non-Belgian brewer for the rest of my life I would choose Russian River.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Whisper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm also a big fan of RR Damnation - it's pretty much my default quaff, since I don't generally drink every day, so the higher cost doesn't hurt quite as much. Another brew I tried recently that I might have liked even more than Damnation was the Avery Salvation - just seems to be a lot harder to find the Avery around these parts (SF Bay Area) than the RR product, which I suppose isn't too surprising given their locations. The odd thing is that the so-called paradigm of the style both of those beers follow (Duvel) doesn't really do much for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Spatlese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll throw in my husband's favorite which is also from RR. Supplication. He's really into the sour beers at the moment. His every day beer is Lagunitas Pils as he can't stand the hoppy sweet beers. Although, I think he says freshness is the most important thing. He also likes Firestone Double Barrel Ale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Whisper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Quite a few U. S. brewers besides Ommegang and Russian River are making very good Belgian style beers. Lost Abbey, New Belgium, Green Flash, Boulevard, Captain Lawrence, The Bruery, Allagash come to mind right away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you like Damnation, I'd especially recommend Lost Abbey Devotion, a somewhat similar ale that I prefer to Damnation (which I also think is quite good.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My personal overall favorite domestic brew though, is probably (at the moment) Alpine Nelson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I may be a man of simple taste, but come to my house you will have the option of a Yuengling Lager, a Coors (not Light), or a Shiner Bohemian Black lager. If I have made a recent beer run, I will also have Ommegang Abbey Ale.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: phungi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like Shiner Black Bohemian very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I have to say after all the beers I have had Yuengling is my favorite and i cant ecven get it in CT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Catering_2_You

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you like lagers, Victory's Prima Pils is great. From Germany, Ayinger's Jahrhundert is worth seeking out. Brooklyn Lager and their Pennant Ale are also good options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will have to give them a try. thanks for the info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Catering_2_You

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You could also try Clipper City McHenry and MärzHon, or The Raven Special Lager, all from Baltimore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ABBEY IPA - ABBEY BREWING COMPANY south beach - fl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    smoooth ...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: netmover

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I went to Bobby's Burger palace at the casino this weekend and they have Brooklyn Lager on Tap. Its very good and I would get it again. Thanks for the info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Steamwhistle pilsner from Toronto; If Im heading over the border to WNY I always pick up the latest offering from Saranac brewery. There Pale Pale ale is very good on a hot summer day; refreshing and tastes like beer which all to many mass produced beers do not ( hello Coors light Im talking to you )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. All of the locally brewed Maine beers. We have a lot of Micro brews.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.beerinfo.com/index.php/pag...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My favorites are very close to home, Bar Harbor, Atlantic and Maine Coast breweries, all on Mt Desert Island.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Right now, my most recent discovery and current favorite is Tap Room No.21 Lager. I love a good lager, it goes with everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Gennesee Cream Ale. It is what the name says, creamy and cheap. It has stopped being distributed to our neck of the woods, however, and I miss it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I really do like PBR. But, all the hipsters claimed it, so, now, when I want to order some, they give me that "oh, you're one of them" stare. So, I am too embarrassed to order it when we're out. :( So, we have a local-ish beer called Grain Belt that is my second fave!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Aramek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a fan of both Grain Belt Premium and Nordeast [as well as Schell's other brews] ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Aramek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd be embarassed to order PBR too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Trumer Pils from Berkeley, CA is my favorite right now, although hard to find on tap in Sacramento (thank you Bonn Lair). I love the clean, crisp finish...just a tasty beer all around.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: karrill

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Favorites are Miller High Life and Rainier! Many of the Micro Brews are too bitter and heavy. Miller and Rainier go well with almost any food and are smooth, flavorful with no unpleasant after taste. Sometimes newer isn't always better. But of course that is just a matter of opinion! I am not an expert...I just know what I like!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Long Trail Hefeweizen. I had it on tap at LT before they started bottling it and almost fell off the barstool :) Lovely, frothy head and a banana cream pie nose. Malty but refreshing--a good beer to have after doing yardwork.....craving it now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Arrogant Bastard Ale by Stone Brewery is wild, it gives me a strange buzz like Lagunitas Hop Stoopid and their IPA. Lagunitas Lucky 13.alt is awesome. Three Heads The Kind IPA out of NY is great. Stoud American IPA out of PA and Wolaver's Pale Ale VT, Smuttynose IPA, NH and Saranac Pale Ale, NY Great Lakes Burning RIver, Commander Perry and Edmund Fitzgerald all great they are out of OH. I'll be back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Most of what I'm drinking nowadays ventures heavily into beer-geek territory (lot of Belgians, Mikkeller, and such), and even the domestics are often the higher-octane stuff that come in the 22oz bombers. But of the domestic beers I've been able to find with some regularity, and in smaller bottles, I'm most currently infatuated with Firestone Walker's Velvet Merlin oatmeal stout, Dogfish Head's 90 min IPA, and Allagash Tripel. Just keep me well-supplied with those three, and I'm good to go.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Spatlese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Surly Bitter Brewer, Furious and Coffee Bender!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Here in NM I'm drinking a lot of Alien Ale, from Roswell, NM, cheap, smooth and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Any Sante Fe Brewary beer when I splurge, especially Prison Porter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. There are A LOT of domestic beers now, it really depends on where you reside as to the ratio of quality beers at your availability...I like darkish beers, one of my faves by far is Shiner Bock, I think its rocks, even though its from Texas...LOL

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DejaDru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Shiner has other offerings that I think are serviceable as well, including a hefeweizen and a black lager ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Now that it's in year-round availability I'll have to say 21st Amendment Bitter American.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cans, hops, low abv...a great combination.