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Aug 19, 2013 04:04 PM


Roberta's is 261 Moore St Brooklyn,NY, near the Morgan stop on the L Train.

I was expecting an exterior that exuded Italian design.

Did not get that. I actually had a deja vu from my mnemonic apparatus, stemming from Williamsburg Brooklyn in 1998.

Pizza was good. The dough was so very flavorful, and delicious, as were the toppings.

The ribs were sweet. I would have preferred nothing close to sweet. They were coated with good portion of meat. Other guests at my table found them quite good, really good. I am not a rib enthusiast.

The mussels may have been lacking, but not quite sure what.

I would have loved Peroni or Moretti, or even the Greek Alfa (to keep it Mediterranean).

The biggest problem with this place is the myth of Craft American Beer. That was all they had for beer.

Sure, its beer, but the craft results in missing good taste.

I do not know if Roberta is implying Italian or Spanish, or even if she exists as a person associated with the establishment. Seeing that pizza is the main fare, many associate this with Italy. That is usually the case, unless it comes in a box, then Budweiser or Coors, or ones favored US Craft Beer would be expected to be permissible. In a restaurant with such a refined taste of their pizza, a proper beer would have been good. Peroni would be the preferred. Greek beers also go well with pizza.

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  1. What beer did you try that you didn't like?

    9 Replies
    1. re: AubWah

      Couldn't agree more about choices on the beer menu. Roberta's serves the neighborhood and beyond, and it's a crowd seeking the best of all worlds, be they pizza-beer-salad, charcuterie, atmo, etc. But let's not forget price and profit.

      Why serve a $3 bottle of Bud when there's a $7 local, farm-to-tap pilsener or lager available, curated alongside the crafty IPA, gueze, Red ale or Porter? Myth, you say? Have you compared the complexities / flavor profiles / ingredients of craft with their cheaper, more traditional counterparts - foreign or domestic?

      It's Bushwick, one of our most historic American brewing villages. There may no longer be the distinctive, corny taste of a 50-cent Rheingold Extra Dry around, but I'd sure love to order one (or three) of them, right now. And would alternate that one with a solid Kelso Bourbon-barrel aged Industrial IPA anytime.

      1. re: Mike R.

        My taste for beer, is defined by my tongue, and not claims of anyone, be they another person with a tongue, or Madison Avenue. I have gone through phases as well.

        I simply know what tastes good, to my tongue, and I elaborate on the reasoning in a logical manner.

        No I have not "compared the complexities / flavor profiles / ingredients of craft with their cheaper, more traditional counterparts - foreign or domestic?" I would do such if a distributor and a cable network, offered to support such through financing a reality TV show based on the endeavor you so inquired about ....jest.

        Residing in England, I also found myself in the habit of choosing a pub to drink in, based on two qualifications: smiling females behind the bar serving; and what the pub actually was serving from their taps.

        Not all pubs qualified. The main point was the beer flowing from the taps. That is really my point. Even in England, taste dictated excluding some, while including others.

        The same here, and other places, be it Zurich, Zagreb, Mabini, Wyckoff, Verick, Insa-dong, etc.

        I do prefer Hite over O.B., for the record.

        I encounter the same problem with Mexican beer as I do with so called American Craft Beer. That is not too thrilled with the offerings. Thus stated, I am endeared to much Mexican, such as Emiliano Zapata, lengua tacos, the movies of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and of course la belleza de las mujeres mexicanas (google helped me with that. I am not proficient with Spanish.

        Bohemia is not a bad beer though.

        1. re: jonkyo

          >My taste for beer, is defined by my tongue, and not claims of anyone, be they another person with a tongue, or Madison Avenue.

          Have you considered the possibility that fans of American craft brewing choose beers in much the same way, though based on preferences that differ from yours, and aren't merely succumbing to marketing?

            1. re: squid kun

              I see this in some cases, more as culture, in the true sense of the word's meaning, which is cultivate. Of course craft beer in the US is going to be distinctively different from practices based on centuries of brewing. It is like comparing a Corvette to a TVR or an Aston Martin...Porsche, etc.

              I have heard people in the USA (American people) state that American craft / microbrew is overly hoppy. I found this: "Against Hoppy Beer - Slate Magazine"

              I have not the taste for the craft beers. This is similar to the 'too hoppy' factor, I find them excessive in certain flavors. One might say less refined and balanced, but that may not be fair:  不公平 (bugongping as the chinese say).

              If anything, this discussion may have found an identifying element in American craft beer / microwbrew beer, and that is accentuating certain singular flavors or a fusion of flavors. This would be accenting.

              Compare a Innis & Gunn whiskey barrel to Kelso Bourbon-barrel aged Industrial IPA . When you do, see if the 'particulars of the American brew' is something present to one extent or another, in other American craft beers. Brewers learn from each other.

              I for my taste would go for a Badger (from the UK) or a Beamish (Irish), over much I have tasted in past and recent, of American craft/micro beers.

              醉好 would be a number of Polish bottled beers.

              That is a character era, for humor purposes.  

              最好 (zuihao) is 'best'.

              醉好 (zuihao) is 'drunk good'. Not really a word until now.

              Both  醉 and 最 are forth tone.

              1. re: squid kun

                "American craft brewing choose beers in much the same way, though based on preferences that differ from yours, and aren't merely succumbing to marketing?"

                Could this be similar to wine?

                Wine may be different, or maybe not.

                I found for a time, Australian wines so good, after I had been in a region for long that was cut off from imported wines. After a while, something became quite apparent about the wines from Australia, and always carrying on with talk about wine when buying, I was told they tend towards using huge metal storage in Australia, and this tends to do something to make something common many of the wines.

                So, in this way, practices do impinge on taste.

                "succumbing to marketing?" or allegiances to trends.

                Artisan bread is quite good. Again, a trend that is trying to recapture something lost, due to mass market and mass production. And again, dissimilar to European breads.

            2. re: Mike R.

              As for Whiskey barrel beer, Innis & Gunn is quite good.

            3. re: AubWah

              It was Blue Mountain Pils. My taste buds got used to it, after the second glass, but maybe that is to say, put up with it.

              I am not in any way a snob. I simply know that American craft beer, as in the past, the Microbrews, lack much.

              If one is used to beers from places with long traditions, that go back over 200 years, these beers are not palatable, at all.

              It is a shame that many venues about, only have US Craft Beer. This is due to marketing.

              The Snapples is sold because places get a few cooler with a glass door. Does not make Snapples anything more than being similar to powdered Kool Aid.

              The craft beers are marketed as 'craft'. Domestically there is a huge deficit in the population, even in the management of venues. That deficit is knowledge of good tasting beer.

              I should have just pounded cans of bud. It would have been cheaper, and more pleasurable than Blue Mountain.

              1. re: jonkyo

                I might add that that deficit is due to marketing.

                Years ago, during the microbrew craze, I found location the best to pull from. my meaning is stick to beers from the location one is in, then filter out all but the one that suits. I found an amber ale from Nutfield Brewing Company to be good. Also found Seadog from Maine. Ommegang opened and they beat even the New England beers. This is purchases to be consumed in the home, or someone else's home.

                Out and about, if Yuengling is on tap, I prefer to take this.

                I had a discussion about beer just this weekend, with a woman here from Poland, only for the summer. She agreed that America beer is lacking.

                But, again, here is a woman from a place that produced beer, when North America had yet to have their indigenous population depopulated by the germ that caused Franz Schubert and Friedrich Nietzsche to become crazy or clinically hysteria.

            4. im a little disappointed with this post, frankly. you, jonkyo, are one of the most entertaining posters on these boards and Roberta's is near and dear to my heart. This effort, while strong on the stream of consciousness, seemed to overly conflate the beverages of southern europe with the nomadic hipsterati of bushwick, brooklyn. you say "the craft results in missing good taste" like the artisinal production process lacks ownership and agenda, but profess your affection for Peroni, the affliction of which is not unknown outside its native Italy.

              from your expectations that italian design and moretti beer would be found in such a place one must only infer that those same expectations were built upon altruistic but utterly misguided ideologies of trendy pizza. a nod to italy, if perhaps only a cursory one, requires none of these affectations, just ironic facial hair and a surplus of semi-entertaining and very possibly badly drawn tattoos.

              although it may not have lived up to some previous efforts, thank you for the report. Did you ask any of the servers why they do not stock greek beers, or if they would, perhaps, ponder the potential possibility of doing the same?

              9 Replies
              1. re: tex.s.toast

                Please do not jump to conclude any such opinions regarding nomadic 'hipsterati' or tattooed facial hair.

                It was early in the day we arrived for our visitation to this creatively established venue. Hence the recalling of the more bohemian (with a lower case b) phase of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, upon matching Roberta's actual location with its name. A definite semiotic somersault, in regards to the signifier "Roberta's".

                I am sure Ferdinand de Saussure and Peirce would even be surprised.

                But than again, it all goes back to the DADA-ist.

                Capitalism long laid claims of marketing such, though.

                Roberta's is much preferred to what seems to be a cookie cutter affect manifest in venues from Bushwich to places such as Ft Greene, Cobble Hill etc.

                Homogeneity is nice when its hundreds of years old, such as in Europe, Russia, Lebanon, South East Asia, or even the forests or mountains of South America. For the modern human, it spells mediocratic murder of creativity.

                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  "artisinal production process" results from those caught in modernity, endeavoring to recreate in semblance, what modernity and mass production culture has destroyed.

                  It is all about "ownership and agenda", as ownership (and quality) is its agenda . It is also about identity be the creators hipsterati or a Cartesian dialectic obsessed alienated disposals of a lost geographically / ethnically founded line of descendants, ie: European American.

                  It is better to simply find what has survived, or what has not been destroyed.

                  Though, for the ego driven consciousnesses of participants, these artisanal or craft endeavors , what I call boutique endeavors, serve to fulfill urges of creativity, fashion in the general sense, critique, and profit.

                  It is also humans stifled by modernity, shattering the stifle through a dialectic with history and the mass industrialization of food.

                  In the simplest of terms, the craft or artisan phenomena is about redemption in an era of lost traditions.

                  1. re: jonkyo

                    So, if I understand you correctly, you were disappointed in Roberta's beer list.

                    I also dislike the American Craft habit of over-hopping everything. But frankly, if you think Yuengling is the epitome of palatable American beer... well, all I can say is you and I have very different taste in beer.

                    I also enjoy a Moretti or a Peroni in an Italian restaurant when there's nothing else that interests me.

                    1. re: egit

                      I shall explain. Yuengling is something I take in some establishements. The last I remember was Smalls, the Jazz venue in the Village. Beer adventuring for taste was not at all the point, by the time we arrived.

                      Of course Stella Artois is the generic beer, so to speak that I am accustomed, for those late nights early morning bar crawling. Of course, if at all possible, I take to the beers I very much appreciate, it on offer, in such bar hopping.

                  2. re: tex.s.toast

                    OMG!!!! First we had wine snobs. Now we have beer snobs. If I'm thirsty or just want a brew to drink with my pizza (oh yeah, there are lots of pizza snobs on this site as well), I'll settle for a nice cold Bud. Amen.

                    1. re: Sluggo1407

                      Bud is not too bad. It depends what kind of pizza, and were. If in a hotel, Papa John's can be delivered, and it is my recommendation that a surplus of Bud be available. At least three to four beers consumed before it arrived.

                      I for myself may take a Bud with my New York Style Pizza. With NY Style Pizza, a bud can be good.

                      My opinion is that it is best to drink a lager, or a pils with Italian food.

                      Here is an earlier thread I just pulled up. I have yet to peruse it, but thought I would offer it here.

                      Augie6 Feb 9, 2011 07:52 AM
                      Beer with Italian food


                    2. re: tex.s.toast

                      "Four raw days after his dealth, colleagues and neighbors gathered at Union Pool......they spoke harshly of Williansburg that had become more driven by money and reminisced about his generosity" NYT 8/25/13.

                      If you read yesterday's Metropolitan section of the Sunday New york Times, you will have seen the very sad story of Dressler's owner who committed suicide.

                      (see page 6 cont. from bottom of front page)

                      Due to my averse reaction to trends, I find the above quote quite relevant, being totallty applicable to creativity establishing these businesses and acquiring a loyal costumer base, and what may come from the fever caused by an area's newly found artistic aspects.

                      I am not familiar with much that is talked about, such a Diner on Broadway opened by a Frith, and Rye somewhere in Williamsburg opened by one of Colin Devlin's cooks.

                      1. re: jonkyo

                        Diner is a good restaurant - it's one of my favorite places to bring out-of-town guests and has been since it opened.

                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                          I shall look into it.

                          The name speaks for itself, I suppose.

                          Love diners, of old days gone.

                    3. The original post seems intended to be taken entirely as a joke (from the "Italian design" to the pining for Peroni beer); I'm surprised by serious responses.

                      34 Replies
                      1. re: didactic katydid

                        in case it was unclear, i intended my response in the absolute least serious manner.

                        1. re: didactic katydid

                          I do think that this sentence does point to some seriousness regarding development, neighborhood transformation, etc. whether one agrees with the statement or not.

                          "Roberta's is much preferred to what seems to be a cookie cutter affect manifest in venues from Bushwich to places such as Ft Greene, Cobble Hill etc. "

                          What happens in the so called gentrification, is a homogenizing affect. All follows the Park Slope cookie cutter.

                          This is why all the 'Old Town' in Europe, and now Eastern Europe to some extent, may be great places to party on occasion, but are places to avoid, as they may be referred to as Dinsey-fication.

                          NPR had a report on the Orange-fication of suburban America.

                          1. re: didactic katydid

                            Well, for those of us in the discussion about beer, I did a search and found a website that collects the beer menus of establishments.


                            I did find this, Pacific Standard Bar, Boerum Hill.

                            There are 16 beers on tap. They all are American, and Sierra Nevada being the one prolonged and perhaps a wider distribution.

                            Interesting. The site is discriminatory. I think that it may be part of marketing for one distributor of this style of beer.

                            Woodwork Brooklyn in a more diverse community, does offer hope for those who have a party exhibiting diverse tastes.

                            Empire White Aphro competes with Radeberger Pilsnerand Brooklyn Lager on tap.

                            Strongbow Cider, a long favor of mine, over the pale and too sweet American counterparts, is offered in a can.

                            Bottles of Karlovacko Pivo is just what it is. Pivo.

                            Out of all the Pivos on offer, pardon my poor broken Polish, some my be disappointed at Woodwork, though it is a more suitable offering than at Roberta's, and Pacific Standard, though only considering the market that one is aiming for.

                            Profit margins and distributors both fall into being elements that contribute to the results, what is on tap and on offer.

                            Thus if there is any blame someone desires to level for beer menus, the blame's destination is a variegated one.

                            1. re: jonkyo

                              Pacific Standard is a California bar. So yeah, their beer selection is exclusively from breweries on the West Coast. That is intentional.

                              Woodwork is a football (soccer) bar. So I believe their beer selection tends to lean more towards European Lagers. And point of fact, Karlovacko is Croatian, not Polish.

                              About 10 years ago a NYC bartender explained to me that there were two major beer distributors in NYC, and you could tell which bar restaurant had which based on their selection. The two indicative beers were Brooklyn Lager and Sam Adams. Distributor A carried Brooklyn Lager, while Distributor B carried Sam Adams. With a few exceptions, you'd never see both in the same bar.

                              Then, as now, there were bars that went the extra mile to acquire a wider selection of beers. But for the most part if a bar just went with a default selection, it would be either A or B. And that's still the case.

                              PacStand, Woodwork, and about 100 other bars in Brooklyn do go beyond the default beer choices. But even so, with only 10-20 taps (or whatever) they can't cover all aesthetics and some places try to curate their lists seasonally, regionally, topically, etc.

                              1. re: egit

                                Thank you for the correction.

                                That is some really good information, that explains much.

                                Pivo is the word for beer, in Poland, as well as other Slavic rooted languages use Pivo, including Slovenia and other Balkan.

                                I had jumped too soon, simply due to Polish beer being in front of me often.

                                I had a good dark beer in Croatia. It had a red label.

                                I believe in a polyglot of distributors. The playing field should feature many independents, as opposed to a few dominants.

                                I think of regions that just have Sysco as a food distributor. All the foods of restaurants in such an area, are basically the same.

                                Beer market is different than supplies for a kitchen. None the less, the principle is competition reduces prices, and drives creativity....diversity.

                                I am not so Sam Adams. Never was. Brooklyn is good. Drank it much before, sometimes now.

                                Sam Adams is a highly over-rated beverage. Of course this is not the point of the discussion.

                              2. re: jonkyo

                                BeerMenus is community driven. Many shops and bars are now using it to update their own tap/growler lists rather than post on their websites. I have a friend who runs a craft beer shop and he uses it. It's great for finding new releases, seasonal releases, and whatever beer you have a hankering for. Bars and shops seemed to be getting better at keeping the lists fresh.

                                There is no craft beer conspiracy. That's just fucking stupid to even float that. The marketing budget of all craft breweries combined is but a mere drop in the bucket of AB-Inbev, the mega-brewer of your pet favorite Stella Artois and Budweiser. The market is driving the demand for craft beers, because as noted by squid kun above, there are many people who have different tastes beyond mega rice lagers, ubiquitous national lagers, and Strong Bow Cider.

                                It's also quite well-known that American craft brewers are inspiring European and Asian brewers who are bored of th. It's not unusual to meet Europeans in the good beer bars in the city. And they are all over the beer forums...Burgeoning craft beer scene in Japan as well.

                                1. re: Silverjay

                                  "There is no craft beer conspiracy."

                                  I did not read anything about conspiracy. Not on this thread.

                                  I concluded in the dialogue and hope that others caught it, that the mass market of post war (WWII) America created such a glut poor quality in the beer market, eventually (I am not a historian) people began what became the microbrewing industry. By the early 1990s, microbrew pubs dotted the continent.

                                  Craft beer is just that.

                                  I have bough six packs of differing brews, all craft or microbrew, from California to the south, and mid west, and in the Northeast. I have also partaken of tap craft of varying kinds.

                                  I find that I prefer the bottled ales I used to purchase from the markets in England. I also prefer beers I have mentioned I like in posts.

                                  There is a debate about 'hop'.

                                  I was with a friend, and he usurped my free will and I submitted to his demands and found myself in a bar of his choosing. He was trying to re-educate me. One of his arguments was "this beer's tastes causes one to drink slower, so one does not get rolling drunk."

                                  Eventually, on his second of his choice.....said "this is so bitter, actually too bitter."

                                  He inquired at the bar for a brown or a dark. They sort of satisfied his recently adjusted requirements.

                                  There is a renaissance of sorts, and there is a market for the manifestations being produced from the activities of the renaissance in American brewing. Some like the results, and others may not.

                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                    Well you alluded to a marketing conspiracy of sorts and some crap about Madison Avenue's influence. So just own your words instead of weaseling away.

                                    Anyway, I agree with you, doesn't sound like you're the one to offer historical perspective on beer. And I agree with your friend insofar as you probably are trying to compensate for a lack of insight but feigning connoisseurship of macro-beers in a effort to position yourself as a contrarian.

                                    I can understand the backlash vs. hoppy beers and it's obvious that IPAs formed the vanguard for craft beer exploration in the U.S.- perhaps to a point of overkill. However I think it is pretty obvious we've moved beyond that. Experimentation with sours, interesting yeast strains, even mix of different type of hops, are exciting current trends. Not to mention a movement for brewers to make lower ABV, though still nicely flavored, session beers.

                                    I like an old world mug of liquid bread from time to time or a couple cans of Coors Light after playing a double-header in 90 degree weather. So I'm not knocking anyone's drinking habits. But to pan the whole craft beer industry as if it is a "myth"? That's just lame.

                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                      As for Madison Avenue, that is a buzz word for advertising and marketing. I stated "My taste for beer, is defined by my tongue, and not claims of anyone, be they another person with a tongue, or Madison Avenue. I have gone through phases as well. "

                                      It does happen that television and print ads affect people. Pop Tart consumption depends solely on such. Why, it certainly is not the unique flour used or its absence that drives people's arms and hands to the shelf, grabbing the colourful box, and allowing it to fall into a cart.

                                      Beer ads could have such a power, and actually do.

                                      The craft beer phenomena is just that. It is craft.

                                      It is always in the process of creating, ditching, dispatching, etc. This may be the reason for some to detour away from such.

                                      Others love it.

                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                        Craft beer, Its a young craft, with many enthusiasts.

                                        I understand it, but just because I do not prefer its resulting marketed beers, does not exclude me from an honest and intelligent dialogue about beers.

                                        I have never taken to whiskey drinking, but have UK and Asian friends who love it, and are true connoisseurs. An immediate family member studied in Glasgow, and upon return, exhibited a love and acumen for tasting Scotch whisky. Seems that the adventuring in microwbrew-craft may spring patterns analogous to bourbon or scotch drinking, in regards to the art of appreciation.

                                        "Experimentation with sours, interesting yeast strains, even mix of different type of hops, are exciting current trends. "

                                        -This brings my mind to a friend who is not only a home brewer, but a home baker, and a lay maker of brick ovens. He and I differ in our beer preferences domestically, but meet in our habits regarding foreign beers.

                                        Weihenstephan I just read from wikipedia, is the oldest commercial brand from Europe.

                                        I have long preferred that beer, over most, if ever I find it in bottle or on tap. There may be something to such a taste driven factor.

                                        Rolf's is a great place.

                                        I do not know what a "double hitter...header" is, but yes, 90 degrees can make a can of Coors quite good.

                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                          'Double header' this must be regarding cyclops.

                                          I thought such was a myth?

                                          Do they consume alcohol?

                                          "But to pan the whole craft beer industry as if it is a "myth"? That's just lame."

                                          Well, in discussion, to make a point a person may use hyperbole.

                                          But, thus said, there has been much clarification at this point.

                                    1. re: Peter Cuce

                                      Beer is never a "joke", nor is discussion of such.

                                      egit has brought some very good information to the discussion. Whether it is correct, I have not a clue. Makes much sense though. And the statements regarding markets being determined by client base of the establishments I found on Beermenu website explains much.

                                      Thus said, I will add that Chinese beer is very under-represented here in the US.

                                      The 青岛 Qing Dao beer here is an export, and it is totally different from the 青岛 beer sold in Mainland China.

                                      The 青岛 here is brewed in a style to have a taste similar to Heineken. That has long been fact, as long as I can remember.

                                      The China market for beer is huge, in China. Each Province has many brewing companies. It is typically lager or pils style....larger typically, and some are quite good. It is fun to find the favored beer in particular Provinces.

                                      Bud and Coors and Hini 12 oz are in clubs though.

                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                          ...and Taiwan beer is the absolute worst....However, Beer Lao, both the Lager and the Dark, are good Asian rice beers..

                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                            I especially like buying cans of Taiwan beer, and engage in the behavior that older gentlemen did in decades past, when drinking Taiwan beer.

                                            That is to use canned tomato juice, pour a bit into the beer, making it 1 /4 or 1/ 3 tomato juice.

                                            The bottled Taiwan beer sold here, in the US, with the same label, is totally different from what is sold with the same label in Taiwan. The import to US has a flavor in the direction of German beer of sorts.

                                            The Polish, mostly women, use a homemade 100% pure berry or fruit concentrate, just a touch in the bottom of the glass, before pouring in the pint and some ounce bottle into the glass. They do this in summer time. It is delicious, and as aesthetic as the women drinking it.

                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                              Beer and tomato juice is called a Red Eye. It's a known beer cocktail, hardly a Taiwanese original....Many bars will make a Dirty Hoe or some variation of the name, which is a wheat or lighter beer with a splash of Lindeman's Framboise.

                                          2. re: Silverjay

                                            I like Hite. I prefer it over Cass and O.B.

                                            China's market is so big. Some is quite good.

                                            Lao Beer is good. I very like.

                                            Vietnamese beer is quite good. There have been small brewers, without all the frilly marketing that does exist today in newer ones. The newer ones and the older ones are so good.

                                            I prefer one in Hanio. Very no frills bar. Their own brew is served alongside other bottled and what-not.

                                            Julbrew, from Gambia is better than the La Gazelle from Senegal. Julbrew gets its name from Banjul. I was quite displeased with La Gazelle.

                                            If one cares to one can purchase Guinness from Guinness Nigeria, in West African shops in the US and Europe.

                                            The market in the West at least is quite good.

                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                              All those beers are lousy, made by dudes in cheap jumpsuits, in big breweries that will use rice to cheapen the cost of what they are making. At least Lao beer will use an interesting type of rice that gives the beer a nice floral nose and soft taste.......Singha brewed in Thailand however does use all malt.

                                              1. re: Silverjay

                                                Chang Beer is good. It is featured at New York City Thai restaurants for 2 dollars. It is one of the few reasons to visit such restaurants.

                                                I find fruitful for reading and drinking sessions what seems to be a cookie cutter interior of Thai restaurants (narrow with military row tables for dining all facing the same direction; modern look).

                                                Pardon my use of the term cookie cutter, as I have used it also in descriptions of what have been internalized by management and owners as standards in other realms of the food service industry.

                                                Chang Beer does the trick for a casual beverage, coupled with (or drank before hand) leaf tea that is served in some of these Thai places.

                                                These Thai places function as wonderful cafes for coffee tea and 2 dollar Thai beer.

                                                And given the cookie cutter in recent designing of interior, an atmosphere that is to this cafe frequenter's taste, comfortable.

                                                I just wish the jump-suits would be worn by the servers. I want the Guantanamo Bay detention camp feel while reading, visiting with a friend or two, or simply taking up space and drinking beer, made by people donning the same attire. That would create a continuity between the servers and the brewers.

                                                Singha, to me, tastes as if there had been some desire to model the taste on a European beer, but with poor results. Have not had it in a while, but that was my impression long ago, and never quite found the need for further remembrances. A turn off, in some ways, but nice classic looking label.

                                                Again, love Lao Beer.

                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                  Hahaha, well I don't think anyone here will need to make a mental stretch to imagine you in a scenario where you must be attended on by people in jump-suits. But that's neither here nor there-

                                                  ...which is also the expression I would use to describe your experience eating Thai food in NYC as you've already mentioned in some other thread you haven't been to the well-regarded Thai restaurants in Queens....Chang is cheap, even in Thailand. That's because rice is cheaper than barley...Singha is brewed with all barley malt. Yes, like and sometimes better than some Euro macro-beers.

                                                  Back to Italy- look for beers from Baladin, an excellent craft brewer. Though they are mostly specialty beers and a bit expensive. Lovely bottle designs though.

                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                    I did state that "Chang Beer does the trick for a casual beverage"

                                                    Of course that is all. I have never had a taste extraveganza with it. It's flavor is not some unrestrained unleashing of anything other than a "casual beverage".

                                                    I will take your recommendation above.

                                                    The Italians are amazing with craft. From working with cloth, timepieces, to vehicles construction, and of course, sound.

                                                    My amplifier bought in Taiwan came from Italian. It was handcrafted in Albuzzono Italy. Like a Puccini Opera, performance is amazing.

                                                    Docet Lector if you are wondering. Taiwan is a more open market than the US is. Their beer may be made by jump suit clad men, but the market provides for those with high regards to quality, in many areas, not least imported beer, wine and audio equipment.

                                                    Music goes along with beer, for me anyway. So, what recording do you recommend during a libation using Baladin.

                                                    Let me replace that query, and ask: what [food] do you recommend during a libation using Baladin.

                                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                                      "Taiwan is a more open market than the US is."

                                                      No, it's the complete opposite. There are more than 2,000 beer brewers in the United States, plus reasonably priced imports from everywhere. Taiwan Beer is produced by the state owned Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation, which controls 2/3 of the entire domestic market. It controlled more than that prior to 2002 when Taiwan was forced to change some laws in order to enter the WTO. Just read that....I've been to Taiwan. Nice people. The beer fucking sucks. Not a strong beer drinking culture. And I think Japan holds a higher regard for beer, wine, and anything electronic. If you want to argue Taiwan vs. Japan or USA, you can email me to continue such a convo.

                                                      Back to Roberta's- for anyone not named junkyo- while they don't list their beers of the moment they list some great brewers that they will rotate through including locals like Capt. Lawrence & Sixpoint, other NY stuff from Defiant and Greenport, Victory from Penn, a great midwestern brewer called Two Brothers, some West coast stuff, Avery out of Colorado, and some solid imports including an Italian outfit called Del Ducato. Never heard of them. Would like to give them a try.

                                                      Love restaurants that care about beer. $20 for two hour AYCD deals of any two taps for group events is awesome. I have to book those type of events a few times a year and will def check them out for this alone...They have a few pages of wine listings as well.

                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                        That is an awesome deal, Silverjay. How often do these deals happen?

                                                        1. re: mookleknuck

                                                          It's just listed on their menu as a standard option for group dining.

                                                  2. re: jonkyo

                                                    "Chang Beer is good".

                                                    It's not so highly regarded in Thailand, considered bottom of the barrell beer. The "ChangOver" is a common ailment.

                                              2. re: Silverjay

                                                In my opinion, OB is a perfectly serviceable beer, not significantly better or worse than the other potable standard Asian lagers. Hite is thinner and suckier.

                                                1. re: guanubian

                                                  In my opinion, they both suck more than the baseline brews from all four major Japanese brewers, Singha, Beer Lao, Tiger, and Tsingtao... OB's BA score is in the 50's and the RB score is 1. So clearly there are many who do think they are worse.

                                                  It would be a real liquid booger dogfight between which is the worst- OB, Hite, Taiwan Beer, or Chang.

                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                    Wow, I never very much liked the basic Japanese beers. I always thought they were too hoppy, and regarded them as inferior to all the other Asian dude-beers, including OB. On the other hand, I love Hitachino.

                                                    I enthusiastically join you in endorsing Singha and Beerlao. Love those. I think the Indian ones are good too -- Kingfisher and Taj.

                                                    Maybe I have brain damage from more than ten years of Korean roommates and coworkers, during which I more or less pickled in OB.

                                                    Edit: And yep, Tsingtao is an essential part of enjoying Chinese food.

                                                    1. re: guanubian

                                                      Japanese have a short but dynamic history of brewing and actually introduced and built the early breweries in Korea. After the occupation, I believe the Korean government took over and I think one of those two modern brands are owned or heavily subsidized by the Korean government. This is most likely a cause behind why Korean beer so freakin crappy.

                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                        Hite has a taste that is on par with common brands.

                                                        It goes good while washing down some Korea Jinro Soju.

                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                          Perhaps if we had a communist state, our drinking would be subsidized, by the state.

                                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                                            you should try the North's beer.

                                                            I stick to The President. Had many last evening. I never get a hangover with The President.

                                            2. I was on a subway, in Queens, and I saw some tall 30 something guy in a beard that was much longer than mine, but not as long as the religious types, from Russian Orthodox, to etc etc.

                                              So, he had plaid on, and these glasses that seem ubiquitous for a certain style that has been codified in the NYC metro area.

                                              Anyway, I just stated, "I have seen you at Roberta's....yes..."

                                              His wife or girlfriend, who had no such glasses on, nor the also ubiquitous plaid on, nor beard, stated, "NOT me...but you probably have seen him.....he goes there a lot..."

                                              I had never seen the person before.

                                              I could have had a discussion with him, concerning the beer menu there, but I did not. I simply stated, "yeh....nice place that Roberta's....take care"

                                              A note on Sociology and food.

                                              67 Replies
                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                Well, I read the whole thread. I am dizzy now. That being said, I actually agree ( and i'll paraphrase) because otherwise i'll get dizzier. " I like beer that tastes good to my tongue." I do however, think that people get used to a particular taste, so when they taste a craft beer or a different beer than they are used to , it may not immediately give one the feeling of a "good taste". I think you have to be open to trying as many as possible, more than once. Our tastes can change.
                                                That being said, and yes i'm making myself dizzy now, the beer most memorable to me was Budweiser (sp) brewed in Czechoslavkia ( had it 20 years ago). Was great but Anheuser Busch fought to keep it out of U.S.
                                                Leffe Blonde I find myself drinking much of lately. Sapporo draft, Yebisu. I do like some of the beers Silverjay probably hates,i.e. Tiger Beer, San Miguel Pale Pilsner, and I do like Chang ( i guess cheap rice beer tastes good to me sometimes) over Singh Ha ( no ice). I like some of the "fragrant" beers at Chelsea
                                                Pier Brewery, just for a change of pace.
                                                an occasional Foster's, Grolsch ( i always liked the bottle),

                                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                  I mean whatever. You're just rattling off beers from mega brewers. Which is fine.The Toyota Carolla and Honda Accord are popular, reliable, inoffensive cars. People pledge allegiance to them I'm sure.

                                                  Try some stuff from Barrier and SingleCut, two nice craft brewers that have emerged from Queens over last couple of years. Both are making good stuff....But don't be the kind of annoying asshole that tries an IPA and says " was too hoppy. this brewer sucks. so do all the craft brewers in America"...They each make many types of beer. Try a few..,Of course none of this will change the fact that Chang and Taiwan beer both suck. But at least you will come out of it with better stories to tell than "I had a beer 20 years ago in Czechoslavia..."

                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                    "That being said, and yes i'm making myself dizzy now, the beer most memorable to me was Budweiser (sp) brewed in Czechoslavkia ( had it 20 years ago)."

                                                    My guess is it wouldn't be so memorable ifthe name was Staropramen or Velkopopovicky. The name association is what is memorable.

                                                    I would have to concur with Silver Jay here. To put all American craft beer under one umbrella is fairly ludicrous when their are styles that range from Wild Yeast Sours to Milds to Porters to IPAs. As to NY specific Barrier and Single Cut have many good diverse beers as well as some of the more established brands such as Captain Lawrence, Defiant and Sixpoint. I don't like everything they brew but their portfolios have enough to satisfy most people.

                                                    American beers are now inspiring brewers across the pond as well. During a recent trip to London I saw a number of smaller brewers making American styles of beer like Kernel and Meantime.

                                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                                      "American beers are now inspiring brewers across the pond as well."

                                                      This is a nice defense, and if correct with such words as 'inspire', it deserves much attention from beer drinkers.

                                                      But I do not use an umbrella when drinking craft beer. I still have not found one that I would prefer to drink over the imports that may accompany them on a menu.

                                                      Some beers I have had in Switzerland and other locations in Europe, I cannot pronounce, nor remember the spelling, yet some were ...close to or the best.

                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                        "his is a nice defense, and if correct with such words as 'inspire', it deserves much attention from beer drinkers. "

                                                        This is indeed correct, I have been to the UK twice in the past month including a trip a few weeks ago. I went on tours at Meantime and the Kernel breweries. As a homebrewer I know the right questions to ask and spoke with people at both breweries who confirmed that they are inspired by American craft beer. Not only that they are using American hops like centenial, chinook and amarillo and are making American styles of beer.

                                                        Not only that but there are premium beer bars like the Rake who sell bottled and draft American beers. It is gaining traction

                                                        It is not just the UK, well regarded craft brewers in Norway, Belgium and Italy are inspired by and collaborate with American craft breweries. Off the top of my head, Nogne, Baladin, Evil Twin, d'Achouffeand Brew Dogs are some to look for.

                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                          And this is not a borrowed market word, but an actual trans-migration of the american craft beer culture.....

                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                            I am tempted to consider this Craft Beer culture a philistinism, posing due to creative graphic designs, packaging, and whimsicle to absurdist, and even provocative or nonsenses names for brands.

                                                            That may be argued, when matched with the delicious taste of beers from continental Europe.

                                                            As for Taiwan beer, its nostalgia.

                                                            I have no nostalgic vibes from beer that just does not capture the hundreds of years history of cultivation to what we find in European names that are not difficult to use as examples.

                                                            A friend recently had dog fish head on my recommend. But to be honest, I would never drink it with European beers sharing the same menu.

                                                            La chouffe (Achouffe) is one beer i have taken to in Taiwan at my friends establishment. It is a Belgium beer, not craft, other than the craft done there for centuries.

                                                            I am being purely honest, and not trying to ruffle feathers. it is a shame that venues have been sold on snazzy sales trends. the customer loses in the end.

                                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                                              You realize that even the larger craft beers like Sierra Nevada and Brooklyn have very small marketing budgets? Snazzy marketing is the land of the giants. People who like craft beer are not being hit with microwaves to alter their buying choices, they're simply enjoying good beers. If you can't see that I feel sorry for you. There's a ton of good beer available here if you can get over your preconceived notions of what American craft beer is.

                                                              If you read what I said above about d'Achouffe I said they are a European beer being influenced by American beers. Try their Belgian IPA.

                                                              It seems like you just like the large National beers from any country and automatically assume they are good. This is despite the fact that light lagers, especially in bottles do not travel well and 9 times out of 10 are skunked. Snazzy marketing trends indeed for the most interesting man in the world.

                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                Sierra Nevada, I was corrupted by the phony taste of this beer, in the early 1990s, thinking that it was spectacular. I eventually discarded the idea due to other beers of local variety in New England, such as Nutfield.

                                                                These days, grew away from the taste of these Craft Beers 10 years abroad. But also, came to conclusions that there may be a myth concerning their quality.

                                                                Of course, I know that snazzy marketing is not within Craft Beer campaign budgets.

                                                                My meaning is the idea, that somehow people think that they are defying mass sensational appeal of products empty of quality, by buying, stocking, consuming, promoting American Craft Beer.

                                                                Well, they are.

                                                                Are they indulging their senses in something that is the apex of the historical development of the brewing process that results in beer, be it lager or ale?

                                                                I would say no, and even go further to say that they have missed the mark if one is looking at gradations of quality, by bypassing European and Eastern European beers, and lodging all or some desires within the Craft beer market.

                                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                                  You have many interesting opinions about beer. Rather than hijack the Roberta's thread perhaps you'd like to post them on Chowhound's dedicated Beer thread. You can then share them with beer lovers around the U.S. and the world.


                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                    Great idea.

                                                                    I do want to promote my opinion to the Roberta community, at the same time.

                                                                    This highly contested arena may actually help to open the market of the quesi-exclusive manners that 'some' establishments create with a narrow focus on American Craft, even if there are over 40 offerings! I have seen that.

                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                      Have you had Taiwan Beer? Wow, it may really be the worst beer in the world. I agree, Beer Board could be enlightening to the nachos with lettuce and sour cream crowd where he is coming from. Especially since he often confuses beer types, brewery names, and beer names. It can be hard for people to all take in when you are new to it.

                                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                                        Once, I had Barbados beer, or beer haling from there. The ingredients included sugar. I liked the label, and the fact that it had come from an Island. But I do not think I would ever drink it again.

                                                                        As for another Island beer, Taiwan beer, the only factor I dis-appreciate, is that it's alcohol content is under what I have been used to since parting the Island of Taiwan.

                                                                        I did take to Belgium beer in Taiwan, though the Taiwan beer was usually drank with others, from one bottle. Sometimes we would go through 20 or more bottles of the stuff. The tall bottles that narrow at the top. 20 plus or near 30 ohh zees.

                                                                        I had 2 dollar buds last night at a most admirable venue that happens to be 24 hour. After which, in the protest manner against the Craft Beer myth, I pounded Dominican Presidente, to the rhythems of Anthony Santos and merengue.

                                                                        At Roberta's, I remember a Viking and his wife, visiting from his homeland, not showing any displeasures with the menu for the beers, as I managed to drink a beer I was not too happy with.

                                                                        I forget what tunage was in the air.

                                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                                          The Budweiser and TsingTao I drank in China was brewed sweeter than in the West. So disgustingly nasty. I was traveling with a group. We all switched away from that crap.

                                                                  2. re: MVNYC

                                                                    I respect your argument, but disagree.

                                                                    "Try their Belgian IPA" Belgian Indian Pale Ale? Interesting.

                                                                    I have had the idea that a IPA is bitter, unlike the bitter of English ales. Some are good.

                                                                    I would really have to do some searching to find one I like.

                                                                    Thus stated, the sheer delight of walking into a pub in England, and scanning the taps to see if one's favored few are on offer, makes it that you (the one doing this) have acquired a distinguishing tongue based on quality.

                                                                    The Belgium IPA may be worth some investigations. I am not too fond of Belgium Beers, and that has not to do with quality, but my taste. And this may, or may not be, the same for American beers. Meaning lack of fondness for them might be taste...rather than a quality issue.

                                                                    QUOTE:" It seems like you just like the large National beers from any country and automatically assume they are good. "

                                                                    I favored Badger ale in England most, bottled or tapped. I would encourage any local distributor to try and sell their bottled ales to Roberta's.

                                                                    I have no comment on the skunk. They are cute animals, and the term used in your phrase indicates that many people are being ripped off.

                                                                    I pounded several Presidentes last evening, and they were delicious. they use green in the bottle to help protect it from skunking.

                                                                    I was happy to be in a place that offered such a beer. Roberta's is a challenge in regards to tasty pounding of beers.

                                                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                                                      Green bottles protect beers from skunking?

                                                                      Presidente is not a good example of age old brewing traditions, they use corn. But hey you're welcome to like it because it comes from another country.

                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                        Gee......I am not a it that I am a xenophile?

                                                                        No, I am endeared to the creatures and the products from other nations, due to culture, tradition, and values that equate with quality.

                                                                        America is plagued by its past, only 200 plus years.

                                                                        One can find good Italian baked items, and good German meats, in America. But the meat tradition of this land was destroyed when the genocide murdered the natives.

                                                                        By the same token, Budvar is yummy. Can one match that yummy taste with an equally yummy but with a different taste beer, that comes from the US Craft Beer market?

                                                                        I venture to say "no".

                                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                                          Brewing good beer is a skill enjoyed by the human race not something monopolized by a few countries in Europe. You are simply fetishizing huge commercial brewers based on their country of origin.

                                                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                                                            Actually according to most sources the traditional lagers you love are younger than the United States. Lagering really took off with the invention of refrigeration.

                                                                            I'm no American patriot but I'm open minded enough to appreciate what the US does well.

                                                                          2. re: MVNYC

                                                                            I have the same problem as I had at Roberta's (others may too) as I do when I go to Mexican places. I just am so not fond of Mexican beer.

                                                                            Its not a pleasure to drink them. Bohemia may be one that I like, but it is seldom found.

                                                                            The problem arises due to marketing. The Modelo, and SoS the one with a "T" at the beginning of the name are not savory beers, to me. Corona too.

                                                                            So, there is sincerity in what I am writing about.

                                                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                                                              Mexican beers are made with corn syrup and rice in the mash. There is a reason why you don't like them.

                                                                              1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                "corn syrup and rice"

                                                                                this could be why Mexican beers do not appeal to my taste buds.

                                                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                  Not necessarily, Presidente and Victoria are brewed with corn while pretty much every mass produced Asian beer that you like is made with rice.

                                                                            2. re: MVNYC

                                                                              I like it because it goes down so good. It is delicious.

                                                                              It is not a gourmet thing.

                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                Green bottles actually protect less against the formation of mercaptans. This, and inadequate storage, is one of the reasons Heineken so often has a stripe.

                                                                                In the case of beer, brown is better.

                                                                            3. re: MVNYC

                                                                              "....they're simply enjoying good beers."

                                                                              We could level the same in an argument that supports the behaviors of the Bud and Michelob case buying, couch sitting...television staring people.

                                                                              I see on small grocer store walls near the door, posters that advertise multiple brands of Craft Beer, with the words "We sell Craft Beer Here"

                                                                              The ad comes from some marketing group posing as a cultural or artist-esque oriented organization. Its appeal is to college educated, landed gentry, and arty arty folk.

                                                                              Craft Beer industry is not NGO, they make money. They advertise. Culture is collective sharing of behavior, and many people will drink what they see the larger group they are affiliated with drink.

                                                                              My friend argues at me about American Craft beer. Tries to coordinate drinking at establishments that have them. I do remember more than once, he loving his first sip, then after some time stating "its too bitter"

                                                                              I propose to Roberta imbibing individuals who love the Craft craze to stop Craft consumption for 1 week or more, and drink long established beers from the following nations:

                                                                              Germany; Poland; England; Ukraine; Lithuania.

                                                                              The epicenter for beer's creation and the adjoining regions is where ones taste buds will be pleased....the most.

                                                                          3. re: MVNYC

                                                                            I was in France earlier this year and tried some local craft beer inspired by American style as well. In Japan, where I'm visiting now, they changed the brewing laws a few years ago and the craft beer scene is blossoming- with plenty of influence from the US. The Japanese craft brewers though tend to favor German styles at this point.

                                                                            1. re: Silverjay

                                                                              I dare say this influence is market/culture, and not brewing.

                                                                              I have had these microjapan beers. Nothing US Crafty about them. So, I think your statement is correct.

                                                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                The beers I am talking about are not available outside of Japan.

                                                                                The influence is brewing. You can read about the brewer's experiences and talk with them at events or with good craft beer bartenders or purveyors. The industry is very open and frank.

                                                                                It sounds like you are just making shit up and attributing it to a marketing conspiracy rather than speaking for genuine knowledge and interest.

                                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                  It seems he's more interested in the "idea" of beer rather than the taste. I would wager that when doing a blind tasting of industrial light lagers one would not be able to separate Lithuania from Kyrgyzstan

                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                    I met a lot of those people when I was living Prague. It's insufferable

                                                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                      "angry anti-American ex-English teacher "

                                                                                      "position themselves as contrarian in a pathological manner."

                                                                                      You must be imagining this. I have never met them, in my travels, nor in my residencies, of either study or work. The only dislikers of America I knew, were Canadians in Taiwan, and Russians and some other Eastern Europeans in Mainland, as well as Taiwan.

                                                                                      Since this is about beer, I would venture to say, the Russians like Poles I have met, would agree with me, and find the offerings at Roberta's could be expanded to include a few from their neck of woods.

                                                                                      Canadians were emotionally distraught in their criticism of US, while the Russians were polite, yet leveling intellectually founded criticism.

                                                                                      I think my survey stands to this day.

                                                                                      Kickshaw really has an up over Roberta's regarding beer selections, by the way. Snowdonia pales for those who might be used to imports. I use these as examples as they are the few places, beyond my 'used to places', I have ventured, that are Craft oriented and not in Manhattan.

                                                                                      Buckets of 6 are 20 bucks for passable, even delectable, beverages at most Latin/Mexican , south of Roberta's places or on Myrtle.

                                                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                        You forgot to mention that Russians and Prussians are Poles apart.

                                                                                2. re: Silverjay

                                                                                  I've only had Hitachino Nest over here but have enjoyed it. Looking forward to exploring it further when I go to Japan.

                                                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                    Went to great craft beer place in Tokyo last night. 77 brews on tap. About 2/3 domestic. Small craft beer bar opened in Tokyo Station as well. So many across the city. Drinking craft sake now though...

                                                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                      "craft beer place"

                                                                                      That is nice. If I could get a close up of the menu, I could see the selection. I can read the kanji.

                                                                                      You do know that Japan is basically one manifestation of a post colonial Colony of the US.

                                                                                      It is no wonder they adapt such market oriented concepts as this craft beer phenomena. They also graduated from using 'Microbrew'.

                                                                                      Interesting. I love small independent brewers, that have something to offer, for our taste buds, that represents an esteemed and honest effort, at creating beer, in the fashion of history.

                                                                                      Ahistorical renditions I am sure there are some with 77 choices.

                                                                                      Snowdonia, a nice place, really, just many selections..over 20 or 30 or even 40, all Craft US beer. My tongue always protests when I think to go there.

                                                                                      Have had some Japan Microbrew...craft if you like. It was very good. On par with Dog Fish and other nice ones in the Craft fold.

                                                                                      I would still take a draft of Sapporo over Dog Fish....many actually.

                                                                                      craft brew
                                                                                      noun: craft beer

                                                                                      a beer with a distinctive flavor, produced in small quantities and distributed in a particular region.

                                                                                      Are the North Koreans kidnapping some of these Craft Beer makers, off beaches, in Japan, in order to steal their knowledge? Any such reports?

                                                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                        Folks, we removed a bunch of posts from here that were getting pretty personal. That they were also very much off-topic for a thread on the Outer Boroughs board probably goes without saying at this point in the thread.

                                                                                        A discussion of the worldwide history of craft brewing would be an excellent one for the Beer board, but it's a pretty big subject for this board.

                                                                                3. re: MVNYC

                                                                                  You need to go to Yorkshire and get a real ale.

                                                                                  Not to mention trying Germany.

                                                                                  I lived and worked in Europe for 10 years, there are a lot of great local beers that are delicious and go well with food.

                                                                                  American craft beer is an exercise in overblown rhetoric. If a little hops is good, let's put in a whole lot more. Yeah, that's the ticket. Kinda like everything here.

                                                                                  I sincerely doubt that American beers are making any kind of traction other than with a geeky minority over there. Like Meantime and Kernel have Bass and John Smith's really on the run.

                                                                                  1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                    Thanks I've been to a few real ale festivals in the UK and seem out camra certified pubs. I love English and German beer for that matter but in not way is that mutually exclusive of loving American craft.

                                                                                    I've noticed a big change in the availability of even well made craft English ales over the past ten years. It's much easier to find good beer now. Having been to a few festivals and breweries I can guarantee some brewers are using American hops and techniques. Also I was pretty shocked at how many bars had American beers like Brooklyn and Sierra Nevada in bottles.

                                                                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                      Yeah Brooklyn is on the menu at Systembolaget, the Swedish recreational alcohol monopoly. Apparently some Swedish billionaire took an interest because they are now talking about opening a brewery over there.

                                                                                      And Swedish beer, unlike Danish, is not good. Pripps sucks!

                                                                                      1. re: vikingkaj


                                                                                4. re: jonkyo

                                                                                  >I still have not found one that I
                                                                                  >would prefer to drink over the
                                                                                  >imports that may accompany them on
                                                                                  >a menu.


                                                                            2. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                              The Czech Budweiser Budvar is wonderful. Rich and creamy with an alcohol level that will make you weak in the knees after about three of them. I used to drink it regularly in Germany and it was the highlight of my trips. Without a doubt it's the best beer I've ever had.

                                                                              The Czechvar that's been sold in the U.S. for the last 15 years is brewed by the same people. It's a nice beer but bears only the slightest resemblance to its European cousin.

                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                Not that I would operate a table saw or even drive a car, but I'm pretty sure after three 5% beers I wouldn't be weak in the knees.

                                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                  I just spent the last half hour Googling and I can't find anything except some anecdotal accounts that backs up my contention that the draft Budvar sold in Germany and the Czech republic is stronger. Certainly the stuff sold in bottles is, as you said, 5%.

                                                                                  Unless I find some proof it looks like I was wrong.

                                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                    It is possible, lots of breweries alter their recipes depending on the market. Also it could be an example of ABV vs ABW altering perception.

                                                                                    1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                      A pilsner over 6% would be weird. I don't think they would do that. But I've never been to those countries.

                                                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                        I don't recall seeing any pilsners that strong. I think most were under 5% which I think is where you want it. I lived there about 10 years ago but when I went back recently the beer scene has definitely exploded so there might be different offerings available.

                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                          Most European lagers are at bottled at 4.4 -4.8 percent, for example Carlsberg's sort guld is bottled at 4.8 percent.

                                                                                          If you start going over that level the taste of the alcohol overwhelms your taste buds.

                                                                                          Beers at 6 % or higher, like Carlsberg Elefant, are sold but only claim a minority share.

                                                                                          Festbier and Bock in Germany will have a higher alcohol content but they generally have a heavier malt profile and higher residual sugars to balance this out.

                                                                                          The main advantage with the development of the lighter lager pilsner style in the 1800 was the fact that it was dryer, lighter and more quaffable.

                                                                                    2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                      Draft budvar is 4% to 5% in the Czech Republic depending on if you have the 10 degree plato or 12 degree plato (the most common variety svetaly lezak). The Czechs use original gravity rather than ABV to measure the alcohol level. On a recent visit of around 20 Czech breweries I found only a few at 6% and above.


                                                                                  2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                    I lived in the Czech Republic and Budvar was definitely one of the better Pilseners especially fresh in Ceske Budjovice. Was it the best? I wouldn't say so. It was definitely better than Gambrinus and Staropramen of the more readily available beers in Prague.

                                                                                    If you enjoy Czech lagers go to Hospoda on the UES and try their Draft tasting of Pilsner Urquell. They alter the way the gas percentages and style of draft. Makes for an interesting take on how much this can alter the final taste.


                                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                        If you like the Czech pilsners you should give Bayrische Hofmark a try the next time you are there:


                                                                                        It's brewed in the Bayrischer Wald just over the Border from the Czech Republic by a small brewery.

                                                                                        I think the water is better than with the big Czech breweries and the style is the same.

                                                                                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                        I love Budvar and the late great Plzen, The sad thing about Czech brews is that the need to be absolutely fresh. Poorly handled and they loose their mojo. SAB has a program that is all about bringing properly transported Plzen to the US, but I still find it wanting. The aroma of a fresh Plzen, the hops slam, well, it just aint there anymore, nevermind the beautiful roundness I love so much.

                                                                                        1. re: MOREKASHA

                                                                                          That's the thing with pilsner. Needs to be very fresh, the stuff that reaches the US shores just doesn't have that essence.

                                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                            True for all beer.

                                                                                            By the way, August Busch III, the former head of Anheuser-Busch, used to be an absolute fanatic about freshness. He would go into bars and order beers just to read the fresh date. If they were out of date he would go ape-ship on the distributor.

                                                                                            And yet his beer still tasted like crap. Go figure.

                                                                                      3. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                        I am dizzy from the Killer Buzz brand energy coffee drink I just had. It is far below the ratio of flavor of even Milwaukee's Best , due partially to the amount of sugar that is in it. An evil such as sugar I necessitate, simply due to its inclusion in drinks that contain the needed caffeine required of myself.

                                                                                        Thus said, Leffe Blonde is such a nice beer, and partake of it on occasion. Sapporo Draft is a draft that I find one of the most welcoming elements in any establishment. Yebisu, I have only had in the bottle and love it.

                                                                                        Budweiser, is so good. I drank it often, and one can drink it here in the US, it is just that the 不公平贸易规定 (unfair rules of the US market) does not allow the originator of the name and brand, in Czechoslavkia, use the name that the US maker stole. It is sold as Budvar here in the US.

                                                                                        I was out last evening and again, confronted with what I define as the Nuevo beverage menu that must have a fair amount of space devoted to domestic craft beers. It was Craft Bar, Broadway.

                                                                                        There was also the presence of some delightful imported beers. I could only see myself ordering one of these if I was to enjoy the outing. I ordered Kolsch for the first time, and it was delicious. Brooding did not occur and spent my time in discussion.

                                                                                        A European friend found it obligational to try these American beers, so she issued forth, and this is an honest way to discover when traveling. It was a White Thai beer, and explained that canned beer is a new thing, that has gained amongst Elvis Costello glass wearing population.

                                                                                        Chang beer is good, and at 2 dollars in one of these ubiquitous Thai places, is a good price to kick back, read the paper, and have a few beers, of course on the terms I take food elsewhere.

                                                                                        I too like it over Singh Ha.

                                                                                        Tastes are being mapped daily, and there are sure to be more beers to contest the limits of our likes and dislikes.

                                                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                          If you like the Koelsch then you owe it to your self to go to Cologne. That stuff does not travel well.

                                                                                          I suggest Früh or Sion:



                                                                                      4. re: jonkyo

                                                                                        So if I have this correct, you stopped a stranger whom you had never seen before on the subway who looked like a lumberjack hipster and asked if he had ever been to Roberta's? That's actually kind of funny in a Borat kind of way

                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                          Yes, I did that.

                                                                                          No harm intended.

                                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                            No, negative, I did not stop anyone, nor this so called stranger. He was seated quite comfortably, on subway seating, lounging actually.

                                                                                            I simply was in this lounging faux-lumberjack's (jest) vicinity and spoke in a friendly manner. His female companion acted as his spokesperson.

                                                                                            It was a friendly and nice exchange.

                                                                                            I am still confused about Borat....I only know of this man's comical take on Hip Hop Rappers, in a book I pawed through in a London bookstore.

                                                                                            Does Borat frequent Roberta's?

                                                                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                              I guess you've answered the age old question- what do two hipsters talk about on a train and does anyone hear them? And the answer is trendy restaurants and one of them will report their conversation on the internet so everyone can hear them.

                                                                                              1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                I was amused by the woman, his companion, vehemently stating....."NOT ME........but he loves the place."

                                                                                                i wonder if I could have gotten some good suggested eating venues by asking 'if you do frequent Roberta's where might one find you enjoying food, and perhaps ambiance?"

                                                                                                I am merely mentioning this as it is somewhat of a marketing analysis of venues, who eats there, and why....and is it just a trendy place, or something really delightful for the tongue.

                                                                                                Stereotypes...well this is market observation.

                                                                                                I also get stereotyped, but no one who does this, ventures to surmise what type of eating venues I may be found to gravitate to.

                                                                                                Weekly I get ".has anyone ever told look like Michael Douglas."

                                                                                                In Lithuania it was "hey....Lindsey Buckingham.....its ladies night at this bar.....come long....your my wing man...." an English bloke.

                                                                                                That was the first and last time I traveled and stayed at a youth hostel. I kept missing my paid for bus to Estonia for several days, waking up still intoxicated at 2 pm or so.

                                                                                                Speaking of which, any good Estonian dives, or Lithuanian enchantments in the restaurant market.....brooklyn..bronx?

                                                                                                It is a shame tht Roberta's does not have Estonian beer. shameful too that Lithuanian beer, purchasable at some stores on Myrtle passed Wykoff, is absent from the menus of some of these trendy and popular eateries.

                                                                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                  Just from the menu, Roberta's has a nice draft beer selection already. Buying beer from a bodega would be a waste.

                                                                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                                                                    There is a classic European beer that jonkyo might enjoy that could be purchased at bodega establishments run by people from Puerto Rico. It is Olde English and comes in flagon sized 40oz.

                                                                                              2. re: jonkyo

                                                                                                So you deduced Ali G out of Borat but are still clueless as to who Borat may be? Must be fun pretending to not understand fairly common cultural references

                                                                                          2. No, please, make it stop! I would love to click on a thread entitled "Roberta's" and actually read about the restaurant. Is that so wrong?

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: chompchomp

                                                                                              well, this is how dialogues work.

                                                                                              We discuss the beer at Roberta's. a major attraction item for restaurants near or partilly the world over. it is a point that may determine if others go. Pizza and beer, are compatible.

                                                                                              I did state that they had pizza that was quite good. i did state tht they also have the common offerings such as mussels steamed and the like.

                                                                                              The crowd at dinner and after is of one particular style....and it is not head bangers or circus travelers.