Saturday, February 7, 2009
When Glenn Reynolds linked the Sam Adams Alliance Contest, I clicked hoping it had something to do with craft beers. I was disappointed.
At least it doesn’t involve Joe the Plumber.
After reading your description I feared it was about the dishonest new mayor of Portland Oregon, but it isn’t that either.
I thought about the Portland mayor as well. I’m on the wrong team for that alliance.
Sam Adams is crap beer–its basically an overpriced Milwaukee’s Best.
His name isn’t Joe, and he isn’t a plumber. He is apparently the chief economist of the Republican Party, however. So I guess we need to bow and scrape.
It strikes me you are fishing for some suggestions as to novel craft beers. Here is my burnt offering.
A few moons ago you blogged about a planned trip to Montreal. To the best of my memory (always a hazard if you are a beer drinker), the post drew only two correspondents, myself and Dr. Steven Taylor.
Dr. Taylor recommended several local craft beers. I suggested sweetbreads for dinner, as the French have elevated this dish to the height of cuisine art. The dish is almost impossible to find in the U.S., and sadly is usually overcooked. To my surprise my suggestion was firmly brushed off with, and I paraphrase, “I would never eat stuff like that…â€
Needless to say I was crestfallen, for one does not order steak and potatoes in Montreal. Among the top 5 reasons for visiting the city is its cuisine. At first I took refuge in the thought that barbarians not uncommonly disguise themselves in suits and ties and chose the academics as their cave.
These unkind thoughts soon gave way to pondering whether gustatory exploration was a genetic, gestational or a behavioral imposition. Although barbarians are usually portrayed as gourmands, there is no reason why among the masses an occasional gourmet might not arise.
Your post introduced a startling concept that until now had escaped me, to wit: Can one be afflicted with the need for liquid (aka beer) gustatory exploration, while rejecting with scorn gustatory exploration of solid material? As some wise man said, Food for thought.
A while back I stumbled across an article in the New Yorker which dealt with our common affliction; yours, mine, and Dr. Taylor from which I abstract this bit:
Gasparine wasn’t much of a wine drinker, but he had become something of a beer geek. (His thick eyebrows, rectangular glasses, and rapid-fire patter seem ideally suited to the parsing of obscure beverages.) A few years earlier, he’d discovered a bar in downtown Baltimore called Good Love that had several unusual beers on tap. The best, he thought, were from a place called Dogfish Head, in southern Delaware. The brewery’s motto was “Off-Centered Ales for Off-Centered People.â€
The motto seemed to describe our tendencies to drift from the political center, thus it seemed promising. But mottos do not make what the German’s term a good “schluckâ€.
Then, about 3 to 4 weeks ago, Wegman’s, our local supermarket food emporium (now slowly metastasizing south, keep your eye balls pealed) opened a new section on craft beers. Like a hound dog with diabetes who had suddenly discovered a boulevard of trees and fire hydrants, I sniffed the stacks. And, there it was, 3 different varieties of Dogfish Head Brewery.
Bought a six of each, and have been sampling them slowly, comparing as I go along with others. You really do not want to chill these guys down too much, and they are too big to swig down after mowing your lawn or cleaning the garage. They should be drunk with good company. One way to sample this gift is with a prime hot dog, sour dough beget, and sauerkraut. I will not go into how to prepare the sauerkraut, as its proper preparation would be wasted on a man who tilts his nose at sweetbreads.
Do not pass up any variety of Dogfish Head, and if you find a place that has it on tap, sample.
PS Pass this tip on to Dr. Taylor, although I suspect he has already tumbled into this brand.
Yes, I’ve sampled several of the Dogfish Head varieties. Their pale ales are quite good. I’m not a big fan of brown ales.
And, yes, I’m much more likely to explore wines and beers that are novel than foods. That’s especially true in a restaurant. With foods, if the appearance, small, or description are unappetizing, I’ll tend to avoid it. With beer and wine, I can gravitate away from varieties that I’ve tried and found not to my taste.
Partly it’s a sunk costs issue — a beer is usually around $5 and you can get another one in a couple of minutes if you hate the one that you’re served — but it’s also a smaller degree of variability (at the end of the day, it’s still a beer).
Listen, Paulie. Taylor wasn’t the beer guy–it was me.
You are correct about Dogfish Head–I’ve been drinking it for years, the stuff is smooth.
The 90 Minute IPA will knock your socks off. (The 60 minute ain’t bad either).
Probably the only reason to go to Delaware is to visit the Dogfish brewpub–there IS a reason why Joe Biden is always walking around with that stupid grin on his face!
Triumph has issued the corrective–although I don’t mind being associated with a comment on good beer. I am pretty sure I have commented on beer-related posts in the past, so perhaps that’s where the confusion came in.
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