Beer

Watered down Bud? OH THE HUMANITY!

So I have to admit – it’s pretty damn hilarious to see Anheuser-Busch get sued for watering down their beers (including Budweiser and Michelob). I really thought that if it was watered down any more that it would be, well…. WATER.

Knowing that this comes off the tails of the announcement of Budweiser Black Crown – a pathetic attempt at creating a beer that tastes like something beer-like. (No I haven’t tried it, and no I won’t).

I know - I can't believe they lied to us either.

I know – I can’t believe they lied to us either.

I’m not really one of those people to get uppity about products. I don’t buy cage free eggs or make sure that every piece of clothing I purchase was made in America. But when it comes to beer, I have a different attitude.

Did you know that Anheuser-Busch, which merged with InBev in 2008 (which is based in Belgium – not America) controls 39% of the beer market?! 39 EFFING PERCENT!

The beer market is actually pretty fascinating. A documentary I would highly recommend you check out is called Beer Wars. You can check out the trailer here:

Piqued your interest? You can watch the rest of it fo’ free streaming on Netflix or on Hulu.

But seriously people. It’s crazy that they’re getting away with this and it’s crazy that we’re spending $22 BILLION as a nation on this garbage.

Do me a favor. Next time you’re craving a beer, try something new. Try something locally made if you can. Craft beers are called “craft” beers for a reason – making beer is an art. You don’t have to drink something that is mass produced in an assembly line fashion. Figure out what you really like in a beer, and don’t settle until you find it.

I promise – there’s the perfect beer out there waiting for you; and I’m pretty sure Anheuser-Busch doesn’t brew it.

Beers of Summer

There are few things more satisfying than kicking back on a porch with a cold beer at the end of a long summer day. Whether you were at work or hanging out on the beach, it is really the perfect ending to a day.

Over the past year I’ve really gotten into domestic seasonal ales – and some of the brews I’ve had this summer makes me dread the arrival of fall (despite my love for Oktoberfest and Pumpkin ales).

Here are some of my favorites -

Witbiers

White Rascal – Avery Brewing Company (Boulder, CO)

Swallow Wit – Middle Ages Brewing Co. (Syracuse, NY)

Belgian White – Long Trail Brewing Co. (Bridgewater Cors, VT)

Fruit Beers

Summer Shandy - Leinenkugel’s (Chippewa Falls, WI)

Porch Rocker - Samuel Adams (Boston, MA)

Apricot Wheat – Ithaca Beer Co. (Ithaca, NY)

Wheat Ales

Hop Sun – Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY)

312 Urban Wheat Ale – Goose Island (Chicago, IL)

Beer: A Love Affair

There are only a few things that I don’t mind spending money on:

  • My education (I have the student loans to prove it)
  • Apple products
  • A good meal
  • Great beer

I honestly can’t stand when I hear people say that they don’t like beer… “I just don’t like the taste of it” is the weakest excuse I’ve ever heard. If all you’ve ever tried is Keystone or Coors Light (which are brewed in the same barrels by the way) then OF COURSE you don’t like beer.

That’s like me saying I don’t like steak when all I’ve ever had is a steak quesadilla from Taco Bell (still delicious in my opinion). I truly believe that there is a filet mignon of beer for everyone, you just have to find it.

Dave LaPenna's home brew around the holidays. He's one of the best home brewers I know!

To be transparent, I haven’t always been this into beer. I have swigged my share fair of Natty Lights and Molson XXX’s. In college, I didn’t give a crap what the beer tasted like. When the bartender asked me what I wanted, I always just went for what was cheapest. I just didn’t know any better.

The first time I realized there were beers outside of Labatt Blue and the occasional Blue Moon was when I went down to New Orleans for an alternative spring break and I tried the local beer, Abita. After that, I started taking a closer look at the beer offerings when I went out for dinner or casual drinks (not the crazy outings with my college friends… our typical haunts didn’t have very, uh, diverse, offerings).

Moving to California after my senior year of college piqued my interest in beers again. I had never really drank any west coast beers, so I dabbled in Gordon Biersch and Sierra Nevada. Not exactly microbrews, but different from what I was used to.

Lucky for me, I became really good friends with a teacher at the school I worked at who opened my eyes to a whole new world of beer. While our tastes were the exact opposites (she’s into super hoppy beers and I am not) it was really awesome exploring different breweries and beers together.

A couple beers I picked up at Blanchards today... I tried the Scotch Ale at Beer Summit. The Lagunitas is a limited release that I had to try!

(Click here to check out my favorite breweries in Northern California.)

And now, I find myself in Boston living a ten minute walk away from the Sam Adam’s Brewery.

Boston is pretty much a beer lover’s dream. There are all kinds of great bars and pubs with excellent beer lists, and there is a quarterly Beer Summit where you can sample brews from 50+ breweries. It’s heaven.

One of the things I have started to really appreciate about beer lately is the seasonal offerings. I never really paid attention to seasonals until I moved out here and started going to Beer Summit and checking out the offerings at Blanchards, a liquor/beer/wine store with an excellent selection.

While there are still some lingering winter ales on tap around Boston, for the most part, you can get some good spring brews.

Right now, my favorite spring beer is Sam Adams Alpine Spring. If you can get your hands on it, I definitely recommend trying it. And while this isn’t a seasonal, I also highly recommend trying Allagash White Ale. Definitely the perfect beer to get you excited for spring to arrive.

Want to keep up with the beers I’m trying? Friend me on Untappd or follow my Beer Board pins on Pinterest.

Have a great beer suggestion? Let me know in the comments!