Beer Choices

Holy crap it’s almost been a year since I posted anything new! Why am I posting now? I don’t know…I just had the urge.

I was just at my favorite liquor store, DEPs, and it was the usual Friday sample day. They almost always have some beer company doing tastings at the front on a table. Today’s was from Dogfish Head, and all I can say is that it’s one of the best general breweries out there. You simply cannot go wrong with their stuff.

So in that mindset, here are my beer recommendations! These are not really in any particular pecking order.

  • Dogfish Head. Their IPAs are awesome and while you might like others better, theirs are generally great. I’m drinking the 60 Minute IPA right now. If someone asked me what an IPA should taste like, I’d hand them a 60-Minute.
  • Oskar Blues. I love everything they make, from the Yella Pils to the Dale’s Pale Ale. Frankly, when it’s just me, I always get Dale’s….love the stuff. Be careful, though, these things pack a punch with a pretty high ABV.
  • Sierra Nevada. The Pale Ale is great and perfect to take with you to a friend’s house for a get-together, but the Celebration Ale that is out every Thanksgiving-New Years is killer. We buy a lot of it in the winter.
  • Pilsner Urquell. The original pilsner beer from the Czech Republic. Get it in the cans; it’s just better that way. You can pair it with pizza, barbecue, you name it, and it just goes down great. Perfect for a sporting event or a tailgate party, as it’s about 4.5% alcohol and you won’t get so tanked that you can’t enjoy the game. The Czechs drink more beer per capita than anyone else in the world, and the only Czech I’ve met said her family drinks this all the time. Who am I to argue? In terms of imported beer, PU has just a little more flavor than a Carlsberg or Heineken. Not that I can’t put those away, too, but I always choose Pilsner Urquell instead.
  • Miller High Life. The Champagne of Beers never does ya wrong. Especially when you’re out on the patio in the summer with a grill going, or cooling down after mowing the lawn. The stuff is darned near as cheap as Coca-Cola. A secret I learned: If you’re in the French Quarter of New Orleans and you ask for it at a bar, you’ll discover that it’s the “industry beer”. They keep it in stock for other people in the bar business there…they usually run a couple bucks a bottle. Sady, the only place I’ve ever had it on tap was at Miller Park in Milwaukee. I wish the Cincinnati Reds would roll with it.
  • Something local. I live in Cincinnati and there are a ton of microbrews around, both that can/bottle their stuff and just sell in their bars. Madtree, Rhinegeist, Taft’s, and Christian Moerlien are just a few of the very high quality beers we have locally. If you recently heard of the “guy from Ohio who only drank beer during Lent”, he works at 50 West Brewing here in town and it’s pretty great, too. Really, there are so many here in town that you could never drink through them all. (edit: Unless you’re the guy who only drank beer for 40 days.) You might find one you don’t like, but damn, I don’t know. I usually opt for the “Rounding Third IPA” from Madtree, “Hustle” from Rhinegiest, or the “Third Wave IPA” from Moerlein. I like IPAs and they are all good. Rounding Third is probably my favorite beer of all…they call it a red IPA and it’s smooth as silk but still hoppy. Plus the can is absolutely gorgeous, as if that matters. To me it does.
  • Budweiser at a Reds game. I have never in my life brought home an Anheiser-Busch product. This isn’t that I hate them or think they are the devil or anything else. I just have ALWAYS considered myself a Miller man, even before I worked at a Miller brewery for half a decade. But when you’re at a Reds game, in the heat of the stadium in the blazing sun, the only option is the 24oz Bud. It’s still $9, but I see a 24oz cup as being two beers….so $4.50 a beer doesn’t hurt my feelings as much. And, much like a High Life on the patio, you have to go with real American lager at a baseball game. I wish they had High Life, but since they don’t, I’ll drink Buds. Still though….NEVER Bud Light. NEVER.

Beer snobs love to argue about beer and brands and varieties as much as computer geeks love to argue over text editors. The reality is no one is wrong and no one is right. Beer is about your own personal taste. If you like throwing back cans of Milwaukee’s Best, then by God go for it. If you want some $10 bottle from Belgium, have at it. I don’t consider myself a beer snob at all, as I really like them all. I just choose differently based upon the situation and my mood. 99% of the time, the beer I bring home comes from the list above.

If you do comments here, what are your choices?

Written on April 19, 2019