November 10th, 2010
Fancy Brews: Rich Bets for Poor Taste
You may have perused our ode to the other side of the brew-master’s craft—Go-To Brews: A High Salute to Low Standards recently. But what’s an honoring of the underbelly without a close examination of those that go over the top? If your brew breaks the bank during the internationally recognized happy hour time slot from 4-7, it had better be mighty tasty. Those beers that hide behind refined tradition and snooty airs but don’t pull through with a top-notch product aren’t safe from our wrath, so without further ado, it’s time to rock the beer boat a bit.
Paulener Hefe-Weisse (aka: El Jefe, Gestapo, Paulette)
Tastes Like: The ant jacuzzi of syrup left in the microwave, dusty gas station beef jerky, radish, and thinking you’ve got the right-of-way when merging left on the Auto-bahn.
Best Paired With: Waffle fries, caviar spread cardboard and fried pickles, but only when you can’t dig that gnawed-on sausage-on-a-stick out of the garbage without the Constable seeing.
Likely to be Seen at: Any German themed festival in Texas, in any German themed restaurant or safely tucked in your AC service provider’s beard.
Unofficial Slogan: “Lustig amerikanischen, ist es das Steel Reserve von Deutschland.”
Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat (aka: Leinenkagel’s, ———— (Redacted), Swheat)
Tastes Like: Rusty pennies, a cold stone mortar and pestle, the fiber bar your dad left in the seat cushion of your car and dandelion thistle.
Best Paired With: Cheddar cheese, apple pie, deer sausage and rubber gloves. At the same time.
Likely to be Seen at: That “authentic” Oktoberfest your buddy throws every year that has yet to lure more than three guests, in your fridge, from two years ago when you thought you’d give it a try, only to save the remaining five for unwanted company (don’t waste the good beer on them).
Unofficial Slogan: “When the sun sets on normal standards-we’re still around.”
Tastes Like: That stained mattress in Room 312 at the Super 8 on 45.
Likely to be Seen at: Novice art collector house parties, “slightly imperfect” bin at TJ Maxx. T-shirts from Target.
Unofficial Slogan: “There are two things that the Dutch do well: Grolsch is not one of them.”
Amstel Light (aka: Can’t-Tell Light, Amsterdamns, Hamsters)
Tastes Like: Toast, a worn out discolored pillow, your old four inch wide neck-ties, wooden handles and mediocrity.
Unofficial Slogan: “Amstel Light: Is this really what you came to Amsterdam for?”
Heineken (aka: Heinies, Hein Legs, Schmeineken)
Tastes Like: Selenium and the ancient grout keeping the Amsterdam Cathedral together.
Likely to be Seen at: Your work’s happy hour, in the hands of your department’s residential ass-kiss, or at any restaurant being payed off by the Houston Distributing Company to have at least one import brew. Somehow it’s a staple.
Unofficial Slogan: “Holland’s inside joke on the US never gets old!”
Shiner Smokehouse (aka: Woody, Tarwater, Shiner Nicetries)
Tastes Like: That time you went on a spiritual journey in a tee-pee filled with wood smoke, or that time you ate a cigarette on a dare.
Best Paired With: Bbq opossum or fishsticks in a pinch.
Likely to be Seen at: Spoetzl Cult seances and “educated” NASCAR fan picnics. Robert Morris’ fridge.
Unofficial Slogan: “Surgeon General’s Warning: Product causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and may complicate pregnancy.”
Beck’s (aka: Perdedor, Green Bottles, Greenies)
Tastes Like: The water in Schlacte of Brehmen after a hearty night of drinking at the Biergärten, melba toast, the wind-shield wiper blade of a Mercedes taxi-cab, and a pewter spoon.
Best Paired With: Alphabet Soup, stromboli, Chesterfield cigerettes, or dark rye bread dipped in Nutella.
Likely to be Seen at: My dad’s 60th birthday party, happy hours across the city of Seidlingen after that Mercedes end-of-day whistle bloweth, or in the Harrison Ford movie pictured above.
Unofficial Slogan: “We should have stuck to two turntables and a microphone.”
Michelob Ultra (aka: Armstrong’s, Gatorade, Lobo’s)
Tastes Like: Watery Motrin, my kid’s snotty nose and run-off water from the I-45 over-pass that crosses Memorial Drive.
Best Paired With: Sweaty yoga pants, the P90x drinking game, rice cakes and a bike ride with Lance Armstrong.
Likely to be Seen at: Irish pubs that host social running clubs, college swim-meets and Tea’s fridge (that’s his weekday beer).
Unofficial Slogan: “The taste is not worth the calories not consumed.”
Budweiser Select (aka: Budweiser Reject, Budwater, Anti-Beer)
Tastes Like: A weak pot of coffee made on yesterday’s grounds, a soggy Merrell after a day’s hike, and that last sip of backwash left in your bottle a’ Bud.
Best Paired With: McFish, gnochi, a portobello mushroom sandwich, or saltwater taffy.
Likely to be Seen at: Your buddy Fred’s house after pumpin’ the iron, Tupperware parties and Purgatory. Also, 7-11.
Unofficial Slogan: “If you really cared about the carbs or taste, you wouldn’t have eaten that McFish”
Samuel Adam’s Blackberry Witbier/ Cherry Wheat (aka: Pop, The Silly Patriot, Sarsaparilla)
Tastes Like: The way Yankee Candle Co. products smell. Old mulberry pie.
Best Paired With: A lack of self-respect. Please note: every time these liquids are consumed with traditional beer grub (steaks, burgers, strong cheeses, oysters etc.) a forefather punches a kitten angel.
Likely to be Seen at: Rice tailgates, soirees in Nantucket and stockpiled in the dumpsters behind liquor stores anywhere below the 40th Parallel.
Unofficial Slogan: “Making brewer patriots roll in their graves by adding jam flavors to beer.”