Tag Archives: American Lager

Sam Adams Porch Rocker – Brew Review

As the voice of our generation Will Smith once said “Summer summer summertime, time to sit back and unwind”. The beauty of that simple prose is that “unwind” could mean anything: chilling out, maxing, even relaxing all cool. But I like to think that it signifies that glorious age-old pastime of drinking a crisp summer beer on a hot day. So I went and tried Sam Adams Porch Rocker, and boy did I get “Jiggy with It”.

Porch Rocker 1I am whiter than this guy

I’ve written about Sam Adams before; I’m a huge fan of their Cherry Wheat because  mixing grenadine in an IPA tastes like shit, and a Shirley Temple wont get me drunk. The Porch Rocker is a limited release beer, it’s described as a combination of “lager & tart lemonade”, and based on a mixed drink called the Bavarian Radler.

The Porch Rocker pours a light golden color with a dense, white head. The smell is all lemonade; any beer notes are overpowered by the sweet, lemony aroma. The taste follows suit, with tangy sweet citrus dominating the flavor, with just the slightest bit of a bready malt.

Porch Rocker 2

Should I Drink It?

I wasn’t a huge fan of this beer. I think the tartness of lemon can bring out a lot of great flavors in a brew, and a lot of great beers  balance the two flavors. The problem was Porch Rocker was all lemonade, and I missed the beer flavor. It is refreshing, so not a bad choice for a hot day,  but also not the best.

Good news though, the Huffington Post has a list of a couple of great summer beers you (and lets me honest, I) should try before the seasons over. Take a look, and try something new.

 

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Milwaukee’s Best Ice – Brew Review

Yesterday was a truly gorgeous day; the sun was shining, there was a warm breeze, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was the kind of day you wait for all winter and savor when it finally arrives, pure bliss.  So I decided to taint it with a terrible beer: Milwaukee’s Best Ice. Brewed by MillerCoors, it won the bronze medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup in American-Style Special Lager and holds a coveted score of “Zero” on ratebeer.com.

Milwaukee's Best 3

Milwaukee’s Best Ice pours a pale golden color with a clean, white, porous head. It smells like corn and metal, with some artificial sweetness. The taste is more delicate than the smell suggested; a watery combination of grain, corn, and chemicals, with an aftertaste that clings to your tongue. The beer is smooth and crisp, with plenty of carbonation.

Milwaukee's Best 4

What I’m saying is if this is the best Milwaukee has to offer, I never want to visit Milwaukee.

So I decided to do a little investigating (Wikipedia) to find some other positive things that Milwaukee could brag about before this beer. Hey Milwaukee, why not consider one of these things your “best”?:

Named one of the “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006
Lake Michigan
The city is home to Harley Davidson
Not Detroit
Milwaukee Bucks
Setting of the movie Bridesmaids
Site of a very important 1947 Earthquake
The city has a life-size bronze statue of the Fonz

Should I drink it?
Milwaukees Best 1
No.

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5 Beer Myths Debunked

Does beer have to be super cold to be enjoyable?

Does beer have to be super cold to be enjoyable?

When I started drinking beer, I was under the impression that it only came in one flavor, and that flavor was gross. After sampling the gamut from Keystone Ice to Keystone Light (it was college), I assumed I didn’t like beer because all beer tasted like bubbly sadness that was wrapped in regret and peed on by a dehydrated bull elephant. Years later, when I was properly introduced to the stuff, I was blown away by the variety of scents, tastes, and textures you can experience in a pint. A hollow sadness swept over me; I had wasted so many years drinking cheap pomegranate-flavored vodka when I could have enjoyed crisp lagers, robust stouts, and powerful IPAs.

Which brings me to the subject of beer myths. There are certain generally-accepted “truths” about beer that are complete hogwash (pardon my French). Worst of all, like my cheap beer mishap, these myths could prevent people from enjoying beer to the fullest and experiencing all the greatness craft beer has to offer.

Here are 5 very common beer myths, and the truth behind them:

1. Beer is best when it’s super cold: This is probably the biggest beer myth out there, and it’s propagated by America’s macrobrew industry. Beer commercials are full of snow-capped mountains, frosty glasses, and beer being yanked from buckets of ice.  Industry leaders  are constantly debuting new cold-can technologies, and restaurants brag about having the world’s coldest beer on tap. The truth is when beer is served at room temperature, it unlocks certain flavors and scents and showcases the complexity of the brew. The exact temps vary from style to style, but ratebeer.com has a great guide to help you out.

2. The darker the beer, the more alcohol: There is an assumption that dark beers like stouts and porters have a higher alcohol content than light-colored lagers. The truth is the color of beer comes from the malts, which are roasted for certain beers to give them a darker color and a nutty flavor without impacting the alcohol levels. For example, the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of a Guinness is 4.1%, which is slightly less than Bud Light (4.2%).

3. Beer “skunks” when it is exposed to changing temperatures: If you had ever tasted skunked beer, you’d remember what it tastes like; just thinking about that sulfur smell is enough to make you queasy. The myth is that beer gets that way from being exposed to changing temperatures (cold to warm), when in fact it’s the light that affects the taste. This is why most beer makers choose brown bottles for their product.

4. US Beers are second-rate: US beer gets a bad rap world wide, the belief being that Budweiser and MillerCoors set the standard for all brewing in America. This is completely false; there are tons of amazing beers brewed right here, in fact there’s an entire week dedicated to craft brewing in the United States. If you step out of the haze of macrobrews and look to your local breweries, you might be surprised by how great the beer is in the good old Brew-S-A.

5. All beer tastes pretty much the same: False! If all you’ve ever had is American Lagers, expand your horizons. There’s a beer out there for everyone, and I promise you you’ll find one (probably more) you’ll fall in love with.

Keep these myths in mind the next time you grab for a beer, and happy drinking!

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Sol – Brew Review

It’s Cinco de Mayo (or as they say in Mexico, “El Cinco de Mayo”), a holiday that no one really understands but still use as an excuse to drink (just like St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas). So in honor of the fifth of May, I thought I’d sample a Mexican beer for today’s Brew Review. Corona is usually considered the official beer of chasing tequila shots while wearing a sombrero, but it was sold out when I went to the store so instead I went with Sol.

Viva Cerveza!

Sol beer was introduced in 1899 and is brewed by the Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery in Monterrey, Mexico. Owned by Heineken International, the company also brews Dos Equis, Tecate, and a handful of other beers. Sol is an American lager, a light and fizzy style that includes popular staples like Budweiser, PBR, and Coors.

Sol Cactus

The beer was a clear, warm yellow with an thin white head that bubbled off quickly.  The smell and taste were underwhelming; there was a grainy scent that showed up heavily in the taste as well, along with some sweetness and a corny finish (tastes like corn, not like the end of a rom-com). The aftertaste sticks around and is a bit metallic. After tasting it straight, I squeezed a lime wedge into the stuff, which made it brighter and more refreshing.

Sol Bottle

Should I drink it?

Sol is a decent beer for a day like Cinco de Mayo. If it’s hot outside and your chowing down on some spicy Mexican food, the crispness of a cold bottle with lime is a nice compliment. On its own, the beer is not that great; it is a little boring and the aftertaste is really strong without the lime to cut it. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s better than some other American lagers that I’ve tasted.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some nachos that aren’t going to eat themselves.

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