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- Couple of questions...
November 3, 2005, 2:51 am
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I spent most of my 20s not drinking any beer. None. Various reasons.
Anyways, I've rediscovered beer. I like it. A few questions for
1) How much beer do you drink in a given week or month? Do you drink
to get a buzz?
2) While I really like Guinness, i find it baffling that it is
considered a "dark" or a "stout". To me it seems a little on the
thin/weak side compared to other dark beers and stouts that i've had
(some of which I haven't necessarily liked). Yet I hear lots of folks
that boast about drinking Guinness as if it is some "machismo"
acheivement. Like I said, *I* really like it, but I consider it very
3) Speaking of dark beers- particularly the quite bitter ones such as
porter stouts and oktoberfest/maibock types, are you supposed to drink
them warm or cold? It seems that the bitterness is a bit out of hand
with some of them when drank cold. Letting them warm up to room
temperature seems to make them more rounded and 'even'.
4) Seems that beer is subjective. One man's holy grail is another
man's bedpan. Go read ratebeer.com reviews for examples. While I
don't like the typical BMC stuff, I notice that I *do* like a lot of
stuff that many people don't- i.e. Leinenkugel offerings, Hofbrauhaus,
even Michelob Amberbock.
5) What are "adjuncts". I've dug around in this ng (and read on
ratebeer.com) lots of stuff about "you can really taste the metallic
adjuncts in X", but I'm not sure I know what that means.
6) I still say that Toi Sennhauser's "Original Pussy Beer" is a bunch
of bullshit. ;)
Thanks for any and all!
Re: Couple of questions...
Highly varies. Not specifically.
"Dark" obviously refers to color. And that's it. It certainly qualifies as a
"Stout" encompasses a very wide range of beers, from the light, dry stouts
like Guinness Draught, to beefier, stronger varieties like Guinness Extra
Stout or a lot of the American craft brewed stouts, to ginormous,
high-strength stouts like various versions of imperial stout. What makes a
stout a stout is the use of a lot of roasted malts, giving it both its
darkness and roasty character.
Guinness Draught is definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum. It's
very light, actually (less alcohol and a lower starting gravity than the
likes of Bud). And, to me, there's really not a whole lot of there, there. I
find it tremendously uninteresting and I drink it only when there's nothing
A lot of people equate dark with strong. They do so erroneously. There is
nothing big about Guinness Draught. The bottled stuff, Guinness Extra, is a
different story. Well, it was before Labbatt got their filthy hands on it.
You consider correctly, IMO.
You're mixing a couple styles that have some similarities but are not
synonymous. Well, porter and stout are real close, and the differences
usually are handy as reference only for breweries that make both a porter
and a stout - otherwise, there's no real practical difference between them.
Oktoberfests and Maibocks are quite different, other than both being lagers.
And I would consider either particularly bitter. Maibocks can be quite dry,
but bitter and dry are not the same thing.
In broad strokes, I generally drink ales, which would cover your porters and
stouts in the styles you mentioned, a bit warmer than I would drink lagers,
which would cover the Oktoberfests and Maibocks. None of the above should be
drunk at typical American refrigeration temps, however. Speaking again
broadly, I would shoot for 50-55F for ales, around 45F for lagers.
That said, bigger, stronger, beefier beers tend to work better at the warmer
end of the spectrum, while lighter beers (by that I mean the likes of
Bohemian/German pils, Bavarian helles, etc.) work better a bit colder. I've
had doppelbocks around 60F that were delicious; I wouldn't want a helles
You numb your taste buds at colder temps, so you're less sensitive to a wide
range of tastes.
Oh yeah. Anything involving taste is. You think people get in ridiculously
minute arguments about beer? Try getting an argument about the best pizza
going. The beer arguments are child's play.
There's nothing wrong at all with drinking what you like, and telling
everyone else to fuck off. Frankly, I wish more people would do that.
There's a lot of conformity in beer geek circles, with people striving to
like the beers they're "supposed" to like and shunning the beers they're
"supposed" to hate.
You know what? I've had the good fortune to travel to all the major beer
producing countries and drink some of the world's very best and, in some
cases, rarest beers. I'm very picky and snobbish (not just regarding beer).
And, sometimes, I like PBR. Am I going to hold up PBR as an example of
everything beer should be? Hell no. But sometimes, when I'm in the mood,
it's just the right thing.
Drink what you like. The only people I really have problems with when it
comes to that are the people who never venture out of their comfort zone and
try new things. And, frankly, there are plenty of Sierra Nevada drinkers who
are just as guilty of being close-minded one-trick ponies as a mass of Coors
Well, I'd be suspicious of anyone mentioning metallic adjuncts, unless
they're referring specifically to Goldschlager.
Beer consists of four basic ingredients: water, yeast, hops and malted
grain, most typically barley. Any ingredients that provide fermentable
sugars beyond malt are considered adjuncts. Common adjuncts include corn,
rice (primarily in Bud, but there are some scattered other examples) and
various forms of sugar.
Adjuncts are not in and of themselves bad. Good luck finding a Belgian or
English beer that doesn't use at least a portion of sugar or corn. It's the
amount that causes problems. The Belgians and Brits may get like 5 or 10
percent of their fermentables from adjuncts. Stuff like Bud, Miller, Coors,
Stella, Carling, Molson, etc. get upwards of a quarter to 40-something
percent from adjuncts. They leave the beer tasting thin and flabby, in most
Metallic flavors usually come from other things.
Re: Couple of questions...
~2 beers a day, more or less. I drink for quality, not quantity -- NOT
to get a buzz, although a fortuitous side effect if it happens.
Definitely "easy drinking", but there are much better stouts than
Guinness. Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout is my current favorite (props
to Dan Iwerks).
It varies from beer to beer. Many beers are better in the 45 deg. F
range. Maerzens and doppelbocks are sweet enough that you can drink
them quite cold with no bitterness.
Go with what you like, that's what I do. Except, I find that I am
"maturing" as a beer drinker and my tastes are gravitating slowly
towards what the true "beers snobs" rant and rave about. Yeah, the Mich
isn't too bad for a macro, I've even been known to drink Killians. But
nothing beats coming home to a fridge stocked with DFH, Allagash, etc.
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is."
-- Yogi Berra
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