Tag Archives: beer

Budweiser

Budweiser is a beer. It’s the only beer for a lot of people. Brand loyalty goes a long way and I know a lot of people that prefer Budweiser over water. My feelings on Budweiser are mixed. It’s too popular, it’s too bland, and it’s too pretentious. They call themselves the king of beers. They’ve even temporarily relabeled themselves as America instead of Budweiser as part of some bizarre marketing ploy. They proudly admit to being made partially from rice. Rice is nice but most beer lovers prefer hops and barley.

Budweiser is drinkable though. I have to give them that. It has a consistently crisp and refreshing taste. It doesn’t really get skunky. It’s my preferred tall boy for beach days because it’s cheap, it’s not too heavy, and it comes in twenty-five ounce cans. Most tall boys are twenty-four ounces. That extra ounce means you’re getting more bang for your buck.

I prefer to drink craft beer when I’m at a bar or at home. I like IPAs and sours and the occasional stout if the weather is cold. Whenever I buy a six pack of something nice I’ll still pick up a tall boy of Budweiser as well. I drink the good beer until I’m nice and toasty and then I’ll switch over to Bud when I’m drunk. That way I won’t waste my good beer when I’m too fucked up to enjoy it. That’s not alcoholism, that’s using my noodle. Budweiser is not the best beer. I wouldn’t even call it a good beer. But it’s beer and that’s enough reason for me to drink it.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ordering “Beer” at a Bar

I bartend at a tourist trap in San Francisco. That means I deal with a lot of people that don’t know how to order drinks. At least twice a shift I will ask a customer what they want to drink, and they will respond with “Beer.” I just shake my head and explain to them that this isn’t Hollywood. This isn’t a movie. You don’t just say “Beer” and get a beer. Do you want bottle or draft? Do you want something imported, domestic, or a local craft brew? Do you want a lager, an ale, a stout, a porter, a wheat beer or an IPA? You have to be more specific. If you want a Budweiser, then order a fucking Budweiser. I don’t have time to hold your hand and walk you through the menu. I’m too busy helping people who actually know what they want to drink. The next motherfucker who asks me for a beer is getting a glass of O’Doul’s and the middle finger. You wanted a beer, you got one. Now fuck off. 

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ben & Jerry’s New Belgium Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale

I like beer. I like ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s New Belgium Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale combines the two. They use New Belgium Brown Ale ice cream and combine it with fudge brownies and salted caramel swirls. I was expecting to get a slight whiff of beer when I took off the lid, but it just smelled like normal ice cream. Well, I’ve never really smelled ice cream before but it didn’t seem to have much of an aroma at all. I took a spoonful and put it in my mouth. My first thoughts were that it was smooth and creamy and not much else. I took another bite, and then another, trying to find a distinguishing flavor, but there really isn’t one. It doesn’t taste like a brown ale at all. It’s bland. I can taste the caramel and brownies, but the New Belgium Brown Ale ice cream is more boring than vanilla. I was expecting an ice cream that tasted like beer. I just got ice cream. Meh. It’s a limited batch. It’s going away soon. Good.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Retox

My friend came over the other day to hang out for a few hours. Being the good host that I am, I offered her a beer. She said no and I asked her why. She said it was because she was doing a detox. I was totally supportive of her decision but I still cracked a beer open for myself. Some people choose to detox. Good for them. I choose to retox. It’s more fun. I retox almost every night. It’s what happens when you work in the restaurant industry. You work hard and play harder. Plus there are days when customers bring you down and crush your spirit. A little booze does a lot to revitalize oneself. If you do retox, retox responsibly. Use coasters and try not to spill anything. That’s alcohol abuse.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Your Father Smelt of Elderberries (beer, not an insult)

Your Father Smelt of Elderberries is a beer from Stone Brewing Co.’s Stochasticity Project and a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s a medieval-style ale brewed with elderberries. It’s a pretty interesting brew. It pours a dark amber color with a thin off-white head. It has a fruity, malty aroma with a hint of wood. It tastes more bitter than I expected. There’s fruit, malt, smoke, a little wood. It reminds me more of a barley wine than an amber ale. It has a hefty 10.3% alcohol content, so it’s a heavy beer. A couple of these will make you sleepy. It’s not my favorite offering from the Stochasticity Project, but it’s one of the more memorable ones. I bought a few bottles to age, but I’ll probably end up drinking them within the week. It’s a decent beer, but it’s a limited brew so you should buy it now while you have the chance.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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$100 for 13 Bottles of Bud Light

I was hanging out with some friends at the bar the other night and last call snuck up on us. Suddenly the bar was closing and it was too late to run to the liquor store. My friend was desperate to keep the party going. How desperate? Well, she gave the bartender fifty bucks to take home thirteen bottles of Bud Light. And she tipped fifty bucks on top of that. Let that sink in. She spent $100 for 13 bottles of Bud Light. If that’s not a waste of money, I don’t know what is. You can get a 12-pack of Bud Light for less than fifteen bucks, or you can spend twenty bucks and get a 12-pack of good beer. She chose to waste a hundred bucks on thirteen shitty beers. To each their own, but that’s fucking ridiculous. I couldn’t even drink one. I was too busy shaking my head.

Critically Rated at 2/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Cracking a Beer

Cracking a beer is something that should be taken seriously. Opening a bottle of beer is a commitment. You’re investing time and money into another round. It’s not something that you should be taking lightly. There’s no going back once you’ve opened a beer. You either have to drink it or waste it, and it’s practically illegal to waste beer. There’s not a law against it, but there should be. Don’t crack open a beer if you can’t drink it. It’s as simple as that. Or give it to me if you can’t finish it. And yes, this post was inspired by a beer that I cracked open at 1:47 a.m. last night. I regret nothing.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Drake’s Jolly Rodger 2014 Imperial Coffee Stout

Drake’s Jolly Rodger is an impressive Imperial Coffee Stout. It’s brewed by San Leandro, California’s Drake’s Brewing Company and uses Blue Bottle Coffee beans to create a rich, dark stout. It pours a dark brown with a nice tan head. The aroma is coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of vanilla. The taste is of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, bready malts, nuts, and toffee. It has an impressive 9% alcohol content. This is the perfect beer for cold winter nights. It makes you want to light a couple of candles or chill by the fire with a good book. This is a sit-on-you-ass-and-not-go-anywhere beer. It means you are officially in relax mode and can ignore the outside world.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale

A Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale is a summer seasonal version of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. It’s higher gravity, meaning that it has more booze in it. It comes in at around 8.9% alcohol by volume, so it’s a strong brew. It pours a nice golden orange color with a thick white head. The nose is a lot of citrus, spice, cloves, with a hint of bubblegum. It has an interesting taste. They describe it as a Belgian IPA and I can see why. I get a lot of pine and citrus with the spiciness you’d expect from a Belgian Ale. It’s delicious. I wish it was available year round, that’s why I’m not complaining that I found a summer brew in the middle of November. It’s one of my favorite beers from one of my favorite breweries.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Xocoveza Mocha Stout (beer)

San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. is one of the best microbreweries in America and their Xocoveza Mocha Stout is just one of many reasons why. The recipe was created by a guy named Chris Banker and it was good enough to win a homebrewing competition. Stone took his recipe and collaborated with Mexico’s Cervezería Insurgente to bring Xocoveza Mocha Stout to the masses. This is one of the best stouts that I’ve ever had. It has a rich aroma, full of cocoa, coffee, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and toasted malts. It tastes even better than it smells. I get coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some cloves, and there’s a little bit of heat on the finish because they brew it with chili peppers. Chris Banker says that he was inspired to create a beer version of Mexican hot chocolate. He succeeded spectacularly. This is a very drinkable beer, even with the 8.1% alcohol content. It warms you up and leaves you wanting more. Too bad it’s a limited batch and it’s hard to find. I was lucky enough to get in on draft. I would definitely grab a few bottles to hoard if I come across any in a liquor store.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Fireside Chat (beer)

Fireside Chat is a winter spiced ale from 21st Amendment Brewery. 21st Amendment Brewery (also called 21A) is one of San Francisco’s best microbreweries and Fireside Chat is one of my favorite seasonals. The beer is named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous radio addresses. They even put a cheerful cartoon image of FDR sitting in front of a comfy fire. It’s an English-style brown ale brewed with spices. The aroma is of spice, cinnamon, raisin, coffee, cloves, and maybe a little vanilla. It tastes of sweet malt with allspice, cloves, cinnamon, figs, nutmeg, cocoa, vanilla, and coffee. It’s categorized as a Winter Warmer and that’s a great way to describe it. It’s perfect for those long, dark, cold winter nights that are soon to be in abundance. It also has a 7.9% alcohol content so you can stretch out a six pack with a friend. Get it, sip it, enjoy it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Falling Asleep and Wasting a Good Beer

Yesterday I went to the bar after work to watch the San Francisco Giants take on the Washington Nationals for Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS. I only got a beer every other inning, but the game ended up going 18 innings and lasting six hours and twenty-three minutes before the Giants finally eked out a victory. Naturally, I celebrated with another beer. Then it was time to go home because I was pretty hammered. I skated to the subway and caught a train home. I cracked open another beer and made a sandwich when I got back. I kind of blacked out at that point because I don’t remember much after that, other than watching Harry Potter and getting crumbs all over the floor. I know that I passed out because I woke up for work this morning and saw a half-full bottle of beer on the table. And it was a good beer too. Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale is practically precious. I hate falling asleep and wasting a good beer. But I’ve found a decent solution for my after work beers: I’ll drink one quality craft brew and one inferior domestic like a Budweiser or Coor’s. I have no problems with falling asleep and wasting a shitty beer.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Guinness

Guinness is an Irish Dry Stout from Ireland. It’s one of the most popular beers in the world, and I don’t know why. It’s extremely overrated and not that enjoyable. It’s rich and creamy with hints of caramel, coffee, and roasted barley. It looks dark and tastes heavy, but it’s deceiving because it’s only 4.2% alcohol. That’s less booze than Budweiser. It’s more filling than Budweiser so you can’t drink more of them to make up for the lack of booze. Guinness drinkers take Guinness way too seriously. They will only drink it on draft, and only if it’s poured correctly. Yes, there’s a specific way to pour Guinness. I won’t go into details because I don’t care about pouring a shitty beer a specific way. Look up instructional videos on YouTube if you really care that much. The best thing about Guinness is the brand recognition. Guinness is a beer that even non-beer drinkers know, mostly because of the Guinness Book of World Records. The Guinness Book of World Records lists a bunch of random records like the fastest bird, highest-selling musical artists, heaviest human being, etc. it sounds educational, but it was created to settle bar bets. Now we use iPhones and Google to win arguments. Guinness is a decent beer, but it doesn’t deserve the acclamations it gets. It’s a boring beer.
Critically Rated at 10/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Chilled Pint Glass

I have an awesome roommate. She’s clean, respectful, she likes to cook and she makes extra for me to eat, and she always keeps a couple of pint glasses in the freezer. Nothing brings out the flavor of a beer like a chilled pint glass or a nice frosty mug after a long day at work. It’s hard to improve a quality craft brew, but pouring a bottle into a chilled pint glass is always a good start. You don’t want to drink from the bottle or a can anyway. Start keeping a few glasses in the freezer and experience beer the way you should. Be be forewarned, you can’t go back once you’ve start using chilled pint glasses. You wouldn’t want to anyway, but you are going to lose valuable freezer space.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bud Light Lime Raz-Ber-Rita

Bud Light Lime Raz-Ber-Rita is a raspberry flavored malt beverage that isn’t sure if it wants to be a beer or a margarita. It has the sweet and tangy raspberry flavor combined with the mellow zing of a Bud Light Lime. It’s a weird concoction. They suggest that you pour it over ice. You should never pour beer over ice. I don’t know why they want you to pour it over ice. Just sip it from the can like a normal person. It’s still a Bud Light no matter what artificial flavors and syrups they add to it. The can says that it’s a Margarita with a Twist. I’m guessing the twist is that it doesn’t have any tequila in it. That’s pretty unusual for a margarita. The most redeeming feature of this mediocre drink is the fact that it’s 8% alcohol by volume so you’ll get more buzzed drinking one of these than a regular Budweiser. I really wouldn’t recommend either.

            Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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National IPA Day

August 7, 2014 is National IPA Day, a day to celebrate any beer fortunate enough to be labeled an India Pale Ale. IPAs are known for their bitter and hoppy taste and date back to the early 1800s when the British had to send beer that wouldn’t spoil to India. IPAs have a lot more flavor than domestic lagers and have an acquired taste. Nobody truly enjoys their first IPA. You have to keep drinking them before you start appreciating them. I started drinking them a few years ago and now consider craft brewed IPAs to be my go-to beer. Bold taste, high alcohol percentage, filling… all hallmarks of a delicious beer to me. You don’t need a real reason to drink good beer, but National IPA Day is a good excuse to do so. I’m commemorating the holiday with a nice stout because I’m a rebel like that.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Buying Cans of Beer at the Bar

I was at the bar the other day and couldn’t help but notice when a bunch of bros walked in and ordered six cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I’m not a big fan of PBR but I don’t shit on it, but I still couldn’t figure out why you would go to a bar and essentially order a six pack of a cheap domestic that you can get at the store for a quarter of the cost. In fact I don’t know why anybody would buy cans of beer at a bar. Get something on tap or at least get a bottle of something decent. Live a little. Canned domestics have no place in a decent bar. I can’t respect you if you order a can of Budweiser from a bartender. The bartender won’t respect you either.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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