Off topic

 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16027
Registered: May-04
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Seems the forum's kind of slow right now. No one really buying anything and not even much listening going on. We seem to have lost a few regulars along the way - I assume Nuck as some sweet young thing on his mind. What better way to liven it up than discussing beer?

I've been online to find a few comments but want to know what you guys think.

Has anyone here tried Italian beer? Obviously, I'm of Italian heritage and I cook Italian food. I can't warm up to the taste of Heineken or most ales. They overwhelm the food - this is why Italians drink wines - and don't do much for me just to drink when I want a beer. My standby is Fosters blue and green for most day to day refreshment.

I tend to prefer Pilsners and like a beer with some carbonation to cut the thirst. The most popular Italian beer that's commonly available over here is Birra Peroni. Keep in mind the Italians wouldn't produce something like Budweiser. Has anyone here tried Peroni? What's your opinion?




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Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14165
Registered: Feb-05
Never tried Peroni. I enjoy many of the craft brews of the PNW. I try at least one new one every weekend.

Have to give the Peroni a try, if I can find it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4369
Registered: May-05
Peroni is a decent beer, if my memory serves me correctly. I used to bartend at an Italian restaurant when I was an undergrad. It's been a dozen or so years since I've tried it, and it was once or twice at that. Moretti was another Italian beer we served. It seemed to be more popular.

Not sure what's available locally for you as far as craft brews/micro brews are concerned. A great beer to try is Sierra Nevada's pale ale. Last I heard, it was the most popular craft brew around. It's one of my favorites, and definitely not a watered down p poor excuse for a beer. It's a craft brew that's easy to drink for people to get started in this, yet definitely good enough to keep most die hards coming back.

Everyone's idea of overpowering is different, as I'm sure you know. Some think stouts like Guinness are over powering and heavy too. It's actually relatively bland and one of the lightest beers around. As back up to my claim of lightness, ever see Guinness sink in a black and tan? I've seen it once - with Coor's Light. We were trying to prove Guinness was lighter than anything out there one night in the bar. Coor's Light is lighter, but that's about it.

Another easy to drink craft brew, so to speak, is Bass Ale. Boddington's Pub Ale is too, but it's a bit on the sweet side for my tastes. It's not a fruity beer by any means, and you probably wouldn't think it was sweet if you haven't had very many craft brews.

So, for an easier craft brew, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale has a bit of a bit, but not much, and Bass is a bit smoother without tasting watered down.

I'm a huge Porter fan, personally. I could give you a few names to seek out, but I'm not sure you're into that style of beer.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14166
Registered: Feb-05
Deschutes Brewery has a number of easy going options but I tend to like their more flavorful offerings. New Belgium is a great brewer as well. They've released some very interesting brews of late...Trippel and Ranger for instance.

http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

http://www.newbelgium.com/beer.aspx
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2213
Registered: Oct-07
Art lives near Ground Zero for the craft brew guys.
I tried Peroni ONCE and not again. And with Italian food, at that.

Here in Southern California, we have a big one. Stone Brewing makes some interesting beers. One that caught my taste buds was a Smoked Porter. While I'm told no 'traditional' recipes exist, the style has today stabilized as something like a less potent stout.

When I brew....and make a royal disaster out of the kitchen, I alway include some wheat and usually honey.

You haven't lived until you have ponied up for some of THIS::
http://www.chimay.com/en/chimay_blue_220.php
Last time I checked it was one of the few Trapist Ales still actually brewed by trapists. Called 'liquid bread', it was a fine way to suffer thru lent.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1004
Registered: Dec-06
Nuck's been posting a lot more on CAM than here. I guess there's just more going on over there. This place is dead unless a technical thread gains some traction. And even then, only a handful of folks really participate in those.

I tend not to drink beer unless I'm out, and then it doesn't really matter what it is. When I do drink at home, I'll stick to the many micro brews available here, because the quality is generally better than what the big breweries put out. For example, Mill Street, Upper Canada, Waterloo, Unibroue. Or I'll buy an import beer (eg. Hoegaarden, Sam Adams).
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14167
Registered: Feb-05
I generally hang at AK and come here to post in the playlist and see if anyone I know has a new toy or something else to share. Never been interested in the technical side but do look in and read from time to time as there are times when the info is "need to know".

You're right Leo this is ground zero. So many good craft brews and great NW wines. Also tons of live music.

There is a music store next door to where I work (I work in Corvallis) and the owner sits outside the store playing guitar and violin. In the parking lot on the other side of the building is where the Farmer's Market is located on Wednesday and there are several live acts playing there. Most of this live music is unamplified.

This is a good place to live.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2215
Registered: Oct-07
Vacationing or living in southern california is made easier on Fridays when the Stone Brewery has its 'tour' and sampling. Bring your OWN DD (Designated Driver), since the local constable stakes this place out and is more than willing to write a few drunk tickets. You can have more samples if someone in your party doesn't drink.

The nearest brew-pub, up in Carlsbad has the usual visible brewery section. Due to Earthquake codes, this section of the building is steel reinforced and the bright tanks are chained down. I couldn't imaging the havoc if a 60 gallon kettle broke loose.

Want some music while in Southern California? LaLa land has plenty, but here in SanDiego, we have a few choice spots, as well.
http://www.bellyup.com/

Art? How much rain and how often? I lived in Medford for about 6 months and part of the rainy season. Nice and green, but a little damp, even that far from the coast.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14170
Registered: Feb-05
40+ inches a year. Not that much compared to many places out east...however it rarely pours and usually drizzles...often. The Willamette Valley has historically the driest summer in the U.S. (though some years can vary). So to recap, it rains from mid October until late June and is dry in between. Very mild most of the time and a great place to live.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1285
Registered: Jul-07
Haven't tried Italian beer that I remember, and I've tried A LOT of beer. When I was in Europe last summer I was only in Italy (Milan) for a couple of days, and I was too busy wine sampling. It was a business trip so the companies we were visiting were quite happy to pour the wine into us......and I didn't complain.

I did try local craft beer in Moldova, Germany, Poland, and Holland. The Dutch and Germans make d@mn good beer. Moldova had some of the best wines I've ever tasted, and the largest winery in the world (who'd a thunk?). I'll take a look in the international beer section in the local beer store and see if anything is Italian and give it a try Jan.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mrtomasulo

USA

Post Number: 167
Registered: Mar-05
One of my favorite topics.

Never had an Italian beer, and can't say I ever plan on it, either. ;-) More of a German/Belgian beer man myself. I like the sweet, malty (strong) beers -- Belgian Trapist ales and German dopplebocks are my favs. Don't really understand all the West Coast hop-head craziness.

But as those can be a bit strong for all-the-time drinking, I definitely can appreciate a good pilsner here and there.

I used to always consider Pilsner Urquell the gold standard of pilsners. But I think they were bought out and its quality has gone downhill over the years. Still worth a sample, though.

They don't make a lot of craft pilsners really, even though they should.

Boulevard Brewing Co. based out of Kansas City has a "Smokestack Series" in big 750mL bottles. They have two different pilsners. They are a bit pricy (like $7 and $10 a bottle), but very good (as are all the varieties in the series). Also pretty high ABV%.

Among other lighter beer varieties, I might recommend the Paulaner Hefeweizen. Although Hefe's don't really have the bite/carbonation of pilsners that you're looking for. But it would go well with like a mild-meat Italian sandwich. To me the Paulaner is the best widely available hefe out there.

Also for what it's worth, and I'm probably not the only one, but I wouldn't drink a pilsner out of anything but a proper pilsner glass if I could help it. Makes a huge difference.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16032
Registered: May-04
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"Moretti was another Italian beer we served. It seemed to be more popular"

Peroni is the #1 selling beer in Italy. Here in the US I don't doubt a culture more fond of craft beers would prefer the Morretti (now owned by Heineken). Peroni IMO has a more distinct hops flavor and aroma while Morretti tends to favor the thicker malt flavors of the microbreweries we often see here in the US. There is a crisp bittersweetness to Peroni which isn't what Americans seem to want when they order beer in a restaurant that isn't bragging about how many hamburgers they've sold. Morretti IMO has a tendency towards the caramels and butterscotch flavors that I find in most malty beers and ales. Both breweries produce multiple labels but the most popular of the brands are what we see imported to the US where Italian beers must make up a micro-percentage of sales.


"I'll take a look in the international beer section in the local beer store and see if anything is Italian and give it a try Jan."


Good luck, finding Italian beers is about as successful as finding Spanish beers. The history of beer in Italy exists back into the mid 1800's where it was descended from the Bavarian recipes and long existed mostly in Northern Italy where influences from Austria to the East and Belgium across the Alps and to the West were evident. Made more popular by the Americans who came to fight two world wars and the international trade which came in the last half of the 20th c/, beer is still a less than average beverage for most Italians. The thing to remember about Italian beers would be they are meant for consumption by a nation whose taste runs from a very elegant, super dry five year old Brunello or Barolo wine paired with great chunks of charred meats to a light and refreshing Limoncello liqueur.

Here in Dallas - the 7th largest US city - there is only one true Italian deli/market where a few Italian beers can regularly be found. That may be changing somewhat as Mario Batalli is developing a few craft brewed beers for his NY restaurants. We'll see if they develop beyond the small amount of beer required by a traditional Italian restaurant. Microbreweries have developed a following in Italy but they aren't likely to produce any quantity that would support US distribution.


"Among other lighter beer varieties, I might recommend the Paulaner Hefeweizen. Although Hefe's don't really have the bite/carbonation of pilsners that you're looking for. But it would go well with like a mild-meat Italian sandwich. To me the Paulaner is the best widely available hefe out there."


I've tried the Paulaner with an Italian sub. It doesn't have the ability to cut through and balance the fatty taste of the mortadella and salamis. Not bad but this is where Peroni is a better choice IMO. Of course, neither is as good at this as a simple Chianti or even a sparkling mineral water. But when you want a beer, you want a beer.


"Boulevard Brewing Co. based out of Kansas City has a "Smokestack Series" in big 750mL bottles. They have two different pilsners. They are a bit pricy (like $7 and $10 a bottle), but very good (as are all the varieties in the series)."


We have a fairly new pizza tavern/restaurant - not a pizza joint - here in my part of Dallas. Very good pizza that crosses between traditional Neapolitan recipes to slightly nouveau cusine. No pineapple and cooked ham to be found swimming on a soggy crust with cheap cheese and a bland tomato sauce here. Their pull is their selection of beers and they've opened a small section upstairs devoted to the very small microbreweries mostly in and around Texas; http://www.enospizza.com/

There's no way to have one beer with a pizza and there is a problem with having a $25+ beer tab with a pizza.


Dallas is no slouch when it comes to beer selection. Just down the street there's a shop with (a supposed) 250 varieties to choose from. There's a mile and a half stretch of Harry Hines Blvd. with at least two dozen shops ranging from the gas station with coolers filled with Lone Star and Pearl to the large corporate owned floorplanned stores with the small exotic brands store attached to its side.



Right now I'm also looking for a beer that I can find in an "average" liquor store, not something I have to seek out. I find most wheat and honey beers and their type to be a diversion and not an everyday drink. For the most part, there's too much effort on their part to not taste like another beer and not enough effort to make a truly refreshing beer in these styles.

When it's 104° in Texas and I'm cutting the lawn for myself and a couple of the elderly neighbors, I want something that will cool me down and not leave me feeling like I need a Bratwurst and potato salad to balance the beer. I admit to being able to chug a Miller or two at those times. I'm not a beer snob and I save the more expensive beers for when I'm eating a dish that deserves an expensive beer. So, to me, there's a difference between a beer you have when you eat good food and a beer you drink to cool down. Fosters gets terrible reviews from the beer snobs who see it as coming from a macrobrewery. But it's fine with me for why I'm drinking beer at that time, a step above Miller or the other "macrobrewery" products but not too expensive for use on a workday afternoon.


What's the everyday beer you're buying that might suit the needs of someone who thinks a beer should be a cold drink and not part of a five course meal? Something you don't have to consider in your "beer budget" when looking at the price?


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Silver Member
Username: Mrtomasulo

USA

Post Number: 169
Registered: Mar-05
>>>What's the everyday beer you're buying that might suit the needs of someone who thinks a beer should be a cold drink and not part of a five course meal?<<<

I have to admit I don't drink beer very often in this fashion. I don't like drinking when I'm hot -- usually will stick to lemonade, ice tea, or water.... but maybe that's because of the kinds of beers I've been drinking!

I don't think the Fosters is a bad choice. As far as something else, the only thing else I could think of would be a kölsch. Schlafly makes one that is widely available here, but that's because we're close to St. Louis. Don't know about their distribution in TX. But that's a stye made for summer drinking, but with more bite than a hefe.

I'd be interested in other people's suggestions.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mrtomasulo

USA

Post Number: 171
Registered: Mar-05
Talk about the anti-thirst quencher. Just had a glass of Boulevard "Sixth Glass" quadrupel ale, and am thinking of opening a bottle of Schlafly barrel-aged Imperial Stout....... and it's 80 degrees here this afternoon.

But it's all I got in the fridge, and it's still good. :D
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4370
Registered: May-05
Moretti was more popular than Peroni at that restaurant. It was, actually still is (I ate there last night while visiting family), a great Italian family owned restaurant. I'd imagine Peroni would sell far better than Moretti at the Olive Garden.

I stand by my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Bass Ale recommendations for an everyday beer. Give 'em a try.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3446
Registered: Jun-07
I usually have the beer fridge stocked with Stella and/or Steam Whistle. I have had it full of Bass Ale and Sam Adams from time to time too.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16034
Registered: May-04
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Unfortunately, every time I ask to try a Sam Adams in a bar/restuarant I decide to order some other beer. IMO ales are for a different type of drinking than what I'm asking about. First, they almost all taste flat to me. Second, they are not a thirst quencher in my experience. I'd say that's because they seem to lack carbonation - and, therefore, crispness - to my tastebuds. Sort of like drinking a Guiness to cool down - I'd be laying on the lawn the moment I tried to get back to work. I admit to being out of the mainstream with this opinion. According to the beer reviews I read I'm supposed to scoop beer out of the container and into a glass and, if I can see light through the glass, it's a lousy macrobrew beer imitator. Not quite the truth but most of the guys writing these reviews sound like they are using ale to treat infected wounds and repair blown head gaskets.

I've tried Stella, of course, very good but, in my experience, it goes down too easy and takes too many for an afternoon work break. Steam Whistle isn't quite what I think I'm after for a hot afternoon. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for the Steam Whistle, sort of like expecting Conrad Johnson and getting Audio Research.

Thanks though. I hope everyone is seeing the same popup ads for beer posters that I'm getting from this thread.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16035
Registered: May-04
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http://www.allposters.com/-st/Beer-Posters_c7068_.htm
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16036
Registered: May-04
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It's been almost twenty years since I've done this. When I was working in the yard in hot Texas weather, I'd head to the store to get two 32oz. bottles of Miller High Life and stick 'em in the freezer. When lunch time came around, I'd go to the fried chicken shack up the street and order two dozen fried chicken livers and a box of french fries. Me and the dogs would have a high ol'time.

That was eatin'! It would cross my eyes and quickly kill me now but, back then, that made the day go better.


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Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3447
Registered: Jun-07
MMmmM Fried chicken and beer. That sounds tasty. I know what you mean about the flat taste. I am more of a carbonated guy myself. Id love to try Peroni. I will keep an eye out for it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16038
Registered: May-04
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Do the states above the Mason Dixon line (or outside of the Texas border for that matter) have access to the Mexican and Central American beers? Anyone here ever tried Red Stripe?

http://beer.about.com/od/beerandbreweryreviews/gr/redstripe.htm


http://www.helium.com/items/569878-beer-reviews-red-stripe


http://www0.epinions.com/review/Red_Stripe_Lager_Beer/content_68644736644



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Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1286
Registered: Jul-07
I checked the local beer store and no luck on Italian beers. Japan, Germany (several), Holland (several), Denmark, Czech, UK (many), Australia, Austria, and even Turkey were all covered though. There are bigger stores that would have a better chance of having it, so next time I'm in one of the flagship stores I'll look around.

I'm a German beer fan myself. I drink a lot of the local craft beer as well. Truth be told, there aren't too many beers that I don't like to some degree. However, a lot of the mass market beer is a guaranteed headache for me if I drink more than 2.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16039
Registered: May-04
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One of my all time favorites was Black Mamba from Africa. Apparently it is no longer available. An uprising along the Ivory Coast caused the rebels to flee to the brewery buildings which were then destroyed by the forces they were trying to usurp. I've had a few beers where I thought the brewery should be destroyed but this was IMO unfair and uncalled for. For godssake, save the beer!


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Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1287
Registered: Jul-07
If you ever have a chance to try Efes definately give it a try. It's a Turkish beer and absolutely delicious. I had this a few times in Europe, although I only could get it in a couple of pubs in the UK, and when I was in Moldova. I've never seen it anywhere in Canada.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4707
Registered: Feb-07
"Do the states above the Mason Dixon line (or outside of the Texas border for that matter) have access to the Mexican and Central American beers? Anyone here ever tried Red Stripe? "

They sell Red Stripe at the local liquor store here in Ottawa. Refreshing summertime beer.

A very good regional beer in the National Capital region is Beau's Lug Tread.

http://www.beaus.ca/beer/lug_tread

If you guys ever get a chance to sample it, go for it! Highly recommended.
 

New member
Username: Rubens

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-11
All I know is, whatever you do - stay away from Indian Kingfisher. Tastes horrible! It's not pilsner, it's not lager, definitely not draught, but just sort of in the middle of the three, plus it's super sweet. Peroni is pretty good, though!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1005
Registered: Dec-06
The Beer Store here seems to carry Birra Castello and Birra Moretti. Might be worth a shot.

Anyone here try beers from Unibroue? Blanche de Chambly is pretty nice.
 

Gold Member
Username: Gavdawg

Albany, New York

Post Number: 1656
Registered: Nov-06
as a central new yorker, I am very partial to saranac brews. The B&T is by far my fave. But if I can't get it, I generally look for Sam Adams pilsner.

I am much more into wine than beer. I can discuss the complexities of malbec, and why carmenere is a great red for people that really aren't into reds.

I have a Tempranillo next to me as I write this
 

Gold Member
Username: Gavdawg

Albany, New York

Post Number: 1657
Registered: Nov-06
Jan, if you like a good ale... you may like the saranac brews. I am not sure how far south they are available. The company is a fairly small brewery in Utica NY.

People either love them or hate them.

http://www.saranac.com/
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16040
Registered: May-04
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No, my issue here is I find most ales too flat and overly malty. My preference for day to day beers runs to a more carbonated beer (even if some of the carbonation has been added) with a taste of hops. I don't mind the brewer using some corn but can't warm to the use of rice. Wheat, honey, pomegranet, etc.? The vast majority of microbrews I've tried are, as I said and in my opinion, just trying not to taste like some other beer. I understand the marketing aspect of that strategy but it doesn't appeal to me to drink. Why would I want a beer with pineapple aftertones? Just because the brewer can do it? Those six foot tall speaker cabinets with three 15" drivers and half dozen horns pointing in every direction sitting in front of the Supermercado grocery on a Saturday afternoon sound different than what I prefer, that doesn't mean I want to buy them.



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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2217
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
try some of this. Maybe this fall when the cherries are in season I'll try brewing some Lambic.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriek

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambic
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16043
Registered: May-04
.

Tried this; http://www.samueladams.com/enjoy-our-beer/beer-detail.aspx?id=c0321623-376d-4c12 -9c8f-a4b0cecdff80 last night after several suggestions here for Sam Adams. Five "noble" hops in one beer. I said I prefer hops to malt in a beer.



Unfortunately, this is stll my same reaction to Sam Adams, " ... every time I ask to try a Sam Adams in a bar/restuarant I decide to order some other beer." Too much of a good thing is still too much. Too much floral, citrus and pine in the taste for what I'm trying to find. Floral, citrus and pine? Aren't those what you find in household cleaners? So I stopped by a friend's house and we managed to get rid of a good portion of my sample six pack. Then he brought out something that poured out about the same color as the stuff at the bottom of my aquarium filter. IMO it was actually preferrable to the SA.



The search continues ...


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Silver Member
Username: Mrtomasulo

USA

Post Number: 173
Registered: Mar-05
How about Beck's or Lowenbrau?

Not stuff I normally drink. But again, I don't drink beer as a "thirst-quencher". If I did, these might be worth a shot. Always thought Lowenbrau was underrated.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16045
Registered: May-04
.

Haven't tried either in awhile.

For those who prefer a dark beer; http://www.tobp.com/review/beer.asp?t=335#

Best consumed with food IMO and preferrably Mexican food of the homemade enchillada, chile relleno, real Mexican or Central American tacos, etc. variety.


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2218
Registered: Oct-07
http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_strains.html

Jan, as a homebrewer, I can assure you that there are dozens of yeast choices for both the Ale guys and the Lager folks.
given that AND the wide variety of hops, some of the best of which are grown up near Art, you can see the huge variety potential.

Personally, I use a very small palet of yeasts. I like the effect of Heffe Weitzen yeast which doesn't settle (flockulate) well and adds a cloudiness to the ale.
Honey and Wheat have always been part of what I brew, which is certainly NOT to any recognized style or standard. I like the Porter / Stout end of the spectrum and anything ending in 'ATOR'.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2223
Registered: Oct-07
Jan, the Bohemia is a terrific bottle of suds.
However, at a Mexican meal, I'll usually opt for a Superior.

Every Christmas I get a case of Noche Buena delivered, which usually lasts until mid 'lawn mower season'. The very first Noche Buena I bought came with the ceramic / rubber sealed, lever action caps as found on Grolsch. 2 winters ago, the bottles were all painted and definite keepers.

Q:: What do you call Bartles and James wine coolers in Mexico?

A:: Dos Okies........
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