Wednesday, November 24, 2010

End of The King of Beers?

I have a long legacy of drinking beer. I've never been a big drinker. Well, maybe in high school, a little in college, just to maintain the stress levels and the parties.

I first drank beer in High School.My first "cool" beer, was Budweiser. It just sounded right, "Please grab me another 'Bud', Bud." We loved it, my friends and I. But then I began to learn there were other beers. And alcohol content was important (too much for a while, actually).

NPR reports that Bud, has had a "hostile' take-over by Brazilian-Belgian InBev company that the figureheads of the 150-year-old Budweiser company, were unable to stop from happening.

The end of a legacy? Maybe. But perhaps not. After all, the new owners will want Bud to continue making money, and changing their image could break the company.

Bud was one of my first beers. But I grew out of it before I even got out of High School. When I got to college, one of my Prof.s said he was going to teach us how to think. He said, pick a subject. People yelled things out. I said, Beer. Kind of as a joke, but he said, "Yes, good, Beer. I'm going to teach you about beer. You all probably drink beer to get drunk. But there are elements about beer that are not unlike wine. Let me explain...."

And he did. It was a real eye opener. You could drink beer for flavor. I knew that already. I mean I switched beers because some were better tasting. But there was so much more to it than that. But that's getting off track.

We had one party, where there was a guy from Germany there. Through several of us who spoke various European languages (and he spoke four), we were able to talk to him. His comment on our American beers back then (in the 80s)? He said it tasted like Rain Water. We had to laugh and agree. I told me, typically people said it tasted like "bunny piss", which he thought was quite funny. But rain water was about right. Little body to it. Not that much taste. Chilled to the point that there's hardly any flavor at all.

Every wonder why they drink beer warmer than we do in Europe? Because they want to TASTE it, because it TASTES good! Yeah, a cold beer can be good, but a good beer, is just going to waste. When I heard about Cold Guinness, I just about choked. Why did they come up with it? Because they wanted to open the market up and the way to do that was craft a beer that stupid Americans would drink, cold. Because they were too stupid to enjoy the taste of a good beer at a temperature that allowed you to actually taste it. Sad. I hate being the laughing stock of any culture.

So now, I drink mostly, locally crafted "micro" brews.

I have, for a long time, called "Bud", "celery beer" for a long time, for obvious reasons. Taste it, see if you can taste what I'm tasting. Its much like I call another German brand, that replaced Bud for me (after a brief stint with Lowenbrau), as "skunkweed beer". :)

Can you guess what beer that was? It comes in a green bottle.

NPR article

Here's a list in order, of the beers I've gone through loving, then exchanged for a new brand I learned to love even more:

  1. Olympia
  2. Ranier
  3. Budweiser
  4. Michelob
  5. Old English 800 ("Brown death" high alcohol content)
  6. Ranier Ale ("Green death" high alcohol content, tastier to our tastes that "Brown Death")
  7. Lowenbrau (thinking we were now, "classy")
  8. Heineken
  9. Elephant
  10. Negro Modelo
  11. Dos Equis
  12. Coronas
  13. Guinness
And then the roof was blown off
  • Celebrator
  • Chimay
Then the local Micro Brews hit the market and things really opened up.

Now, life is good. Small breweries are all over the place. I have several within a few miles of my home. One, Hood Canal Brewery, I usually ride my motorcycle down to; its right up the street, one right turn, one left turn, and I'm there. Its a ferry ride across Puget Sound from Seattle.

But there are plenty of others around here. Silver City Brew Pub in Silverdale at Kitsap Mall. Now we also have Hale's Ales Brewery of Seattle. Both have excellent food and excellent beers. The bartender at Hale's told me, that Hale's flew in a retired Brewmaster from Guinness for their stout, and it tastes like it, its excellent. I was at Tisley's Europub in Poulsbo the other day for lunch, and they told me there is even a newer brewery up and running, just out of that town.

Loving it.

So, am I going to miss Bud? Not really. Although, I do have good memories about it. Thought mostly it has to do with getting drunk and having wild adventures in High School.

But I've grown up, I've moved on, and the world of beer is wide open now.

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