They don’t care if you like it

Date: January 28, 2009
Time: 9:00 pm
Location: Mike’s house
Mike Merrill
Josh Berezin
Judah Switzer
Jona Bechtolt
Claire Evans
Marcus Estes

72/1000: Red Tail Ale, Mendocino Brewing Company, California
JB: This isn’t like a ritualized thing, guys, we can just drink and talk about it.
ME: Don’t you raise a toast or something?
JB: Uh, no, but we should.
ME: To your health.
JS: It’s very fruity, this tastes like raspberries.
Jona: What is this?
ME: It’s the one with the rat tail.
JS: Red tail!
Jona: I like it. I don’t know why. I don’t know the difference between beers.
CE: It has an American Southwest vibe to it, a sagebrush thing.
Jona: Asshole.
CE: I mean it! Also with the picture of the eagle on the bottle.
Jona: She’s cheating! She’s reading off the bottle.
ME: I brought that beer, and the bird on the bottle made an impression.
JS: It’s a very clean beer… it clears right out. I could drink a lot of it, probably.
JB: I would love to try.
MM: What’s next?
JB: Let’s drink the world’s oldest.
73/1000: Weihenstephaner Original Premium
MM: The world’s oldest brewery made this!
Jona: Ooh, this is a white beer isn’t it? [Looks closer.] No. This smells fruity, I can tell that! Josh, get that in there!
ME: It’s very light, there’s not much to it at all.
CE: It tastes like a blueberry!
ME: It’s a feminine beer.
CE: Just cause it tastes like berry doesn’t make it feminine!
ME: It’s feminine in many ways. It’s light on its feet and it cares how old it is.
MM: This is kind of skunky.
CE: Is that a bad thing?
JB: It’s like when it gets that old musty smell from being exposed to light.
MM: I didn’t really like it. Did you?
JB: I’d like it in a picnic, in the summer.
CE: I like this one so much!
JB: Let’s crack Twin Peaks.
74/1000: Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company Wildcat India Pale Ale
CE: I brought this one!
Jona: Oh!
CE: Mmmm.
Jona: It has a lot of flavor.
CE: It is very intense tasting! It is very bitter!
Jona: I like the first parts, but the last part is bad.
JB: You guys aren’t going to like any of the rest of the beers.
CE: I’m not saying I don’t like it, but it doesn’t have the drinkability of the other beers.
Jona: Like that smoke beer we had at Saraveza, it has a food-like quality.
JB: I don’t think it’s bitter enough. It should be thinner and more bitter.
CE: What!
ME: It has an amateur homebrew vibe, it’s trying to be what an IPA should be.
JS: It has an amber ale quality.
Jona: You’re getting that food thing, too?
MM: He said “amber ale!” Not hamburger!
CE: Well, I didn’t love it. Maybe we should move on.
MM: Maybe the Alesmith IPA will be more to your liking.
75/1000: Alesmith IPA, San Diego
ME: The modern graphic design is not to my liking.
MM: How about “It’s pretty awesome”, from the bottle?
ME: What’s the deal? What are those, paddles?
MM: The graphic design of the beer community, it’s … uniquely retarded. In the literal sense, like its development has been retarded at some point.
ME: There’s a lot of Deadhead, Keep On Trucking vibe there.
JB: I got this because I went in there and the guy asked me what beer I like, and I said I’d been drinking a lot of IPAs. He said, I just got this in from San Diego, and you’ll like it.
ME: It doesn’t go to any extreme, nor is it delicate in any special way. It sort of failed in being a distinctive IPA.
JB: For me, it’s really citrusy, and really chalky. So it is extreme, maybe, but not in any way that you’d really go for.
CE: It tastes like Christmas tree!
JB: They put too much hops in it. Or they used fresh hops at the end. That piney, citrusy, chalky taste is the way fresh hops taste.
ME: Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I really do think it’s mediocre.
CE: Give Jona some more.
ME: Jona, let us know if it’s working.
Jona: Guys, Marcus is great. Let me tell you some things about Marcus.
CE: I don’t want more. It’s like, nibbling on a pine needle is fine, but this is like eating a branch.
76/1000: Sculler’s India Pale Ale, Skagit River Brewery, Washington
Jona: Josh, you might like this one, it’s bitter.
CE: How bitter is it?
JB: That’s answerable, actually. Beer nerds have something called International Bitterness Units. Any beer has a certain number of IBUs.
ME: But it’s subjective, how can that work?
JB: Well, maybe it’s like acidity or hotness, or these other things that can actually be measured.
[Claire looks it up and describes the process by which IBUs are determined.]
ME: It sounds like a bunch of bullshit.
JB: We haven’t talked about this beer. We’ve talked about bitterness.
CE: This one’s not piney. I do not like the design of the label. It’s the most drinkable IPA we’ve had though.
ME: This is better. What you’re after, I think, in an IPA, is the long period of aftertaste.
JB: This has that. It lingers.
ME: It is bitter, but it brings along a lot of flavors with it.
JB: I’ll make a note of this. I’ll see what else this brewery makes, and I’ll drink this again.
77/1000: Uber-Weisse, Baron Brewing
CE: Oh, what? This beer tastes crazy. You guys! Holy shit, what? Cheese beer!
JB: Ahh!!
CE: Why is it so sweet?
JB: I don’t think of it as sweet.
CE/JS [simultaneously]: It’s like molasses sweet.
ME: There’s something weird about the carbonation.
JB: It’s very low carbonation.
MM: It’s like when I ate this bad potato salad. It tasted fine, but it had a carbonated quality to it.
Jona: It’s like kombucha. God, it’s fucking sick, I hate it! This is what I imagine bile tastes like.
JS: It’s just so heavy.
CE: It’s like those Mexican lollipops that look like they’ll taste so good, but then they’re tamarind or something?
Jona: It’s not what you expect.
JB: But there are beers in this style, and, in that same way, they’re not what you’d expect in, but they’re better than this.
ME: The label throws me off, in that it’s ugly in a way that I like, but what are they going for?
MM: Well, it’s a beer for beer nerds. It’s not meant to be approachable. They don’t care if you like it.

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2 Responses to They don’t care if you like it

  1. Claire Evans says:

    This is a very good blog entry!

  2. R says:

    I like this.

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