Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

There are many more posts to come so stay tuned. This Blog is getting ready to see quite the face lift!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Down with the same drink!

I was late coming home the other evening when I made the decision to buy a beer out of desperation.  Some of you may already know that my bar is full of many options as far as the after dinner or pre dinner concoction is concerned, but mixing and just casual sipping is something more than lacking as of right now.  Beer is something I buy mainly because I enjoy it, obviously, that and some times when your house is full of options, you simply want the....simple.  The fact that I live in a simple suburb right outside a, well, not so simple city means I get a lot of simplicity as far as options go in the next door neighborhood market at the later hours towards closing.  I am in the restaraunt business, the impulse buyer fails every time in the situations that come to the last fifteen minutes before a big name chain grocery store begins it's closing procedures.  My choices as far as a healthy sized beer (No, I am not talking the malt liqour 40 oz, though some big house names are taking their lowest brands and turning them into bottles of equal size) are the ones you have already heard of.  It's been a while since I've looked at my options and said (well, for my end of work digestif I think I am torn between a few classics.  Should I get the Miller/Bud or jump to the Heineken/Corona or get frisky and grab a Guiness or a Sapporo?  Well, this particular night because it has been so long since I had sipped one, I decided to pick up another classic.  The good old fashioned Red Stripe Jamaican Lager.  Yup.  And I poured it in a nice glass and drank it as if I was enjoying a craft brew that no one but a few of my associates have ever had the pleasure of endulging in, but alas, you know what this particular beer tasted like?  It tasted like....American "Lager".  In 1999, according to Andrew Barr's research in his book titled "Drink:  A Social History of America" One in every four beers consumed in America is Budweiser, and one in ten a Miller Lite.  On Average, every adult in the country drinks six gallons of Budweiser a year.  Through his insite he states that many consumers appear to believe that drinking a 'national' brand of beer is part of being American.  Has anybody said the word Bud-WEISER recently?  The book further demonstrates our lack of self patrionism by failing to realize that Budweiser is the German name of a Czech city!  The beer further expresses capitalism in our country showing our lack in character.  The brew is as bland as the music on the radio, the clothes in our 'MARTS' and the food at our big name groceries (Beer included).  I'm not necessarily attacking the big house industry, more or less, I'm attacking everyone out there who states "I drink *fill in blank* and only *blank*.  Really?  There are dozens if not hundreds and if not (depending on where we are going with this) thousands of *blank* out there and they all have different characteristics, flavors, depths and further more depending on where you are from may even impact the earth as far as distribution and generally helping out a smaller named, family owned and sadly to some of the public, lesser human being on a path to success.  I'll say this though, I can justify the price difference of many types of beers from many regions, but names like Budweiser and Miller, designed to taste like nothing in order to be consumed in massive quantities share the same flavor at lower prices with names like Red Stripe, Fosters and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

So I say, down with the same drink!  Every day is a new day and your dinner does not have to be the same ever again!  There are more grapes than Merlots and there are more beers out there than Lagers.


Try any of these brands for quality beer drinking bliss.  You can find these products in World Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe's and maybe one day at a grocery store near you.  Support your local and regional brews and experience something different.

Chimay Blue Label
Tröegs Dead Reckoning Porter
Oskar Blues: Dale's Pale Ale
Bell's Oberon Ale
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

The great thing about the bulk of these beers (The Chimay, Dead Reckoning and 120 Minute IPA) is that they can be cellered and consumed a year or two after purchase much like some wines and will receive very enhancing flavor notes similare to a sherry or port.  The Oberon, an unfiltered wheat beer, is a fantastic summer option and the Dale's Pale Ale is the leader in debunking the myth that good beer can not come from a can or that a can will ruin the flavor of good beer.

So go out there and make some new friends and find some new favorites!


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