I really look forward to my infrequent meals at Taco Mac and other establishments with large and varied beer selections since I’m something of a creature of habit. Sure, I try to branch out beyond some of the normal beers, brewers and styles I always drink but it’s hard to jusitify a potentially bad experience when a tried-and-true standby is waiting in a refrigerated case nearby.
On Easter Sunday I tried a few brews – courtesy of my Dad- that I hadn’t had before: Blue Moon’s Rising Moon and Flying Dog’s Tire Bite. I’m pretty sure I’ve had Tire Bite, but I don’t recall it and it didn’t make much of an impression this time. Spring Moon was a little better, actually, though it could have been the pre-dinner/post-pollen effecting my judgement. Either way, some nice, Spring beer styles I wouldn’t normally seek out (I prefer wheat beers – Belgian Wits or German Hefeweizens).
Granted neither choice – especially the Coors-owned Rising Moon – was too far off the beaten path, but at least it wasn’t High Life Light (a Miller family favorite/staple). Both beers were accessible and, dare I say it, “drinkable” to steal from the fine folks in St. Louis.
The Session Lager was really excellent and lived up to its name. I could have made a long session out of that beer.
The Lakefront Organic ESB may have passed muster on the organic but it certainly wasn’t an ESB. Still, it looked good, smelled better and tasted just fine.
Two themes emerged this week:
- Less hoppy IPAs and malty Stouts
- More fruity ales and wheat beers and mild lagers
Part of me is quite happy that I’m expanding my personal beer horizons both in new beers and oft-ignored styles. The other part of me wonders if it’s good for craft and micro beer to play to the palettes (and here I’m being really snobby) of the “average” beer drinker.
I’ve spent the better part of the last decade or so cultivating my taste for aggressive, hoppy ales and malty porters and stouts. Don’t get me wrong; I like a good, cloudy wheat beer in Spring or an Oktoberfest in Fall, but even during the Summer months I’d usually rather drink Sweetwater 420 or Terrapin RyePA both to support my local brewer and feed my hop jones.
But what really surprised me this week, and it really shouldn’t have, is that the lager styles by these craft brewers were so much better, more complex and, yes, more refreshing and “drinkable” than their macro counterparts.
I honestly believe that if more craft brewers made accessible “yellow beer” for the masses then maybe it could persuade some of these drinkers to try even better, crazier beers like Dogfish Head. [That’s a link to the awesome, local Monday Night Brewery].
Since this is a lazy Friday night post, I’ll sum up:
- I’m proud of ME for drinking something different (or drinking something different than the different stuff I would normally choose)
- I think that the great thing about craft beer is that even when it plays in styles that are more mainstream, it still does it better than those popular beer brands
Hope you enjoy the lovely weather, good beer and some friendship/fellowship this weekend.