Wednesday, April 20, 2011

beer me up

So I know pretty much nothing about the world of barley and hops.  I drink a Guinness once in a blue moon and that's about it.  But the other night I tried a Newcastle Brown Ale and thought it was the bee's knees.  So my question to all y'all: knowing I enjoy these two beverages, can you recommend a third?  Something that doesn't cost extra because it has to be shipped across an ocean would be ideal.


  1. Chimay(any, but blue label is the best), Spaten Optimizer, Deschutes Brewery Black Butte. These are all a bit darker than Guiness. The ales I drink are local brews, so the ocean prevents that.

  2. Boddington's Pub Ale is good if you like the creaminess of Guiness.

    Relatively cheap beer that you might like, if you like Newcastle: Dundee's Honey Brown

  3. good easily available domestics,
    dogfish head - raison d'etre
    stone - imperial russian stout
    southern tier - iniquity black

  4. I've never found anything that tastes like a Newcie Brown, but as Stuart says you may like the Dundee's.

    A good domestic if you like that stronger, spicier taste is Blackened Voodoo from Dixie Brewery.. although it may be as expensive as an import in most places.

  5. Caffrey's Irish Ale. I’d say it’s smack in the middle between Guinness and Newcastle Brown. Tastes like ale but is smooth and creamy as a stout.

  6. I have to second Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter and dogfish head.

  7. TheJollyLlama8756:08 PM is worth a shout-out, to dip your toes into the wonderful world of beer knowledge.

    Newcastle is pretty malty, for an ale, IIRC. You will probably like stouts and porters. For a specific recommendation, try Anchor Steam.

    Also, I have to plug it, just because it's my one of my top two beers, but you may also like Rogue Dead Guy Ale.

  8. Blue Moon, it goes with your frequency of drinking beer. Tasty too.

  9. I would probably go with other English-style ales, stouts or porters. I've been digging on Brooklyn Brown Ale and Smithwick's as of recent, but I'm also a huge fan of the assorted Great Lakes Brewing beers and our local favorite Fat Gary's Brown Ale.

  10. I really dislike all alcohol and only started drinking beer about 5 or 6 years ago. I don't like most beers either. Since you mentioned Guiness and Newcastle (love Guiness and Newcastle ain't bad) I figured you might like my favorite.

    Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager.

    A simple black lager but damn fine in taste and easy to drink. I'm more of a malt man than I am a fan of hops and this one has a smooth texture and a malty sweet taste. Great stuff.

    Interestingly, it's listed in many places on the net as expensive but in NYC, I usually find it going for less than other, easier to come by microbrews.

    Dixie Blackened Voodoo - If that isn't the name of a gamer's beer what is? Well...may be my other fave...Hobgoblin Dark English Ale by Wychwood Brewery in the UK. It's current motto is "What's the matter Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?"

  11. Anthony6:37 PM

    Fat Tire amber ale (Ft Collins, CO);
    Yuengling lager (Pottsville, PA).

  12. Local is usually the best you can get because it is freshest. Considering your location, an area known as the "beer belly" of the USA you can get a hold of a lot of good suds from local microbreweries. Goose Island in Chicago makes, imho, one of the world’s great wheat beers.

    Given that you like Newcastle Brown I would point you at New Belgium Fat Tire. Given that most craft brews are a bit more on the $$$ end I would also recommend Leinenkugel's Classic Amber and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Those should be a little on the cheaper side.

    I would suggest avoiding anything that says “Imperial,” “Extreme,” or “Double Hopped.” If the IBU is listed on the package, try not to get anything over 25 IBUs. “IBU” = International Bitterness Units.

    Two rules for beer:

    1. The beer you are drinking now is the best beer in the world.
    2. There are two kinds of beer: good beer and great beer. Good beer is beer you buy; great beer is free beer.

  13. Hullo!

    Just happened to be passing by. As a Brit who grew up in Cornwall and now lives in the Bath/Bristol area of the UK maybe I've been spoilt for choice but there's normally a few small breweries about who provide good beer. (Sharp's Doombar and Bath Ale's "Gem" and "Golden Hare" being favorites at the moment). Both have quite a local following. I've seen doombar in various pubs around the South west (of the UK) but Bath ales and Butcoombe (another local brewery) are both very local to the area. Have you investigated to see if there's any comparable small scale breweries in your area? (I've no idea how the industry works over your side of the Atlantic.)

    If you can't locate any local breweries to you why not investigate homebrew if you've got the space? - After the initial outlay I hear it's noticeably cheaper too! :o)

    Best of luck in your hunt for quality beer! :oD

  14. Odell Cutthroat Porter is great! Founders Breakfast Stout is great too! I'd recommend you sample beers from both of those companies.

  15. If you get to the Chicago area (or can get your local store to order them) try Tyranena's Rocky's Revenge or Sprecher's Black Bavarian

    Definitely check out any local breweries / brewpubs you may have. They often have the best stuff available and may or may not be able to offer it in stores (depending on local laws).

    Happy Hunting!

  16. Sounds like you have a soft spot for the darker, richer brews.

    Local stouts and porters are likely to be right up your alley. I don't know what you have available in your area, but I highly recommend the following:

    Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout (

    Nogne Oatmeal Stout (

    Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (

  17. We drink beer at pretty much every gaming session (until we move to wine later in the evening). Newcastle is one of our favorites for its availability and its relatively inexpensive cost.

    Two more recommendations for you:

    1) Smithwick's Ale (you don't pronounce the "w" when you say it). Irish Ale.

    2) Anchor Porter, by Anchor Steam.

    The porter will be kind of in-between an Ale and a Stout.

    The Smithwick's Ale is nice change of pace from a Newcastle without being super hoppy like an IPA.

  18. The (un)official beer of Garycon!

  19. Of Course not knowing where you are located, nationally or geographically any or all of this may be worthless.. But I'll give it a shot.

    I've tried many beers in the 6 years I've been legal.. and I've gravitated towards the very malty spectrum. Newcastle is my favorite, and I was thrilled when they started selling it in those mini-keg things. It's far more economical than in the bottles.. even if it dosen't taste quite the same.. (but the American one isn't as good as the British one anyway).

    I agree entirely with Deschutes, Or Bridgeport ESB, or hell really any of the beers from any of the microbreweries in Portland Oregon that sell bottles in other states are pretty good.

    Dogfish Head is a mixed bag, one thing I really can't stand the guy who runs that company.. his TV show really turned me off him... well that and watching them make beer from corn and spit.. and then serve it to human beings in their restaurant did that.. But Raison' Detre is really quite good.. for really easily available ales, Sam Adams Boston Brown Ale isn't bad, Sweetwaters Georgia Brown ale is not bad, and something that surprised the heck out of me was Yeungling's ale, I kept seeing it next to all the cooking lager and stayed away from it for ages. it was actually drinkable.. and I'd order it again if nothing else came up.

    What you want to do I think is look for anything thats an 'Ale' in the Amber to Black range in colour.. and you should be fine... Stouts can be good too and should be anywhere between a blackberry colour to well.. black.

    If you can find a place that will make it.. I had a Guinness and Black Currant Cordial drink in the UK that was superb. Also if you can find Fuller's ESB or Organic Honey Dew.. Wells Bombadier, Wychwood's Hobgoblin.. all are very good.. they just tend to get expensive.. usually about 6$ a bottle for what works out to be 20oz.. its not one thats a good sessioning Beer. check this out if you haven't.

  20. Another vote for New Castle... it should be available in a mini-keg. Tastes even better then the bottles.

    Weihenstephan Heffe-Weiss would be my German beer of choice. Oldest brewery in the world.

  21. I third Deschutes Black Butte. Too bad Goose Island (Chicago based) discontinued their own Nut Brown Ale.

    I think you would love Rogue's Hazelnut Porter, but don't know if you could find it easily.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. These break your "imported pricing" rule, but you should try them if you get the chance.

  24. last comment was me from the GF's acct....
    Jeff, the best advice I can give would be to go to a local liquor store/beer-mart and ask them. Local stuff is the best and some places will let you mix-n-match for your own six packs, so you can get a pretty good sample without spending a ton.

  25. Hard to go wrong with Sweetwater 420 or Duckrabbit.

  26. I love Newcastle..but I have to give props to my homestates Upland Brewery. They do ales lagers, and to your point, seasonal stouts. Probably available at liquor and beer shops.

  27. I second Rob's recommendation of Fat Tire, though I prefer a different beer by New Belgium called 1554 Enlightened Black Ale.

  28. A brewery that is relatively local to you and a favorite of mine is Three Floyds. They are in Munster, IN. Alpha King, Gumball Head and Dreadnaught are great, and you'll totally dig the label art. A seasonal that I LOVE is The Dark Lord. It is almost impossible to get unless you go to the brewery on the day they release it.

    Illinois beers I've had and recommend are Carlyle in Rockford, Goose Island. Have you checked out the Blind Pig in Champaign.

    Other Midwest brewers I like are Great Lakes (Cleveland, OH), Bells (Kalamazoo, MI), Founder's (Kalamazoo, MI) and Mad Anthony's (Fort Wayne, IN)

  29. Wychwood's Hobgoblin beer is excellent. A "dark English ale" it's a bit closer to Newcastle than Guinness, and it comes in a largish bottle...perfect for the guy who only drinks one a night.

    I also enjoy the Obsidian Stout from Deschutes. It's nothing like either beer (probably right in the middle o both) but since I like both the beers you mention, YOU might like the O.S. It's black as night and twice as strong!
    : )

  30. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Boddington's and Hobgoblin are sound choices but really you gotta go for the best:

    Theakstons Old Peculier

  31. Kilkenny is a great beer that sits somewhere between the two. I love me some Kilkenny.

    No idea where you get it in the States though.

  32. Boddingtons for sure. Very smooth. I think it comes in a 4 pack. It's English and definitely has a hint of Guinness. I don't know if you can get it but definitely give Yeungling a try too if you can.

  33. @ Rob

    You have the truth of it.

    We drink when we game too. Usually light beers though. Some of the players have liquor. No one really gets drunk.

  34. Kontoret1:36 AM

    I second Hobgoblin! The bottle also has a fun picture!

  35. The traditional North-Western way to drink Newky Brown (a.k.a. "Dog") is to use a half pint glass and keep topping it up from the bottle.

  36. As a Brit, I am liable to be a bit snobbish about yon Colonial beers, but in my time over there, I did enjoy the Sam Adams range.

  37. I'm not much of a beer drinker myself, either, but I also like Newcastle. I'll add another vote for Blue Moon (with a squeeze of orange).

    The best beer I've ever had is Wells Bombardier, but I've never seen it anywhere but that first bar I tried it (Flying Saucer).

  38. As a big fan of Newcastle, I'll cast another vote for Boddington's. Smoother than Newcastle, very smooth taste, and creamy like Guinness. If I could put it on toast, I would.

  39. Murphy's Irish Stout or Belhaven Stout for sure.

  40. You seem to like darker beers, but if you're up for something lighter, I recommend Yuengling (as was already recommended) or Lionshead. Both are very reasonably priced.

  41. I think that New Belgium is a fine domestic microbrewery of tasty and modestly priced beers. You seem to favor the darker stuff so I will point you towards their 1554 Black Ale.

  42. Dude, when I'm finally back in Cham-bana this summer, we'll get you hooked up.

    I have a similar rating system to Rob. My favorite beers are, in order:

    1. Free beer.
    2. Cold beer.
    3. All other beers.

    All beers can be appreciated on some level. There's even a time and place for a warm keg of Red, White & Blue. (The time is when you're 17 years old, and the place is the frat party you've managed to talk your way into.)