Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Beer Report

So I combed through the 39 comments to my request for beer recommendations.  Thanks again to everyone who took the time to share some info.  Most of your comments rolled in while I was gaming or sleeping last night, so the net effect was a little overwhelming at first.  So I built a little spreadsheet to try to tabulate all the info.  Here's what I found out.

Hobgoblin Dark English Ale by Wychwood Brewery was the most recommended beer, with five commenters voicing their approval. I think one of my gaming buddies owns a T-shirt with their logo on it, a gnarly little green dude in a red cap if I recall correctly.

Tied for second with for recommendations were Deschutes Brewery Black Butte, Boddington's Pub Ale and Yeungling's.  My good buddy Stuart noted that Boddington's was "good if you like the creaminess of Guinness", which I do.

Third place goes to Dogfish Head's Raison D'etre, with three recommendations.  Commenter Lagomorph Rex reminds me that these are the guys who have some sort of TV show.  I think I've seen all of 2 minutes of it but I recall the owner or somebody being a giant douchebag.  That's reality TV for you.  I think these are the same guys who make some brews based on reconstructed prehistoric recipes.  I should really check that out.

There were two recommendations for New Belgium Fat Tire and one for Fat Tire amber ale.  Are these the same brew?  If so, it ties with Dogfish Head for third place.

Eight other beers got the nod twice: Anchor Steam, Blue Moon, Chimay, Dixie Brewery's Blackened Voodoo, Goose Island, New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, Smithwick's, and Wells' Bombadier.  Special mention in the dispatches goes to ckutalik and Stacy for suggesting Blue Moon.  I had forgotten that I tried that at a pizza joint a few months ago and found it very refreshing.  And I can totally grok Stacy's recommendation for squeezing a little orange juice into one.

Also receiving special ribbons for reading my mind: Dante for suggesting Caffrey's Irish Ale and spiderj for Kilkenny.  Both commenters noted that there suggestion sat somewhere between Newcastle and Guinness.  I almost worded my query as "what beer might sit between the two"?

Again, thanks to everyone who provided suggestions.


  1. Nice, I need to track down some of that Hobgoblin now. I'd fourth boddingtons, it has that same "tech" in the can as the guinness, giving it that nice creamy texture.

    My father in law says fat tire is bomb, he went to the brewery(he goes to a lot of breweries) and was stoked on there stuff.

  2. I'm too dang busy when I miss your blog about beer. I'll have to look over this and offer my suggestions.

  3. Yeah Sam Calagione can and frequently does come across as a huge douchebag. He also fancies himself a Rapper See the Evidence Here ->

    He's also a HUGE beer nerd.. who is willing to try some totally preposterous ideas. Like the Human Spit + Fermented Corn "Chicha" beer... or the one with shavings from a cedar surfboard in it.

    But they also make the Midas Touch beer which is a reconstructed ancient ale as they call it.. I've never actually come across any of it as a lot of their stuff is produced in small quantities... But I'd be interested in finding it.

    I understand they are supposed to be trying to make one from a recipe thats even older than that from China.

    Similarly a Brewery in Merced California has made a beer using cloned grain found in one of the Pyramids. but the name escapes me at the moment.

  4. I understand they are supposed to be trying to make one from a recipe thats even older than that from China.

    That would be the "Chateau Jiahu" which has been around for a few years now. I like both that and the Midas but in my opinion neither have a very beer-like taste, more like a bitter mead or something.

  5. Murphy's Irish Stout may also be worth trying, though it's kind of a weird one to find.

  6. Well now you'll have to set up a tasting, or as they call it in beer world "A guzzle." I would have recommended Rasputin Black Stout. It gets you where you're going.

    Lazarus Lupin
    art and review

  7. You won't go wrong with any of the beers mentioned. I will add, though, that if you like Hobgoblin when you try it, you might also like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.

    The downside to both is they are a bit pricey in the U.S.

  8. Even though I posted yesterday, I'm going to "+1" Lazurus' Imperial Russian Stout Recomendation (lots of coffee and chocolate flavors, although it can almost border on the sweet side) and Welleran's Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale (closer in spirit to Newcastle).

    A lot of it depends on whether you're drinking them by themselves, if you're drinking them with food, what kind of food you're eating, what temperature they're at (Newcastle can be ruined by being too cold), etc. It's really not all that unlike wine.

    As for the douchebag guy... it's sad that he comes across that way. His show on Discovery, Brewmasters, is actually really interesting, especially when he talks about the ancient brews he's trying to recreate. I've gained more than a few RPG ideas from watching that show, in terms of the history behind beer making.

  9. Well I mean I have no idea what Sam is really like in real life. I've only got that TV show and interviews on youtube to go by.

    He seems to be both highly intelligent when it comes to brewing.. and extremely dedicated to his company/employees.. But just something about him rubs me the wrong way. I dunno if its the laugh or the haircut or what. Regardless of my impression of him, he makes a darn fine product.

    I wasn't aware that that Chinese Beer was out, but then I have a 40 mile round trip to get to a store that sells stuff from them.. let alone their specialty stuff like that. I'll have to keep an eye out.

  10. Yes a slice of orange with a Blue Moon on a hot summer night is a perfect combo.

  11. Anthony11:26 PM

    New Belgium Brewery brews Fat Tire; they are one and the same.

    Glad you did the follow-up post. I may still have some brews to taste.

  12. Hobgoblin's one of the few beers I can stand to drink. But if you want a genuinely fine beverage, I recommend Green Goblin Cider from the same brewery.
    (or just quaff some mead.)

  13. Avery brewing in Colorado has a demonic series of high-octane brews. Southern Tier in New York makes a creme brulee stout that is superb in bee floats (add premium vanilla ice cream).

    Full Sail has a limited lager series called "ltd". Super stuff between a lager and an ale in terms of fullness of flavor.

    American craft beers trend to be extreme in their aspects, while european beers are usually more subtle. I believe there is a beer for every taste. Knowing what you like best, I could steer you more specifically.

  14. It looks like you got a lot of good suggestions. based on Guinness and New Castle, I would have suggested the New Belgium Fat Tire and 1554, as well as, Rogue Dead Guy Ale. I also thought of Yeungling because it is a great darker lager and very affordable.

    I like the Raison D'etre myself but it may be a bit to sweet and heavy for you? St. Peter's, and English Brewery, makes great brew too but they tend to be pricey. I'd also suggest, based on the two styles you enjoy, that you might enjoy any of the many Porter style beers available.

  15. I don't belive no one spoke up for regular old Sam Adam's Boston Lager!? It is good stuff!

  16. Yeah, how did I forget Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout? It is easily one of the best beers in the world!

  17. Bob Oboc11:52 AM

    8 year bartender here.
    New Belgium (Fat Tire's producer) is great; all of their beers are unique and they have a great backstory. They run a green brewery too.
    Hobgoblin will probably be to your liking, similar to Newcastle but more flavorful.
    Westmalle Dubbel, Chimay red, Orval, and Rochefort 10 also are similar to the Castle but each with its own style.
    My personal fav is La Chouffe, a Belgian blonde that hits all the right spots. Their dark version, McChouffe, is also delicious.