Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:20 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,381
That's one of the few things I DID know about beer. I tend to prefer both lower alcohol and darker beers, so that works well for me.

(Menus often list the alcohol content, and I will generally pick from the beers that have less alcohol.)
  #102  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:55 AM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
One more thing, I am sure that this isn't news to hardcore beer geeks, but many European dark beers are actually lower in alcohol than the lighter (in color) styles like pils or lager.

It might seem counter-intuitive (Maybe because dark beer "looks" stronger? Maybe many English or American ales or stouts that are also dark in color ARE high in alcohol?) but sometimes the dark beers here are pretty mild, by comparison.

The Czech Budweiser Budvar Dark Lager is 4.7%, while the original is 5.0%.
While true, be careful of those Baltic porters!

The one that surprises people, despite a bit of an ad campaign touting its lower calorieness (which typically means lower alcohol, as well) is Guinness. It’s got fewer calories and lower alcohol than an MGD or regular Bud. (125 v 140 v 150 in a 12 oz serving and 4.2% v 4.7% v 5% abv.) And it’s only a little bit more caloric than most American light beers (in fact, there was at least one—I think Michelob Light— that it was less caloric than. ETA: No, that one clocks in at 123, so pretty much even—if they even still sell it. Ultra has become their main light beer from what I can tell. Anyway, I could swear there was one, though.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-15-2019 at 08:59 AM.
  #103  
Old 05-15-2019, 05:40 PM
China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,603
Guinness is my go to low alcohol, low calorie beer when out and about. It's pretty rare to find a micro brew/brewpub that comes in lower. Many of the so-called "session" beers are still 5% ABV.

I got back into homebrewing specifically to make tasty low alcohol/low calorie beers. I've got a pretty good catalogue now of 2-3% ABV beers that I do (and even more if I get up towards a whopping 4% ABV). These days having a 4% or 5% brew seems like a big beer. My focus is on English styles, since they are generally lower alcohol. I only recently figured out the Czech low gravity beers, and did a couple of batches of 3%+ this winter that were decent but need finetuning.

I get that brewpubs don't do these because the cost is pretty equivalent to a bigger beer, and small beers don't give much margin for error. If someone tries to sell a 3% craft beer at a craft beer price, they will probably never get shelf space.

BTW, Notch Brewing does Czech and other lower octane beers below 4.5% ABV. They are in Salem, MA and don't distribute to the West Coast. Anyone here had their stuff and what do you think?
  #104  
Old 05-16-2019, 09:53 AM
bump is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,854
The vast, vast majority of beers are between about 4 and 7% ABV, regardless of style.

The thing is, a lot of uninformed people tend to conflate alcoholic strength with "bigger" beers in terms of flavor, mouthfeel or color. That's why you get people talking about how strong Guinness is, even though it's actually on the lower end of the range, and a fairly "light" beer in terms of alcohol, etc... It's just that it's very dark and has intense roasted flavors, so people assume that also means high alcohol.

In general, original gravity tends to track fairly close to the final gravity and ABV- at least enough to where a beer with an original gravity of 12 degree Plato/1.048 SG will generally be more alcoholic than a beer with an OG of 10 degrees Plato/1.040 SG will be. And in general, there's a limited range of alcoholic strengths that a beer of a particular OG can have as well.

Czech pilsners are on the middle-high side for original gravity at the 12-14 degree Plato/1.048-1.057 range (more or less), but what distinguishes them is that due to malt variety and brewing techniques, they're extremely malty, and they have a correspondingly high hop bitterness as well. The bitterness unit / gravity unit ratio for your average Czech pilsner is 0.8, which is high- it's on par with your average pale ale, and considerably higher than most beers.

They're balanced though- they don't give off that hop-head HOPS! impression, even though they may have 40-50 IBU. I guess my best description is that most international/American "pilsners" taste like someone took a Czech pilsner and watered it down with carbonated water. You get some of it, but it's watered down and insipid compared to the genuine article.

The biggest problem is that the maltiness or hops changes over time (not sure which), and the hop bitterness gets sharper, throwing the balance off.
  #105  
Old 05-22-2019, 06:31 AM
China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
That's one of the few things I DID know about beer. I tend to prefer both lower alcohol and darker beers, so that works well for me.

(Menus often list the alcohol content, and I will generally pick from the beers that have less alcohol.)
You might like English "milds". Trouble is, almost no one brews these commercially in the US.
  #106  
Old 05-22-2019, 06:35 AM
FairyChatMom's Avatar
FairyChatMom is offline
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 41,429
I decided to ask one of my coworkers what kind of beer has been served at company functions here - he had no idea, and he drinks the stuff! That told me a lot - like, if it's available for free, it's good.
  #107  
Old 05-22-2019, 06:59 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 10,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
We're going to have an open house and I know some of the attendees like beer. I'm not looking to impress, but I don't want to buy crap, either. What's a decent brand that most people are likely to enjoy? And how do I figure how much to get? 2-3 bottles/cans per person? I don't need tons of leftovers.

Life would be so much easier if everyone drank lemonade...
I know I'm way late, but Blue Moon is a pretty safe bet for having some people over. Might want to offer some Coor's Light or some Stella for people who expect their beer to be pee colored.
  #108  
Old 05-22-2019, 07:01 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 10,039
And then there's...Asahi. But who the hell would drink that?!
  #109  
Old 05-22-2019, 07:08 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 40,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
I know I'm way late, but Blue Moon is a pretty safe bet for having some people over. Might want to offer some Coor's Light or some Stella for people who expect their beer to be pee colored.
Maybe. I'll drink most things, but Blue Moon has a raw egg/wet dog flavor that really puts me off.
  #110  
Old 05-22-2019, 07:36 AM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 31,952
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Maybe. I'll drink most things, but Blue Moon has a raw egg/wet dog flavor that really puts me off.
That's what the orange slice is meant to coverup.
  #111  
Old 05-22-2019, 08:24 AM
China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
That's what the orange slice is meant to coverup.
Bwahahahahahahhahaha. True dat!
  #112  
Old 05-22-2019, 08:26 AM
China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
And then there's...Asahi. But who the hell would drink that?!
Asahi beer always seems like #3 out of the three major Japanese breweries BUT their HQ has a giant flying sperm on top of it! It looks worse in real life.
  #113  
Old 05-22-2019, 02:55 PM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 10,039
Actually, my go-to favorite of the major brews when I was in Japan was Yebisu. Asahi just had cheaper shit at the convenience store and I wasn't as picky back then. I also loved, loved, loved Chu-Hi and umeshu but this is thread creep - sorry.
  #114  
Old 05-22-2019, 02:57 PM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 10,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Maybe. I'll drink most things, but Blue Moon has a raw egg/wet dog flavor that really puts me off.
?

I won't say it's the best, but it's perfectly drinkable without an orange. A typical Amreicanish wheat beer, I'd say. But yeah, I suppose the orange slice doesn't foul the taste either.
  #115  
Old 05-22-2019, 03:11 PM
bump is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,854
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
That's one of the few things I DID know about beer. I tend to prefer both lower alcohol and darker beers, so that works well for me.

(Menus often list the alcohol content, and I will generally pick from the beers that have less alcohol.)
Guinness Draught is probably something you'd like then; it's as dark as beers get, and it's also low alcohol relative to most other beers, although still about half a percentage point more than the English Mild style that China Guy suggests.

Blue Moon is just a really blah big brewery attempt at a Belgian Wit style beer. Hoegaarden, Celis White, Allagash White, etc... are all better. Probably any craft beer described as "white ale" or "witbier" or even I suppose "Belgian wheat" is going to be in the same style and better than Blue Moon.
  #116  
Old 05-22-2019, 04:35 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 40,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
?

I won't say it's the best, but it's perfectly drinkable without an orange. A typical Amreicanish wheat beer, I'd say. But yeah, I suppose the orange slice doesn't foul the taste either.
My gateway beer was Widmer Hefeweizen, although the typos on their page fill me with enough pedantrage that I almost want to disavow them.

Still, I love a good wheat beer. Can't stand Blue Moon.
  #117  
Old 05-22-2019, 05:30 PM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 12,877
The best beer is free and cold.
  #118  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:27 PM
FairyChatMom's Avatar
FairyChatMom is offline
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 41,429
Since starting this thread, I've attended 2 events that included many of the folks who will be invited to our open house. The predominant beer was Bud Light, with a smattering of Corona, Blue Moon and Yuengling. So based on that and the recommendation of my sister the bartender, it'll be Bud Light and Yuengling. The invites are going out now, and I'm hoping we get some RSVPs so I know how much to buy.

I do appreciate all the input from everyone.

Now I need to work out the finger foods...
  #119  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:49 PM
Inner Stickler's Avatar
Inner Stickler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 14,971
Field work! I love it!
  #120  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:27 PM
ISiddiqui is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,661
I would say that while Yuengling is better than Bud, it isn't THAT much better... but you shouldn't have too much of a complaint.
  #121  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:00 PM
Enright3 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,548
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
No they won't.

Buy some mass produced German or Dutch beer (not Heineken!) like Amstel or St. Pauli Girl. For all that is holy DO NOT provide anything "lite."
Wow there are a lot of beer snobs here. What's wrong with Heineken? Personally I can't stand Amstel.

The rule of thumb is to start with what's actually most popular? For all you people who think Miller Lite and Bud Light are an abomination, based on sales numbers most people don't agree with you. (and to silenus, who said not to have any Lite beer... Why?)

Also what this thread has shown you is the need for variety.
Personally when I have a party, I stock up with mostly Miller Lite, or possibly Bud Light. Then I will pick up a variety of other "high end" beers.

Different circumstances call for different beers. And sometimes the circumstance is that I don't want to drink a heavy beer; so I'll have Miller Lite. Other times I might want a Guinness.
  #122  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:10 PM
MikeF is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,564
I just tried Founders "Solid Gold" . It a nice lager with a 4.4% alcohol content. It may be my new summer beer. Warsteiner is tough to replace on a hot day, though.
  #123  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:19 PM
Ike Witt's Avatar
Ike Witt is offline
Friend of Cecil
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 14,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enright3 View Post
What's wrong with Heineken?
Nothing, if you get it on draught. The issue with it, for me, is the usual skunkiness that comes from being in a green bottle.
  #124  
Old 06-12-2019, 04:06 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enright3 View Post
...
Personally when I have a party, I stock up with mostly Miller Lite, or possibly Bud Light. Then I will pick up a variety of other "high end" beers...
When I host a party, I prepare lots of delicious food, taking into account the dietary needs and preferences of pretty much all of my guests, and I tell them I will have water, and perhaps mulled cider (if it's winter) and they are welcome to bring anything else they'd like to drink.

I mean, if it's Passover, I provide grape juice and wine, and I brew coffee for my bridge group. And if the conversation veers towards scotch, I'll offer up what I have. and I might even buy a few cans of soda for the basement fridge. But I don't plan to have drinks for everything people want, and rarely provide booze.
  #125  
Old 06-12-2019, 04:18 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
Since starting this thread, I've attended 2 events that included many of the folks who will be invited to our open house. The predominant beer was Bud Light, with a smattering of Corona, Blue Moon and Yuengling. So based on that and the recommendation of my sister the bartender, it'll be Bud Light and Yuengling. The invites are going out now, and I'm hoping we get some RSVPs so I know how much to buy.

I do appreciate all the input from everyone.

Now I need to work out the finger foods...
Yeah, that sounds reasonable to me. They don't have Yuengling here in the Chicago area, but it is distributed over in Indiana. I was on a work assignment in Indianapolis for three days last week and, even though I'm a craft beer kind of guy and the Indy liquor stores had swaths of craft beers to choose from, I ended up taking home a sixer of Yuengling tall boys for after-work refreshment.
  #126  
Old 06-12-2019, 04:54 PM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is offline
Isaiah 1:15/Screw the NRA
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 51,228
Not bad. A beer and a water substitute should do you.

Enright - alight beer isn’t. Beer I mean. It is beneath contempt. Popular just means the majority have no taste buds. Beer snob? I wear the badge proudly.

And Heineken blows, except on draft within a limited range from the brewery.
  #127  
Old 06-12-2019, 05:04 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
And Heineken blows, except on draft within a limited range from the brewery.
Once upon a time, circa 2000/2001, I found myself in the Netherlands hungry and thirsty. I don't think I was in Amsterdam, but my memory is fuzzy. I stopped into a cafe of some sort, not expecting much, ordered a fish & chips of some sort and grabbed a brown bottled beer (this was some sort of counter service place, as I remember.) I don't think it even registered to me what beer I was grabbing, just that it was beer, and I just really wanted a beer. I take a sip of it, think, oh my, this is some pretty decent Dutch beer, I wonder what it is? Turns out, Heineken. Now, perhaps my desire for food and drink of any type at that point colored my impression of the beer, but I swear to God I remember it as being good. And in a brown bottle!
  #128  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:01 AM
Royal Nonesutch is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 391
Heineken sold in the Netherlands is a pilsner, and a TOTALLY different recipie than the lager style Heineken sold everywhere else in the world.

A properly poured, cold draught Heineken pils in a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Delft or Den Haag on a warm summer's afternoon is one of life's finest simple pleasures.

That said, the Heineken lager sold in every other country on Earth is a last resort, only for when there is absolutely no better option.

(On a Heineken brewery tour many years ago I asked why they don't export Heineken pils, but I forget what the reason the absolutely stunning young Dutch tour-guide told me)
  #129  
Old 06-15-2019, 01:31 AM
China Guy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 11,603
I was in Amsterdam in January for the first time. Heineken was ok but just mediocre ok. A mass market beer without a lot of taste. I did not pick up on "this is so great, and so different from other countries."

I've noticed a lot of people on vacation some where have great memories of the beer. I think it probably was a lot more the great vacation memories. Singha in Thailand, San Miguel in the Philippines being exhibit 1 and 2, your honor. YMMV

That said, I had a friend bring me back a standard Pilsner Urquell that had been recently bottled. Much much much hoppier than what I normally get in the US (hop flavors fade over time). Also my friend brought back a swing top version of Pilsner Urquell that wasn't the standard version, and that was mighty tasty.
  #130  
Old 06-15-2019, 08:42 AM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Nonesutch View Post
Heineken sold in the Netherlands is a pilsner, and a TOTALLY different recipie than the lager style Heineken sold everywhere else in the world.

A properly poured, cold draught Heineken pils in a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Delft or Den Haag on a warm summer's afternoon is one of life's finest simple pleasures.

That said, the Heineken lager sold in every other country on Earth is a last resort, only for when there is absolutely no better option.

(On a Heineken brewery tour many years ago I asked why they don't export Heineken pils, but I forget what the reason the absolutely stunning young Dutch tour-guide told me)
That's interesting. Of course, a pilsener is a type of lager, but it does appear that there are bottles which say "lager" and others that others that say "pilsener." And the American ones just say "Brewed in Holland" where the beer type is normally stated. Looks like the one I had, did, indeed, state pilsener.

That said, are you sure these are two different styles? Did on the tour they say they make a pilsener and a lager and only export one of them? I can't seem to find anything definitive on the web that states they are two different formulas. The Wikipedia page simply equates the two, implying they just call the Heineken Lager beer Heineken Pilsener in Dutch. And the two major beer rating sites (which are pretty good even with international variations), don't have a separate entry for Heineken Pilsener. So I'd be curious to know something more definitive about this, especially given that a pilsener is a type of lager.
  #131  
Old 06-15-2019, 08:50 AM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by China Guy View Post
I was in Amsterdam in January for the first time. Heineken was ok but just mediocre ok.
Yeah, don't get me wrong--it didn't blow me away, but "mediocre" is much better than my normal experience of it.

Quote:
I've noticed a lot of people on vacation some where have great memories of the beer. I think it probably was a lot more the great vacation memories.
There's definitely risk of some of that going on. I try to control for it (I did say I was particularly hungry and thirsty, so that could have some bearing on it), and I wasn't on vacation or anything like that (it was work), but, maybe it was the brown bottle, but it actually was a palatable beer in way I've never found a Heineken to be before or since. Still, wouldn't have been one of my top choices.

Quote:
That said, I had a friend bring me back a standard Pilsner Urquell that had been recently bottled. Much much much hoppier than what I normally get in the US (hop flavors fade over time).
I've never had a bottled PU which I really liked (to me, it's about as good as a Heineken), but I lived in Hungary for several years, and the PU on draft there was particularly good. Maybe it's in comparison to the traditional local lagers like Dreher or Arany Aszok (they have quite the craft beer scene there now), but I don't think that's it, either. It must have been close enough and fresh enough to the source that it was actually delicious. It wasn't so much the hoppiness I noticed, but just the base malt flavor came out a lot more than in the bottled beers. Even the bottled PUs in Budapest didn't taste like the draft one I would get at a particular pub.

Oddly, despite spending time here and there in the Czech Republic (ETA: Oh, wait, it's Czechia now, isn't it?), I never actually had a PU there, as I was busy exploring the other options. But even in Budapest the difference was clear to me from what you get in the bottled version.

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-15-2019 at 08:52 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:39 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017