Sunday, February 1, 2015

Let's Talk About Beer: Say what?

It took me a long time to come up with a name for this series.  I thought of a lot of beer puns, but decided I didn't want to be too cutesy or annoying.  I wanted the series name to be very obvious, but I didn't want it to be boring.  A lot of the ideas I had were already taken (thanks for the help, Google search). After much debating, I decided to keep it simple. 

I've got an exciting year of posts planned. I also recently took on a new part-time job at a brewery, which I think is going to help me give you some great insights and information. 

At the close of each post, I'll also recommend some tasty beers I recently tried or that fit in with events/holidays for that month.

I thought I'd start this series by sharing some of the comments I hear about craft beer all the time.  Some are true.  Some are partially true.  And some are very false. 

All beer tastes the same.
This could not be more false. Domestics pretty much all taste the same, but craft beer offers a bouquet of flavors, including chocolate, coffee, fruits, and coconut.  So delicious!

Craft beer is always so hoppy and hops are gross.
Again, untrue.  Some beers are very hoppy (especially IPAs), but don't be so quick to dismiss them.  Beer makers have access to a variety of hops with different flavors and mouthfeels (I'll get into this topic later). They don't all taste the same.  And don't be mean to hops. They have feelings too.

Dark beers are too strong and heavy.
I used to think this too, but I was wrong.  The color of a beer has nothing to do with its alcohol content or weight.  My favorite brewery has a milk stout that's only 5.4 ABV and a double IPA that's 9.0 ABV. I also recently tried the Master of Disguise by Stone Brewing -- it was the color of a lager (light brown), but it tasted like a stout (which it was) and is 9.7 ABV.  Looks can be deceiving!

I drink domestics because they're cheaper, and I want to get drunk.
Well, they are cheaper, but it's going to take more of them to get drunk.  Their ABV is typically about half of the average craft beer.  It might actually cost about the same to drink three craft beers as six domestics.  Plus, if your motivation for drinking beer is to get drunk, craft beer probably isn't best for you anyway.  Craft beer is about flavors.  I'm not saying I haven't gotten drunk on craft beer, but that was definitely more of an accident.

I don't like beer, I'll stick with wine/mixed drinks.
I'm a firm believer that there is a beer for everyone.  You just have to find the right one for you.  I encourage you to broaden your horizons and at least sample some craft beers. You don't have to jump right in and order a full glass.  Any good brewery or bar will let you have a taste before you commit to a full pour. If you still don't like beer after a few samples, that's fine. All I ask is that you give it a chance.

Sip on this
This is the month of love and chocolate, right?  These beers are perfect.

Raspberry Latte Stout (7.6 ABV)
Millstream Brewing Co. / Amana, Iowa
When asked to describe this beer, one of my friends said, "it tastes like Godiva."  Need I say more?
Beer Advocate score = 85 (very good)
Untapped rating = 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Big Lushious (7.8 ABV) 
Founders Brewing Co. / Grand Rapids, MI
The raspberry and dark chocolate flavors combine for a smooth and sweet finish.
Beer Advocate score = 88 (very good)
Untapped rating = 4 stars (out of 5)

Yes, they're both stouts with raspberry. I should probably apologize, but I won't. They're both delicious!


Next month, I'll talk about how to taste beer.  Yes, there is a process that will help you distinguish the different beers and determine what you like and don't like.

If you have specific questions or topic requests for this series, please let me know.  I want to help!


  1. I love this series already!! I need to try both of those beers you mentioned. And I used to turn my nose up at dark beers but now I love them. So much goodness to craft beer, I can't wait to read more!!

  2. I love this series. I'm so not a beer drinker {hello, wine!} but maybe you're right - maybe there's one out there for me. Do Crispin and Angry Orchard count as beer?

  3. Very cute! Love the picture. I am a wine girl but you have a beer blog written all over you.

  4. mmm raspberry latte beer, i want that.


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