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Pacific NW Heretic


Wilson
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My local usually has three Belgians, two IPAs, a couple stouts, four lagers, a porter, a hefeweizen...and maybe four other beers of varying styles: Scotch ale, Baltic porter, ESB, what have you.

You've just described the characteristics of any half-way serious beer place in Seattle.

I refuse to accept that beer scene in the PNW is anything less than one of the most diverse and interesting anywhere. If you want to try to judge it by what's available in grocery stores or in the average 5-handle bar, you're simply missing the boat entirely.

Refuse what you will. I talk to people in the PNW every week about beer, and while they do say that Seattle's selection is probably the widest in the region, it still does not have the variety of the East and Chicago.

Fact is, there's no way to prove this, and there's no POINT to proving it. Wilson's point is that he finds the beer selection in the PNW not to his liking, and what might he be missing. All I've seen in response is that there must be something wrong with him, because the PNW is beer heaven. Does that sound reasonable to you?

Probably does. You can always tell a PNW beerlover...but you can't tell 'em much.

Lew Bryson

I Drink for a Living

Somewhere in the world...it's Beer O'Clock. Let's have one.

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Lew, the PacNW in general has an inferiority complex, and that's probably responsible for the tone of some of the replies. You see it reflected in weird, amusing little ways. Try telling someone in Portland it's an o.k. town but maybe a little oversold. Try telling someone in Seattle that the new light rail is a huge waste of money -- should have been a dedicated busway instead, and it would have been much cheaper but just as useful -- and that the planned monorail is an outlandishly expensive eyesore that makes no sense whatsoever. Here's one: Try telling someone in Seattle that the state and local governments here are much more corrupt and incompetent than major cities in the East other than Washington and Philadelphia.

I really like Seattle and the Pac NW a lot, but cosmopolitan it ain't. At least in Boston -- which, for the East, was long considered parochial by comparison to New York -- if you rip it a new asshole in a conversation the person will likely pause and at the very least say, "Yeah you've got a point," or more likely agree with you wholeheartedly. Ditto for Chicago, L.A. or Washington. Only the provincial places go batshit about criticism. Hey kids, the beer is too bitter and they run the place like Hooterville, but life goes on. Really. :rolleyes:

The wine and beer selection at my liquor store in Boston beat the variety of anything out here by a very wide margin. Especially French wines. Now I'm sure someone will snap, "Well, if you like Boston so much then why don't you move back?!" The ultimate small town insult. To which I'd answer that I live here in spite of certain things. There's no heaven on earth, and hey, as long as I can get good beer from outside the region in the stores, I'm happy.

Oh, and one other advantage of Seattle is that you can have wine shipped. Massachusetts doesn't allow it, which really does suck. But what the PacNW really has going for it is its physical beauty. Try as they might, the various government and corporate entities here have not managed to ruin it. Yet. :cool:

Edited by Wilson (log)
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Jeez, dudes--why doesn't everybody kick back and have a brew. . . of his or her preference?!?!?

agnolottigirl

~~~~~~~~~~~

"They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach."-- Luigi Barzini, The Italians

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Jeez, dudes--why doesn't everybody kick back and have a brew. . . of his or her preference?!?!?

Maybe because this is a website where anal-rententive people meet to criticize all things food? If you just want to kick back, see ya at Burger King ...

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Wilson's point is that he finds the beer selection in the PNW not to his liking, and what might he be missing. All I've seen in response is that there must be something wrong with him, because the PNW is beer heaven. Does that sound reasonable to you?

Probably does. You can always tell a PNW beerlover...but you can't tell 'em much.

The only thing worse than irrationally defensive locals is when non-locals who are from or have lived in "real cities" resort to condescension and insults when we hicks in the sticks don't immediately kow-tow to their superior knowledge and worldliness..the "Seattle-ites have such an inferiority complex and are so close-mined" line has become even more of a cliche than the behavior its a reaction to...

Lew, the part of the thread you missed is where several of us tried to point out to Wilson that experiencing the true breadth and depth of northwest beer offerings might require him to drink some of it out of a glass. He dismissed this as an unreasonable proposition, which I, and I suspect most serious beer drinkers from anywhere, find rediculous.

BTW Wilson, I heartily agree with you that light rail is a colossal waste of money and the monorail will quite possibly end up being the biggest white elephant in the history of public works projects. Between the state of beer and public transportation projects, it is a true wonder that you deign to grace the city with your presence.

Edited by tighe (log)

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Lew, the part of the thread you missed is where several of us tried to point out to Wilson that experiencing the true breadth and depth of northwest beer offerings might require him to drink some of it out of a glass. He dismissed this as an unreasonable proposition, which I, and I suspect most serious beer drinkers from anywhere, find rediculous.

I have always regarded beer as the antidote to becoming too serious. Oh, and I always drink beer out of a glass including the canned Boddie's and Guiness.

BTW Wilson, I heartily agree with you that light rail is a colossal waste of money and the monorail will quite possibly end up being the biggest white elephant in the history of public works projects. Between the state of beer and public transportation projects, it is a true wonder that you deign to grace the city with your presence.

Well, tighe, at least you went a baby-step above the prototypical small-town insult, i.e., "If you don't like it, go home." I decided to move to Seattle because the advantages (climate, natural beauty, slow pace, easy to get around, good middle-of-the-road restaurants) outweighed the disadvantages (bitter beer, bad governance, relative unsophistication, rampant poverty outside of Puget Sound). People in the sticks always want to hear how great everything is, but I never tell people what they want to hear until it's within an hour of closing time. Oh Seattle! So laid back, and baby I just loooooooooove the beer here! :cool:

p.s.: Today I drank that $3.50 22-oz. bottle Zephryus pilsner from Elysian, a brewpub in Seattle, that I had bought last weekend at Larry's. It reminded me of the Arrogant Bastard Ale I occasionally drank. Very heavy, alcoholic, tasting like medicine. But the Elysian was advertised as a pilsner lager. If that's a pilsner lager than I'm the queen of England. I suppose I need to go get a couple bottles of Budvar (Czechvar in the U.S. as a distant consequence of Anheuser-Busch having had the farsight to buy the Budweiser name on the eve of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia :wacko:) and Pilsner Urquell just to be sure, but my taste buds are saying that the guys at Elysian never met a hop recipe they didn't want to double. So far, I'm coming to the conclusion that, when it comes to throwing all the hops they can find into a vat of brew, people around here have slip'd the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of God. :sad:

Edited by Wilson (log)
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Well, tighe, at least you went a baby-step above the prototypical small-town insult, i.e., "If you don't like it, go home." ... I suppose I need to go get a couple bottles of Budvar (Czechvar in the U.S. as a distant consequence of Anheuser-Busch having had the farsight to buy the Budweiser name on the eve of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia :wacko:)...

Sorry, forgot you lived in Boston, maybe this kind of insult will resonate more for you:

"Yo buddy! I got your hops for ya, right HERE!....."

Speaking of Budweiser, I hear they make a pilsner with sweetness and no detectable hop flavor, sounds exactly like what you're looking for....and not only can you get it in bottles, you can get it in cans too!!

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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tighe, actually Boston is just the last place I lived, but I was born and raised in Milwaukee. When I was growing up, it was roughly the same size as Seattle and roughly as provincial, but like Seattle it has become considerably more outward looking and sophisticated over the years. Hometown loyalties are great; I am a huge fam of them. I am also a huge fan of Milwaukee but don't live there essentially because I prefer the climate and scenery in Seattle. Taxes are a whole lot lower out here, too, the 9%+ WA sales tax notwithstanding. Although if Seattle keeps doing egregiously stupid things with taxpayer money, it's only a matter of time before the tax burden is just as high as California or any Midwestern or Eastern state. The immaturity of the voters and elected officials out here is really quite stunning by comparison to virtually every other place I've lived other than Washington, D.C., whose local government set new standards for idiocy and corruption while I lived there in the 1980s.

Anyhow, it's ridiculous to imply that, because I am sharply critical of the overloading of PacNW beers with hops, that I somehow don't like hops. Put it this way: I like salt in my food but that doesn't mean I want the cook to dump the whole container in there. Easy does it. Next time you're in Wisconsin, you really ought to give Capital Brewing's Gartenbrau a try. They serve it on tap at the U of Wisconsin Union in Madison, and you can buy it in bottles all over the state. Capital Brewing has become the biggest craft brewer in the state, and I think they're set to keep growing as opposed to just hanging on by their fingernails like so many PacNW craft brewers.

Or put a bottle of Budvar/Czechvar next to a bottle of prototypical PacNW ale -- something from Deschutes, or maybe Pike Brewery, which I think makes high-quality but horrendously unbalanced products. Don't be so defensive. I've already said that, 1) the PacNW makes a good quality product (ingredients, freshness) that unfortunately doesn't taste very good, and 2) I'd rather find a PacNW craft brew that I liked. If I find such an animal, trust me I will post it here; my criticism is that of disappointment not cynicism. I've lived in lots of places and I have always sought out local products wherever I go. If we should ever get together to hoist a few, you'd see what I mean just by looking around my house.

And oh by the way, if we were going to start in on a discussion of Boston or Milwaukee, both of which I have very positive feelings about, I could quite readily find and discuss the flaws without batting an eyelash. Going batshit at criticism is the hallmark not of a world-class town, but of insecurity. Finally, I do realize there's been some overstatement for effect on both sides, so if you promise not to take me completely literally I will do the same ...

Edited by Wilson (log)
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And oh by the way, if we were going to start in on a discussion of Boston or Milwaukee, both of which I have very positive feelings about, I could quite readily find and discuss the flaws without batting an eyelash. Going batshit at criticism is the hallmark not of a world-class town, but of insecurity. Finally, I do realize there's been some overstatement for effect on both sides, so if you promise not to take me completely literally I will do the same ...

I'll take that deal..... :wink:

BUT, since when does defending one tiny aspect of Seattle (the beer) make me a blind apologist for the whole city, as you've repeatedly implied? I have strong opinions on this subject, so I'm going to voice them strongly. I have strong opinions on plenty of subjects that have nothing to do with Seattle that I would voice equally as strongly. Trash Seattle politics, government, transportation, even restaurants all you want, I probably even agree with you on much of it. What I don't take well is the idea that any contradiction of an outside opinion is a sign of ignorance, provincialism and insecurity.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Is it just me, or am I the only one thinking Wilson doesn't like hoppy beer? Wow, man.

I've often noticed, from working in a brewery, that there are distinct flavor thresholds for different people. Not that some beers are not over hopped, but alot of the IBU's detectable to some as bitterness are just nuances of flavor to others. Remember the bitterness test you did in grade school science.......uh huh. I for one have an ever changing hop tolerance. Usually, I've noticed, it is a very seasonal issue with me. Furthermore, as with Wilson, I get a little burned out on hops after I've over indulged in one of my hoppy binges.

Another thing about PNW beers is the historic aspects of the brew. Hops were primarily used as a preservative in their early days, centuries ago, as a way to help the beer last longer on extended sea journeys. This could reflect some of the style of the region. I've noticed it in other northerly port regions.

But mostly, supply and demand controls all. Brewers are smart and most take notes. They make more of what is selling. We make several beers here that are not exactly the faves of those making it, but the customers love them and buy them so we keep making them. They are great beers, don't get me wrong, but everybody has his own tastes.

Another note on bitter detectability: We make a beer we call Hop Jack that we use a different, single hop variety in every batch. It gives the beer drinker a chance to taste the individual character of a specific hop and compare their preference when we bring out the next batch. Some are so less bitter than others such as Amarillo, my personal favorite. I, like Wilson, have much respect for those that balance hop charachter. But I still like to have my socks knocked off from a hop blast from time to time.

RM

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That's not all he doesn't like! :raz:

agnolottigirl

~~~~~~~~~~~

"They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach."-- Luigi Barzini, The Italians

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tighe, you've got a point about the broad brush I used. Maybe I armed myself a tad bit too fully when going after one of the regional sacred cows, the bitter beer.

rick, yeah I understand that you have to make what the customers will buy. I'm all in favor of that. I guess my argument is that craft beer in the PacNW has only 5% of the market and is struggling -- all while there's this whole style of beer that goes virtually ignored. I mean, it's not exactly a whacked out, bizarre idiosyncracy to want to drink a well-made, balanced pilsner lager or a creamy ale that tastes good the second and third time around. Pilsner lager accounts for 90%+ of the market, and there is a huge difference between a well-made pilsner and the swill that Bud, Miller et al. pump out. There's the opportunity staring the craft brewers right between the eyes and they insist on looking the other way.

It's just not true that I dislike hops. It's a matter of balance. How can you say that I don't like hops when I've listed favorite beers as Boddington's Ale, Budvar and Anchor Steam?! And yeah, I occasionally enjoy an uber-bitter blast, but less and less. I find most PacNW ales unpleasant to drink. And trust me, it's not a matter of my declining consumption of beer. :cool:

And yes, agnolo, I'm a curmudgeon. Especially when I write. But I'm really much nicer in person, especially when I'm drunk. :biggrin:

Edited by Wilson (log)
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And yes, agnolo, I'm a curmudgeon. Especially when I write. But I'm really much nicer in person, especially when I'm drunk.
Aren't we all? Takes a big man to admit . . . all that! :cool:

But seriously--I've read that there are significant regional differences in taste preferences. I forget where, or what the specifics were, but one thing this mystery article mentioned was that bitter flavors (tonic water was one of the examples) are much more popular in the PNW than elsewhere, and that very sweet stuff sells better in New England and in the south than on the west coast.

We'll have to stay tuned and see if your taste buds adapt!

agnolottigirl

~~~~~~~~~~~

"They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach."-- Luigi Barzini, The Italians

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Wilson's point is that he finds the beer selection in the PNW not to his liking, and what might he be missing. All I've seen in response is that there must be something wrong with him, because the PNW is beer heaven. Does that sound reasonable to you?

Probably does. You can always tell a PNW beerlover...but you can't tell 'em much.

The only thing worse than irrationally defensive locals is when non-locals who are from or have lived in "real cities" resort to condescension and insults when we hicks in the sticks don't immediately kow-tow to their superior knowledge and worldliness...

Lew, the part of the thread you missed is where several of us tried to point out to Wilson that experiencing the true breadth and depth of northwest beer offerings might require him to drink some of it out of a glass. He dismissed this as an unreasonable proposition, which I, and I suspect most serious beer drinkers from anywhere, find rediculous.

Tighe, you're over-reacting. I have nothing but love for Seattle; been there twice, can't wait to get back, might go later this year. I do NOT think it's provincial or unsophisticated, I'd rather go there than any west coast American city. Except maybe San Diego, where the beer's REALLY hoppy.

BUT it has been my experience over the past 15 years that PNWers and Seattleites/Cascadians in particular have a big blindspot about their craft-brewed beer. It's really hoppy, and it tends to all be hoppy, across the range, with a very small selection of other styles. Now I like hoppy beers: HopDevil, Two-Hearted Ale, Racer 5, 90 Minute IPA, Alpha King, they're all great. But I like to have other choices, and the PNW is NOT known for its other choices (other than your aberrant "hefeweizen"), and rightly so.

And I didn't miss anything in the thread. Wilson either doesn't like to go out, or he is somehow restrained from going out...so how is he going to get draft? I have to admit, though...quoting Boddington's and Anchor Steam as a defense of "I like hoppy beers"...is a bit lame. Better come up with something hoppier if you want to be taken seriously, because you're not even convincing me with those!

Lew Bryson

I Drink for a Living

Somewhere in the world...it's Beer O'Clock. Let's have one.

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I think alot of folks view hop character as they do the wasabi in a sushi roll: Bring it on, I can take it! Which fuels some of the market for over hopped beer. I know I was into that thing 10 years ago. Now, even moreso than malt, I enjoy yeast characters in beer. Weizens and Belgian wheat style beer with a good thick sediment in the bottle really satisfy my need to taste something a little further out. Dunkelweizen is a favorite because you get malt and yeast character.

But back to my original point, I think some are just more sensitive to hops than others. Sometimes hop aroma gives me a sinus headache and the bitterness keeps me from tasting anything else. Sometimes not. It's still beer and thats what matters to me!

RM

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I have to admit, though...quoting Boddington's and Anchor Steam as a defense of "I like hoppy beers"...is a bit lame.

Boddington's is classified as an ordinary English bitter. Pretty smooth stuff, not much hop flavor. But it IS a bitter.

http://bjcp.org/styleguide04.html

And the balanced pilsners (Urquell, Budvar) are certainly not without hops flavors. I can taste the hops in Anchor Steam, too. I like hops. I just don't like to be sledgehammered in the forehead with them. And trust me, I really wouldn't give a rat's ass about this whole subject if just about every damn beer in the PacNW wasn't the same thing.

And even at that, I still don't care as much as these impassioned threads would imply. The situation just seems too ridiculous not to comment on it, and seeing as how this is eGullet and that it has a beer board, why not say something? But if the craft brewers are satisfied by catering to one tiny slice of the market for good beer, and if most other people on this board agree for whatever reason, well then who am I to point out there for every guy who wants his tongue burned off there are probably four or five guys who don't?

Wilson either doesn't like to go out, or he is somehow restrained from going out...so how is he going to get draft?

I'm just not much of a tavern sort of guy. We eagerly go to restaurants, but always drink wine in them. For me, beer is what I have at home, often with a cigar, cheese and crackers. So sue me.

Edited by Wilson (log)
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I think alot of folks view hop character as they do the wasabi in a sushi roll:  Bring it on, I can take it!  Which fuels some of the market for over hopped beer.  I know I was into that thing 10 years ago.  Now, even moreso than malt, I enjoy yeast characters in beer.  Weizens and Belgian wheat style beer with a good thick sediment in the bottle really satisfy my need to taste something a little further out.  Dunkelweizen is a favorite because you get malt and yeast character.

Boy, you said a mouthful. Too many American brewers think the way to make a great beer is to throw in more hops. Some of them have moved on to malt bombs. But so many are scared to death to use anything but that damned clean and soul-less Chico 1056 yeast. American brewers are just starting to mess about with yeast. There are obviously exceptions to this, but they are just that; exceptions. This is where Euro-brewers still have the clear advantage. Hey, we've come a long way in 30 years, a LONG way. I expect we'll continue to improve. And...hops definitely have their place. It's just not the only place.

Lew Bryson

I Drink for a Living

Somewhere in the world...it's Beer O'Clock. Let's have one.

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I think alot of folks view hop character as they do the wasabi in a sushi roll: Bring it on, I can take it!

Yeah, and that's kind of how it's marketed: Are you man enough to drink this stuff? Reminds of that phrase the made the rounds 10 or 15 years ago about how real men didn't eat quiche. My answer then, and my answer now, is that real men eat and drink whatever the hell they want to. :cool:

But back to my original point, I think some are just more sensitive to hops than others.

I'm sure this is true. The PacNW craft brewers aim their product at a tiny group of people who have little sensitivity, I guess. Hey, if that's what they want to do, I can buy the stuff from California or Europe. No real skin off my nose.

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I have to admit, though...quoting Boddington's and Anchor Steam as a defense of "I like hoppy beers"...is a bit lame.

Boddington's is classified as an ordinary English bitter. Pretty smooth stuff, not much hop flavor. But it IS a bitter.

Eh, "bitter." The Brits call Bass an IPA. Keep in mind that "bitters" are really only bitter in comparison to milds, which aren't bitter at all, and Boddington's is a relatively emasculated bitter.

As for the sledgehammer...I like it, every now and then. All things in moderation, including moderation. But by all means, say something about it, that IS what this is all about. Hell, if we don't talk about things, that would be truly ridiculous.

But don't get curmudgeonly with me about not getting out -- I'm on your side! I didn't get out much at all when my two kids were little. Now that they're 12 and 10, I get out more often, and my consumption of draft has gone up, and I like that. Generally speaking, draft is better. Which makes me happy.

And since I'm in such a level-headed mood...Tighe, Seattleites, and especially you, Malarkey...if I DO get out to Seattle later this year, I expect to get guided to some places with something other than hops, hops, and hops. At which time I will consider recanting. Deal?

Lew Bryson

I Drink for a Living

Somewhere in the world...it's Beer O'Clock. Let's have one.

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Eh, "bitter." The Brits call Bass an IPA. Keep in mind that "bitters" are really only bitter in comparison to milds, which aren't bitter at all, and Boddington's is a relatively emasculated bitter.

You're right about all that, and yes there are times when I want something more bitter. I'm not arguing that the PacNW brewers should abandon the predominant style. Every now and then I enjoy it, just like every now and then I'll sit down and drink some Islay whisky. Bowmore or Lagavullin (spelling, I'm sure ... it's either that or the Laphroig, whichever the 16-year-old stuff is). Tastes like a tire soaked in grain alcohol. Occasionally it's just what the doctor ordered, but even the Scots are smart enough to make a lot of Glenmorangie.

But don't get curmudgeonly with me about not getting out -- I'm on your side!

I wasn't going after you, honest. I was reacting to some of the others who implied that if you don't drink draft beer you really have no right to comment.

if I DO get out to Seattle later this year, I expect to get guided to some places with something other than hops, hops, and hops. At which time I will consider recanting. Deal?

Sounds great to me. I'd even meet folks before that if anyone cares to. I didn't say I never go out. :cool: If we do this, let's see if we can find a place that allows cigars. I'll bring them for anyone who wants 'em. Ashton magnums, a high-quality, balanced smoke ...

Edited by Wilson (log)
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And since I'm in such a level-headed mood...Tighe, Seattleites, and especially you, Malarkey...if I DO get out to Seattle later this year, I expect to get guided to some places with something other than hops, hops, and hops. At which time I will consider recanting. Deal?

Deal! :raz:

Born Free, Now Expensive

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But if the craft brewers are satisfied by catering to one tiny slice of the market for good beer, and if most other people on this board agree for whatever reason, well then who am I to point out there for every guy who wants his tongue burned off there are probably four or five guys who don't?

See this is where I think you are possibly wrong. I think its the flip: for every 1 guy who doesn't like it, there's 4 or 5 guys who DO like that hop blast. Mind telling me where you got your numbers?

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Mind telling me where you got your numbers?

I made them up, what did you think?! :cool: Seriously, no one knows the numbers. What we do know is that the craft brewing business is nowhere near as vibrant as it should be. Only 5% of the market in the PacNW. I'm not arguing that this is entirely because they fail to make a balanced pilsner, but I am pointing out that this does happen to be -- by far -- the most common preference among beer drinkers.

Putting aside all feelings here, don't you think the craft brewers here just might be missing something by making a single style to nearly the entire exclusion of the demonstrated preference of most of the beer drinking public? O.K., so I'm crazy. Or maybe the craft brewers are a bit too self-satisfied and insular for their own good. And don't tell me to start my own brewery, o.k.? I've been waiting for someone to pull that rabbit out of the hat.

Remember, I'm not saying they should stop making the ultra-bitter stuff. People obviously buy it and some people regard any criticism of it as an attack on everything that's decent and right, so there's obviously a market. I just wish they'd make something else along with it, and I'm not talking something even more obscure like a Belgian style blueberry beer or a 48-proof bottle-conditioned barley wine.

By the way, just to give myself a reality check I went out and got a couple big bottles each of Pilsner Urquell and Czechvar. (Man, I love doing this research :cool:) Urquell has a nice, pleasant bite of hops but this doesn't so thoroughly dominate the beer to the exclusion of other flavors. Czechvar/Budvar isn't as hoppy but they're present. The problem is that this beer travels halfway around the world to get here, and it takes a while. The Budvar had a freshness date of June 2003!! And it was still outstanding!!

Edited by Wilson (log)
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I think true Pilsner is one of my all around favorite beers. I always wonder why there is not a US micro brew that represents this great beer. I know there are some. But none that are flagship beers like pale ales and brown ales are. New Belgium makes the Plue Paddle Pilsner which is good but maybe a little to good. The price reflects. Something like an Urquell would be great. Priced higher than Bud but less than some of the more expensive micros. I'd drink it every day.

Sad thing is most Euro Pilsners are flawed from transport as Wilson mentioned. I love finding a true Pilsner on tap at a place that takes care of and moves quantities of their beer. It is too risky to buy it in the bottle. I never liked Urquell because I rarely had a bottle that was not skunky. Then I had it on tap in Chicago. Love it.

RM

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