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jhlurie

favorite bottled beers

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So you can't make it down to your local microbrewery... what's your compromise?


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Lagers: Anchor Steam is good but the last time I saw it was in San Francisco.  Sam Adams is decent, and Tsingtao is good when its real cold, as is Heineken, although a self-appointed beer expert on another well known food discussion site dressed me down once for even suggesting Tsingtao or Heineken was even drinkable.

If its a pilsner style, Grolsch or Pilsner Urqell.

Negro Modelo, Boddingtons and Guinness for dark stuff.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Given that many are bottle condidtioned I'd have to go with Belgian ales as my beer of choice. Specifically Corsendonk. Or, if a lighter palate was called for the gold standard Duvel or upstart Troubador.

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So many options but heres a few :

Samual Smith Old Brewery Bitter, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Black Sheep Bitter, Youngs Double Chocolate, anything from the Pitfield Brewery if you can find it, from the UK.

From Belguim try Hoegarten, Rodenbach, Leffe, try lambic beers by Morte Subite, or an Abbey Beer by Orval.

etc.

From  the US try Samual Adams, Brooklyn Lager, Steam.

Of course if its hot or even if its not you could have a Heineken, and that would be fine too !

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Beer is such a huge topic to comprehend. I am pleased that everyone seems to be zeroin gin on Belgian ales as the finest. There is no doubt that Belgium gets two things right - beer and chocolate!

I am surprised, however that the venerable Chimay has not been mentioned!


Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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And seeing that I am currently sitting in a hotel in New Orleans (I have to earn a living!), I must give a plug to the local brew.

Just north of Lake Ponchartrain is a little town called Abita Springs. They brew an amazing dark ale which they call Abita Turbo Dog! It is one of the best beers in the USA!


Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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Quote: from Roger McShane on 11:02 pm on Oct. 10, 2001

Beer is such a huge topic to comprehend. I am pleased that everyone seems to be zeroin gin on Belgian ales as the finest. There is no doubt that Belgium gets two things right - beer and chocolate!

I am surprised, however that the venerable Chimay has not been mentioned!

Chimay is yummy!  I especially like the big bottles--perfect for parties or small get-togethers.

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For anyone interested in a more in-depth exploration of Belgian beers, I'd recommed Issue #57 of Ed Behr's The Art of Eating newsletter (Spring 2001).  The 21 page cover story is titled "Real Beer in Belgium, the Greatest Brewing County" and Ed just has way of getting right to the issue, with headers like "Some of this beer you may not like at all" and  "The complicated good works of the Trappists."

Chimay abbey, actually, comes under some criticism as many Belgian producers ramp up production of their beer and some, perhaps, change their beers to better appeal to a wider market.  In this instance, Behr quotes Michael Jackson, in 'The Running Press Pocket Guide', writing that "Chimay was grievously diminished in complexity and spiciness."  As always, Ed approaches the subject with an eye slanted toward "authenticity," artisanship and tradition--but his assessments are calm and reasoned.

Roger--I've written in the Cooking forum on my general dislike for Belgian chocolate, at all levels of production. Ironic you should mention that here--for in the very same issue of Art of Eating--Ed pens an addendum on chocolate, and discusses Pierre Marcolini, perhaps the best chocolatier in Belgium.  Some excerpts: "The superior reputation of Belgian chocolate is completely undeserved--mystifying" and "unlike nearly all high-end French chocolate, Belgian chocolate doesn't taste especially of chocolate:  it's fatty, as if Belgians especially valued cocoa butter."

Jason--may I recommend you try Singha instead of Tsingtao the next time you're tempted in a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant?  I'd be interested what you think of the comparison.

I think there is much to be made of the comparison between distinctive microbrews, and artisinal styles of beer and ale--and distinctive, high-end chocolate.  Both can perhaps be described as acquired tastes, to be explored and judged accordingly.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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To expand upon Phil's list, the Brooklyn Brewery http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/ produces a very good line of beers, which I like better than most any other mass market product. Belgian beers are the world's best (though as Steve Klc points out not as good on the whole as they used to be) but that's a bit like saying first growth Bordeaux are the world's best wines: I don't consider these products, delicious as they are, to be appropriate (either in terms of flavor profile or price) for everyday casual quaffing. Then again, I suppose the Belgians use their beers thus. But for me, Brooklyn beers are great for everyday. Also, the Red Hook line sold at Fairway is quite good and very reasonable.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Quote: from Steve Klc on 11:57 am on Oct. 11, 2001

Jason--may I recommend you try Singha instead of Tsingtao the next time you're tempted in a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant

i like singha much better than tsigntao.  i guess it tends to be a relatively sweet beer, but it certainly goes great with thai.  

although i loathe most belgian beers, i do enjoy the belgian "white" style, which i think is made from wheat, although it doesn't taste like a wet loaf of bread like the others do.  Brooklyn Brewery in NYC just started making this style, Blue Moon has been making it for some time, and even before that, Wit was released, i think by a major brewery, with little or no success.  Wit is actually a fine example of this style of beer, although it's hard to come by, and people will point and snicker if they see you drinking it.  Zima anyone?

but then again, i like Bud, so what do i know.

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Brooklyn Brewery in NYC just started making this style, Blue Moon has been making it for some time, and even before that, Wit was released, i think by a major brewery, with little or no success.  Wit is actually a fine example of this style of beer, although it's hard to come by, and people will point and snicker if they see you drinking it.  Zima anyone? <p>but then again, i like Bud, so what do i know.

<p>Arggh.  Please don't use the "B" word.  Not the "B" word!!!  I'm covering my ears... have you stopped?<p>By the way, I've got a wonderful brew called "Milwaukee's Best" for you, tommy.  I hear its useful for cleaning floors AND has a fine head on it as well.  Right next to it we can arrange for a Pabst Blue Ribbon and a Miller Lite.  Heck, we'll throw in a Corona too while we are at it. ;)<p>OK.  I'm fine now.  Just don't use the "B" word again.  I mean it's next to Queens, but it's just not the same. :)


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Quote: from jhlurie on 4:42 pm on Oct. 11, 2001

By the way, I've got a wonderful brew called "Milwaukee's Best" for you, tommy.

ahh, the "beast".  brings me back to my college years, although i think we drank more Peils than Beast.

Right next to it we can arrange for a Pabst Blue Ribbon and a Miller Lite.

i think dennis hopper's character "Frank Booth" said it best in Blue Velvet..."Heinken?!?  F*ck that SH*T!!  PABST...BLUE...RIBBON"

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Or, as an alternative to Singha, look for Beerlao next time.  It's not nearly as widespread in the US, but I've seen it a few places in Seattle, so it can't be that rare.

On our recent trip there was unanimous agreement that Beerlao blew Singha away;  the trip across the ocean seems to smooth out the difference a bit, but the Lao stuff is still better.  Of course, with imports it depends a lot on freshness and handling.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Jason (above) "Anchor Steam is good but the last time I saw it was in San Francisco".

Jason, I've seen it in Manhattan. I've bought it from supermarkets and the like in the Village (Manhattan). Maybe NJ isn't so well served?

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Quote: from yvonne johnson on 8:50 pm on Oct. 12, 2001

Jason, I've seen it in Manhattan. I've bought it from supermarkets and the like in the Village (Manhattan). Maybe NJ isn't so well served?

i've been buying Anchor Steam in hoboken for about 12 years.  it was my first favorite "premium" or "micro" beer.  and at 6 bucks a six pack (back in 1988) in college, it was something that i didn't buy often, and only when i knew i'd enjoy it.  i've carried my love for it since then.  although, they have several types nowadays (liberty ale being one if i recall).

they are available in almost any liquor store in NJ from what i've noticed.  

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Beers that are in a class if their own IMO: Goose Island IPA and something I've had in the Richmond VA called Hoppocket, which is also an IPA. Both are incredibly hoppy without being out of balance. The hop aroma of Hoppocket is especially notable. I am not sure who brews it but it's worth seeking out.

Pilsner Irquell, though what we get here doesn't have the delicate, floral hop aroma of that which I've had in CZ.

Anchor Porter is probably the most complex domestic porter I've tried. Spaten Optimator or Salvator define sweet maltiness.  Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine has alot of everything, malt, hops and alcohol. I haven't seen it aroung for a long time, but San Miquel dark was very good, or at least it impressed me when Trader Joes carried it over 10 years ago.  I think several of the Belgian style beers from Unibrew in Canada are good. There's also a Dutch brewery, whose name I can't remember,  that produces some nice belgian style beer in those larger bottles with the cork. I haven't been too impressed with the brews from Ommengang in NY.

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i've been buying Anchor Steam in hoboken for about 12 years.  <p>they are available in almost any liquor store in NJ from what i've noticed.  

<p>I've been in liquor stores with Jason... he's so distracted by the Wines and Brandies that he doesn't really look at the beers.  :)<p>Like most of us, I'll bet he thinks about beer when he happens to be in a grocery store and walks into the soda/beer aisle on Barbeque days.<p>Of course, good beers aren't in grocery stores--even most of the upscale ones.  


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I sadly admit that I am not much of a Beer drinker casually when I am by myself. To me, drinking beer is a social thing -- I'll drink it when out to dinner or lunch with friends when eating certain cuisines (like Thai or  Dim Sum -- its usually de rigeur for me to have a Singha or a Tsingtao then). I also buy beer when doing the beverage runs for summer barbeques, but usually at those times I am more of a cider person. If I'm out with the guys having dinner it will be beer.

I do have one exception though -- Japanese food. I really like ordering a Kirin Ichiban with a bottle of sake and doing "sakebombers", especially with friends. Repeat as necessary.

Most of the time if I am pouring myself a drink at home its going to be a rum or bourbon on the rocks or a brandy served neat. When having dinner with my wife its almost always wine.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Blue Moon has been making it for some time.
I'm fairly certain Blue Moon comes from Coors. I like it a lot, though.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Steven, I'm sure you stand alone in your liking of Blue Moon. For me it's the Singha, not the song.

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2 seasonal beers that I'm really enjoying now are Pyramid Snow Cap Ale, and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, both in the bottle.  They are absolutely wonderful.  For non seasonals, I like Anchor Steam and Alaskan Amber, as well as Samuel Adams.   I have to admit I am no beer expert, but I'm learning as I go.  Hopefully, someday I will be able to describe the intracasies of the maltiness, bitterness, etc., but for now I will just say they are darn good!  From the previous posts, it looks like I will have to check out some Belgian beers, too.  

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Samuel Smith Oatmeal, i love it, but am i the only one who suffer from a headache the next day, even after one bottle.

Strangely enough, i never get headache from american beers.

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