Friday, November 4, 2011

Session #57: My Guilt, My Secret

After a stolen laptop made it so that Pete Brown couldn't host the 57th Session, Beers I've Know stepped up to the plate with the topic: "Beery Confessions: Guilty Secrets/Guilty Pleasure Beer":
One of the things I most enjoy about blogs and personal writing in general is the ability to have a window into another's life, in a semi-voyeuristic way. So I'd like to know your beery guilty secrets. Did you have a particularly embarassing first beer (in the same way that some people purchase an atrocious song as their first record) or perhaps there's still a beer you return to even though you know you shouldn't? Or maybe you don't subscribe to the baloney about feeling guilty about beers and drink anything anyway?

You're also welcome to write about bad drinking experiences you've had as a result of your own indulgence or times when you've been completely wrong about a beer but not yet confessed to anyone that you've changed your mind.
Can my guilty pleasure be Yuengling? What about Guinness?  They are two beers that many craft beer advocates would not supports (one made with corn, the other a macro). I think Stella Artois is a great beer to drink during a party in the summer (owned by A-B). My first beer (Yuengling) isn't too embarrassing.  I guess I could talk about the horrible end to the first night of my bachelor party (darn you huge shots of Wild Turkey). I guess I just named most of my guilty pleasures right there.
Yuengling- this easy drinking beer is local to me.  A couple friends work at the brewery and it is cheap and tastes good.  Easily the beer that I have drank the most of in my life.
Guinness- brought me into liking dark beers.  Still a beer that I will order on occasion, and a beer that helps define the stout.
Stella Artois- this beer was the first to get me to start trying belgians.  HA isn't that funny!  But I still enjoy one during the summer.
Bachelor Party- we usually go for beer, find delicious shots, and have a long night. Sometimes I wish the night would last longer.  We did have great times in Baltimore and Ithaca though.
So these are my guilty pleasures.  Not bad beer, not super embarassing stories, but guilty non the less.
What are your guilty pleasures?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My International Stout Day List

Welcome to November 3rd, or as we are supposed to refer to it, International Stout Day.  This is a day to celebrate the dark goodness of some perfect winter beers, but in autumn.  As the leaves are changing, so must the taste buds.  No longer are crisp pilsners required for weekend picnics, lawnmowing is done- so no more light wheat beers (Dunkelweizens still are welcome), pumpkins beers are getting harder to find on the shelves (since they are starting to make their appearance in July) and winter warmers have yet to show up.

What ends up being the best beer for the changing of the seasons is the Stout. Pushed onto American palates by Guinness- hey I started there, you probably did too- the rich, roasty goodness can get you through the cooler nights.  So grab a dark one, and enjoy.

Here happen to be a few of my favorite stouts.  Some good beers to have one of or more than a few. (I am trying to stay away from one-offs and special releases, and focus on beers that many can actually obtain.)

1. Guinness (4.2%)- seriously, you have to give it props (Foreign Extra, if you can get it)
2. Sierra Nevada Stout (5.8%)- a highly underrated stout that has the malty sweetness, but also the bitterness that is expected from Sierra Nevada.
3. Founder's Breakfast Stout (8.3%)-the younger brother of the uber-popular Canadian and Kentucky Breakfast stouts can hold his own in any line up.  A coffee lovers dream.
4. Great Divide Yeti (9.5%)- I prefer the Oak-Aged Yeti, but the regular, belgian, chocolate, espresso, and vanilla are all very good (I didn't have the Brett Yeti, but I would imagine it was good).
5. Southern Tier Mokah (11.2%) - what tastes like a blend of the Java and Choklat, perfect balance between coffee and chocolate make this a great cold weather beer.  Delicious as a dessert (If you can't find Mokah, check out the Creme Brulee if you truly want dessert).
6. BrewDog Tokyo*- this 18.2% (yes, 18.2%) beer tastes like it should only be about 7%, dangerously drinkable. They say it was brewed with Jasmine and Cranberries, but I think they added a bit of black magic. Expensive, but worth every penny. (This was introduced to me by Mr. Mitchell of BeerInBaltimore.Blogspot. I have to credit him for my addiction to it.)

Honorable mentions go to Bell's Expedition, Troeg's Java Head, Rogue Shakespeare and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy.