Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Beer is like the neurotic younger brother of wine.  It often doesn't get the respect it deserves, yet it exceeds it's older brother in many ways.  Perhaps this stigma is deserved as the majority of the beer produced is fairly generic in flavor.  If you go into a club or bar in most cities in the United States, it's likely your beer options will be limited to options such as Bud and Miller... then there's the old joke:  "You want an import?  We have Coors."

There is every bit as much variety in beers as there is in wines, though I have yet to see a bottle of beer break the $100 mark.  There are a couple listed on this page, but this seems to be more for publicity than anything else.  

This brings up an interesting element of food adventure...  There are often areas of drinking and dining where you can get a great value if you stray a bit from the well worn road.  Want a great Cognac but don't want to spend the money, try an Armagnac.

Beer is a great place to explore.  You can go out and have a wonderful, unique, hard to find beer for less than $10.  Try that with wine.  So let's say you visit a restaurant that has a great beer selection with a bunch of beers you've never heard of and you don't want to spend 6 bucks on a beer and hate it.  Ask them to give you a taste, or ask them to suggest a beer based on what you know you do like.  You may find a new favorite.  

For example, I recently had a glass of Popperings Hommel Ale.  This was a wonderful beer with great flavor and subtlety.  And it has an absolutely beautiful color.

Want to visit their webpage and buy a t-shirt?  Good luck.  Want to check out their superbowl commercial?  Sorry.  Just good beer here.

Some great beers can be REALLY hard to find.  One of my favorites, I'm not even sure if it's made anymore.  But with the spread of Whole Foods and Beverages and More, respectable beer options are coming to a city near you.  Whole Foods will sometimes order ones you're curious about too if you talk to the right person.  I got Hitachino Nest Beer on the list at my local Whole Foods. Yes, some of the beers are pricey, but think about it this way:  Compared to what?  

Want to try one of my favorites?  Try the Hitachino White Ale.  You can order it online for around $5 for an 11oz bottle.  

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