A Revolting Development……

Beer appreciation column should be about the
positive attributes of beer. Mine usually is. There are
times , however, when negativity about our favorite
subject should be addressed as well, for a variety of

One extremely important reason is to warn fellow
enthusiasts about pitfalls in our eternal struggle to
search for the perfect beer. Many an eager brewfan
has been tricked into spending seven or eight
dollars on what he believes will be an important
ingredient to his evening’s relaxation only to
discover he has brought home a six pack of skunky,
oxidized swill that would make even Ted Kennedy
recoil in horror. Negative reviews taken seriously
may help to prevent such a calamity.

Another important consideration for including
unfavorable comments about beer is so that
readers who don’t share our love of the malt
beverage can readily see that we can be objective,
and not just grinning, belching sots who can’t
distinguish Brooklyn Chocolate Stout from St. Ide’s
Malt Liquor.

Lastly , there are people who nothing about beer
but who know much about what is “in” or
fashionable. These types cheerfully stock up for
their soirees and barbecues with Corona,
Budweiser, or Coor’s Light, thinking they’re offering
their guests a “choice”. Of course, theses same
gracious hosts, if they spot an impossibly expensive
display of microbrews, will pick up a case or two to
really impress their guests.

Possibly some honest negativity in this column
regarding these types of consumption will deter
people from forming incorrect opinions about beer
that this type of sampling would assuredly cause.

A recent negative experience I had addresses all
three of the above scenarios. Over the last several
months, in the liquor store I frequent, there was a
large display offering cases or six packs of THOMAS
the bottles supplied the information that they are
products of the Yards Brewing Company in my
favorite city of Philadelphia. A sign above the display
proudly proclaimed that these brews were offered at
$12.99/six pack or $48.99/case. There are two
many other great brews available at half the price,
so I passed this “deal” by.

My interest was piqued, however. A visit to the
Yards website revealed that these beers were
marketed as “Ales of the Revolution”, were based
upon recipes from that era and were brewed in
October with alcohol contents of 8% and 7% ,

Now my interest was really aroused, but I still
balked at the idea of thirteen bucks a six pack. I
questioned the proprietor about the sale of
individual bottles, to which he responded in the
negative. Each week on my trip to the store I’d see
that display and notice that neither the stock nor
the price had decreased.

Finally, while checking out the stock of individual
bottles as I always do, I discovered that the “Ales of
the Revolution” had indeed been given a place of
honor at $2.50/bottle. Although the price was even
greater than the $49/case I figured that I could
spend five bucks to try a bottle of each.

I rushed home to put them in my beer refrigerator
(every beerfan has a fridge exclusively for beer,
no?) to cool while I did some yard work and took a
bike ride. Returning home I showered, got out my
favorite beer glass, took the “Ales of the
Revolution” to the deck and sat down to read Larry

With great anticipation I opened the THOMAS
JEFFERSON TAVERN ALE and was immediately
reminded of British style French fries, onto which a
copious amount of vinegar had been splashed. Only
half the bottle could be poured into the glass since
the overcarbonation caused a great , frothy head to
rise to the top and cascade down the sides and
onto the pages of the McMurtry book.

A special bonus of this beer is the “secondary”
head! This one came out of the bottle neck like an
oil field gusher, and went through the cracks in the
picnic table top onto my shoes. Holding the bottle
up to the sunset, I noticed what appeared to be
snowflakes racing madly around the inside. If the
Yards company had had a little more foresight, they
could have installed little houses or reindeer in the
bottoms of the bottles and marketed this crap as
snowglobes at Christmastime.

I figured that anything that costs $49/case has to
be good and I probably just got a bad bottle, so I
dumped the remainder into the window boxes of
impatiens ( the flowers around the deck seem to
thrive on the dregs of last night’s beer bottles) and
PORTER. Unfortunately, ditto, except that due to it’
s darker color it was harder to see the snowflakes.
The flowers has a good night.

“Ales of the Revolution” is an appropriate slogan
because the average drinker would easily be
revolted by this awful stuff. I think the Continental
Army gave barrels of this slop to the Redcoats, who
took a sip, promptly surrendered, and returned to
England in search of drinkable ale. The rest is

At the 8% alcohol level this beer should last longer
than the seven months since it was brewed. I’ve
had trouble with Yards beers in the past.
Sometimes they’re good, often they’re not
drinkable. So unless, like the Pubcrawler reviewers
of “Gettysbrew”, you want to see for yourself,
RUN…..DON’T WALK, away from any display of “Ales
of the Revolution”!
takes on
bad beer

Another great
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"Beer My
Dan Hodge
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and it could
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