Ten Things I Don't Like About Beer

Anyone who knows me or my passion for beer might
think the title of this article is an anomaly, but if the
truth be told, there ARE some things about beer that I
don’t like. Some are my personal opinion about styles or
adjuncts, but others definitely DO adversely affect all
beer lovers, so this month I’ll deviate from my usual
laudatory beer musings and itemize herein ten things
about beer that turn me, and possibly many others, off.

1. The first in the list concerns not only craft beer fans,
but really any beer drinker, and that is walking into a
pub and discovering that its beer “selection” consists of
Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Amstel
Light and Yuengling. With a lineup like that, of course I’ll
always opt for the Yuengling, but it’s really not much of
a “selection”. It’s more of a fatal alternative.

2. The above mentioned light/lite beers deserve special
mention by themselves. Years ago, light beer, as in Piel’
s Light Beer only meant that the “light” differentiated it
from “dark”. But starting in the 1970’s. when Miller
introduced Miller Lite, the light/lite designation has come
to mean watery swill that a true beer lover would never
drink.

3. Closely related to “lite” beer are “session” IPAs, which
to me are just another name for “light IPA”. To be sure,
session IPAs have more flavor than light/lite beer, but
that flavor is mostly an over abundance of hops with
very little hint of malt or body. The idea behind a
session IPA is that “it’s a beer you can drink all day”,
but I’d definitely rather drink a real IPA for only part of
the day. (Or, if I don’t have to drive…..all day!)

4. Once, while in the Marine Band in Virginia, our Drum
Major, a Gunnery Sergeant from Texas, decided to give
a little payback to the victorious Yankees (some folks
never stopped fighting the Civil War) by offering me an
unripe persimmon and telling me it was a pear he had
brought back from leave in Texas. Taking a large bite,
my lips immediately retracted to the back of my throat,
my cheeks met each other in the middle of what used to
be my mouth, and my eyes bulged out of their sockets.
I had never and have never tasted anything so tart in
my life. While not quite as bad, sour beers have the
same effect on me. Why anyone would ever want to
drink Gueze, Gose, Berlinerweiss or Flemish sours when
so many hundreds of other styles are available is
beyond my imagination. But then again, “To each his
own”, said the lady as she kissed the cow’s behind.

5. Nobody likes peanut butter more than I do. But I like
it on crackers and the occasional PB&J sandwich. I don’t
want it in my beer. Today, the latest rage in the craft
beer world has brewers trying to outdo each other with
crazy adjuncts: peanut butter, chocolate, menthol,
every fruit and spice imaginable, pizza, Inca saliva, and
recently I even read of a soon-to-be-introduced
scrapple beer. I guess, if given the opportunity, I would
probably try all of the above, but does anyone actually
BUY and LIKE this stuff? I can’t imagine a hard working
construction guy stopping after work on a steamy
summer day and asking the man for a scrapple beer.
Compared to that, Bud Light looks pretty good.

6. On a recent trip to the liquor store I discovered a
sign which read: WE HAVE SAM ADAMS UTOPIA!
$199/750ml bottle. LIMIT: ONE TO A CUSTOMER. I
immediately started to scheme about ways to
circumvent that limit to include enlisting my wife, kids,
and neighbors to accompany me to the store and each
of them buying one at that great price.  NOT! I don’t
like the fact that any beer costs that much. I read where
some taverns are selling it at $25/oz. Just picture the
aforementioned construction guy finding out the
scrapple beer had kicked just before his arrival, sighing,
and ordering an ounce of Utopia in its stead. Those
price points obviously lead to pretension and beer
snobbery which leads me to the next thing I don’t like
about beer.

7. Beer snobs. We’ve all read about people lining up
days in advance to purchase their allotted few bottles of
Pliny the Elder. I might line up to see the second coming
of Christ, but other than that, there are very few things
for which I would wait in line. Beer is not one of them.
Sometimes I wonder if the nuts who wait for Pliny the
Elder even like it. Or are they just lining up because it’s
the thing to do or they might meet a hot chick while
waiting in line?

8. Rushing the season. Octoberfest beers at the end of
July, spring ales during a blizzard in mid February,
Christmas beers on sale before Halloween, and summer
ales on the shelves just after St. Patrick’s Day are all
examples of this. Brewers and distributors have copied
retailers ( I once tried to buy a new pair of bathing
trunks before a late August trip “down the shore” and
was greeted with racks of winter coats and mittens in
the department store) by rushing to get product on the
shelves long before anybody wants it. Because of stuff
like this we are rushing our lives away.

9. Frosted glasses. Oh, how I hate to look at a beer list,
make a selection and have it delivered in a glass coated
with ice making it so cold that any taste and/or head is
obliterated, forcing me to sit there freezing my fingers
while wrapped around the glass to warm it up to the
point where I might actually be able to taste something!

10. Small pours for “big” beers. Although I am a
proponent of proper glass for a particular style of beer,
I have never understood why many taverns or beer
bars, or even brewpubs and breweries insist upon
selling high gravity, high alcohol beers in a small glass
and then selling you as many small glasses as you want.
For God’s sake, charge me more for this obviously more
expensive to brew beer if you want to, but give it to me
at least twelve ounces at a time. Twelve ounces is “a
beer”. Anything less is not.

There you have it! Ten things I don’t like about beer!
(But there are ten thousand that I do!)


                         Cheers!

    









            Dan
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