Beermerica... Fuck Yeah!

Written by: Xnoybis
Published: 20.08.2012
There are two types of people likely to check this out: those in the know and the fucking clueless that likely came here to make fun of Uncle Sam's suds mistakenly thinking our beer easy prey. To quote Admiral Akbar, "it's a trap, bitches."

I'm writing this as I've had to summarily dismiss several beer noobs on this site and figured it would be easy to pound out one diatribe which could just be linked in the forum rather than re-writing it each and every time some no-nothing tries to sound know-it-all on the subject of barley soda.

I love beer. Have since I found myself on Guam and stumbling into a couple bars with all sorts of non-Bud/Coors/Miller bottles lined up … had to try as many as I could. Something I haven't stopped since, only with the biggest difference being sometime in the mid-to-late 90s it started becoming less and less about imports and more and more about what's going on here.

I think the craft/micro beer explosion is the proud result of American brewing mediocrity.

(Please cue Bald Eagle and F-16's launching missiles imagery to accompany "America, Fuck Yeah!")

The Great American Beer Explosions simply *HAD* to happen. Why should we get stuck with beer so shitty that we get all excited about the same shit only with "ICE!" or "DRY!" attached to the end product when them damned Euros get all that great beer?

Ka-BOOM!

(fuck yeah!)

Craft Brewers, Microbrews, and Nanobrews started sprouting up everywhere like weeds after a monsoon. And like (delicious) weeds they continue to thrive. Craft beer now accounts for over 5% of beer sales in America, with an accelerating market share growth while the total market shrank 1.3%. There was actually an article running 'round the web recently in which some craft brewers expressed fears that there wouldn't be enough shelf space for 'em all.

Meh, so long as the local super markets still have the usual suspects clogging up space, there is room for more craft beer.

15 years ago if I walked in to a super market I'd be stoked to see Samuel Adams or Sierra Nevada. Now I'm disappointed if there aren't 20+ non-Bud/Miller/Coors options laid out for me. Even the local, BFE gas station/barber shop/tacqueria/mini-mart carries two refrigerator units with two warm displays of various craft and micro brews.



this shelf is full of 6.5%ABV win


Hell, there is now a bar smack in the heart of Amsterdam, Beer Temple, that touts itself as the first American beer bar of Europe. Yeah, you read that right. Hop in your way back machine, go back to the grunge/death metal era, and try to imagine having to explain to someone that a country surrounded by such proud brewing nations as Germany, England, and Belgium would have a bar that would proudly announce itself an American beer bar… and would successfully sell pints there for more than we pay for sixers here. You'd be laughed out of the party while being pelted with cans of Red Dog.

Beermerica.

Fuck Yeah.

(writer wipes a tear of pride from his eye)

Not to miss out on the action, I've teamed up with a buddy and have even started brewing. About a month from now our version of a Chinook IPA should be ready and fit for human consumption. (Full disclosure, he has done 3-4 batches prior and I'm riding co-pilot.)



all hopped up and ready to brew


And now when you listen to someone railing on American beer (why is American beer like making love in a canoe? Because it's fucking close to water…hahahahah!) you can instantly relegate them to the category of uneducated moron that likes to spout off on subjects they know nothing about… which happens a lot 'round these parts.

Starting Line-Up -my current regular rotation of faves:

1 - Dale's Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Brewing (Colorado) - favorite beer drinking beer. Period.
2 - Odells IPA, Odell (Colorado) - ah yeah, IPA. Nice and hopped up with some citrusy elements to add a little flavor.
3 - Modus Hoperandi, Ska Brewing Company (Colorado)- more CO, more IPA. Sensing a trend?
4 - Red Chair, Deschutes (Oregon) - dubbed a NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale), this fall (edit: err, 1st Quarter) seasonal nicely bridges the gap between a pale ale and an IPA. Hopped up, but still a smooth, easy drink.
5 - Ruination IPA, Stone Brewing (California) - not a big fan of most their beers, but I've lovingly dubbed a bomber of Ruination "the Kill Shot" to put me down after a night out.

In closing, beer is like music. By no means am I an expert or a know-it-all. I just know what I know, and that is right now Americans are making a LOT of awesome beer.

Cheers.


*Micro vs. Craft Brewery… Micros produce under 15,000 US Beer Barrels per year, Craft Breweries produce between 15,000 and 6,000,000 US Beer Barrels per year. 6m US Beer Barrels is roughly 186m gallons, or roughly 700m liters.

Microbreweries also usually have very limited areas of distribution. As it is now even Top 5 Craft breweries by volume like New Belgium and Deschutes are only available in 32 and 18, respectively, of our 50 States. It's extremely like that American Metalstormers reading this in the Eastern half of the country have never even seen any of my "starting line-up".


 



Written on 20.08.2012 by
Xnoybis
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More articles by Xnoybis ››




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shadowdragonfly1 - 21.08.2012 at 03:20  
Really interesting article. I live in Mexico and in the past 2-3 years we've seen a similar explosion of micro-breweries and also rise of imported beers on the market.
I always hated beer from the USA because Mexican beer is really better (not by much TBH). But then micro-breweries and imports appeared in the supermarket and I'm not buying anything from the big brands anymore.
My favorite Mexican brewery ATM is Cucapá, but others are getting better; If you can find them, i would recommend to Cucapá Chupacabras that is a pleasantly hopped Pale Ale or the Tempus Special Reserve that is a kind of amber ale with nice hop finish.

I'll also try to get a couple of IPAs you mention to try them out.
Lit. - 21.08.2012 at 04:07  
Why do I feel like we're only encouraging sterotypes?
BlueMobius - 21.08.2012 at 04:43  
I'm all of the sudden really thirsty.
chronic-headache - 21.08.2012 at 05:10  
Here in Iowa we got a little underground home brewing cult. Not craft brew, but just as good...and free...if you know the right people
I_Die_Often - 21.08.2012 at 05:34  
I was in the Black Hills of South Dakota the past week, and had a chance to experience Odells IPA, good stuff, seemed pretty tame considering I had Elk Poop Stout just before that!
I love the craft/micro trend, I can't stand the Bud/Miller/Coors shit most people drink here!
Here we have a store called The Four Firkins http://thefourfirkins.com/ which handles all kinds of crafty brews from around the world, but mostly U.S.
It has become my happy place....
Butters49 - 21.08.2012 at 06:12  
The ONLY good beer that I've ever had has been from Canada. Sorry, offendees.
Marcus - 21.08.2012 at 08:20  
I like the article quite a bit but I wholeheartedly oppose your delight in IPAs. Can't stand 'em.
theFIST - 21.08.2012 at 09:23  
Major breweries often are terrible, people here seriously drink zipfer and ottakringer....
I have no idea why exactly such a big market as the usa has even worse major brand beer, but still it isn"t that surprising
LeChron James - 21.08.2012 at 09:44  
I haven't had a few of your rotating selections. Challenge accepted.
afu - 21.08.2012 at 09:53  
Deschutes' Mirror Pond and New Belgium's Fat Tire were my regular domestic beers for awhile. I no longer consume any alcohol, but I recommend those to anyone who still does.
wormdrink414 - 21.08.2012 at 10:45  
Damn fine article, damn fine. Between the 1st Amendment and our growing craft/micro market, love America.
neonxaos - 21.08.2012 at 11:22  
I lived in Oregon for three months recently, and I was completely blown away by the work of Ninkasi, Widmer Bros., Rogue, Boneyard and of course the mighty, mighty Deschutes. I even went all the way across Tombstone Pass and past the Sisters to Bend just to visit the latter, and I was not disappointed. Their Inversion IPA is simply just a masterpiece of the form, and its crazy brother, the Hop Henge, is one of the most intense beers I have ever had. But for sheer drinkability in spite of heavy hoppiness, nothing beats the Total Domination IPA by Ninkasi. It may not be the most sophisticated IPA you'll ever have, it may not be the most hoppy or freak of nature on the IBU scale, but it's just extremely, extremely easy to get down in unhealthy quantities, and it never bored me.

After returning to Denmark, I have to my joy discovered that several Danish microbrewers are collaborating with the Americans to produce world-class new wave beer. Mikkeller, Evil Twin, Amager Bryghus and Hornbeer come to mind, but more and more are emerging. And Mikkeller also has one of the best beer bars in the world, with 20 rare microbrews on tap at all times, the entire selection rotating every week. Fuck you, Carlsberg, that's the real deal right there We can thank the US for this development, but in all honesty, you guys are perhaps a tiny bit too focused on IPAs, but I'm sure this will change as the public becomes a little more adventurous. I have had some wonderfully wacky stuff over there, but nothing quite like Mikkeller's Beer Geek Brunch Weasel stout, lovingly brewed on coffee berry droppings from the weasel-like South-Eastern Asian civet cat.
ZGoten - 21.08.2012 at 12:24  
I don't drink beer. :O
Frodd - 21.08.2012 at 13:16  
Nothing for the non-alcoholic me here, but it's damn well-written.
Yellax - 21.08.2012 at 18:31  
Up here in Canada, many Canadians are ignorant about the quality of beer in the United States. They simply write everything off as being a product of Anheuser-Busch. Fortunately for me, I have traveled around your country and have tasted what all of your amazing Micro-Breweries have to offer. Great article.
Xnoybis - 21.08.2012 at 19:02  
Written by neonxaos on 21.08.2012 at 11:22

I lived in Oregon for three months recently, and I was completely blown away by the work of Ninkasi, Widmer Bros., Rogue, Boneyard and of course the mighty, mighty Deschutes. I even went all the way across Tombstone Pass and past the Sisters to Bend just to visit the latter, and I was not disappointed. Their Inversion IPA is simply just a masterpiece of the form, and its crazy brother, the Hop Henge, is one of the most intense beers I have ever had. But for sheer drinkability in spite of heavy hoppiness, nothing beats the Total Domination IPA by Ninkasi. It may not be the most sophisticated IPA you'll ever have, it may not be the most hoppy or freak of nature on the IBU scale, but it's just extremely, extremely easy to get down in unhealthy quantities, and it never bored me.

We can thank the US for this development, but in all honesty, you guys are perhaps a tiny bit too focused on IPAs.


I was in the Pacific Northwest in June, stayed in Bend, Sisters (for a wedding), and drove up to Seattle.

Bend, population 80,000, has 10 micro/craft breweries. I was able to visit Deschutes (was my Griswoldian quest of the trip), Goodlife (the article pic was my holding a bomber in front of the open brewery), and 10 Barrel. All three were about a KM or less from our rental house. Wanted to visit Boneyard, but didn't have time. At least got to sample some of their IPAs at another bar. And had some McMenamins.

Sisters, Oregon, nearby the Three Sisters mountain range, is a small town with a really cool facility with reception hall and 'cabins' (not sure you'd call a place with a 1080 flat screen, fire place, kingsized bed, hot tub, and dual shower bathroom a cabin) ... naturally they have their own microbrewery, Three Creeks, which had a good iPA and a nice blonde.

Only got to one brewery in Seattle, Elysian, which i really enjoyed as well. My friends joked whether I was there for the wedding or the beer... well, my wife was Maid of Honor and busy all day, every day, leaving me with not much to do but sample the local brew. When in Rome...

I think OR/WA in the Northwest and Colorado are just nuts for beer.

As far as being too focused on IPAs, I don't think so. Not just because I love US style IPAs... Most breweries will have five to six different styles (or more as they grow), and an IPA is likely a nice staple. It also makes for a good beer to experiment with and sell in bomber form, stuff like Hophenge, Hop in the Dark (Deschutes), Tricerahops (your Ninaksi, and i love Total Dom as well)... stuff that nerds like me will pay $4-6 for. A quick look at Ninkasi, Deschutes, New Belgium, Odell web pages show off the wide variety... they make something for all tastes.

You just happened to be in an area where they seem to do an exceptional job with hopped up beers. Might have something to do with the proximity to Yakima, Washington, which is like Hop Central USA. Might be the weather as well.
afu - 21.08.2012 at 19:28  
This will probably sound odd, but Michelob Amberbock is a pretty good beer. Considering the pedigree of the company, that beer is cheaper than a lot of the micro's and still manages to have some real flavor (versus the piss water quality of most big names). When I didn't have money for the better beers and didn't want the PBR shits, I'd get Amberbock.
Bad English - 21.08.2012 at 20:18  
Bud n Miller is onlyw hat we can have here , so I dunno others, but those in list looks great to me, I would love to try it
AngelofDeth - 21.08.2012 at 20:59  
Interesting.. I live in a hippy/hipster town(in USA) so weve had a HUGE influx of these micro/craft beers over the years. It seems every other restuarnt in town has their own brew now and theyre pretty damn good.
ruffio - 22.08.2012 at 06:41  
Red Chair by Deschutes is actually their spring beer, Usually january to may. Their summer/fall beer is twilight ale and pretty soon we'll be getting to try their winter warmer, Jubelale. Which changes a little every year but is always amazing.

Also I just have to say I do a lot of homebrewing and ive never seen a beer so yellow during the boil before. Im assuming its from chinook pellets?
Xnoybis - 22.08.2012 at 06:43  
Written by ruffio on 22.08.2012 at 06:41

Red Chair by Deschutes is actually their spring beer, Usually january to may. Their summer/fall beer is twilight ale and pretty soon we'll be getting to try their winter warmer, Jubelale. Which changes a little every year but is always amazing.

Also I just have to say I do a lot of homebrewing and ive never seen a beer so yellow during the boil before. Im assuming its from chinook pellets?


duh, i should know this. Twilight landed a couple months ago, so I thought it their Summer beer, with Jubelale being the late winter. Might have confused Red Chair's timing with New Belgium's fall, recently re-dubbed Red Hoptober.

as for the brew, yes it was right after the first wave of Chinook pellets.
Jaeryd - 22.08.2012 at 07:09  
I knew about the micro-breweries and the fact that American beer has stopped sucking for the last few decades because of it. I just started getting into drinking beer... I grew up in the LDS church and resigned at about the age of 17. The first beer I had was Bud Light, and it was a disgusting pigs' ball-sweat, piss-water of a beer. I've done a bit of research on why American beer sucked, and there I learned that microbreweries all over the country are making non-sucky beer. This made me excited, except I can't find a microbrewery within close proximity to my home. Arizona is a little bit dry on that kind of thing.

So far, for the shitty commercial beers, I at least like Guinness. I've found that I definitely prefer stout and darker beers to things like lagers and pale ales. Guinness still tastes like weak coffee/bitter beer, but when I ignore the bitterness, it tastes sweet--almost a little like root-beer. I've read a lot of reviews, and I've learned that there is definitely much better beer out there than Guinness, so I guess if I can't find anything in the liquor stores nearby, I will have to find a brewery and drive a good distance to go buy myself some real beer.

I heard about a place, Papago Brewery, that makes a fucking awesome orange-blossom ale. Gotta try that soon, if I can.
Ozman - 23.08.2012 at 00:40  
Written by Jaeryd on 22.08.2012 at 07:09

Arizona is a little bit dry on that kind of thing.




Mister BitterCOld, the author of this blog, is from Arizona maybe he might want to give you some tips concerning microbreweries near where you live.
tea[m]ster - 23.08.2012 at 04:45  
Ahhh, nice article Craig. Brings a tear to my eye. Here in the land of "Lavern and Shirley", microbrews are worshipped just as much as our favorite old school Miller Lite less filling taste great ads.
Three to try out if ever you are near:

Spotted Cow
Sprecher
Leinenkugels
I_Die_Often - 23.08.2012 at 05:23  
Written by tea[m]ster on 23.08.2012 at 04:45

Ahhh, nice article Craig. Brings a tear to my eye. Here in the land of "Lavern and Shirley", microbrews are worshipped just as much as our favorite old school Miller Lite less filling taste great ads.
Three to try out if ever you are near:

Spotted Cow
Sprecher
Leinenkugels


Have you ever taken the Leinies tour, they give you like two shot glasses of beer, Lame!
Schells in New Ulm Minnesota, they let you drink as much as you like! Opened up the taps to us!!!
Another local brewery here, Surly, the brewmaster was in a metal band named Powermad (they are listed in bands on MS).
Xnoybis - 23.08.2012 at 05:40  
Written by Ozman on 23.08.2012 at 00:40

Mister BitterCOld, the author of this blog, is from Arizona maybe he might want to give you some tips concerning microbreweries near where you live.


sadly to this point i haven't found an Arizona brewery i like as much as those i rave about in Colorado or Oregon.

Nimbus, Tucson, has an ok pale ale and a 8%+ brew called Old Monkey SHines that is surprisingly smooth.

Four Peaks, Phoenix makes some beer that took awards at the World Cup of Beer or whatever. Their IPA, Hop Knot, actually beat out my favorite IPA, Odells to take "gold"... i just am not a fan of them.

Santan, Phoenix, has a decent Pale Ale and IPA. Not ones i buy regularly, but not ones i feel bad if i have to "settle" on.

still trying some of the breweries in the northern end of the state (Prescott came across decent, Oak Creek... which is all "meh", Lumberyard, Flagstaff is ok) as I find them available.
Introspekrieg - 24.08.2012 at 02:11  
About time there was an article like this, nice work! Have a great time currently visiting Pennsylvania again (until Sunday). I've really missed the great bars/breweries around here. From your list I've only had Ruination before, will have to check out some of the others. Recent beers with the gf:

Dogfish Urkontinent http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/10099/73379
Mahr's Mastodon http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/428/78313

Bloody Rain - 24.08.2012 at 06:44  
I've gotta say, I'm somewhat of a beer snob myself. Generally speaking I find that micro brews are usually way superior to commercial brews no matter what country they come from. That being said, whenever I go somewhere new and need to buy some beer I always keep my eyes out for the locally brewed beers of the place I happen to be visiting. I usually find some really good stuff in that case.

So does this mean the same for America? Fuck yeah! I was just at my local liquor store today and found a nice small section of American micro brew beers, so I figured I would give it a try. Right now I'm drinking some Rogue Dead Guy Ale (from Oregon) and I'm very impressed. I'm not sure if you would consider it to be "true" micro brew or not but it is quite delicious.
Ozman - 24.08.2012 at 12:27  
Written by Bloody Rain on 24.08.2012 at 06:44

Right now I'm drinking some Rogue Dead Guy Ale (from Oregon) and I'm very impressed.


I beer pub I frequently visiti here in Utrecht, The Netherlands, called Café België usually has the Dead Guy Ale in stock and it is really nice.
Carl Berg - 25.08.2012 at 04:43  
Excellent article
wormdrink414 - 04.11.2012 at 11:06  
Found out there's an Albertsos a mile or so away from me that sells Dale's today. Great stuff right there. only had two cans left though, had to supplement with Colt 45's. Most dignified way to ball on a budget.
Xnoybis - 28.11.2012 at 06:10  
Written by wormdrink414 on 04.11.2012 at 11:06

Found out there's an Albertsos a mile or so away from me that sells Dale's today. Great stuff right there. only had two cans left though, had to supplement with Colt 45's. Most dignified way to ball on a budget.


so long as you drank the Dale's first. hope you enjoyed as much as i do. i still love Oskar Blues, even after their rep tried to kill us with Ghost Pepper Wings at the Oskar Blues/1702 event that (naturally) coincided with my 40th.

nothing says turning 40 liek oak-aged Ten-Fidy followed by pints of DPA (all free) for daring to eat nuclear-powered wings. worst thing about those damned wings was even the most hopped up beer tasted like a kids' sugared the fuck up cereal for about two hours until your taste buds regenerated.
wormdrink414 - 28.11.2012 at 07:42  
Funny thing is I was eating the most unbearably hot wings when I got those 2 (was a Ducks gameday, I think) + I was punch-stop-signs drunk that night, didn't actually get or appreciate the full taste. Bought 6 about a week ago, wasn't disappointed. For a pack of 12 oz-ers, those fuckers really do the trick. Can pound them easily, but you're still getting flavor (gotten used to drinking Old German/Pabst lately).

Problem is the price for me, it hovers around the 10 dollar range for a 6er, whereas a 24 of PBR is 14 at Safeway. Gotta go with quantity over quality due to chronic financial headaches.
Xnoybis - 28.11.2012 at 08:43  
Written by wormdrink414 on 28.11.2012 at 07:42

Funny thing is I was eating the most unbearably hot wings when I got those 2 (was a Ducks gameday, I think) + I was punch-stop-signs drunk that night, didn't actually get or appreciate the full taste. Bought 6 about a week ago, wasn't disappointed. For a pack of 12 oz-ers, those fuckers really do the trick. Can pound them easily, but you're still getting flavor (gotten used to drinking Old German/Pabst lately).

Problem is the price for me, it hovers around the 10 dollar range for a 6er, whereas a 24 of PBR is 14 at Safeway. Gotta go with quantity over quality due to chronic financial headaches.


as the saying goes, been there, done that. drank a lot of Natty Light in college. best part of growing older is increased finances coupled with reduced tolerance. you can enjoy better beer.

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