A beer blog in the Pacific Northwest?! Who’d’a thunk it…
Well, since we’re all so aching, we Eugeniuses, for hipness to trickle down from Portland I figured I’d start a blog on the joys of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Why do people drink it? Because it won a Blue Ribbon at the World’s Fair back around the turn of the century? Wrong! It never won a blue ribbon– that contest was fixed, probably on both sides, by the A-B guys and the Pabst guys, and in the hubbub of judges resigning in shame, prams bouncing down stairs, and women fainting with their forearms pressed against their foreheads, Pabst declared itself the winner, made itself a commemorative plaque, and began distribution in college towns across the nation. (read Ambitious Brew by Maureen Ogle)
The joy part of this conversation lies in the style: American Lager. Its emergence as the beer of the working class (i.e. the majority) is natural; uncomplicated, refreshing, and a great alternative to water; what’s not to love? The problem is that the enterprising German expatriates and their close offspring that heralded the demise of the ale industry are gone, replaced by even more distant descendants-cum-marketing executives who favor low-cost over high quality.
Well here I go ranting on a blog. What I meant to say is that there is hope for the lager in America– Heater Allen’s fine selection, from Schwarz to Pils, show that the appreciation for heady, bready grain aromas and the tightrope walk of hop balance aren’t lost over international waters. Victory’s Prima Pils could be the turning point for a hop lover who eschews any hint of malt. And dare I mention Anchor Steam, the first historical landmark after thousands of miles on the beer highway? OK, Anchor Steam isn’t an example of American lager, but props to it anyway.
I’m drinking a homebrew, the spring-for-summer inspiration of a friend for whom I’m goat sitting while typing at his computer; staring out the window at flies performing geometric patterns; listening to the goat, Honey, from whom I will extract a quart of another delicious liquid in a few minutes. It’s an American Lite Lager: light body, light flavor, light color, light keg. Delicious pre-dinner beer. While milking I’ll switch to the IPA, which he claims is never under 135 IBU. Bollocks, it’s delicious. Super hop flavor, which for me means no grapefruit whatsoever. Just pine and citrus, with a hint of peonies or something. After dinner, his Oude Bruin Kriek. Are you jealous yet? Drooling? Yeah.
At work today I sampled (ha!) the New Belgium Imperial Berliner Weisse. How dare they! Imperializing a renowned lunchtime liter! It’s good; as I described to a server for her conveyance to customers: “like dipping toast in lemonade.” I’m a big fan of making non sequitur comparisons like this, like describing Zach Galafainakis as the child of Robin Williams and Charles Bukowski. The beer is tasty, though it naturally lacks the … er … lack of body characteristic of this redheaded stepchild of a German beer style. It’s a mouthful (TWSS).
This has been my first blog post. Thank you. I hope to accelerate production of words ideas, and possibly videos in the coming months, to gain a small but thirsty audience, and to lend my voice to this new collective (literally) consciousness (totally fake).