Monday, August 11, 2008

Beer Disclaimer

In the next few days, I plan on doing my first official beer blog review.

Perhaps you know the drill. It's pretty complicated: I drink it and tell you what I think.

Whew. With all that verbage behind me, I thought I would add a few little disclaimers.

I have never had any formal training in beer tasting. I have an idea of whats going on, but it would be very easy for me to suggest something about a beer and have somebody say "Oh, if he can't taste buttery tones in that beer, he's an idiot!" Yeah, well....

Keep in mind that I will make an attempt to give a beer an honest try. Like so many aspects of life, there are just some things I like and some I don't. For example, I am not a big fan of Pale Ales. I find their hoppiness at the finish a bit overwhelming. The whole world could say "Pale Ale X is is the best beer ever brewed! ", but I don't care. I don't have to like it. Beer is science and art and some art sucks. So says me. But, believe it or not, I have found a few Pale Ales that I think are okay. I try and judge them as best as I can.

Despite the suggestions of some references, I absolutely will judge a beer based on the 4oz glasses found at many microbreweries. It is suggested that you can't really get a feel for a beer in such a small sample. What crap. Do I need to buy 12oz and drink all of it to decide that a beer tastes like something that was most likely in a cow's bladder 15 minutes prior? I think not. Oh sure, I can't make a lot of comments on the head or something like that , but a few swigs and I can have a solid idea of what is happening. I do, however, generally go in order from "lighter beers" to "darker beers". Sure there are violations to this rule, but, for the most part, it is a go. I also will not rate a beer unless it is from a tap or poured into a glass. It must breathe a bit and it cant do that from a bottle. I generally don't do cans and I don't smoke either. That is apparently a no-no in beer tasting circles.

I, by the way, have a few books in my collection from Michael Jackson. Not this Micheal, this one. He's the man. I, however, still need to secure a copy of his "World Guide to Beer". BeerAdvocate is also an excellent resource. You can find tons of info there.

Keep in mind, I understand that alot of brewers out there try really hard to make the best beer they can. They test and tweak for weeks to get to ultimate beverage. I love 'em for it, but I don't have to like the product. If I don't like the beer, I'm going to say it. I am allowed to do that! Remember, its my blog!

Most importantly, I do this for fun. Yes, I make sure I hit some microbreweries on vacations. Yes, I have a Palm Pilot program that helps me keep track of my beer list. Yes, I cook with beer and plan meals with beer in mind. Yes, it is even a part of my blog title.

But, I do this fun.

I don't take it that seriously.

Addendum (Tuesday, August 12th, 2008): I forgot to mention last night that I will likely have my 500th species of beer in the coming weeks. I will certainly post details.

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