Posts Tagged ‘ Miller Lite ’

Merry Christmas from An Amateur Beer Enthusiast!

It is Christmas once again, and everyone knows what that means!

Christmas is a time for time for great food, quality time with family and friends, a few presents, and of course some well crafted beer.

This Christmas has been a bit strange in terms of my beer selection. Typically I stock up on every winter seasonal possible since many of my favorite beers are winter seasonals. This year, however, I have decided to try to some new year round craft beers in order to replace the void I have with my inability to get Thirsty Dog Brewing Company’s 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale and Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale (2 of the best winter seasonals from Northeast Ohio). My first series of beers comes from a fun Colorado Brewery known as Oskar Blues.

What makes Oskar Blues special in the world of craft beer is that they were the first craft brewery to can their beer. Originally Oskar Blues beer was available on a draught only basis at the Oskar Blue Grill and Brew in Lyons, Colorado. In November 2002, brewery founder Dale Katechis  launched a campaign titled “Canned Beer Apocalypse” with the canning of Oskar Blues flagship beer Dale’s Pale Ale.

At the beginning, Oskar Blues could only seal one can at a time. Now Oskar Blues offer 6 beer varieties available in cans as well as several draught only beers available at multiple Oskar Blues locations throughout Colorado.

I sampled all 6 Oskar Blues canned offerings and I must say I am very impressed. For many craft beer enthusiasts the can is a symbol of the bland tasting macro produced beers. Oskar Blues on the other hand has put some of the best beer I have ever tasted into convenience of a can.

The debate between whether beer should be canned or bottled has always raged amongst craft beer fans. The perception among many is that bottled beer is superior to canned beer. This is not necessarily true, as Oskar Blues decision to can their beer was intentional.

Canned beer actually has several benefits. Cans keep beer safe from light and oxygen, provide easier portability than bottles for both outdoor events and commercial transportation. According to Oskar Blues website, 35% of the weight of a bottled beer is the bottle itself.

Cans also protect beer from potential breakage that is very common with the transportation of glass bottles. Working in beer distribution, I have witnessed first hand the horrors of broken glass and the mess that comes when bottled beers break.

And most importantly, you cannot hang beer bottles on your Christmas tree.

I know. What an awesome picture.

Here is a brief summary of Oskar Blues “Canned Beer Apocalypse” lineup:

Dale’s Pale Ale ( American Pale Ale, 6.5% Abv, 65 IBUs): This is Oskar Blues flagship beer. It has received several accolades, including a Gold Medal from the 2010 World Beer Championships and recognition in the New York Times as one of the best American Pale Ales. Overall this beer is a great session beer that is a light amber/copper in color, and has a slight sweetness and a solid hop finish.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils (Czech Pilsner, 5.3%Abv, 35 IBUs): Mama’s Little Yella Pils is what a pilsner should be. Want something light, easy to drink and full of flavor. Well put down that Miller Lite champ and treat yourself to this beer.

Old Chub (Scottish Ale/ Wee Heavy, 8% Abv): When I drank this beer, I was slightly reminded of 12 Dogs of Christmas. While Old Chub is not as sweet, it has a semi-sweet/smokey flavor that makes this beer very warming for the cold winter months. I will certainly be buying this again during the winter season.

Gordon Ale ( Imperial Red/Double IPA, 8.7% Abv, 6o IBUs): Named after Colorado craft brewer Gordon Knight, this beer falls into the categories of IPAs I like. I tend to gravitate toward IPAs that can couple strong hop bitterness with a full body and enough malt to prevent the beer from tasting to dry. Gordon Ale is an interesting take in the world of IPAs.

Ten Fidy (Imperial Stout, 10.5% Abv, 98 IBUs): Next to Old Chub, Ten Fidy is probably my favorite beer from Oskar Blues. This beer is rich in flavor and has a deep black color that always makes me smile when I pour it into a glass. Ten Fidy has the strong chocolate/toffee flavors that do well to balance out the hop taste.

Gubna (Imperial IPA, 10% Abv, 100 IBUs): Oskar Blues calls this a hop grenade in a can. This is definitely true, as Gubna is a complex IPA. Gubna pours an orangish color that has a slight haze to it. The flavor is strong throughout the beer, but does well to not be offensive.

So there you have it. These are the beers that I have been drinking as I prepared for the Christmas season. They are all delicious and it is impressive when a craft brewery has a lineup of beers that exudes this much quality. While Ten Fidy, and Gubna are only available in expensive four packs, I will not think twice about purchasing beer from Oskar Blues in the future.

Merry Christmas readers! Drink and be merry!

Best Beers of College #9 – Pabst Blue Ribbon

Dennis Hopper drank it. Clint Eastwood drinks it. I drink it.

You should too.

Pabst Blue Ribbon is the proud winner of the number 9 spot on the Best Beers of College list.

I love PBR. Most of you who read this blog regularly probably expected me to make PBR number 1. While there are 8 beers that deserve more credit on this list than PBR, I am not here today to tell you why PBR is not the best.

The reason PBR is an awesome beer is because it is kind of in this limbo between what would be considered a “cheap beer” and a “run-of-the-mill” beer. Essentially, PBR is the best bank for your buck beers.

A case of PBR is cheaper than  a case of Budweiser, Miller Lite, or Coors Light. Yet the flavor is superior.  Despite the preconceived notion or PBR is a beer only consumed by poverty-stricken rednecks, PBR is actually pretty classy.

Just look at this picture.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org

Screams classy.

In all seriousness though PBR has been making a pretty cool comeback since the turn of the century. It is beginning to appeal to a hipster counterculture that is looking for a solid American-style lager. PBR goes beyond the typical identity of a cheap beer.

They even do a PBR art contest. One of the winners from 2008 is below.

Photo Credit: ibabuzz.com

Ok…so maybe this will not convince those who despise PBR.

Well how about a mail-in rebate?

Yes, I recently found an offer for a PBR mail-in rebate. When you buy a case for $15.99 I can get $5 back with the mail-in rebate. That puts a case of PBR at $10.99.

$10.99? I can certainly tell you that PBR tastes much better than a case of Minhas Light ($10.75) or Keystone/Keystone Ice ($10.50). So go ahead and laugh at me for acting like a hillbilly when I drink a PBR. I will be laughing right back because I am getting great taste for less money.

For more on PBR, check out my PBR review from earlier this year. You could even read it while drinking a PBR. Enjoy.

Best Beers of College #13 – Miller Lite Pounders

Miller Lite Pounders is the most suitable for the lucky 13 spot. Simply put, when we were in a pinch, we were lucky enough to have Miller Lite Pounders.

I know it is not a pounder, but when there is nothing left, Miller Lite was our safety net.

Pennsylvania is a funny state. You can not get beer in gas stations or grocery stores (even though that is slowly changing). You can only find beer in one quantity at one place (Cases and six-packs are sold at separate places!). And you can not buy beer at a beer distributor after 10 PM on a Saturday night.

That is a problem.  A big one.

What do you do if you run out of beer early on in the night?

If you were in Ohio I would just tell you to go to the gas station. You can get beer there until 1 AM! In Pennsylvania, however, we have to find alternative means of purchasing beer after the hour of 10 PM.

So what did we do? We bought Miller Lite Pounders from the bar.

See in Pennsylvania, buying a six-pack at a bar was the only for us to buy beer after 10 PM. So when we finished our case to early or kicked our keg faster than a DeLorean can get to 88 MPH, Miller Lite Pounder six-packs was our go-to-move.

What is not to love about Miller Lite Pounders! It is a pound of beer…in a can! And Miller Lite is apparently triple hops brewed. Yep….fantastic flavor!

A pound of great taste that is less filling…that was our saving grace when we ran out of beer way to early into the night.

Comments? Thoughts?