Category Archives: Lager

‘Gansett’s Jaws Can Enough to Make Me Buy Beer in a Can — but Not Drink from One

Narragansett retro 1975 Jaws cans

“It’s only a canned beer if you look at it before it’s poured into a glass.” – Urban Beer Nerd, 2013

I dislike canned beer. Not because it tastes bad, or even different. Most of the time, canned beer tastes as good as bottled beer, despite the now-long-in-the-tooth belief that beer tastes better from glass than aluminum. (Kegs are metal, too, right? You never hear people bitch about draft beer—unless it’s old or poured through a dirty tap line.)

It’s more of a mental thing for me. I drink quality beer, and cans feel cheap. So I pour just about all of my beer into a glass, if I can. One of my favorite canned beers, The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, specifically instructs you to drink it from the can. But fuck that. That’s what I have a Heady glass for.

After pouring a canned brew into a glass, I always recite the quote at the top of this post. (Okay, I’ve never said that before. I just came up with it when I saw Naragansett’s retro 1975 beer can this afternoon. But I’ll say it going forward. Maybe.)

One of my favorite films ever is “Jaws,” and one of my favorite quotes from the movie comes from a conversation between Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) and Brody (Roy Scheider), which goes a little something like this:

Brody: It doesn’t make any sense when you pay a guy like you to watch sharks.

Hooper: Well, uh, it doesn’t make much sense for a guy who hates the water to live on an island either.

Brody: It’s only an island if you look at it from the water.

Hooper: That makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, to the point of this post: Rhode Island-based Narragansett Beer Co. has released the third of three 2013 retro beer cans, and this one’s a doozy, at least if you’re a Jaws buff like I am. The can was released in 1975, and it was “made famous in the ‘Jaws’ movie during the scene in which Captain Sam Quint, played by Robert Shaw, famously crushes a can of Narragansett Lager to intimidate Richard Dreyfuss’ [sic] character, Hooper,” according to ‘Gansett.

Jaws Quint Narragansett Crush It Like Quint

I honestly haven’t had a Narragansett beer for at least a few years, and the last time I did, I only drank it because I was in Providence, Rhode Island, and I wanted to drink local brew. It’s a decent lager, and I have nothing against the brewery or the beer—except the annoying “Hi Neighbor!” slogan. I try not to be influenced by gimmicky advertising, but I admit, I’m going to run out and pick up a 12-pack of these cans and then get drunk while watching Jaws. If you’re smart, you’ll do the same

UBN

Via Boston.com

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Anchor California Lager Now Available Outside of the Golden State

Anchor California Lager Label

I’ve been drinking Anchor Brewing Co. beers for years. I’m a big fan of Anchor Steam and its Liberty Ale, in particular. So, a few months back, when I heard that Anchor was brewing a new beer – a recreation of an old brew – I was rather excited to try it ASAP. I was equally disappointed to hear that the new brew, Anchor California Lager, would only be available in Anchor’s home state of California.

From Anchor Brewing:

“Anchor Steam’s roots go back to the Gold Rush, long before icehouses and modern refrigeration made traditional lagers a viable California option. In 1876, thanks to an ice pond in the mountains and a belief that anything is possible in the Golden State, a little brewery named Boca created California’s first genuine lager. Anchor California Lager® is our re-creation of this historic beer.”

Last month I was in San Francisco covering Google’s I/O conference, and picked up a couple of six packs of Anchor California Lager. Normally, I’m much more of an ale guy, but I had been drinking IPAs and sour ales beforehand, and I felt like something a little lighter. California Lager fit that bill nicely, and at the time, I kept wishing that I could get the beer back home in Boston.

Yesterday, Anchor announced that I can, or I will be able to soon. California Lager will begin shipping to a number of new markets this month, and it will be available June through September 2013. The markets are as follows: Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.

If you’re located in one of these states, I definitely recommend picking up a sixer of California Lager post haste.

UBN

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AB InBev Responds to Watered-Down Budweiser Lawsuit with Snide Ad, Lies

AB InBev's watered down Budweiser ad

I’ve blasted AB InBev and Budweiser many times on this blog. And every time I sling harsh criticism at Budweiser, creepers come out of the woodwork to blast me for blasting Budweiser because it is apparently a beer-snob thing to do. It’s also apparently cool to defend Budweiser these days, because Budweiser’s brewmasters are actually talented brewers who create a remarkably consistent product on an insanely huge scale, which, I am told, takes real skill.

I’ll give AB InBev and Budweiser that much. They do a great job of creating cheap, shitty-tasting beer. Lots of people love Budweiser, and that’s all fine and good—lots of people love McDonald’s food, but I wouldn’t say McDonald’s serves good grub. I have family members who turn down the expensive craft brews I bring to functions for Bud Light. But the people who faithfully drink Bud products are usually more interesting in price and the ability to buy large quantities in a single, discounted pack. These people typically want non-challenging brew that tastes just like it did when they first drank it in high school. Good for them.

But I digress.

AB InBev is currently being accused of false advertisement and sued for watering down its Budweiser beer and therein offering a lower alcohol content than its bottles/cans suggest, according to Boston.com. In response to the claims, AB InBen ran a big ol’ ad in 10 newspapers last Sunday. (See above image.)

I won’t get into the merits or lack thereof in the case against Budweiser. I don’t really give a shit. Not a single one. The ad points out that the company has donated millions of cans of water to the American Red Cross and other disaster relief causes. And that’s admirable. But its donated water has absolutely nothing to do with the charges filed against the company.

The text at the bottom of the ad sums up why I harbor such harsh feelings toward AB InBev and its Bud Mud: The company is sketchy.

“[T]he beer in your hand is the best beer we know how to brew. We take no shortcuts and make no exceptions ever.”

That is complete bullshit. The adjuncts AB InBev uses, such as corn and rice, to reduce the costs of its brewing process are the definition of shortcuts and exceptions, are they not? Using a cheaper, inferior product to cut costs is a clear shortcut.

I also honestly have trouble believing that Budweiser’s talented brewmaster believe that they couldn’t make better beer than the low-quality lager they sell under the Budweiser name. Those brewers may love Budweiser and drink it regularly. But the best beer they could make? I doubt it.

UBN

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Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Glasses for the Discerning Beer Nerd

Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Glasses

Specialty-glass-maker Spiegelau has been getting a lot of attention this month thanks to the introduction of its new IPA glass, which was designed along with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (That glass looks remarkably like a wine glass from Riedel, a Spiegelau sister company, but that’s another story altogether.)

Spiegelau has been making fancy glasses for beer aficionados for quite some, though. In fact, Spiegelau’s Beer Connoisseur set, which is composed of one wheat beer glass, one lager/blond glass, one tulip and a tall pilsner glass, is probably my favorite set of unbranded glassware. I got my set as a gift from my girlfriend, and I use it constantly. I prefer to use branded glassware whenever I can—I’m just as much of a beer-glass nerd as I am a regular ol’ beer nerd. But, honestly, the quality of these four Spiegelau glasses is higher than 90 percent of the branded glasses in my collection anyway, and I drink so many different kinds of beer that using corresponding branded glassware isn’t always an option.

Spiegelau glass is very thin and delicate. And it’s also quite expensive. This set of four glasses sells for $49.90 plus shipping in the official Spiegelau’s online store, but Amazon.com will sell you the same set for $39.99 plus shipping. (Free shipping is available for Amazon Prime members.) All of the glasses have the Spiegelau logo on their bases.

From Spiegelau:

“Each of these glasses is especially blown thin, and has a thin rim that lifts the perception of mouth feel and taste. The beer specific glass shape supports the beer in releasing its full spectrum of flavors and delivers them to nose and mouth.”

My favorite glass is the tulip, because I drink a lot of Belgian and Belgian-style ales that are best suited to this type of glass. It’s very well designed, and it just feels elegant. I also use the lager glass quite a bit for lagers and hoppy ales—though I’ve mostly been using the Dogfish Spiegelau glass for IPAs.

Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Glasses Logo

Amazon.com says they are dishwasher safe, but I always hand wash my glasses just in case; they don’t feel dishwasher safe.

Again, these glasses aren’t cheap but if you take care of them they should last a long time. And they genuinely do enhance the beer-drinking experience.

UBN

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Help Oskar Blues Name Its New Vienna Lager, Win Beer and Merch

Oskar Blues Brewing Co. Logo

Oskar Blues Brewing Co., the Colorado-based brewery that started the whole craft-beer-in-a-can movement, is looking for help naming its new beer, and it’s using Facebook and Twitter to solicit ideas.

From the brewery’s Facebook page:

“Ever wanted to name a beer? Well, we wanna hear your ideas for a name for our new small batch brew. Throw your ideas into “The Fermentation Tank” for the chance to win a $25 Oskar Blues online store merchandise spend, plus a hand-canned 6-pack of the beer!”

“The style? A Vienna Lager.

“Details? This lager is made for the cooler months. Light amber color, and an ABV closing in on 6%. As always, this is an Oskar Blues-spin on the Vienna Lager, taking the traditional to the contemporary, and mutating the beer into our own species.

Description? Loads of Vienna malt and a touch of Dark Crystal malt give a nice caramel biscuit maltiness. A blend of Hersbucker, Saaz, and Hallertauer in the kettle, and a big helping of Hallertauer in the whirlpool give it a nice spicy and earthy Noble Hop whammy!”

You can submit your idea via Twitter by using the hashtag #nlfermentationtank or visit Oskar Blues’s Facebook page. The contest ends on December 15, so act fast if you’re interested.

My suggestion: Arnold Schwarzenlager, or just Schwarzenlager, because I can’t think of anything Austrian without thinking about The Governator.

UBN

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Boston Beer Co. Wants You to Celebrate ‘National Lager Day’ on Monday, Dec. 10

National Lager Day Beer Bier

Here we go again: Another silly “international/national beer day” for people who need another excuse to drink beer. This time it’s National Lager Day, which, you guessed it, is meant to motivate drinkers to raise a few pints of lager in celebration of that specific style of beer—and to sell more of it. (Last month it was International Stout Day and before that, National Drink Beer Day.)

The Boston Beer Co., makers of Samuel Adams Beer, appears to be behind the first annual National Lager Day, which will be held this Monday, December 10.

From the Boston Beer Co:

“What started out as a grassroots movement among craft beer drinkers has grown into a full-blown celebration of the lager family of beers, and for Samuel Adams, this means celebrating the holiday with a rich, full-flavored Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, and celebrating among friends.”

The brewery says its Boston Lager is the number one craft lager in the United States, but Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors both sell a lot more lager than the Boston Beer Co. It’s just not “craft lager,” it’s crap lager.

The Boston Beer Company is also holding what it’s calling ” The Great Samuel Adams Boston Lager Log Off – a chance to go off the grid and relax with a full-flavored craft lager.”

To participate, Samuel Adams wants you to follow and tweet @SamuelAdamsBeer with the hashtag #BostonLagerLogOff and where you’re celebrating National Lager Day; or post on Facebook and tag Samuel Adams (be sure to snap a photo of you and your lager). Then you’re supposed to log off, shut off your phone and join Samuel Adams in celebrating National Lager Day with a Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Meh. The craft beer scene is packed with stupid marketing gimmicks right now, ranging from beers that MUST BE CONSUMED with a month of their bottling dates, to brews made with paper from classic novels and even the ingredients in Elvis Presley’s favorite snack. It’s all starting to feel somewhat manipulative to me, and I’m the Urban Beer Nerd; I don’t need another excuse to drink, I drink whatever kind of beer I feel like, and it’s very rarely a lager these days.

But, shit, if it makes you feel all happy and warm to drink the same kind of beer on the same day as a bunch of other morons, by all means, Samuel Adams will be glad to sell you a six pack of Boston Lager on Monday.

UBN

Image via Etsy.com

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How PBR Got Its “Blue Ribbon” — and Its Modern Name

PBR Pabst Blue Ribbon Neon Sign

Pabst Blue Ribbon, a.k.a., PBR, the current beer of choice for angst-ridden hipsters and cheap alcoholics everywhere, got its “blue ribbon” and its modern name after winning the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair beer exposition, according to a blog post on SmithsonianMag.com.

The beer, which was originally called Pabst Best Select, or PBS, had apparently been getting a lot of attention before the World’s Fair, and the brewer started tying ribbons onto the beer bottles to make them stand out. By 1900, Pabst was using more than a million feet of ribbon per year, according to the post. After winning best beer at the Chicago World’ Fair, the company changed its name.

I guess it makes sense that Pabst actually won a major award before it got its modern-day name, but I never really stopped to consider which one. Now I—and you—know.

The Smithsonian post is packed with additional details, so pop on over there for more information.

UBN

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Happy 23rd Birthday, Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Growing up in Massachusetts and being the beer nerd that I am, I’ve always had an affinity for Samuel Adams and the Boston Beer Co. Back in the late 1990s, when I was in high school and I first started paying attention to the beer I was drinking, I quickly took notice of how Samuel Adams Boston Lager was different than any of the fizzy yellow piss beer most people brought to parties. Whenever somebody showed up with a 12 pack of “Sammys” instead of the usually 30 pack of Bud Light or MGD, other beer-conscious partygoers would swarm the dude with the Sam Adams in an attempt to trade a few cans of crap beer for a bottle of Boston Lager. I think that’s when my love affair with craft beer started. In fact, Sam Adams Boston Lager was probably the first “good beer” I ever drank.

I’m honestly not a huge fan of Samuel Adams Winter Lager—I much prefer the Boston Beer Co.’s Octoberfest and Summer Ale seasonals to Winter Lager. But the first bottles of Winter Lager shipped 23 years ago today, according to the Samuel Adams Twitter feed, so I’m wishing Winter Lager a happy beer birthday.

UBN

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Frozen Beer to Help Soothe Sweaty, Pissed Off Parents at Epcot Theme Park

Frozen Kirin draft beer

Lake Buena Vista Florida’s Epcot theme park is about to become the first location in the continental United States to serve frozen Kirin draft beer, which is apparently quite popular in the Land of the Rising Sun, according to wesh.com. Three different locations within Epcot’s Japanese pavilion will reportedly sell the frozen, boozy novelty.

Frozen Kirin doesn’t really sound like anything particularly special to me, but I bet it sounds pretty fucking good after spending a day in the hot Florida sun with a bunch of overstimulated kids who want buy every single goddamn tourist trinket they see.

The Kirin beer apparently isn’t frozen solid—how would you drink it? But it seems to have some sort of frozen, ice-cream-like topping that’s made of beer and keeps the non-frozen part cold. The beers will reportedly cost $8 each, which isn’t really too overpriced considering the fact that even lemonade and water in Florida theme parks cost an arm and a leg.

And frozen Asian lager beer sounds better to me than Red Robin’s gimmicky Sam Adams Octoberfest milkshakes.

UBN

Via wesh.com

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Four Odd, Amusing (and Swedish) Old Milwaukee Ads Featuring Will Ferrell

I’m not much of an Old Milwaukee drinker, but I am a fan of comedian and weird motherfucker Will Ferrell. As such, I get a kick out of the following four Swedish Old Milwaukee ads featuring Ferrell. The dude has apparently been making strange ads for the beer company for some time, but they only air in small, specific markets.

I hope he makes one for Boston soon.

UBN

via BusinessInsider.com

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