There are a bajillion blogs, articles, radio shows, vlogs, and whatever other form of medium dedicated to “Best Seasonal Ale”, “Best Pumpkin”, “Best Columbus Day Discovery Beer”, etc…
It really only irritates me because I want to write stuff like that but I’ll be completely honest, the topic has been beaten to death, sent to hell, and damned for eternity.
Two of my favorite websites for reading up on beer are of course the only two that have a consistently updated database of the every changing global “aisle” of beer: Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate. What makes those two sites irritating to me as a blogger is that the infrastructure is so good that everything is cross references(click on pumpkin ales to list them all, or a certain brewery, or regional, etc…).
Not to emphasize that this blog cannot provide new or interesting information to augment, footnote, or otherwise provide a differing viewpoint then the big guys but I do believe the real weakness of those giant open-poll database websites is just that : It’s all open. If 100 people say a beer is 10/10 and 100 say it is 1/10 and it averages out to a 5/10 Does that really mean it is a 5/10? Does it mean that some people are fanatics of the brew/brewery, flavor, style, strength, others truly do appreciate the beer and others cannot stand it, the brewery, the style, etc? Probably.
What does this all mean? Well, it means that I need to better explain my beers in review. Because Im tired of reading reviews that say things like: “Its banana-y on the intake and anise-laced on the follow through. The aroma is like an earthy soil springled with fresh cut wood.”
Those terms are fine if I was describing to someone that somehow was a clone of my senses. My wife and I explain things to each other all the time as we tend to drink different styles of beer more often than not. Half the time she smells things I cannot and I pick out notes that she isn’t registering.
I’ve devised a much better way to do things. Since this is my blog for describing all things beer as according to me I’m just going to tell you to try it, and that its the ‘best’, maybe throw in a couple of descriptors that aren’t useless mumbo jumbo to 90% of you…
…AND then I’m going to challenge you to prove me wrong or recommend something better. A healthy debate is a great way to pique the curiosity of someone. If I say: “You know what, truly, ‘SuBeerFluous Choxic Charma’ is the best Chocolate Wheat Beer out there. Buy it….NOW!” And you say, “No way, brewski, ‘Mashtun Madness totes is, let me tell you why:” And then you compare the two I’m going to have a much better understand of the two relate then just some terms floating out there completely unrelated to each other.
Here, lets try one:
Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA – Wow. Its good. Its super hoppy. Squinting your left eye hoppy as you drink it. Totally worth it, but maybe not as repeatably enjoyable as something else..
I disagree. That squinty feeling is how a hoppy beer is properly made. You don’t get that with 90 minute. The only downside is I don’t feel the flavor is as well rounded as say a Racer 5. If you took a Racer 5, stripped it of all flavor except the hops, multiplied that by a factor of 4, THAT is your DFH 120. Perfectly hopped goodness.
Oh. I getcha. I understand ya.
Anyway. Why did I bring all this up? Because there are so many seasonals that are recommended to/by/from everyone. The other day I ran into a worker-buddy of mine at SUPERMASSIVEBOOZE Store. He was picking up a 6 of Sam Adams latest pumpkin thing. Quickly I recommended something that I considered better personally, (Dogfish Head Punkin Ale) , more subtly pumpkin essence rather than outright pumpkin flavored syrup. He did tell me later that he enjoyed it quite a bit.
We did both agree that $10 for a 4-pack is not acceptable. Seriously DFH? What is that all about? I can a Midas Touch sixer but not a Punkin or 90 minute?
I challenge you to explain that to me and my 5 readers! It’s time for accountability! (but, I still love you.)
Thats it for now. What are you favorite Seasonal Ales. And, WHY? 😉
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