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Red beer

By Michael Fumento

This is my blog and I see no reason why it always has to be about political and social issues. So today I address one of my personal favorite issues, beer.

Last night I went for my weekly beer and burger at the sports bar with the beautiful bartenders. This time it was Nicole, a gorgeous blonde, well-endowed, with lots of cleavage showing. The only new beer they had on tap was Killian's Red and they were half price and I ended up having three, which is one more than I ever have of beer (since my Army days, anyway) but just made me tipsy and anyway I walked there.

It's now at least the second red I've had that I've really liked. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the first - not because I drank too many but because it was three years ago in California. I presumed all reds were ales but looked it up and found this really interesting little piece on reds and found Killian's is actually a lager.

I knew it was owned by Coors, which is a very bad sign, but the taste tells me they didn't futz with the recipe. That said, the article notes you can do a lot better with reds and I'm sure you can. As it happened, THESE Killians were consumed in the presence of other people, from the tap, and while staring at, well, you know. Circumstances DO alter the flavor of beer!

Lagers, which are essentially determined by the type of yeast used, only go back to the 19th century, a development allowed by refrigeration. Nevertheless they quickly stole the show from ales and are not only the overwhelming favorite in the U.S. but in Germany.

In Germany, it's generally wheat beers and pilsners. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but while I've never had a bad Weissbier in Germany, some of their pilsners are AWFUL. That includes Becks and St. Pauli Girl and whatever Lufthansa serves, the name of which I forget. (Adding insult to injury, Becks is Belgian-owned, and Belgians are generally considered to have the best beers in the world.)

The best pilsner I've ever had, by the way, is LaBatt's Blue. I've had the original pilsner from Pilzen in the Czech Republic and don't like it nearly as much.

The Canadians have always been a nice pocket of good beer-making, even when the U.S. went to hell after Prohibition. In fact, the lack of Prohibition in Canada probably goes a long way towards explaining it. Another thing is that so many of the mass-produced American beers swap out barley for corn and rice, which the Bavarian Reinheitsangebot forbids. It allows only water, barley, and hops -- though you can add things like wheat on top. Why do mass American beer makers use these other ingredients? It's cheaper. And it tastes cheaper.

As a German character in "The Simpons" says, "Your beer tastes like swill to us!"

I now await the hate mail from lovers of Bud Lite.

March 4, 2010 08:40 AM  ·  Ponderings  ·  Recent Posts