Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yes. I drink beer, too.

I'd like to clear the air. There must have been some confusion last week with one of my posts. Somehow a wine snuck into a post on this blog. Some of you were shocked. I know. I must apologize for the abrupt, shocking and scandalous news. It is true. I drink wine. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Are you sitting down? Brace yourselves...

I drink beer, too. I know. It's crazy, huh? Totally.

Over the years I have been slowly creeping away from the world of malted barley and hops. I'm not quite sure what the reason is. Maybe it's the blurred lines of demarcation between styles. It could be the unspoken challenge to out-brew the other guy with alcohol content and/or IBUs. Or it might be the rise in craft brewers becoming available that has me overwhelmed to the point where I can't keep up with the times. It seems that every time I turn around there is a new craft beer that I just HAVE to have. Frankly, it's exhausting. This is why I'm enjoying my old favorites, the old standbys. My comfort beers.

Brooklyn Lager
I was introduced to Brooklyn Lager in the early to mid 1990's when I started working in liquor stores. It quickly became one of my favorite beers after the first couple of sips. It's rich and malty with a great balance of floral hops. It makes for an amazing pairing with homemade/hand packed burgers. It's also rumored that I've been caught drinking this beer while grilling a spice rubbed New York Strip steak on my little 21" Weber grill in the back yard (that's four minutes each side and then let it sit for a few before slicing it into strips). The pairing is delectable.

Cisco Indie Pale Ale

I have never had anything I didn't like that comes from Cisco Brewers on Nantucket. It seems like they have the right formula for everything they make. I must admit that it is hard to choose just one beer from Cisco for the sole purpose of this blog post. In any case, I chose their Indie Pale Ale. What I like about this beer is its citrusy hop flavors that balance out the malty fruit. Indie is a great beer to grab if you're having Mexican, spicy Indian or even some Cajun BBQ. The higher level of hops seem to cool the heat of spicy dishes for me. It's also a great thirst quencher on a hot summer day if you're on an island somewhere off the coast of Cape Cod, my home away from home.

Thomas Hooker Blonde Ale

Since I seem to be "supporting the locals" this go around, I decided to stick with the theme and tell you about Thomas Hooker Brewing Company in Connecticut. It's located in Bloomfield, just outside of Hartford, if you were heading Northwest. Hooker makes some solid beer. They range from an Imperial Porter to their Old Marley Barlywine and then back to a Watermelon Ale that is just fantastic to beat the steamy summer heat. My favorite in the line up is the Blonde Ale. It's malty and creamy with just the right amount of hops to make it a crisp and clean brew.

Now that it's public that I drink wine and beer, you can be rest assured that I will still continue to tell you about amazing spirits. No worries. I think I'll just wait until the summer temperatures recede a little before I post another Scotch review. It's just too damn hot for that stuff. I'm done bellyaching now. You can return to your regularly scheduled program.

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