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Good beer names

I recently did a post about one of the reasons that I will buy a certain beer. Other than the bottle there are a few other things that make me want to buy a beer. The name of the beer sometimes will make me want to purchase it. As I have said numerous times, I am an advertisers dream because if you can put together a creative product, chances are I will buy it or at least seriously consider it. Some gimmicks like Miller’s Vortex Bottle don’t really sell me because I know that it is just a gimmick.

The names and bottles can really turn me onto a beer. My latest example is when I was at World Market earlier this week. I have noted before how much I love going there for their mix and match six packs, which allow me to get six different beers from different breweries for the same price as a normal six pack. Genius. On this trip to the World Market I came across a beer with the title “Terrible.” I had to get it. I also recognized the brewery that made it as Unibroue, who I absolutely love. The bottle is a 750 ml corked and caged bottle that is dark brown, almost black. There is a rectangular silver section that has the words “Terrible” in fancy font in black. It look wonderful.

The whole package was put together so well and any brewery that has the audacity to title their beer Terrible deserves a chance. Some other beers that I have bought simply because of the name are Arrogant Bastard Ale, Hobgobbin, Delirium, and Captain Sig’s Deadliest Ale among others. Anyone else a sucker for good beer names?

Is beer just another drink?

My wife and I have been having a discussion recently if beer should be considered just another drink like coffee, milk, or soda. I am of the belief that beer is in fact, another drink. She believes that you need to be careful with beer and you cannot just classify it as “another drink.” Her reason is two fold. First, beer, particularly craft beer, is more expensive than any other drink. If you break it down and do the math, it is.  A typical six pack is going to cost you about 10 bucks for 72 ounces worth of beer. There are 128 ounces in a gallon so that works out to 1.78 six packs per gallon or as I like to refer to them as SPPG.

128 ounces per gallon ÷ 72 ounces per six pack = 1.78 six packs per gallon

I am going to ballpark this here and say that the typical six pack is going to range anywhere from $8-12. So doing the math a gallon of delicious craft beer is going to come in between$14.24 and $21.36. Alright she has me there, it is expensive. The other argument is that beer and alcohol in general can cause health issues along with addiction. We both come from families where alcoholism runs in our blood. Somehow neither of us seem to have a problem with controlling ourselves or needing a drink. While this is a real problem for thousands, it doesn’t really hit home for us.

I am from the school of beer is another drink, a very, very wonderful drink. I don’t see a problem with coming home from work one night and having a beer or two. I agree with my wife (and I am assuming most of you) that drinking like crazy when you come home isn’t a good thing. But I don’t see the harm in having a beer or two every few days.

The best man at my wedding told me of his roommates in college who thought he was crazy to have a beer with his dinner. He is also of the belief that beer is just another drink just in case you were wondering or couldn’t figure that out. Anyway his roommates believed that beer was for drinking a lot of or having without food and just to feel good. No so. Beer is essentially flavored water with some alcohol in it. Most beers are made of of 90-95% water.

When I was in college the closest big brewery was Stoudt’s Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pa. They also happen to be one of the first regional breweries in the country and have an excellent reputation in the craft beer world. Ed and Carol Stoudt are also some pretty awesome people (and Carol is a great brewer). Anyway, while taking a tour of the brewery last year Ed talked about the health benifits of beer and exclaimed that he has almost a six pack a day and is healthy as a horse. While I don’t know how much of his story was for show, and I think drinking that much per day on a regular basis is a terrible idea, beer defiantly does have its own share of health benefits. But that is a post for another time.

Yes alcohol can be an addictive substance, but lets take a look at a few other common drink favorites; soda and coffee. Those two drinks are packed with caffeine, which is one of the most addictive substances know to man kind. Alcohol pails in comparison in addiction levels to caffeine. Why are those drinks OK when they can lead to health complications as well?

Yes beer can be expensive, but I don’t think that it shouldn’t be considered an acceptable drink to have for any occasion because of that. There are addiction risks and possible health complications associated with improper use of alcohol, but that also applies for other commonly accepted items as well. What are your thoughts on have a beer randomly? Is it acceptable to have anytime or something just for the weekends?

Custom six packs

For some reason I forgot to mention that my new “home” of Lubbock, Texas has become a wet city in the past 2 months or so. I would like to think that this happened becasue I moved into the area and they knew that I didn’t want to drive long distances for an adult beverage. So you are welcome Lubbock for not having to travel outside of city limits for a drink.


Anyway, one of the guys at work alerted me to our local World Market. He said that they have beers from all over the world there and that the prices aren’t too shabby either. I went out yesterday for a few things and stopped by the World Market to see what he was talking about. And he was right on both counts; beers from everywhere and decent prices. Most of the world beers came in clear bottles and you can buy them singles only. Not a fan of that. But on the American side of things you could get six packs, cases, and mix and match six packs. Awesome.

There were roughly 30 different beers that you could choose from to put into your six pack. While I was deciding on which six beers to purchase (only 6 under strict instructions from SWMBO), I was thinking about why more places don’t do this. It is a great option for a place that specializes in craft beers. Most craft beer drinkers want to taste everything they can, and the store can charge a slightly higher price per bottle for the convenience of having a custom six pack. The other nice thing is that they had a flat price per bottle, so your choices were not limited by the cost either.

I picked up the following beers for $1.89 a bottle:

  • Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Stout
  • Victory Storm King Stout
  • Pyramid Snow Cap Ale
  • Full Sail Amber Ale
  • Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Some of those beer would of cost me more per bottle if I would of just gotten them as a six pack. Sweet. Anyone else have a local store that does mix and match and do they do it on a per bottle charge or a flat fee?

Tripel update #3

The Tripel has come along nicely. Since the last update, the beer has finished fermenting full and is now sitting at 9% ABV. I am very pleased with that result. While the efficiency was terrible, you almost expect that in a big beer. As I said before I wish I would of made a session beer out of the excess sugars.

It is still sitting in the carboy waiting to be bottled. My only problem right now is having enough bottles. I refuse to buy bottles as they are expensive and the shipping is usually pretty bad. It also depresses me to think of all of the new beers I could of tried if I would of just bought a few six-packs. I might of considered buying them if there was a homebrew store in Lubbock, but that is not the case. The Dubbel got most of my collection of bottles becasue it finished first, but I am slowing adding back to the collection. Hopefully by next weekend I will have collected enough to bottle.

On a side note I tired one of the Dubbels’ and it wasn’t terrible. The carbonation is still lacking, but the taste is right there. With proper carbonation I think it could be an excellent Dubbel.


Portland Breweries: Full Sail Brewing Company

07-30-01On my visit to Texas last year I saw a few six packs of Full Sail beer at the store, but decided to go with some Fat Tire instead. On my honeymoon I got to discover what I missed all that time ago. Smalls and I decided that Full Sail was one of the many breweries that we would visit during our stay. There are a ton of breweries in Portland, and Oregon for that matter. So many in fact that our hotel gave us a brewery guide to Oregon. It was like eight pages long!

Getting back to Full Sail, we hoped on the Portland Street Car (still in fairless square) and took it down to one of the last free stops. Went towards the river and found Full Sail’s tasting room in Portland. The full brewery is located about an hour outside of the city. The tasting room is also attached to a resturant that was pretty pricy, but the beer was not.

We obviously got a sampler from their many beers and made sure to get their three main brews: Amber, IPA, and Pale Ale. They had a wheat beer, a stout, a porter, and a few other IPAs. I really wanted to try their barleywine, but they were out, darn.

I’m not going to get into all of the beers becasue they tasted as they should. Very good and stuck to the standards very nicely. I did get the stout on cask as well and it was excellent. Stouts might be my favorite beer to have in a cask. The flavors combine so nicey and the warm temperature brings out a lot of hidden flavors. They also had a Pilsner which was excellent. Really crisp and light but packed with flavor.

I would visit Full Sail again the next time I get out to Portland.