Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brewing Reacquaintances

One of my biggest complaints about living in China was the lack of beer variety. Sure, there were imported beers for sale at Jusco and Carrefour, but I didn't want to spend that much on a single bottle (and don't even get me started on the bar prices--the bars in New Jersey are cheaper). For lack of a foreign income, I resorted to drinking Tsingtao at restaurants for 5 or 6 Yuan. Tsingtao is not a bad beer; I just happen to like more variety.

Coming home I got reacquainted with some old favorites. The first bottles I picked up were Yuengling Lager--a wonderful amber lager from the oldest brewery in America in Pottstown, PA. It's even better when considering that it's less than $6 for a six-pack.

Over the last two months, I've had some Saranac, Guinness (on tap), Bass, and Magic Hat--all very fine brews. I also came across an old favorite: Victory Hopdevil. This is probably the strongest tasting beer I've ever had--Victory Brewery uses an incredible amount of hops in that beer. Unfortunately, Hopdevil is not to everyone's taste (I only know a handful of people who enjoy it). Now that I've entertained the old tastebuds, I'm venturing into new territory of brews.

My latest purchase is Fisherman's IPA from Cape Ann Brewing Co. It's a solid IPA--a nice strong taste of hops that's not overpowering like some IPAs. And it has just a subtle aftertaste. I've had smoother IPAs, but those usually don't go over well when craving the bitterness of a quality beer. I will certainly put this on a list of recommended beers, but only for those who truly enjoy the taste of hops.


Peter said...

Yeah - beer in China is lacking a lot in variety. Great beer, but not much difference between the different brands.

My parents-in-law will visit us here in Denmark this July, and I have already stocked up on beer from all around the world for my father-in-law to try out.

Denmark has grown quite a few micro-breweries lately, so if I wanted to, I could present him with a new brand/taste every day for the month they are here. Still funnier for him to try beer from somewhere else too.

I also bought a Stroh rum 80%, which to my knowledge is one of the strongest available liquors in the world. Just so he have a tale to tell when back home :-)

FARHMIE said...
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Mr. Svenska said...

I feel ya 100% - I'm in Kazakhstan and the beer here is about like a Bud-lite or worse.

I was back in the states for a couple weeks and I gave my tastebuds the feast they'd been awaiting. I suggest you try the Stone Ruination IPA next time you get a chance - you won't be disappointed.

Rick Green said...

Craft beer is slowly coming to China -- Boxing Cat and The Brew in Shanghai, Great Leap and Slow Boat in Beijing. Drink less, drink well!