Beer

First brewed at least 5,000 years ago, beer is one of the oldest and most universally consumed alcoholic drinks. It is usually made from cereals, most frequently malted barley, but other ingredients can be used, such as wheat, corn, or rice. In the majority of cases, hops are added to the process (originally as a preservative), although in centuries past other flavorings were used. Today, a whole host of flavored beers exist, ranging from conventional ingredients such as fruit to crazier additions including bacon, donuts, and rocky mountain oysters (aka bull testicles). The most popular beer style, however, is the easy-drinking pale lager style. It used to be thought that beer in cans was inferior quality to beer in bottles, and that there was a safety worry over the use of aluminum, but that is no longer the case. Cans are perfectly safe and sales of canned beers are growing while bottles are on the decline.

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Review: Tsingtao Lager

By Christopher Null | November 8, 2007 |

It’s been years since I tried Tsingtao (also written Tsing Tao), but they were out of Sapporo last night, so I figured, why not? Pleasantly surprised, this crisp Chinese didn’t have the medicinal taste I’d recalled. Rather, it was light, slightly sweet, fragrant, and without a hint of “chemical” aroma. Some reports say that quality…

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Review: Newcastle Brown Ale

By Christopher Null | October 30, 2007 |

One look at old standby Newcastle and you feel like you’re in for a treat. A nice medium brown but not too dark, frothy head, looks like it can’t miss, right? My latest encounter with Newcastle (reportedly the #2 imported beer in the U.S.) was hardly the experience I was hoping for. In lieu of…

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Review: BridgePort Brewing India Pale Ale

By Christopher Null | October 15, 2007 |

Eh, looked interesting in the cooler, but this otherwise by-the-book, golden brown IPA has a little too much I and not enough P for my tastes. The hoppiness overpowers the brew (the company claims five types of hops are used), and while you can get that taste of lemon peel if you work for it,…

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Review: Beck’s Oktoberfest

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2007 |

By the time you read this, it will be October, and for beer drinkers, that means a month-long excuse to consume mass quantities of brew. Hey, good for them. Beck’s Oktoberfest is a quite pleasant brew (and I’ve no idea if the formulation has changed for 2007), a dark amber beer with an overwhelming aroma…

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Review: Abita Amber

By Christopher Null | September 18, 2007 |

I’m on a beer kick right now. I have no choice: The stairs going down to my wine cellar are being sealed. “Wet paint” for the rest of the week. With some pad thai tonight I broke out an Abita Amber, which I bought a sixer of a couple of weeks back. It went well…

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Review: Pacifico Clara

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2007 |

Why would anyone drink a Corona when Pacifico is readily available? The reason you put a lime in Corona (and I’m not above drinking one in a pinch) is to mask the faint taste of muskiness. The reason you put a lime in Pacifico is to improve on what’s already just about perfect. Now I’m…

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