Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Beer vs. Just Beer

I like good beer. I don't drink large quantities, so it's always been about quality for me. I like dark color, strong flavors, a creamy head--and it's especially fine if it's poured from the tap.

Favorites include Anchor Steam Beer, a San Francisco craft brew, and various products of the Pyramid Breweries in Berkeley, California. Today, I bought a six-pack of their Hefeweizen at Safeway.

We enjoy going to Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward, California, where you can see the tanks in the back while drinking freshly poured steins of their fine brew and eating some of the best burgers anywhere. I especially go for Alimony Ale (bitter--you think they did that on purpose?). I even have a T-shirt with the Alimony Ale design on it (though I'm happily married).

So, what's the deal with Budweiser? I will drink one (or two) at a ballgame or after mowing the lawn on a hot summer afternoon. But there's really so little flavor in it. I think it's a factor of mass advertising and perhaps that many drinkers have never tasted anything with serious flavor.

I have visited the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco--I remember pools full of beer--with giant waves of foam. I also have toured a Budweiser plant. There were some seriously large aluminum tanks there--and it figures. They produce mass quantities.

Why drink a nice, strong craft beer? I guess it's the same urge that motivates someone to have a six-speed manual transmission in their car. You just get more.

Oh, price? My Pyramid Hefeweizen was $8.99. Bud? $6.99. I was expecting it to cost less. Maybe it's a better deal in the 24-bottle case.

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