Miller High Life, the apple juice of beer. The cheapest of the big three of Bud, Miller, and Coors, High Life is your typical heavily cost-reduced in both ingredients and production process mass market lager. The beer starts with beer flavor, then corn grits continuing into green apple-scented acetaldehyde, and finishing with a chemically bitter off-flavor resembling Bitter Apple brand dog deterrent rather than a proper dry or bitter hop finish. High Life might as well be carbonated apple juice with corn starch and detergent dumped in due to the cut-short lagering to stock urban liquor store shelves full. While the cheapest of the cheap outside of Game Day Ice, High Life is a beverage only suitable for sharing a swig with unwashed bipolar bums in bus shelters. Pabst Blue Ribbon, the watery favorite of Dennis Hopper and hipsters everywhere, is much more suited to the task of rehydration while sitting outside in ninety degree heat. High Life will only bring irritable bowels and unlike those bums, you won’t be comfortable squatting in the corner of a glass-enclosed bus stop. With food? High Life will make you hate yourself into not wanting to be like them: the homeless hammering you with their fists over refusing them change for crack, the larded alcoholics homebrewing IPAs, and the sweatshirted sports hooligans watching the NFL every Sunday while downing eight tallboys; High Life motivates teetotalling and fasting.
Occasionally an artist’s work and the chemical inspiration thereof are inseparable and must be experienced together. Occult Burial’s recent ersatz, Hideous Obscure, was inspired by the sloppy, mid-Eighties Teutonic speed metal recordings of Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction which were all written and performed under the influence of a copious deluge of the cheapest Euro pilsner poured down their throats by the liter. This proto-underground beer metal was composed so as to be musically comprehensible to even the drunkest bar patrons still standing in the audience. Lacking even the melodic narratives of Motorhead standards, rocking rhythms, groovy powerchord progressions, and catchy choruses repeated ad nauseam over speed metal gallops and pick-up drum beats, hammering the basic riffs and leads into the heads of all the long-haired drunks tackling one another protected only by jean and leather jackets. To get into the garage practice space, inebriated mindset of these Canadian imitators of the imported speed metal of their fathers, I decided to pick up the Genesee-brewed as mandated by the Obama administration modern recreation of what those in my generation considered a northern, imported treat alongside the likes of St. Pauli Girl, Beck’s, and Guinness Extra: Labatt Blue.
Continue reading Anheuser-Busch InBev / Florida Ice and Farm Company S.A. – Labatt Blue & Occult Burial – Hideous Obscure (2016)
The trendy beer meets the summer need for festive drinks. With its Pokémon-themed graphics and ludicrous take on the IPA taste, Art Car IPA is as stupidly bad as its name suggests. Continue reading Saint Arnold Brewing Company – Art Car IPA (2016)
The great IPA craze may be winding down as hipsters find their mental disability petitions denied, but the world of sour beer lives on. Continue reading Karbach Brewing Company – Sympathy For The Lager (2016)
Surely somewhere Bacchus flicks this wine from his table with an irritated grimace. Making decent wine is not hard, but this is the updated version of plastic jug wine from the 1990s but given the “California sheen” of a unique label and hip, exciting, and different backstory.
Continue reading Barefoot Wine & Bubbly – Barefoot Pinot Noir (2016)
As much as any sane person avoids the mention of our elites, we tend to shy away from names like “Brooklyn Brewery” because such trendy terms and locations can only be designed for the denialists who rule us through money, law and social pretense. Much as in the Soviet Union — another dying society in late-stage collapse — what is said in Pravda is never trusted and always mocked, but… very carefully. In Western totalitarianism, we still have the freedom to purchase, and so, we avoid those products tainted with the symbology of the elites.
Continue reading Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (2016)
The concept is simple: take an ordinary steak or chicken quesadilla and make it twice as big for $1.20 less than you would have spent on buying two quesadillas. In my view, this is a long-overdue recognition by Taco Bell that the quesadilla alone is not a meal, and yet it is just a mite too pricey to be treated as an a la carte item like the smaller tacos and burritos.
Continue reading Taco Bell – “DoubleDilla”
The unicorn of the wine world is an undiscovered, low cost but high quality wine that you can pick up (easily) on the way to a convivial gathering and have people say, after the lights are low, “What the heck was that?” This wine comes very close to unicorn status when you consider the price.
Continue reading Trader Joe’s – Petit Reserve Paso Robles Merlot (2013)
My hipster/yuppie neighbors talked me into getting into wine. They like it because, per point of ABV, it is cheaper than beer and less abrasive than distilled alcohol. So we sat down by the hot tub and drank a few glasses, with the focus on “tasting” the flavor as we got steadily drunker.
Continue reading Gorman Winery – Old Scratch Cabernet Sauvignon (2013)
I loathe a chocolate beer, or any other such testicle-neutralizing fru-fru nonsense, but a beer that has a flavor like that of chocolate can attract my attention. Imperial Stout is like chocolate, coffee and whole grain bread mashed into liquid, run through fire, and then smoothed in vast casks of ancient stone. It has a smooth flavor and feel, high alcohol punch, and dense labyrinth of flavors.
Now, keep in mind that reviewing Sam Smith beers and giving them the thumbs up is like shooting fish in a barrel. The shocking review would be one that found one of their products inferior, mainly because they do a good middle-of-the-road job turned up to A+ levels. It is hard to find a better brewery, at least that does not involve hiking for a day to meet some rather spaced-out monks. But, the question with Sam Smith is how to enjoy their beers and why, because not every beer fits every occasion.
With that in mind, Imperial Stout is not an everyday beer. It is more a ceremonial beer, probably more appropriate for the center of the day than its end. It is unrelentingly rich from start to finish. This is best drunk in an iron flagon with a thick cigar in hand, preferably while holding a weapon and/or torturing dissidents. It is a strong, violently excellent beer that may not fit except during special occasions in your life.