We all need some spice in our lives, life would be so boring without it. Chili Beer sounded intriguing, however I was warned it would be spicy. A little background about this beer, it was born in Arizona, the brewer, ‘Crazy Ed Chillen’ (awesome name chillin’) tired of yuppies asking for lime decided to instead insert a hot serrano chili pepper, about two out of ten liked it. Sadly the brewery is now out of business, but the beer lives on in Tecate, Mexico. Now I don’t mind spicy food, but this one really through me for a loop. Spicy beer, and I mean heat not the usual spices you would expect. A first taste very typical of a Mexican beer, light not overwhelming, then it hits you like a ton of bricks. This beer is hot, first time I needed something to refresh me from a beer, usually the beer is the refresher. Not for the feint of heart for sure. It is spicier than Sofía Vergara. If you like it hot give it a go. They say “we don’t need no stinkin’ lime” , well I agree on that one, just not sure I’d have gone with a chili pepper. So if you are willing to experiment, give it a try.
Living the Salva Vida, it’s a hot day you’re on the Honduran beach or in some other Central American country and you need something to quench your thirst then you may reach for a Salva Vida. Brewed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, this one is pretty light on flavour, typical of the type of beer from the region. One I would characterize as a thirst quencher, good on a hot humid day but not one I would savour for it’s taste. You could lump this one in with any Mexican beer. So if your looking for something that goes down easy on a humid day, give it a try, if not unless you like your beer weak you’ll probably want to avoid this one.
I just getting ready to write off New Orleans beer completely when I wander into the Crescent City Brewhouse in the French Quarter. A Micro-Brewery run by a German Brewer that adheres to the ‘Bavarian Purity Law of 1516’. They feature four beers and although I ordered a Black Forest the waitress brought me a Red Stallion, must be my Canadian accent. They describe it as ‘ A malty, aromatic and hoppy mixture. Copper coloured this beer is medium bodied and full of flavour. Vienna Style’. Well New Orleans, and the great state of Louisiana, you have redeemed yourself. This is a decent red, flavouful with the right amount of bitterness, I enjoyed this one for sure. Sadly if you want to try one you’re going have to head to New Orleans. This beer is perfect for enjoying after exploring the French Market or the Riverwalk. So if you find yourself in New Orleans and want a decent beer head to the Crescent City Brewhouse.
Going to head away from New Orleans beers for this one, two bad ones in a row is making my taste buds literally cry out for a good beer. Well I can always count on Germany, München’s Paulaner Original Munich Premium Lager (Original Münchener Hell) restored my faith that there are indeed good beers out there. Of course when you were established by Monks in the 17th century, you have time to perfect your craft. Exactly what you’d expect from a lager, smooth, easy to drink with a slight hint of sweetness. A very light and refreshing beer that people who prefer the lightness of a lager will enjoy. And the fact that Paulaner is a sponsor my favourite Fußball team FC Bayern München doesn’t hurt. And speaking of soccer (football) today’s important victory by Germany over The Netherlands in Euro 2012 would be a perfect time to enjoy a Paulaner. Enjoy the rest of the tournament no matter who you’re cheering for.
Okay so my first encounter with beer in ‘Nawlins wasn’t so good, maybe number two would be better. I’m enjoying a delicious meal, and the waiter recommends the Abita Amber. So I think why not. A typical red in colour, not a bad mix of bitterness, but there it is again, a taste that I finally remembered, it reminded me of that swill Banks. Is it sugar cane, who knows but it ruined the beer. There is an interesting phenomenon in New Orleans called the go cup. Basically you can either take a drink to go or if your not finished take it with you, as long as it’s in a plastic container. Now a clue that Abita was bad is I didn’t see anyone walking the streets of the French Quarter with one. Now I can see why rum based drinks are the specialty, because they’re not so good at the beer thing. Will it get better one can only hope. I will let you know. As for Abita once bitten, twice shy. The only good thing I can say is it’s better than Purple Haze. And one more piece of advice be careful of the Hurricane drinks, but that’s another story.
Purple haze all in my brain…recently took a trip to the Big Easy, New Orleans, so of course I had to sample some local cuisine and some local beer. Ordered up some char-broiled oysters and decided to wash them down with some Purple Haze by local brewery Abita. With names like Purple Haze and Turbo Dog how could I resist. A ‘fruit and vegetable’ beer, I took a sip and the first thing that hit me was a taste I couldn’t put a handle on. I quickly jotted down my first impression and what I wrote was ‘fruity and weird’. A slight raspberry taste but there was just this flavour that I found ruined any hope this beer had. You want to try it go ahead, but you’ve been warned….
I’ve mentioned this before that I’m not a fan of beers that bill themselves as a traditional beer of another country. Brewed by Canada’s Trafalgar Ales and Meads. Mead? Do people in this century still drink mead? I guess some do, just have never seen mead offered at the local pub or jousting matches. Anyway back to the beer, Trafalgar has brewed an Irish Ale, which they bill as a ‘traditional brown ale’. A dark, coffee like colour, it is very much in the tradition of and Irish Ale, I just found although expected it was a little too bitter. Very average in fact, if you want a Irish brown ale I suggest you buy a Irish brown ale instead of a wanna be. Really wouldn’t waste my time on this one.