Terrapin Beer Company, Athens, Georgia, United States, American Indian Pale Ale, 7.3% ABV
I realized that I drink a lot of American IPA’s because I am having more difficulty coming up with puns I haven’t used. This beer has a good orange color and a nice head when poured, I guess, although I don’t think I’ve complained about enough nightclubs to have a valid opinion on that issue. I like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on the can. The brewery is based out of Athens, which is the ideal city for a craft brewery to be based out of. There are 6 varieties of hops in this beer, which is the smallest positive integer with two prime factors, much like this beer has two prime factors: it’s commitment to scaring away people who only drink beer “recreationally”, and the fact that it’s from the same city as R.E.M.
Rating: 4 flannel-shirted bouncers.
Not Your Father’s Root Beer
Small Town Brewery, Illiois, United States, Secret Blend of Herbed / Spiced Beer, 5.9% ABV
This is literally root beer. Everyone on beer advocate complains about how “the head isn’t frothy enough” or “the coloration is too dark” or “you’ll get diabetes before you get alcohol poisoning” but c’mon, it’s literally root beer. With alcohol though, so that’s pretty redeeming. It’s not your father’s root beer because it’s your drunk uncle’s root beer. It is to beer what Mike’s Hard Lemonade is to vodka.
Rating: 4 well-groomed mustaches.
Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster), Ye Ol’ Pubbery, The Queen, Great Britain, Winter Warmer? You ‘ardly know ‘er! 6.0% ABV
This beer is called a “Winter Warmer”, which pretty much explains everything about it. It gets really good reviews on Beer Advocate, probably because it’s foreign (“In America, we tend to like our hoppy IPA’s, funky saisons and roasty stouts, but this time of year, sometimes to give a shout out to a style that is often overlooked” - Back_in_the_Saddle, Nov 19 2015) This is one of the few beers that I got at a liquor store instead of a grocery store, and I can’t unassociate it from the jankyness of buying vodka from a drive-thru. I imagine that more than a few people have this beer in their refrigerator for the same reason Zooey Deschanel had a comedy tour, to show everyone how quirky and authentic they are despite not really taking it seriously. Whoever did the bottle art seemed inspired by Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap. By shipping it to the United States, Samuel Smith shrewdly hones in on his target audience of Ren Fair attendees who have beer blogs.
Rating: 3 LARP swords.
Slow Ride Session IPA
New Belgium Brewing, Colorado, United States, AmeriCAN IPA (“More flavorful than the withering English IPA” according to Beer Advocate, suck on those tea bags England) 4.5% ABV
On the lighter side for an American IPA. It tastes a bit like apple. It’s the kind of beer a beer snob would say is “not very flavorful” because people actually like to drink it. The picture on the front is of a couch with a steering wheel, which is probably a play on “Slow Ride”. A bit of a chicken and egg situation here though because it’s not clear if the name or the picture came first.
Rating: 3.5 electric cars.
Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale
Monday Night Brewing, Georgia, United States, Scottish Ale (Not completely Scott, only Scott-ish) 7.2% ABV
Monday Night Brewing is the SweetWater Brewing Company of Atlanta Breweries. It tastes like air until it goes in your stomach, when it tastes like acid. Doesn’t get fantastic reviews on Beer Advocate, but it’s still pretty good.
Rating: 2.5 selfie sticks.
SweetWater Brewing Company, Georgia, United States, ‘Merican IPA, 6.3% ABV
SweetWater is about as big an Atlanta institution as Coca Cola or The Varsity. Pretty good, really hopsy. They served it at the PyData meetup at MailChip, along with non-chain store pizza.
Rating: 4 alternative pizza joints.
Sand Island Lighthouse
Straight to Ale, Alabama, United States Kolsch (clear, with a bright yellow hue, warm fermented and conditioned by lagering, which means it was matured in cold storage; usually ABV of 4.4% to 5.2%, medium bitterness of 20 to 30 IBU) 5.1% ABV
It goes down pretty easily. It seems kind of nutty. Not something I would drink to get drunk, but good for drinking while doing work or hanging out. A lot of people on beeradvocate.com think it is fruity. It comes in a can, although I don’t think it had the nitrogren thing on the lid, so it is either too mainstream or way, way underground. The can itself has some cool art on it, but not in-your-face avant garde art. The brewer, “Straight to Ale”, might be a pun, but if it is, I don’t get it. It tastes pretty good, though.
Rating: 4 plaid shirts.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Pabst Brewing Company, California, United States, American Adjunct Lager (light bodied, pale, fizzy, less bitter with moderate (4.0% to 6.0%) alcohol, focus less on flavor and more on mass production; probably the beer your dad drinks) 4.74% ABV
As with anyone who likes craft beers, PBR is my go-to beverage of choice. Kind of meta-ironically, I drink it because at 67 cents a can (in 2016 adjusted dollars) it is the cheapest one at Krogers that doesn’t advertise during the Super Bowl. Probably best if you want to get drunk, but don’t want to be associated with people who get drunk.
Rating: 3 ironic glasses.