Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Terry's Beer Tour of the World #6

Nice crisp lager with light hops and reasonable sweetness (i.e. not much).
This is a new beer, first brewed in 1997, in Thessalonika.  They got a head start in the game because they’re part of the Carlsberg group, so it’s not like they had to do a trial and error period.

Had this with a most superb Lamb Shank lunch at St Demetrios’ Greek Festival in Fort Lauderdale.  It was the 33rd annual running of the event.  A great Greek band, the Hellenic Band, kept us clapping and stamping, the children of the parish and the teens kept us entertained with folk dancing.  There were bakery sweets, and a look inside St Demetrios’ church itself.   Carol had the Lemon & Oreganato Chicken (I think that’s Greek for Oregano?).  ½ a small chicken cooked on an outdoor grill.  Wonderful stuff.  Getting in touch with my Greek roots, learning to sing and dance Greek-style.

Brooklyn Lager – 2nd attempt. 
New York
Thought it was more of an IPA back in Episode 4 and now I’m convinced.  Had a taster at Texas Hold ‘em BBQ last Friday night.  Didn’t like at all and switched back to Yeungling on tap.  Nice spare ribs and good fries but not much ambience in the place.

Nice.  I particularly like the large can – glass and a half.  Good stuff.  The Dutch apparently like this one too.  Classic Middle European beer.  Can’t go wrong with this, but you’ll need to pour it to get away from the tinny taste.  Once it’s in a glass it’s superb.

Fort Lauderdale
We have discovered a place called the Riverside Market. It’s about 10 minutes from here by bike, up the North fork of the New River.  It has over 500 types of craft beer.  Even has Coopers, and to prove it’s not a place for dumbos, it doesn’t have Fosters or any of that other garbage.  Food is a bit ordinary but it’s not why people go there.  They have a nice old comfortable lounge, a few comfortable lounge chairs (that don’t match), tables, chairs and chairs outside so you can sit in the sun and have a beer or two.  You walk in, select a beer from the wall of fridges, open with an opener hanging from the roof and sit down.  When you’re ready to go, they come and add up your bottles.  Easy. They’re having a wine-and-beer tasting on Saturday night, $20 for 15 wines and 10 beers including snacks.  We’ve got an invite so we’re going.

Nice. A bit of malt, some fizz and some bitterness.  Easy to drink.  Actually called Gallo in Guatemala, where it is the biggest seller but marketed o/s as Famosa. 

Red Brick Brown Ale
Atlanta Georgia
Quite rich – a lot of different flavours in this.  Liked a lot.  If anything, a bit much caramel but not excessive.   Great beer.

Beer Lao
Surprised that this was 4.9% as it had no flavor and nothing to recommend it.  Would be good on a hot day but so’s an umbrella.  Fizz, bubbles, water and alcohol.  Nothing else

Quite Ok but not one I’d try again.  A bit cloudy and nice enough.  I’d drink it in Brazil for sure as the local offering but there are others that are better.

Lagunitas Pils
Not good.  Not even sure they can call this a Pils.  They just can’t seem to stop whacking hops to excess in everything.  I tried their Pale Ale back in Episode 4 and didn’t like that.  The Pils wasn’t available then and I did say I’d try it before I dismissed the brewery.  Now I have and I do.

Polestar Pilsner
Longmont Colorado
Another one from the Left Hand Brewing Company in Colorado.  Carol had this one and liked it.

Wine and beer tasting night at the Riverside Market Café

Krombacher Pils
Nice but a bit weak.  I would have expected a bit more strength with this.  They say it’s the best beer in Germany, by public acclamation, but I think beers like Spaten beat it hands down.

Flying Dog IPA
Denver, Colorado
Good for an American IPA i.e. the current push is to overhop them but this wasn’t

Flying Dog Amber
The beer of the night.  Rich and creamy.  Liked this very much.  Bit of froth, lots of taste.  One to mark up on the more list.

Innis & Gunn Rum Cask
Interesting taste – definitely can taste the rum.

Well’s Banana Bread
I had this simply so that I didn’t dismiss it out of hand.  Not good. (It does taste and smell exactly like banana bread. C)

Rogue Chocolate Stout
Newport, Oregon
Again, tried it because it was there but not a taste I would want to repeat.

Nice.  Easy to drink.  They run something like 16 breweries in the East (Moldavia has beer?).  Good.  Nice to know I won’t be going dry when we get to Turkey. 

La Tropical. 
Excellent.  Happy to drink this often. Not prepared to tolerate Cuban bureaucracy to go there to drink it, though.

Shiner, Texas.
Well isn’t this now the pilgrimage place on the planet.  Has a population of only about 2,600 but has been brewing beer since 1909.  One of the few to continue through that disastrous Big Girl’s Blouse episode called Prohibition.  One of the few to come out the other side, too.  Pity we’re too far from Texas to go visit.

Shiner Dark Lager

Wonderful.  My new best beer in the world.  First thing I thought was that it was very reminiscent of  Lowenbrau Dark.  Lowenbrau is very hard to find and often goes missing from distribution due to dumb deals they do with idiots.  They did a deal with Miller in the US in the 90s and Miller repaid them by screwing around with the formula and driving sales into the dirt.  Since then, it has merged with Spaten (I didn’t know that until a few minutes ago but it explains why I like Spaten).  Now it’s not even shipping to the USA in any form.  I have a suspicion that whoever’s making this Shiner has had exposure to Lowenbrau Dark.  Wonderful stuff.

Shiner Reserve Kosmos
Not bad.  Good earthy taste, nice froth, crisp and NOT sweet.

Shiner Rye Lager
Ok but a little more like Diet Coke than beer.  Couldn’t detect a lot of a Rye taste.

Dud bottle – flat, no fizz at all.  Gave it back and they disposed of it. Maybe production methods are a little lacking?

Innis & Gunn
Irish Whiskey Cask
A bit stronger than the Rum cask version I had the other night.  The whiskey taste is strong.  Nice for a one-off.

Narragansett Lager
Rochester, New York
Good.  Would be happy to drink this all summer long.  Good froth, nice and crisp.


  1. There's those jobs in life that nobody really wants to do, but someone has to. I guess that's where you come in Terry - I can't imagine anybody who would choose to taste all manner of brewed and hoppy beverages purely for the greater good, and yet there you are, doing it for the team. You are a champ. But you know, I don't think you have to be a complete martyr - surely there's a limit to what one might be expected to try - surely banana bread beer is that limit. It's just too nasty. Loved the sound of the Greek festivities, would have loved to have been there with you both! Where are you going to be in July?

  2. :)He's doing a sterling job and bringing credit to our nation. Our best estimate at the moment for July is that we will be in Portugal - probably in a marina in Lagos. How does that sound?