Category Archives: Beer Articles

Where are the Browns?

For the longest time I felt two styles were missing from tap lists – sours & browns. Well, as we all know, sours are everywhere now but where are the browns? Why is this style overlooked again and again? I’m perplexed as to why folks don’t appreciate this style more. I get so excited when I see a brown ale on a tap list and there are some really good ones out there. Brooklyn Brown and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale helped me fall in love with craft beer. Right now I have Weyerbacher Easton Brown & Down and Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale in my beer frig.

Perhaps browns aren’t complex enough for folks but isn’t it nice to sometimes just enjoy straightforward drinking beer with a solid taste? I love the nuttiness to browns, the malt and subtle hops all combine to make a really smooth easy beer. Whenever I see a brown ale on a tap list you can count on this Gal ordering it. I once wished for more sours and my wish came true. Fingers crossed my wish for more browns comes true.

Brewers PLEASE brew some browns.
Drinkers PLEASE give the browns a chance.

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Fat Tire or Flat Tire – would you say it?

Most of you have probably heard New Belgium Brewing beers will now be available in New Jersey. Some folks have wondered why I’ve been so quiet about this news when most in the beer world are clammering about it. Ummm, because I don’t think it’s that big a deal. There I said it. Boy does it feel good to get that off my chest.

Now don’t get me wrong I think New Belgium brews very good beer but so do numerous other breweries. Which leads me to ask is everyone really that excited or are they feeding off each other?

New Belgium has been available in Jersey’s neighboring state of Pennsylvania for several months now and since this Gal’s go-to-beer store, Trenton Road Takeout, is located in PA I’ve had access to New Belgium since the early fall and have tried various styles. I did enjoy them but not to the point that I understand why people are tripping over themselves in their quest to do the happy dance about the Jersey release. Mind you most of the folks doing the tripping have tried it before so  I wonder do they really think it’s incredibly awesome or do they feel that they have to say that?

Let’s look at some of the Holy Grails of the beer world. You know the ones I’m referring to Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger and Heady Topper. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying 2 out of the 3 – eventually I’ll try the Younger. Yes, Elder and Topper were both very good. No, I did not wait in line for hours, fight my way through throngs of humans nor did I pay some ridiculous price. I tried them for free via kind individuals. A bottle of Pliny the Elder was left on my desk by a client as a thank you for helping him with a project. I was excited to finally get to try it but thankful I didn’t knock myself out doing so. A good friend was given a can of Heady and chose to share it with me one night while enjoying dinner at a BYOB establishment. Very enjoyable indeed. BTW – if forced to pick I enjoyed the Heady more but both were wonderful. I would love to try the Younger and feel it will happen one day but nope I’m not going to great lengths to do so.

The whole thing of making customers jump through hoops to get these Holy Grails has become increasingly annoying. “Watch for our post of when it goes on tap so you can rush like a mad person to get here and wait in line for hours for the golden ticket”. Have fun and I’m sure some wonderful beerships will be formed from the experience but this Gal will be chilling with a good beer elsewhere.

But seriously do folks really think the beers are worth all the hoopla, is it bragging rights to say you had them or does one feel pressure to says it’s good? Would one dare say they didn’t think Pliny was all that?!

So yes, New Belgium is now available in Jersey. I’m happy for the brewery expanding their market and for my fellow beer lovers who can’t wait to try it but I’m not jumping on the band wagon doing the happy dance because I don’t feel it’s dance worthy.