Re: camp coffee, was Re: "Coffee" - lines that use the word

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Posted by Jonathan Labaree on September 17, 2003 at 16:13:32 from user JLabaree.

In Reply to: Re: camp coffee, was Re: "Coffee" - lines that use the word posted by Alan Hakim on September 16, 2003 at 22:51:43:

Okay, at the risk of straying too far off topic (there is a beer engine on the site, after all), it’s time to defend the US on the beer front.

Despite Alan’s experience (how long ago was your visit?), handcrafted “microbrews” are available virtually everywhere in the US and almost impossible to miss on the East Coast. Microbrews are extremely popular. They tend to sell to a very local market and not be nationally, or even regionally, distributed (there are a few exceptions, such as Sam Adams), so you have to ask for them or know what to look for. Some are lagers and, like all lagers, should be drunk chilled (I agree that a warm lager is foul). Many, indeed most, are ales and pay homage to the great beers of England and Ireland. Here in Maine, we have at least a dozen locally brewed beers, all of which are excellent and available in the supermarket and all but the seediest dives. In addition, there are brewpubs where the beer is made on site. Indeed, my office is right above a brewpub where you can get a great variety of excellent brews (that the food’s no good just means you need to drink more of the beer).

I agree that we Americans tend to serve our ales too cold. I, like Alan, let mine warm up a bit (I love that bit in Asterix in Britain, Alan). I’ve been known to order a lager and an ale at the same time, so the ale has warmed up a bit by the time I polish off the lager. Even at the good Irish pubs in Portland and Boston, which purport to be authentic, the stouts are served chilled – a great misfortune.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love beer. I brew my own from grain. I grow hops. I love the full-bodied English ales, the crisp Czech lagers, and the supreme Irish stouts (first beer I ever drank was a Guinness in Galway). But I also love Budweiser (American Budweiser). It is an extremely refreshing drink. There’s nothing quite like a very cold Bud at the end of a hot day. I can understand why Bud doesn’t meet the standards of some, but I find life enriched by embracing varied experiences, not tunneling down the same old paths with blinders on and a gruff word for anything outside my ken.

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