Friday, 28 September 2012

Pale Lager Drinkers Have Quite Traditional Politics?

Having seen this, an exploration of the political leanings and voter turnout of divergent beer drinkers in America, led to a few observations - aside from the obvious need to share!

Observation number one: Since nearly every beer listed qualifies as a macro-brewed American Pale Lager, I am inclined to presume that macro-brewed-pale-lager-drinking-Americans tend to have traditional dichotomous (Liberal-Republican) political stripes and conceive of political action in similarly reductionist ways (to vote or not to vote).  I know, it is more likely that those running the poll think in this way, or presume that such market research - which seems to be its purpose - is more crucial to the big guys.

Correlation may not imply causality, but if we could all just open up to alternative possibilities in lifestyle and choice, perhaps we would also open in ways that could help us reconceptualize our entire socio-political ontologies.

I suppose I am here making the hypothesis that those drinking New Belgium Beers in the United States or Beau's in Canada - and perhaps just local and/or craft beer in general might not be well represented by such a survey?  Is it my own bias, or would those of a more nuanced consumption also have a more nuanced politics that these market researchers would find difficult to quantify in these binary terms?

The lesson taken from this, according to the accompanying article, seems to be for brewers to stay politically neutral.  However, there is a specific politics not only to the business model of the smaller craft brewing scene, but to the partisan and legislative practices that hinder or advance the craft brewing phenomenon.  Part of my point is that businesses are inherently political and both consumers and entrepreneurs of various sizes and philosophies exemplify different ideologies.  Maybe embracing those isn't such a bad thing, indeed simply existence in such an economy sides with, and against, certain political formulations.  Standing aside is a politics too: the politics of the status quo, and certainly many large brewers depend on the way things are, but does this not differ for the smaller craft brewer - especially those with environmental leanings?

Observation number two: perhaps my presumptions are either wrong or limited anyway since some of the best (and by best, I mean less bad) beers on this list seem to be consumed by Republican supporters who vote.  I am not sure what this does to my leftist and ale/craft-loving worldview, but I am open to suggestions as to what I should drink to drown my sadness at this realization.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Beer Number 701: The Great Pumpkin, St. Ambroise!

I would tell you about rated beer number 700, but I have been told that if one has nothing nice to say, one should say nothing at all.

Thus, I come to beer number 701: Brasserie McAuslan's seasonal St. Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale) which is brewed with wheat, cloves, and pumpkin (aside from the usual ingredients!).

Coming in at the standard 5% ABV, this beer pours an attractive copper-coloured body topped by a nice fizzy, audible, white head that diminishes fairly quickly with negligible lacing.  It smells of sweet malt represented mostly by caramel, with a trace of spiciness and baking bread.  Tastewise, it is mild for a pumpkin beer - that is the pumpkin isn't overpowering and I rather consider that a strength though some may call it a weakness.  A faintly sweet, bready, roasty maltiness comes first before a spicy, peppery, and clove dominated middle that filters into an ever-so-faintly citrusy and pumpkin-y finish.  It is fairly light bodied, yet sweetly tingly to the tongue and is (of only a few tried) easily my favourite beer in this seasonal style.  That said, not only have I had few, but I prefer this mild pumpkin flavour to the stronger.  If that too fits your style, grab a few of these while you can - and Happy Hallowe'en!

Coming soon (when working life allows), a belated dual review of some Eastern Townships brewpubs: Brasserie Dunham and Microbrasserie La Memphre!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Affligem Dubbel is Truly a Gem

Despite having never really gotten into the more common (in Ontario) Affligem Blonde, I have to say that this beer impressed me! (Review after the pic!)

Visually, a thick, off-white, foamy head tops a light brown body that is faintly cloudy and full of chunky white-ish particulate. Gorgeous! Aromas of brown sugar, molasses, baking bread, raisins, and caramel predominate with a primary sweetness and just a touch of faint tart cherry. Taste is similar to the aroma and quite toffee dominant. So deliciously sweet it is nearly cloying, but not quite! It is quite creamy despite fairly high carbonation on a medium body. This is just an excellent dubbel and an LCBO must-buy if any remain on the shelves! Grade: A/A+