September 20, 2008

Great Reward in Elysian Fields

The goal, for those really really old Greeks, was to reach Elysium, for only the truly worthy enjoyed their final resting place in Elysian Fields. For beer enthusiasts, rather than dying there, good beers are born there.

Wednesday at the Toronado spelled the introduction of Seattle's Elysian Brewing, tapping six beers. Most, like the Wise ESB, represented straightforward ambassadors of the style. One, the Jasmine IPA, posed the question of whether you want an already hoppy beer to be partnered with the added jasmine-y perfume. And then, behold, Dragonstooth. How do I know what they all tasted like? Jesse ambitiously populated our li'l table top with one of each. This stout weighs in at 7.2% ABV. Resplendent and a new go-to beer for me at the Toronado.

Not only was Elysian's head brewer Dick Cantwell on hand for the occasion, but it seems the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) was in town and in walked some big machers in the brewing world such as Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head and Kim Jordan from New Belgium, two characters I encountered on my beer odyssey. Greg Koch let it be known I erroneously left him, Stone, and San Diego out, but he makes a cameo on page 154.

It was good to talk to Greg, Kim, and Sam, but my favorite part came when Dick agreed to host a book signing at Elysian in Seattle on November 11. Sweet! See ya there.

September 11, 2008

Beer Haiku Daily

I'm a poet and I know it. Check out today's Beer Haiku Daily.

September 2, 2008

The only way to enjoy Bud Lime... as a chaser for Bud "Chelada."

True enough, Anheuser-Busch is releasing Budweiser American Ale, but the "King of Beers" that made its name with lager has two other drinks on the market that, well, no need to opine, I'll just get to the tasting; a masochistic sense of just having to know what they taste like coupled with my friend Eric's actual affinity for them.

First up: "Chelada." This 24-oz tallboy is part Budweiser lager, part Clamato. We're already off to a bad start, since Clamato is part tomato juice, part CLAM. Who the hell thought bivalves and vegetables would pair nicely as a juice? I'm already not a huge Bloody Mary drinker, but the thought of adding actual clam juice to it makes me wretch. And why end there? Why not a whole line of mollusc-mary cocktails like Bud, pureed oyster, and V8?

Allegedly, Bud Chelada--targeted to the Latino market and instead of having copy and ingredients on the can in English and Spanish has it in Spanish then English--is the best-selling beer at Dodger Stadium.

It pours a reddish-orange with a thin carrot-colored head. The initial taste is clam, the middle flavor has the tomato and spices coming through, oh, but wait, there comes that clam again in the aftertaste. Eric delighted in drinking both tallboys. As my punishment for not enjoying the Chelada, he made me finish the entire bottle of Bud Lime.

Poured from a 12-oz clear bottle, the bright yellow beer poured no head to speak of, reeked of citrus, and tasted something akin to Lime-Ade. I occasionally like Mexican beers with lemon, anything but Corona. This tasted like Corona with an entire lime juiced into it and maybe some extra corn syrup to take the tart edge off it.

Let's see how those Belgians at InBev make Bud American Ale taste.