Friday, October 17, 2008

Beer Nationalism

I had a dream last night that I was on my way to the moon as part of a NASA program to figure out the affects of beer on man in space and the affects of space on beer.


Now, this would've been a great dream, had it not been for the beer choices. I had to drink different beers from different countries, but alot of it was bad, then I must've pushed myself to wake up in order to keep myself from having to drink "Sol," and "Corona."

Don't remember much else though, but it brings up a good subject- Beer and Nationalism!!!!

Everybody knows a guy that's a foreigner. This foreigner usually drinks his nation's beer often and makes remarks about how "Guatemala has the best beer in the world."

Guatemala? Beer is produced in Guatemala?

Maybe the guy you know isn't from Guatemala, but it happens. The dude doesn't really even have to be a foreigner though. I know guys that are 1/30 Irish, and can't keep their traps shut about Guinness.

"Ha- you know, I'm Irish- so I have to drink Guinness. I drink it in the morning with my cereal, and when I break out I use Guinness as an acne treatment...etc"

-Horrible. Simply horrible. These examples of beer nationalism are killing the beer market. This is what keeps the beer market from broadening faster and wider than it already is- and it's really annoying me.

I don't see any point in being excited about my nation's mass produced beer. I am excited about good beer in general, and that's the hallmark of any beer drinker worth the alcohol in his blood stream. The truth is, mass produced beer in any other country is no better than our crappy mass produced beer. There are exceptions to this and these are some of the international treasures that foreigners can really be proud of.


This a beer from Morocco. It's is a lager and is moderately smooth. Most beer that you will encounter from abroad tends to be variations of lagers and pilsners because of German immigrants and such influences on brewing.


This is an Ethiopian beer, and again- a lager. The mainstay of beer drinkers in Africa is, however, Guinness Export, which is drier than extra stout. It has a tan label.


From Israel comes this medium bodied lager, Goldstar- it's good for many flavorful dishes found in Arab/Jewish cuisine.


Efes Pilsner does similarly well, and it's from Turkey.


Let's not forget about ALMAZA from Lebanon-one of the very few beers from green glass bottles that I, myself, will drink. Nothing goes better with lamb, falafel, and harrisa better. The best Pilsner outside of German and Czech breweries.


Argentina is proud of it's own lager and they should be. Pretty thin but nice mouthfeel- surprisingly astringent, but necessary when paired with beef (good beef).


It's a running joke that Russia has been notorious for sub par products. Baltika Beers are the exception. The beers are numbered for each style, which makes ordering easy. "I'll have a number three." - The wheat bear is surprisingly good, and they have a well rounded collection that makes you forget how bad Borscht can be if not done right.


Germany has too many beers for one country, with regional differences being apparent in every glass. This is the crown jewel for me. Germany has many light bodied, light colored beers, but this one is unlike all of them (except in the now extinct dortmunder style). Rauchbier tastes so smoky, like bacon. It stands up to pork sausage and braised cabbage as I'm sure it stood up to many foreigners complaining about it's bacon taste. It will continue to stand up to time. Bravo Germany, you got one right.


India, for some reason took to brewing German lagers, despite the British occupation which would've logically prompted more ales being brewed. Despite this strange affect, they did take the best water and spin out some great lagers. Old Monk 10,000 isn't just a lager, it's a strong lager- of which a category doesn't exist. Lagers are crisp and light. Medium alcohol, but this one packs a punch very slyly. Damn you India. You're too good at what you do.


Japan, in recent years, lifted a ban on microbrewing, and I couldn't be happier. Hitachino makes some of the tastiest, rarest brews. this classic ale isn't just another Japanese copy of American innovation. It's a rework of something we, as Americans, can only wish we could have come up with in the first place. This is a genuine Japanese beer, without having to be so Japanese. They can be proud of this beer. Normally, it would take maybe ten pitchers of Sapporro to get me a little high. this one makes me happy, and it has alcohol to keep me happy.

Cheers to international beer done well!!! These are beers people can be proud of.


pomona's art colonists said...

Hey Tibbi,
Can you get some of that Japanese Ale for me?
"variety is the spice of life"

by the sing pretty good!

tibbi said...

that ale is hard to get. when i found it, i tried to keep the bottle but they wouldn't let me!!!!

that's why i say it's "rare," but when i find it, i will glad make sure I get enough for al of us.

quit teasing. i felt so stupid afterward, that's why we left!!!
I only karaoke when i'm super plastered

pomona's art colonists said...

you really sing good! i'm not just saying that, your voice is nice....those other guys????