Chang Beer

008My wife loves elephants. She’s loved them long before we met. When we were in the store picking out beers for the newest mixed packs, I wasn’t surprised that she grabbed the Chang beer. After all, Chang (ช้าง) is Thai for elephant, or so I’m led to believe.

Chang beer is from Thailand, and it shares many of the qualities of other Asian beers. It’s a fairly recent creation having been first brewed and sold commercially within the past ten years. Today, it’s said to be one of the most popular beers in Thailand.

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When I first poured this beer, I encountered a skunky aroma, but that quickly dissipated. The beer is clean and crisp with an incredibly light flavor. However, the flavor is very pleasant. It is nicely refreshing.

Would I buy this beer again? I might if I were at a Thai restaurant. This beer is advertised as being a good accompaniment to spicy Thai food, and I’d like to try it in that context – mostly because I love spicy Thai food. Should you try it? If you have the chance, yeah. Pick one up next time you’re eating Thai, or if you happen to see it at the store. It’s a pleasant, unimposing beer.

I’d give this beer 4/5 caps.

Hoppy Feet 1.5

013I hadn’t heard of Clown Shoes Brewery before beginning this blog. Seeing as the Hoppy Feet 1.5 is their first anniversary ale, I understand why. This relatively new brewery simply hasn’t been out there very long.

This beer taught me that I had no idea what a pale ale is. After reading a few things, I learned that it’s the malt that’s a light color, not necessarily the beer. Although the light malt usually results in a light-colored beer, this isn’t always the case. This beer, for example, is a double black India pale ale. As you can see in the picture, it’s anything but light.

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This was quite a beer. It reminded me very much of an oatmeal stout. It was incredibly powerful and bitter to the point of almost being astringent. It was also strongly alcoholic. I think this beer would have gone wonderfully with a burger, but it was a bit too much on its own. I actually had a hard time making through the 1 pint 6 oz of this beer.

Would I drink this beer again? I don’t think so, but if I was ordering a nice buffalo burger, I think I’d want a beer like this. Should you drink it? If you have a supply of meat needing a drink to go with it, yeah. Otherwise, it’s a bit much of a beer.

As it went down, I’d give this beer 3/5 caps, but if it was there to accompany a meaty meal, it might be a cap higher.

Red Chair NWPA

005Deschutes Brewery produces a large number of different beers. Unfortunately, they use the same cap for all of them. As a result, their Red Chair NWPA will likely be the only one reviewed here. I’m definitely the one missing out as their variety is quite compelling. Maybe I’ll find a sampler from this brewery someday. (Or maybe I’ll just add a bunch of caps to the repeats jar.)

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The first thing I noticed about this NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale) was that it was much darker than I expected from a pale ale. It struck me as being much more like a red ale. This full-bodied beer was nicely hoppy. It was a bit bitter, but pleasantly so, and I could definitely tell that I was drinking alcohol. Honestly, this is everything I want from a beer.

Would I buy this beer again? Fuck yeah I would. This is one of the best beers I’ve had in a long time. Should you have it? Only if you like good beer.

I’m happy to give this beer 5/5 caps.

Dos Equis Lager Especial

008Dos Equis is a Mexican brewery producing two different beers; a lager and an amber. Although, I could swear that I remember encountering a wider variety over the years. I’ve noticed that their Lager Especial has been appearing in a variety of mixed packs that I’ve seen lately. (I’ve been looking at a number of mixed packs since it seems like the best way to make progress with this project.) In fact, this beer was one of the 18 I received in my 18 Beers of the World mixed box my wife recently bought me.

Coincidentally, I already had a 12-pack of Dos Equis Lager Especial in the refrigerator chilled, which I had bought before the mixed six that I’m currently reviewing. I decided to look at this beer today before moving any of the new international beers to the fridge. After all, I still have four beers from that mixed six-pack to drink. There’s nothing like having a ton of beers lined up waiting for you.

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Pouring this beer revealed a clear, golden brew with a lot of head. It was both crisp and dry. The flavor was very light, almost to the point of being thin. However, the beer was quite refreshing. This would be a great beer to unwind with after a long day of hard work or outdoor play.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably. There’s nothing super special about this beer that would leave me craving it, but it often goes on sale, and a deal’s a deal. Should you try it? Well, if you like a super light tasting beer, sure. It’s a bit too thin to highly recommend, but it’s not bad. And it is very refreshing.

I’d give this beer 3/5 bottle caps.

Alien Amber Ale

004 (1)Roswell, New Mexico is the home of aliens, tourists, and for me at least, Alien Amber Ale. Now, before you call me out, Alien Amber Ale is brewed in Moriarty, NM, not Roswell, a difference of 263 miles. But, the first time I ever had Alien Amber Ale was when some friends and I drove down to visit Roswell for the 50th anniversary of the crash in 1997.

I hadn’t had this beer for several years. The label has changed, but the bottle cap remains the same. Sadly for me, the label is far cooler than the cap, but the cap will be a great addition to my table.

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The first thing I noticed pouring this beer into a glass was the beautiful color. I was happy to enjoy a very clean drink. The beer was super mild, but not thin. I would be happy to have another now that this one is finished. I guess that’s the problem with buying beers in a mixed six pack.

I would definitely buy this beer again. It was mild enough to enjoy for an evening, yet satisfying enough that one or two would make a nice relaxing evening. It would also make a great beer to bring to a party since it has such interesting marketing. Who wouldn’t want to drink a beer with a freaky alien on it?

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I’ll give this beer 4/5 caps.

Budweiser

043 Tonight, my wife and I invited friends over for samgapsal, a Korean barbecue of what could be mistaken for bacon. To go with this, I wanted a beer that reminded me of either Cass or Hite, the two most common Korean beers. Since Korea looked to the success of the American beer industry in developing its recipes, I decided to go with an American classic, Budweiser.

Now, I worried about this review for several reasons. First, I didn’t think I’d like this beer. I might have gotten a bit hoity-toity with my beer preferences over the years, and I think the last time I had a Budweiser was when I was in college and first sampling the gods’ nectar. Second, I really didn’t think I could say anything about Budweiser. It’s the King of Beers after all. Everyone already knows what a Budweiser tastes like. And third, I worried that, since this is one of the first beers on this blog, it would point me in a direction I didn’t want to go. Well, I’m not worried about any of this anymore.

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Budweiser was surprisingly enjoyable. It’s a very clean beer with a pleasant, mild flavor. It’s not too thin and just a little sweet. It’s smooth and quite refreshing. I’m actually very pleased with it.

Would I buy Budweiser again? More than likely since it’s sold everywhere and good in a pinch. Would I crave it when thinking of a beer? Probably not. Finishing up this beer, I’m reminded of the old saying to not judge a book by its cover. I’m much more pleased with this beer than I expected to be.

I give this beer 3/5 caps.