Alex Chesbro's Blog

The Perfect Beer

July 27, 2009
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What is the perfect beer? Is it a Lager?  If so, is it a American Light Lager (Bud, Miller, etc), a German Lager, Czech Lager, anything lager? Is it a Pale Ale?  If so, is it the American Pale Ale, the British Pale Ale, the IPA, which?  It’s a tough question to answer.  It’s a tough question to ask in any kind of company because of the convictions everyone feels towards their favorite beer.

For me, there is no perfect beer, only beers that go amazingly well with occasions.  

Take a warm, humid day in Orlando, or anyplace warm as balls.  I want something crisp.  Something light, and with inherent drinkability.  I don’t want something that’s going to get me balls drunk, and I don’t want something that’s going to overwhelm my senses.  I want something that’s going to enhance what I’m feeling at the moment.  I’d probably go with something crisp like a Pilsner, or a German Pils.  You really can’t go wrong with either of these.  You could go with a Veltins or a Bitburger, but if you can find it, Spaten should fill your German Pils quotient.  Personally, if I could find a good deal on it, I’d buy up all the “Czechvar” that I could find (Budvar to those in the know), and drink it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  As Michael Jackson said (the beer dude, not Jacko), it’s the one reason to move to the Czech Republic. 

If it’s not so humid, I might switch to a heavier lager, but I’m not sure.  I’d probably reach for an Altbier.  An Alt, especially Schlussel or Diebels, is what I like to call a “perfect beer.”  Not that it tastes the best or anything, but that it balances maltiness and bitterness perfectly, almost 50/50.  So it’s suitable for year-round drinking.  Unlike stouts, which I can only drink when the weather turns sour.  But to each their own.  Alts, to me, are half ale, half all-malt lager.  Very strong malt taste in the beginning, and it finishes with the perfection of a subtle Pale Ale.  If you’re ever in the Dusseldorf region of Germany, an Alt is going to be your go-to session beer.

When the weather turns cold, most of us, myself included, like to start drinking “warmers.”  That is, beers with lots of booze to get us drunk.  But I also like a lot of flavor in my beer.  I’ve been disappointed with stouts from the US, recently, or maybe it’s just my palate adapting to them.  I’ve never really had them a lot before.  And Guinness’ new 250th Anniversary brew…it sucks.  But I’m going to plug something, and say it’s my favorite stout.  I usually don’t agree with beer reviews, because everyone’s different.  So when I see a glowing review that’s all “100%”  “10/10,” I get suspicious.  But I tried it, and it is the nectar of the gods.  It’s put out by Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado, and it’s absolutely amazing.  It’s called Ten-Fiddy.  I can only imagine they named it that because it pours like 10w50 motor oil.  Rich and viscous, no carbonation at 1st, but a head materializes magically in the glass.  I’ll try to post a review later today.  If you can find it, buy it, even if it costs $12 a 4-pack.  It’s worth it.

But my favorite session beers?  The beers I’d like to drink tons of when I’m with friends.  Those come cheap, because you don’t need expensive things when you’re with company.  Yes, we do love great beer, and we’re willing to pay for it.  But when we just want to go out and build a fire and shoot the shit?  Or when we’re out camping and want to stock up?  We don’t want to set aside a paycheck for our beer rations.  We’ll gladly pay a higher price for a better beer to accompany a great meal, or to celebrate, to try something new, or just to relax.  But to pound back the brew?  No way.

Miller High Life.  Genesee Cream Ale.  If you can find Genny Cream…buy as much of it as you can.  You’ll thank me later.

So tell me, what’s your “perfect” beer?  Do you go cheap with friends to pound them back and shell out the extra cash to relax and enjoy?

As always, the donate button is on the side.  Every small donation helps us get on our feet sooner, and getting a less-expensive better brew to you guys, the People.


Beerfest! Who likes beer?

July 22, 2009
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Well, everyone likes beer.  Or at least, most of the people I know can enjoy and savor a good beer.  That’s why I’ve decided something.  I was down in Orlando the past week visiting a buddy from college, and we made a decision.  We are going to open a brewery.  We’re working on recipes as I type this, and we’re determined to succeed.  I’ll tell you our plan below.  But 1st, the donate button.  Before we go to big financiers, we might as well try this.  Any little bit helps to get us off the ground.  Lots of people donating a small sum of money is better than trying to get 1 person to fully fund us.  So here we go…read the pitch and donate!

What do you like about a good craft-brewed beer?  The taste, right?  Always satisfying, always adventurous.  And with over 1500 smaller breweries in the USA, there’s always something new to experiment.  What sucks about a good craft brew, and especially those imports we all love?  That’s right, the price.  Even Samuel Adams, the largest “craft brewer” in the USA (makers of the Boston Lager) still charge a regular $8 or more for a 6-pack.  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale?  You’ll be lucky to find it for under $9 a six pack.  

 There’s no such thing as a “Whole Foods Excise Tax.”  But you wouldn’t know that by buying beer there.  In the same strain, there’s no “Craft Brew” tax either.  There’s no surcharge for being sold in uppity white neighborhoods, but if you walk through one, get ready to pay out the ass for a good bottle of beer.  

We want to change that.  Our long-term goal?  $6 a six-pack.  You heard me.  $6.  6 bottles.  Obviously the cost would be higher the 1st year or so, but depending on the size of the operation, that could change VERY fast.  There is one thing separating Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada from reigning in tons of profit, and those are self-imposed “standards.”  Yes, they keep their brews perfect.  But they price themselves out of the reach of the common person who has no other goal in life when it comes to beer consumption than to quaff a great beer at a great price.  We want to present to the the FIRST true American                 Value for Money brand.  

Think about it.  A beer as good, if not better than the already commercially available craft brews (Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, etc), but sold for 2 dollars less.  You’ve got your cheap beer in Miller High Life or MGD or Bud.  They are $3.50 a sixer.  Then you jump to Sam Adams and the $7.50-8 and above range.  And let’s not get started with the “speciality” brews that are $20 for a 4-pack.  There’s a void that we intend to fill.  It is something that America craves, that America desires.  

One last bit of info, and then you can decide if you want to donate.  In 2008 around 60 new breweries opened up in the USA.  All of these breweries serve a regional population, and that’s fine.  Revenue is up 10% from this point last year, AGAINST THE RECESSION.  Imagine what a medium-large scale brewery could do for the beer-drinking public of the USA.  Think about your favorite “specialty” beer….and now think about paying $6 a six pack for it.  

Every little bit helps.