The Zen of Beer, According to Paul

     Throughout history, the art of alchemy has existed to change the common into something valuable.  Lead into gold, water into life, Justin Bieber into…not Justin Bieber.  Typically, the results are nothing more than oily lead, oily water, and an oily Canadian teenager with a huge forehead and eyebrows that always seem to be trying to escape his face.  But, hidden in plain sight throughout time has been one of the oldest examples of successful alchemy:  Alcohol!  Since the day some unassuming Stoneage guy named Ugg first saw a Saber-toothed Hog-Bear eat a bunch of fermented berries and get totally hammered (and then party like it was 10,099 BC) man has been throwing everyday ingredients into pots, kettles, barrels, stills, and bathtubs to create liquid gold.  For me, the most cherished results of Ugg’s Brewhouse and Triceratops Grill is beer; liquid perfection that begins as little more than a warm, sticky stew of sugar, water, and horse feed.  Luckily, I live in both an era and location that allows me to sample a multitude of the country’s finest beers and beer-like concoctions.

Now, before I go any farther, I’ll pause to disclose a few facts about my imbibement habits.  First, I drink for the flavor.  Only now and then will I drink just to get blasted (though, I’m pretty awesome when it happens).  Second, I have never been able to finish a Miller, Budweiser, Coors, Labatt, or Pabst product.  I started drinking craft beers, which are typically a bit more flavorful, and as such,  have always found most of the big name, “domestic” drinks to be, well, lacking.  But, for the sake of science, unbiased reviews, I won’t limit my reviews to just craft beers.  I won’t do Budweiser or Miller or any of the giant names because there are already about 34 billion reviews out there.  I will do imports, smaller “domestics” like Landshark or Yeungling, and those brands that may fit into both domestic and craft categories, like Sam Adams.  Finally, I have said “beer” over and over, but I will also feature reviews of wines, ciders, and liquors.

In regards to the reviews themselves, I will do so in a way that would be both entertaining and informative for me, if I were trying to decided whether to spend money on a new six pack of beer.  I’ll talk about what the specific beer tastes like, what it smells like, what it looks like, and how all of that changes as you drink it.  If a certain flavor or smell jumps out at me, I’ll talk about it, but I won’t psychoanalyze the beer to find each and every type of hop and grain that was used.  If I taste coffee, you bet I’ll let you know.  If it smells like a cross between pine tree and an old boot, I’ll definitely remember that.  In the end, these reviews are all about spreading the word of a traditionally unknown and under represented market of beer.  World of mouth is typically the only way people learn of most craft beers, and I hope that my words here will convince at least a couple of you to grab one of those mysterious, brightly colored six packs on the opposite wall of the supermarket next time.

So, check back often to see what new beers and other elixirs of compromised judgement I’ve sampled.  Oh, and if you’re under the legal drinking age…Beer and alcohol tastes like tepid hyena piss that’s been spiked with herpes.  Don’t drink it.  Everyone else, enjoy!

-Paul

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