Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome, folks, to Cold Brood's Thirsty Thursday!  On tap today: beer.  Yes, the carbonated beverage made of hops, barley, and water.  One of the oldest known beverages, beer has thousands of variations and derivations.  It has embedded itself in the global consciousness (and unconsciousness, depending on how much you drink).  It's here to stay.  

In honor of football season (of which beer is a mainstay), this space will be dedicated to reviewing a new beer each week.  Today, I want to spotlight a few I've tried before launching the review post next Thursday.  I will also be taking suggestions as to what to sample.

Now I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer...well, just about anything.  I'm not picky.  Sometimes I'm in the mood for a dark stout like Guinness.  Per its website, this Irish concoction may appear black but is actually a very dark shade of ruby.  It sports a sharp, robust tang and is available in several varieties including Bitter, Extra Smooth, and Extra Stout.  Some studies argue Guinness may be beneficial to the heart due to "antioxidant compounds" that slow cholesterol deposits on the artery walls.[1]  What's not to love?  I'm sold. 

If a dark stout is too harsh for your palate, consider a Black and Tan.  This is a blend of a stout and a pale ale and serves to take some of the tang out of the dark beer while presenting a completely separate flavor.  Two beers in one glass?  Awesome.  Beware, though.  There is a very specific way to pour such a mixture, which involves a spoon, to ensure the beverages properly separate.  Seldom do I attempt such an operation; I leave that to the professionals.  Remember though: pale on bottom, stout on top.  Enjoy.

Sticking with imports, I also favor beers from south of the border.  Dos Equis takes top prize here, and not just because this guy drinks it.  Corona with a wedge of lime is a close second.  Jamaica's Red Stripe's soft taste makes it easily drinkable.  And I would be remiss not to mention the only domestically produced beer in my birth country of Belize: Beliken

Then there are the endless number of specialty beers provided by micro-breweries.  Where to begin?  Samuel Adams offers several seasonal and specialty beverages alongside its traditional Boston Lager.  The company even designed its own glass that is said to optimize the drinking of their product. 

Chicago's own Goose Island offers over twenty varieties of beer ranging from Oatmeal stout to Demolition, its Belgian strong ale.  On the occasions I indulge in such a luxury, I select GI's 312 Urban Wheat Ale from a tall glass with fish and a salad.  For you teetotalers, Goose Island also bottles an excellent (if pricey) soda pop line

Usually, though, I settle for a simple domestic Pilsner from the likes of Miller Brewing Company or Anheuser-Busch.  People are often viciously loyal to their brand, so it is with caution I will say my basement bar has been stocked most recently with Busch Light.  Cheap and with fewer calories than its peers, I find a decent balance here.  Is it zen?  No.  But it does the trick.   

So what's your favorite beer?  Let me know!

Whatever your beverage, let's raise a glass tonight.  Cheers, folks.  Let Thirsty Thursday commence!

[1] Guinness could really be good for you (BBC News). 13 November 2003.


  1. yes, beer is the nector of the gods!!! right now i'm drinking corona with lime. but if you ever ask me what my favorite beer is, i would probably say number eight or nine....

  2. What?! You had me going with a list of great beers and then you end with Busch Light... (Just joking). Corona light is my standby beer, Stella for a clean taste that goes with everything, Bass Ale for cold weather and cooking. My all time favorite is Blackthorn Cider which I can't find here in Florida any longer. In no way am I a heavy drinker, I used to bar-tend in a few local pubs that featured imports and I have an ex husband from Ireland that worked for various distributors as well as opened pubs in the area (I've been schooled). I also have a daughter that works in a German specialty store - Looking forward to Oktoberfest! Also looking forward to hearing about your favorites and your suggestions.

  3. I was a staunch MGD drinker for a long time, I wouldn't have it any other way. Over time (and lack of funds) I tried others and found I had a flexible palate. Although I no longer limit myself on the beers I'll drink I cannot stomach the taste of Bud Lite unless I'm already half in the bag.

  4. I would have to say my summer beer of choice is Berry-wise or summer wheat. but I do like a PBR once in a while with a few green olives mmmmmmm. a south Dakota martini! P.S.just remember they don't hand out blue ribbons to any beer!
    Cheers happy thirsty Thursday!!!!

  5. I only drink PBR. I'm Chicagoan through and through...yes I say "da bears" and "da bulls" and I'm PROUD OF IT. PBR all the way baby!!!!!

  6. Wendy, I couldn't agree more. I love Corona Light, Stella, and Bass. Blackthorn Cider...hmm, I will have to check that one out if I can find it here. Oktoberfest! Yes! The season is right around the corner and I can't wait! Thanks for the input! :)

  7. Maelissa, those are awesome choices for seasonal beers. South Dakota Martini! I love it! Haha!

  8. Anonymous - see Maelissa's comment about South Dakota Martini. Ever try PBR with olives? That actually sounds kind of good and I'm not the world's biggest olive fan. *Feverishly writing a list of Thirsty Thursday Things to try*