It is often quipped that M*A*S*H ran for significantly longer than the Korean war in which it was set. This also seems to be the case with The United States of Beer. Although I was only in the US for three weeks it has taken close enough to six weeks to get through the stories.
But all things have to end and this is the last ‘United States of Beer’ entry. Much like the last episode of M*A*S*H I expect this entry to be the highest read of all time. The final episode of M*A*S*H was watched by 106 million people in the US, so we have some work to do, but if we all tell a friend then we might just get there. And for you media buyers reading this (and I know there are a few of you) that is a TARP of 60.2.
But we are here to talk beer not ground breaking sitcoms on the 1970’s. So let’s get this show on the road. The last three beers to review are another random collection.
The story commences with the worst beer we had in our entire time in the US – Miller Lite. In fact I’m not convinced that it was beer. It tastes like very weak beer flavoured carbonated water. You know it’s beer, because it looks like beer, but it’s like someone has put 30mls of some pale lager in a glass and then topped it up with water. Just horrible – Butchers.
I know you are wondering why I would be drinking such trash. Well we were at the baseball at Yankee Stadium. When one is embracing the most American of sports, one also needs to embrace the full experience, so when Cat returned to our chairs with a bucket of food (and I do mean an actual bucket) and four plastic containers of Miller Lite it seemed apt, if not a little exciting. Oh the disappointment that followed.
Speaking of Cat our next brew comes highly recommended by her. She claims that Fat Tire by New Belgium brewing is one of her favourite session beers. In fact there was a long discussion about how it Fat Tire would stack up against the unfortunately named Pork Slap beer. But this head to head battle which I liked to call the Fat Pig battle was not possible as Fat Tire is not available in NY, thus we had to wait until San Francisco to taste it.
We hadn’t been in San Francisco long before we found it on tap in a restaurant we were having lunch at. It was a seriously good beer too, nicely suited to sitting outside in the sunshine, and eating a salad, all San Francisco hippy style. The beer was a nice amber colour with a foamy pure white head. It had little bubbles heading for the surface and a nice malty flavour, with overtones of maple syrup (but not that sweet). It reminded me a little of 2Brother’s Chief, but this is slightly more refreshing and summery. It was a very good beer and I would happily drink it all afternoon. Pint
This brings us to the last US brew to be reviewed in this series, and the cheapest on tap beer we had on the trip.
Imagine it; we are in Haight Ashbury, epicentre of the hippy movement and the most happening place on earth in the late sixties. We had done the tourist things like checking out Janis Joplin’s house, although as I misread the guidebook and now have a nice photo of house next to the house than Janis used to live in, but close enough. Jordan had even bought a jacket from an ageing hippy in a shop where it looked like some tie dyed monster vomited in it.
After all of this we needed a drink. And we found one in a café called Squat and Gobble. We were attracted by a board out the front that said ‘Fat Tire $2.75’ before 12 noon. Now I do like a café that sells cheap beer, but only in the morning because drinking in the morning is very civilised.
Alas they were out of Fat Tire, but I was able to get another of New Belgium’s brews at this cheap cheap price (You Melbourne kids, need to keep in mind that they drink Pints in the US) it was the brilliantly named Mothership and is a witbier, as such it is cloudy yellow colour with a thin but solid white head. It is a gentle beer without much carbonation and unlike a number of US wheat beers it doesn’t have a candy lemon taste, rather it has a subtle and pleasant hop tang. Very easy to drink, even in the morning – Pint
And that my friends concludes our US journey. 50 Beers, generally pretty good. Although I only awards 3 Jug ratings, we handed out 24 Pints, which is a pretty good strike rate when you consider a Pint worthy beer is still good stuff.
6 Degrees of Norm
- There is little to connect these three beers together
- Except all those clever M*A*S*H references I made up there
- And M*A*S*H was where the creators of Cheers Glen Charles and Les Charles got their start writing the episode ‘The Late Captain Pierce’
- Also Shelley Long appeared in a episode called Bottle Fatigue
- And George Wendt (Norm himself) was in an episode called Trick or Treat
- And of them wrote/starred alongside/starred as Norm in Cheers