First here is a list: 1.Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome
2. Samuel Adams Winter Lager
3. Goose Island Christmas Ale
4. Anchor Brewing’s “Our Special Ale”
5. Breckenridge Christmas Ale
6. Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
7. Summit Winter Ale
8. Stoudt’s Winter Ale
9. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
10. Saint Nikolas Bock Bier
11. Shiner 98 Anniversary Beer
12. Moylan’s White Christmas Ale
13. Pyramid Snow Cap Ale
14. La Binchoise Speciale Ale         To name a few of the beers I tasted, leading up to this winter. Believe me when I say that I discovered great pleasures, it is nevertheless exhausting. As probably some members of beeradvocate.com would know: sometimes pondering the taste of beer can become too ponderous!  Some reviewers are never quite satisfied. It is like they want a brew recipe to walk them around the block and then tuck them into bed. I’ve been asked many times: beer doctor what kind of beer should I drink? I always say: the kind of beer you like.
Of course beer seekers do not always know what they want and that is where the adventure begins. A truly priceless moment is witnessing someone sample a beer/and or type, for the first time. Reaction can range from horror to extreme delight. Expressions I have heard range from: “that’s like drinking motor oil” to “that is one spicy taco” to “oh my God!” to “wow! that’s got hair on its chest!”
It always good to remember that there are literally millions upon millions of beer drinkers who have only consumed bland pale lagers for their entire lives, and before Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada, there were even more. Not that I object to bland pale lager, for some folks that is their comfort zone.
Tasting new beer is a pleasure and stylistically speaking I do not mind if brewers customize beer styles, in order to achieve a new dimension in taste. Whatever the final results achieved, these efforts should be encouraged. Beer, like the yeast that transforms it,  is a living culture.
Technological advances, especially digital instrumentation, are providing tools for brewers that enable them to obtain a consistency of product unheard of, only a few years ago. Who said modern tools are only here to produce mediocrity? La Binchoise Speciale Ale is living proof this does not have to be the case.
I remember a few years ago when NBC Dateline tried to belittle Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch, by presenting this rather snarky view that Sam Adams is phony because it is brewed in multiple locations. A big media hit job if ever there was one. Some people thought of a conspiracy, a big corporate collusion. But in this case, I do not think so. Media driven controversy is stock and trade in the ratings business. This did nothing to stop The Boston Beer Company from becoming the global presence that it is, and cheers to that.
This is a thankful job to be sure. Whether your brew is Macro, Micro, Craft, or somewhere in between (I think they use to call that Regional), please enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy your beer, why on earth are you drinking it?
As always, thank you.
The Beer Doctor


One thought on “A THANKFUL JOB”

  1. BD,
    I’ve heard the Flying Dog brewery is moving from Colorado to Maryland. This may be good news for me living in NJ, as I’ve alyas loved they’re Doggie Sytle Pale Ale. If, by chance, you havn’t tried their lines I’d add them to your 08 list.

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