The first criteria of a seeker of tasty beer should always be: does the beer taste good or not? I was recently standing in line at my go-to beer store and a gentleman, who was I think, somewhere near my ancient age, was waiting to purchase a six pack of Yuengling Light. I remarked to him that of all the light beers I have tried in the United States, Yuengling Light has the most flavor. He agreed but then he told me he had political problems with purchasing his beer.
“Oh you mean Dick Yuengling?” I said, “Forget about that,” I instructed, “There are plenty of billionaire bastards who operate breweries, that should not stop you from enjoying their beers.”
Using political criteria to judge the flavor (or lack) of a beer is downright silly. Incorporating that dodge of neoliberal altruism to proclaim a brewery’s beer is superior to those mass produced products of the macro brewing world is a dubious assumption at best.
Take the Guinness 200th Anniversary Export StoutSt. James Gate’s historic tribute to the first Guinness exported to the United States in 1817. It is first and foremost a tribute to black patent malt, that marvelous invention of Daniel Wheeler, who devised an iron cylinder to roast malt in a coffee roaster fashion, where a small amount of malt could darken a large amount of beer. The use of black patent malt and Golding hops gives the drinker an idea of what Guinness Porter tasted like 200 years ago. It certainly was delicious, in a time before golden lager was even part of the beer equation.
It also seemed historic when I poured Great Lakes Ohio City Oatmeal Stout into a Samuel Smith’s glass.After all, it was the old brewery in Tadcaster, England who revived this classic style. Great Lakes does a fine job of balancing the wholesome goodness of their production, reviving the Anglo-Irish concept that very flavorful beer need not be over the top in alcohol.
Unchained from the nonsense of the group mind think, I pursue what I have always done: to discover good tasting beer. I do not concern myself with anything but the recipe. I purchase my beer and decide whether it is a beer I like or not. I can not speak for anybody else.