Friday, July 31, 2009

It's always darkest just before everything goes completely black.

And when you think it couldn't get any more ridiculous...

...there's this.

Hey, I'm a patriotic American and, as such and as advised by my news organs, elected representatives and other Real Americans in the Talk Radio profession, love and revere my President as a living God. But...but...

Bud Light? Fucking Bud LIGHT? Not even the regular Spudwiser but the LIGHT version of this weak-ass high school keg party piss?

Mine Leader, Bud Light is Satan's cloudy urine. It is to be avoided as an occasion of Sin, and shunned like the anathema it is, fit only for aphasic octogenarians and incontinent small boys. Would The Father of Our Country asked for a Bud Light? Honest Abe? FDR?

My country, my country...I am speechless with grief.


  1. Chief,

    Agree 100%, but at least it wasn't a Zima.

    You may be interested and sad to learn that Bud and Bud light have become quite trendy and popular in some great beer countries, notably the UK.

  2. And I have a couple of bottles of Bud Light Lime in the fridge.

    I've never tried Crowley's Blue Moon, might hafta give it a try.

    Nothing like a bit of free advertizing for beers from the prez.


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Impossible, unpalatable. This, from the Prez who drinks Blackberry Honest Tea and eats arugula?

    Should it not be Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat or somesuch quasi-Boho limp brew? I am scandalized!
    [sorry, that was me what posted under Ranger's eponym :)]

  5. Is this the first post on beer? Have I missed something? FDChief, thanks for this one, finally we can discuss THE topic which should be a first topic in any new bar . . . what to have on tap?

    Seven barkeeps so seven tap beers . . .

    My choice? Gotta be German Pils . . .

    First Choice: Wernesgrüner Pilsner ( Really shows my age and background I know especially in putting it before #2.

    Second Choice: Radeberger Pilsner (

    Third Choice: Just to show that I value what comes out of the Czech Republic as well . . . Staropramen ( Best website of the three with a history of beer . . . great pub quiz questions . . .

    Only discovered what real beer was upon leaving the States in the mid 1980s without having tasted Sam Adams. "Real beer" has a taste and you don't have a splitting headache the next morning (due to how it is brewed: purity law). So two very important qualifications which exclude much of what passes under the label of "beer" in the US. To think back in the 1970s we were all gaga about Coors . . . my how times change and how times change us (in this instance in my case for the better).

    Btw, Portuguese beer? Almost totally crap. I stick with the wine. Never got in to the Belgian beers (too sweet), nor mass produced Dutch stuff, although specific English Ales are very nice and French (read Alsatian) beer is not bad. Austrian beer? Watch out, since it tastes like German Pils but without the purity law, hence headaches.

    Agree with FDChief on his grave disappointment with the president. BudLite? Why bother? He had to drink something "American" and something not so "elitist" and something "healthy" (gag) so Bud Lite was the best political choice, which only tells you that if ya can't actually drink whatever beer ya want, then there must be something very wrong with how we look at the office of president today and politics in general (that Obama might actually have preferred Bud Lite is beyond my comprehension as a sentient beer fan). Call in the "beer factor" . . .

    So in terms of the "beer factor" Obama's choice was sealed. Selecting one of my choices would have labeled him as an "Anti-American traitor" and choosing Sam Adams would have labeled him a "totally-out-of-touch-cynical-elitist" which is precisely how it would have been played by the BillO/Rush smear machine. Choosing a non-Lite beer would have needlessly upset his liberalistic touchy-feely ninny base . . .

    My suggestion? Don't serve beer at all, but break out the Bourbon (which NOBODY does better than we do)- for instance Woodford Reserve - and sit down after a nice meal and simply savour and think. . . After the second one Obama would have gotten a good idea what Gates and Crowley really thought . . . which of course wasn't the real purpose of the exercise.

  6. I was also absolutely HORRIFIED. What swill... is that any sort of example to set? Did he think it would help him connect with the huddled and unwashed? Hmmm, maybe it will,, that's what those folks drink.. gads...

    Up until a few years ago I would have been onboard with the German Pils..but I've traveled over the border for Belgian Ales and while I still love the Pils, if it's not vom Fass it can't hold a candle to a Belgian Ale.

    The masses don't generally drink bourbon, alas.

  7. Oops.. since the advent of the microbreweries we finally have really superb beer right here in the USA... Rush River and Victory are excellent, just to name the first two that leap to mind.

  8. The Fake News crowd did go after Obama's choice of beer, noting that Bud Lite is now owned by somebody in Belgium, hence Obama was drinking elitist foreign beer (per Jon Stewart, I don't watch Murdoch's channels).

    Lots of good American craft beers, Sawtooth Ale by the Left Hand Brewing Co out of Longmont, CO, for example.

    Here in Kentucky, we have Kentucky Ale down in Lexington, and a local microbrewery here in Louisville, Bluegrass Brewing Co, makes some wonderful stuff. Their Hefeweizen is ambrosia.

    I think the best bourbon is Elijah Craig 12 y.o. by Heaven Hill in Bardstown. If you are ever traveling down I-65 stop by their visitors center, well worth the time.

    Worst beer ever would be "OB, Bottled for Export", South Korea. No two bottles ever tasted quite the same and they all had a faint bouquet of cat urine. I found a six pick at a local outlet a few years back, and it was just as bad as I remembered.

    Walter Olin

  9. Also in the running for "worse than Bud" would be any of the old formalda-beers; pre-1970 "33" from Vietnam, Singha or Tsingtao from China. All places that tended to put formaldehyde in the wash. Gah.

    My personal choice would have been Deschutes Brewing's "Black Butte Porter" for a cool evening, or the Pyramid Ale "Curveball" kolsch for a warm ummer evening. We have some even better local brews out here, in particular the Lucky Lab's Stumptown Brown Ale, but they don't travel well. Perhaps AF1 could have made a special trip to pick up a half-rack of "Fred"...

  10. I'm on a serious weight reduction program (I'm 6'2 and I got up to 215; I want to get to 195 and I've gotten 11 pounds towards the goal) and I've gone to light beer. I agree, Bud Light is swill. What I'm drinking these days is a prototypical yard beer—Busch Light. Cheaper and far better than Bud Light. Of course it's not very good, but it's beer, and if you live in my universe where beer is the default drink, far preferable to water or soda, you understand why I drink it.

    I've had a lot of beer in my lifetime, probably in about 40 different countries. Seydlitz and I share time in Berlin, but I was there years before him. In the mid-60s, all you got was Berliner Kindl and another beer, the name of which escapes me—and they were both rot gut. But I was young and single and Berlin had other attractions. I only spent a year in Berlin; duty called, and I was off to Vietnam. As FDChief notes, on the economy, we got 33 Beer, and also, as I recall, Beer LaRue. Terrible. We also got Budweiser, Flagstaff, Schlitz, and a number of other U.S. labels, for about ten cents a can, less if the can was rusted. I recall in Pleiku, the club manager got a bunch of Lone Star beer, the pride of Texas. That shit was so bad, it finally got to the point where he couldn't even give it away. Yep, it was free, but guys still paid for other beers, even in rusty csn. Who says soldiers don't have standards?

    Back to Germany (and we have to say West Germany, of course) in the mid-70s, this time in Bayreuth as the head dude for military intelligence in Upper Franconia, the northern part of Bavaria, bordering on East Germany and Czechoslovakia. Folks, you'll never get finer beer than I did. To begin with, my primary mission was working with the Germans, and no one appreciates beer like the Hun. Furthermore, Kulmbach was in my area. If you know beer, you've got to know Kulmbach. First brewery ever, dating from the 1300s. That beer was delivered to my house.

    Moved to Muenchen from Bayreuth. No real degradation in beer quality. There were five major breweries in Munich—most names you know like Lowenbrau or Paulaner as import stuff, which is crappy—and one really couldn't go wrong. At XMas time, they had the Starkbierfest, where the breweries competed in putting out 8-10 percent beer. My wife drove home. Oktoberfest was also a kick for those who lived there; we got our own tents so we didn't have to do the tourist thing. Oh, and at the fests, the beer was served in liter mugs, some of which I am looking at as I type this.

    The best American mass consumption beer I ever had was early Coors. I grew up in California and I grew up on Coors. I was in the D.C. area much of the 70s, and whenever I went west, I brought a couple of cases back. Everybody I worked with did so as well. But I recall sometime in the early 80s, when on a western trip, I took a few days off to visit my parents. My father, who always loved Coors, met me when I drove up in the rental car and gave me a Budweiser. I said, "what's with this?" He said, "Coors changed the recipe, and now it sucks." Not trusting him, when we went out to dinner, I ordered a Coors. Damn, the old man was right. I'll just tell all you younger folks that there was once a time when a U.S. mass-market beer (Coors wasn't craft; it was sold in all of the Western states) could hold its own with the Germans.

    There are a lot of good craft beers in the U.S. Two I liked very much in the SF Bay area were Gordon Biersch, which has a bar in San Jose, and El Toro from Morgan Hill, which is south of San Jose. Whenever we golfed in Monterey, we'd stop off at the El Toro brewery for a couple of cold ones and then take a case home. El Toro has won a number of prizes at national competitions and I highly recommend their beer.

    Space limitations stop me. I have much more to say on this, one of my favorite subjects.

  11. Everybody loves beer. And beer is ubiquitous; everybody makes beer. I compiled a list of countries where I've had local beers, but then decided against posting it, both because I didn't think it was appropriate and also because it didn't matter. I'll just say I''ve had better beer than we can get in our local supermarket in Latin America, South America, Asia, and Europe, with some interesting stories in the MidEast and Africa.

    Anybody can make good beer. I've actually done it, but I gave it up because it's kind of a pain in the ass. There is no secret.

    If you look at major breweries around the world, you will invariably find one common denominator: a German brewmeister. They perfected it, and they then spread it around the world. What defeats the brewmaster's art in the U.S., both with our mass market domestic brews and with import beer, is our health standards, principally pasteurizaton. Pasteurization, which isn't needed if you don't need a long shelf life, is why our mass market beers are crappy. And why it's not worth it to buy Heineken or the other import beers. What'd you think? Americans are inferior? No. It's our laws and how we've done business in a huge country.

    Our local craft beers, a relatively new phenomenon to an old fart iike me, are very often just as good as you can find anywhere in the world. I say enjoy them and don't be envious of the Germans; you're getting good beer, and you're paying much less than they are.

    And, finally, there is this from Benjamin Frankin: "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

  12. Publius-

    Along with Berliner Kindl they had Schultheiss which is probably the other Berlin beer you're thinking about. Not much to crow about. Agree Bavarian beer, but not my background and my choices very much reflect my experiences - "Ossie" beer preference/pre-mid1980s disappointment in US beers.

    That said, FDChief's mention of Kölsch did cause me to waver for just a second, but I will stay with my three picks for nostalgia's sake. That is at least until I get to Leipzig to try Gose which might shake things up a bit.

    Agree that great strides have been made in the US since I left for Germany - micro-breweries have brought back the art of brewing good beer to America, something we had lost with Prohibition . . . although there are some exceptions . . .


    Thanks for the Bourbon tip, I don't drink much in the way of spirits, but there are those particular occasions and Bourbon would be my preference . . . background again I guess.

  13. I am an avid homebrewer and unrepentent beer snob. I'm waiting for President to return America to its roots and bring a brewmaster into the White House to craft beer for official state functions.

    I recently moved from the San Antonio area of Texas. That part of Texas saw a lot of German settlement and a lot of good beer. My favorite are the those produced by Shiner.

    Publius is completely right about pasteurization. I would also add filtration. Commercial beers are highly filtered which removes most of the complexity and subtle flavors. A mild amont of filtration will keep the flavor and prevent most sediments, but the commercial brewers filter everything out.

    Still, for my money, you can't beat a homebrew or a local craft beer. Except for maybe Guinness or Boddingtons (two of my favorites), but it's hard to find a place that serves them properly.

  14. I should add as an appendix to the mourning for past American brew quality that Budweiser once WAS a genuinely tasty bowl of suds, when the stuff ws brewed in St. Louis in the Budweis craft style. As the above commentators point out, it was the insistence on preservation, pasteurization and filtration that produced the nasty, corn-beer taste we now associate with the "King" of beers.

    I actually remember Hamm's as a decent brew in the Midwest in the 1960's, when my Dad used to slip me an illict sip in early high school. No fool he, he got me used to the idea of beer as hot weather cooler and cold weather savor rather than vehicle to get blasted. Still had me some impressive drunks in college and early Army days, but nothing like some of my pals. Amazing how as I get older my old man just seems to get smarter.

  15. One other thing that FDChief's fair state of Oregon has going for it (besides America's greatest bookstore) is lots of microbreweries. And a lot of those breweries specialize in my faves, porter and stout. On stout I am an ABG person. A good porter will stick to your ribs better than beef stew. Alas, I have the same problem as Publius with my weight, so have had to swear off except on extra special occasions.

    My favorite beercellar in Germany used to be a place in Heidelberg on the walkplatz. It had over 100 German and Czech beers on tap. Can't remember the name, something 'Swan'. White Swan maybe???

    Regarding 33 beer, I have to disagree. Even though it was made with rice paddy water I acquired a taste for that and for Tiger beer after two and a half tours in VN. Of course it cannot compare to a good Ory-gun microbrew, but it is a lot better than Bud light.

  16. To All,
    Being in a VN mixed camp I drank my share of ba mui ba. My Amie Cmdr liked beer La rue , often called Tiger Piss , so i drank a lot of that. I rather liked both but was upset when i learned of the formald. in the beer. I always say that i don't need to be embalmed when i die b/c i already have been.
    I drink most all the beers mentioned , esp the Czeck beers since this is my heritage. This is easier to say and admit rather than saying I'm a drunk. The truth is somewhere in between.
    In FRG I drank Kirner Pils a lot and enjoyed it.
    As a younger man I illegally transported Coors from across the Mississippi to Ga /Ala. I believe the old Coors may not have been homogenised , but i,m not exactly sure on this point. In college i subsisted on Rolling Rock.
    I'm also disappointed that nobody mentioned Moosehead or Molsons ale. They were old favs.
    I try to stay away from hard liquor but used to drink JTS Brown which i can't find any more. Also Rebel Yell was really good- but those days are behind me.
    Publius- i'm 6/3 and 205 and way past my 185 preferred weight. Even if i ever get back there it'll be too little/too late.

  17. Schultheiss! That's it! Seydlitz, as I recall, that was even worse than Berliner Kindl. Although that didn't keep me from drinking my share, your share, and lots of other peoples' share. I was just a kid then, with Berlin being my first experience in Germany, and I truly wondered about the stories I'd heard about that great German beer. Then I made my first TDY trip to the Zone, to Muenchen, as it happens, and I understood all about German beer.

    Ranger mentions Czech beers. Couldn't agree more. In the 70s and 80s, when I was traveling a lot into Berlin, the beer of choice was always Budweiser, which was not available when I was stationed there in the 60s. This Budweiser, AKA "Budwahr," is not to be confused with the American beer. It is Czech, and it is wonderful. Some believe it to be the finest beer in the world. Interesting enough, the Czech Budweiser guys recently won a law suit initiated by the American Budweiser boys over the name.

    And now we've got Mike and the Ranger singing the praises of bua mi ba (33) and Beer LaRue. You know, I drank a lot of that shit in a couple of years, but I'm not so sure I'd term them "quality beers." They were wet, cold (sometimes), and had alcohol. Other than that, I have few fond memories. Although I will say I preferred the Vietnamese brews to rusty cans of Schlitz, an ungodly awful beer. Same with Falstaff and Black Label.

    Ranger, I'm not so sure it was actually illegal to transport Coors back across the Mississipi. I previously posted how I used to check cases of Coors with the airlines when returning east from the west. One would think the airlines wouldn't break the law. And, yep, you're right, the old Coors was not homogenized. It was a great beer.

    Ranger, I was at 203 this AM, before my workout. I don't know if you saw my earlier comments about some physical issues I've had; suffice to say, I learned that I had to change some elements of my life style. Thus the light beer and diet modifications, plus strenuous physical stuff. And I have to admit I actually feel great. Ain't old age grand?

  18. Publius,
    Yes old age is grand and i'm not really sure that it beats the alternative.
    I believe the transport of Coors may have violated state laws as taxes were not paid. Remember ATF-Alcohol. Doing cigs is illegal ergo I conclude so is beer to transport-esp in quantity. I used to fill up my pickup truck. Yep, in another life i was a redneck mother.
    I remembered that i used to drink 13 0z cans of Victoria Bitters from Australia. I used to get it from the SAS at NUI DAT. We had a very friendly trading regimen. We wanted beer and leather Aussie boots and their neat fold up rain jackets that were superior to US issue garbage. I used to trade jungle boots/fatigues/poncho liners/jungle sleeping sweaters for the beer. The rate was each item for a case of beer. That was a prototype of the coalition of the willing.
    Somewhere i have photos of VN houses /hootches built with beer can shingles, mostly PBR and Bud.
    I've often questioned the health implications of drinking beer and soda that sat in the sun in aluminum cans. This had to leach metal into the drink. So drinking 33 and Larue was probably a step in the right direction.
    When i had my stomach opn i lost 22 pds in 1 month.Yes it came back to Papa.
    No one has mentioned FLIPPIES.

  19. I remember with fondness the Hamm's bear commercials, and Hamm's was my first beer. Though I didn't tell my dad that his taking me out for my "first" beer was not my first.

    We also had Falls City beer, which is the name of the town where I went to High School in Nebraska, and where M&D still dwell.

    BTW Ranger, if I have your last name right, & since you mentioned your Czech heritage, any relation to this fellow?


  20. I've long thought that Bud Light was very similar to making love in a canoe.

    Luckily for me, micro-breweries have taken hold in recent years.

  21. jim mentioned Rolling Rock . . . Anyone here ever have the Rock on tap?

  22. I have a fond memory of Swan Lager during one early VN beer ration. Alas, it was just two beers per man and only happened once. Many years later I tasted Fosters, also Aussie but pissy tasting compared to Swan.

    In Japan, the best was Sapporo. The worst Japanese beer IMHO, was Orion on Okinawa. My son-in-law on a recent biz trip to Japan tells me that they are starting up a few microbreweries and making craft beer.

  23. And what was that sludgy residue floating near the bottom of the bottle in San Migul beer in the Phillipines????

  24. BB,
    Roman is not a known relative.
    My folks were all poor coal miners in Pa.

  25. Having gone to college in PA, I must have had Rolling Rock on tap. However, it's not one of my favorite beers.

    Back in the day, Yuengling was what you drank when the social budget was towards the bottom. Absolute swill. Now, it's promoted as a premium beer.

  26. I agree with all who said that the non -pasteurized beer is the best. I was stationed in Heilbronn and then Stuttgart, both in the southwest part of Germany. The beers were just filled with yeast, creamy to the palate. Many local brews

    However, that beer just tore you up after you drank it after just arriving. Not a hangover, but your body couldn't handle the yeast. The situation wasn't made any better by the funky German toilet design.

    Interesting enough, that area produced wines; 28 cents a liter at the farmers market. I disliked the sweet wines my mother enjoyed but developed a taste for wine while over there.

  27. Big Bird,
    I used to buy unlabelled wine in Worms for 75cts per bottle. That's when a mark and a quarter were interchangeable.
    I used to keep a box of wine in my 577 for extended field duty.
    I especially like the trocken variety and Nahe wines.

  28. It's been interesting to read about you tall guys trying to get your weight down. I'm 6' 7½". A terrible basketball player, a person my size isn't ignored by the coaches. So, I was playing freshman basketball in college, starving on the dorm food and trying to keep my weight at least 220 and would have liked to have been 230 because of all the pushing around under the basket.

    These days, I would love to lose thirty and get down to 240. I too have a cardiologist that nags me to lose more weight, but his idea of my getting back to 220 is ridiculous. I've been working on it. I take a beta blocker to keep me from slipping back into arrhythmia, but the pills make me sluggish as anything. Not a motivator to get on the treadmill.

    There's no way that I could sneak around in the Army. The Engineers was a good fit because the troops were essentially laborers and the sheer size helped.

  29. Hey I know someone who was also in military intelligence near the border in the early 1970's! So what DID you guys do there all day?? hehe

  30. ... drink, probably! haha

  31. I actually do rely on each of the concepts you’ve provided
    for your post. These are incredibly begging and might undoubtedly work.

    Even now, this discussions are extremely brief for starters.
    May perhaps an individual remember to extend these people somewhat through up coming time period?
    Thanks for the publish.
    Visit my blog :: Public Records