Wednesday, October 23, 2013

American Beer Is Awful -OR- Taste Is Subjective

Some of you may remember the write up I did about Finland's plethora of canned beverages last Summer. My friend, Matti, was a good sport about it and had a good laugh. This Summer was his turn to visit me and what I thought would be a magical journey into the wonders of Northwest craft beer turned into something else. Not bad, but different.

Being the huge fans of local craft beer that we are, Josh and I made sure Matti would have the opportunity to try a little bit of everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Trips to Seattle, Tri-Cities WA, Hood River, and Portland offered up a ton of local breweries for us to wow him with. That didn't go quite as planned. I'll get into details later, but let's take a look at beers he tried and my interpretation of his reaction to them (worst to best):

Is this poison? I'm pretty sure you're tying to kill me
  • Full Sail Berliner Weiss
  • Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
  • Deschutes Six Bullets Belgian IPA
  • Deschutes River Ale
  • Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA

  • This is awful
  • Deschutes Double D Imperial Spelt Ale
  • Deschutes Jubelale
  • Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
  • Elysian Great Pumpkin Imperial Ale
  • Bridgeport Stumptown Tart
  • Full Sail Wassail
  • Double Mountain White Rider
  • White Bluff Dunkelweiss

  • I'd pour this out if you weren't watching
  • Deschutes Fresh Hop Saison
  • Fremont Bourbon Barrel Abominable Winter Ale
  • Hopworks Lager
  • Hopworks Velvet ESB
  • Double Mountain Black Irish
  • White Bluff ROCKtoberfest
  • Old Town Brewing Porter
  • Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale
  • Negro Modelo

  • I'll finish this
  • Oakshire Espresso Stout
  • Olympia

  • This is really good beer!
  • Full Sail Session Black Lager
  • Full Sail Session Lager

  • I'm sure I missed a few beers, but you get the picture. My initial reaction was that I was kind of embarrassed. I had talked up how amazing the beer is here and he hated the vast majority of it. While the two Session beers aren't bad by any stretch, I never imagined they would top any of the listings above them.

    But then I reminded myself that taste is completely subjective. While my version of this list would look a whole lot different, he isn't wrong. People like what they like and you can't really force that. Sure, it significantly reduces what you'll like if a beer that was brewed within a 100 miles (kilometers/kelvin/whatever) of a single hop is too hoppy, but damn it, they're out there!

    So here's to you, my ale-averse buddy. The next round of $1 Olys are on me.


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