I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Friday, September 02, 2005

Misc. Beer Talk - I

[This post was originally on my other blog "geosciblog".]

For the past 30+ years I have been collecting beer cans and other beer-related items (breweriana). A few years back my collection topped out at more than 5,000 cans, but lately I have been paring down my collection to a few hundred favorites.

Along the way, while learning various aspects of brewing history, I began sampling canned beers from the remaining established regional and local breweries. Then in the late 1970s arrived the microbrewery beers, including those from the first micro (some prefer "craft breweries"), New Albion Brewing Co., of Sonoma, California. Since then, I have tried somewhere around 3,000+ American beers and ales. I used to keep a running list, but changing computer systems, lost discs, etc. have resulted in the older lists being missing. Anyway, from time to time I will pass along my thoughts on new beers/ales of good quality. My senses of smell & taste are not finely-tuned enough to offer fancy reviews, but I have tried enough brands to know "what is good and what ain't".

If ever in Nashville, Tennessee, I recommend a stop at the Blackstone Brewing Company brewpub. [For those unaware, brewpubs are restaurants that brew their own beer.] Open since 1994, they have won awards for some of their brews and now some of them are available in bottles. As I write, I am enjoying a bottle of their Nut Brown Ale that I received from a friend at a local beer can show. I also hear that Yazoo Brewing Co. and Bosco's brewpubs are worthwhile stops (of course have a designated driver or another strategy for enjoying their products in moderation).

I haven't had time to re-visit all of the Atlanta brewpubs lately, but I would recommend 5 Seasons, Max Lager's, Gordon Biersch, and Buckhead Brewing Co. (Stockbridge, Cumming, Alpharetta), based on past visits. I haven't been to Parkside Tavern next to Piedmont Park in probably 4 or 5 years, so I don't know about them. I sorry to say that I would avoid Rock Bottom in Buckhead as the last 3 or 4 visits have been major disappointments. The first few years they were open in the late 1990s, their beers/ales were very good, now they are just bland, especially disappointing are the Pale Ales and India Pale Ales that lack the pronounced hop aroma and flavor characteristic of those varieties (sorry, I am a bit of a hophead). More "beer talk" will follow another time...
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