It’s 10 minutes past midnight. I’m a bit tipsy after a single-hop tasting followed by a visit to our local pub. Gotta wake up in a few hours in order to make it to a conference – work-related – and yet, I really want to cross the 200th mark in the book tonight, so here I am.
Why tonight? Because my “blog entries to be written” spreadsheet’s full of data that needs to make it to this blog, that’s why, and also, I really want to cross out the 200th beer.
Let’s start with ber #199. That would be Pabst Blue Ribbon. Yes, this old-school-turned-hipster beer is listed in the book. Why is it there, this “[…] uninteresting, factory-made, corn-based lager?” for its retro status, of course! Unlike the beers mentioned in the last blog entry, but like most American beers, PBR is not imported to Israel. Why should it? We have our own share of bad lagers, domestic and imported alike. But our dear friend Oren, that if it’s up to us will be beatified while still gracing Planet Earth with his presence, brought a can from one of his business excursions. Surprise! There’s nothing interesting here. That usual metallic, apple and corny aroma, that faint synthetic bitterness and cornish taste, that light body and insignificant finish. Definitely a beer I could do without. Pabst Blue Ribbon is beer #199 I must Try Before I Die, and let’s move on to the crown jewel – here it goes:
Spending time with competitive drinkers, AKA Ratebeerians, milestones is a part of my beergeek routine, and when Dead Swedish Girl was about to hit 1000 American beers, we knew it’s an excuse to celebrate with something unique. The last blog entry pretty much summed up whatever there is to say about American beer in Israel, so we had to seek the celebratory beer outside the local shelves.
DSG is one of those ‘been there, done that’ gals. She’s tasted rarities and limited editions to no end; Three Floyds Dark Lord doesn’t even tickle her. We needed something hardcore, something festive to celebrate her 1000th American beer. Something that none of our beergeek friends would’ve thought of bringing it in their suitcase. It was time for desperate actions and thus I crossed a line I promised myself to never, ever cross; I sought a colleague’s help.
See, I work in a pharmaceutical marketing company. I’m an office/HR person, but the vast majority of the staff consists of marketing personnel. They always travel, them lucky bastards. From conference to kick-off, from stand-alone to congress, my colleagues are always somewhere where there’s good beer. Yet, I never ask them to get me anything; mixing business and pleasure still makes me feel a little awkward. However, desperate actions, right? As the Dead Swedish Girl was getting ready to drink her 1000th American, I looked at the corporate calendar and found out that we have people in Florida, at the Lysosomal World Symposium (trust me, you don’t wanna know what this is). One email to the nicest product manager in the organization, a short list of potential beers that can be brought from the Sunshine State and within a couple of days it landed on my desk. The King of Beers. Budweiser.
A tall-boy Budweiser it was and we shared it at a tasting.
Yeah, shoot me. In my circles American Budweiser is considered a novelty. How was it? Surprise! Budweiser pours clear, greenish pale-golden with white head. It has a sweet rice milk aroma and a sweet, apple-like taste and faint something that I cannot put my finger on, so let’s call it nothingness. Light body, too long finish. Pretty tasteless, very light and not too fulfilling. But hey, this is both a beer we never tasted AND it’s in the book – beer #200 I must Try Before I Die, so thank you Elad V. for being a beer angel.
So yeah, in the next entry we’ll pass %20. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Let’s hope that the next 800 – 801, actually – are better than these two fine American brews.