When I founded this blog, the idea was to give my amateur thoughts on all the craft beers I could get my hands on. I assumed at some point something mainstream would end up here on PRB (and, really, some craft beer snobs would argue I've already reviewed mainstream beers, given Goose Island is now Budweiser's little brother), but I honestly figured it would take more than 3 months. That being said...
As a former Pennsylvanian, Yuengling Lager has a special place in my heart. Even all the way back in college, my fraternity brothers could attest that when I wasn't downing apple cider and Seagram's 7 (what the hell was I thinking?), I still felt too good to regularly down PBR, Keystone, and the other cheapest swill available. In lieu of the 40oz bottles of said products, I'd grab the liters of Yuengling instead. Even in college, before the craft beer boom, I tried to be a little bit of a beer snob.
So...Yuengling Lager. Like most macros, the profile for this beer is very much straight forward. Pouring a gold-orange color, and having a medium body, it's basic but pretty tasty for a lager. Plenty of grain flavors and aromas, and maybe a little bit of accompanying sweetness. Something biscuity or bready in there, as well. Personally, I always find Yuengling to fall in an ideal point on the flavor vs. price spectrum. Some crafts have gone down in price to be very affordable, but you'll never find them for $16/case. Basically, I'll always have a soft spot for "Lager".
As I mentioned in one of the Beer Festival blog entries, I had just discovered Catawba Brewing Company. Just prior to the festival, I had their Farmer Ted's Cream Ale. Listed as a cream ale, this seems to be their basic or gateway beer for the pale lager drinkers of the world. Nothing at all wrong with that. It pours a pale, straw-like yellow, and has a light, bready flavor. I also found it to have a mildly sweet aftertaste. Frankly, I felt that it was maybe a little too carbonated--I would think it was intended to be a little smoother--but that may have been the fault of the draft system of my local watering hole. A solid basic beer.
This is already getting a little longer than I'd like, so let's close with a live review. I have in front of me New Holland Brewing Company's Cabin Fever Brown Ale. It pours a nice moderately dark brown color, of course, and has a medium-heavy body. A Winter seasonal, Cabin Fever has nice cocoa notes, and probably plays a little rougher than most--the ABV is 6.5%, but feels like it would be a little higher than that, maybe in the low-mid 7s. Malty and strong, it might not be the usual winter beer, but it is hearty enough to hold up.
Site News: So, coming mid-February, I plan on taking my face-made-for-radio to the visual medium, and starting Pourly Reviewed Beer video reviews. Reviews will typically be one beer at a time, and plan on having the beer in front of me to deliver live impressions. Videos will be posted both here and on YouTube. Look for these starting with a special side-by-side tasting the week of February 15th (if all goes well).
Coming Wednesday: a Left Hand's highly-regarded Milk Stout, a true surprise from Sierra Nevada, and something from OMB. Cheers!