These Sudz Are Dudz

duff-beerNothing but guns guns all day — I call Bullshit.  Let’s talk about beer.

While prowling through the aisles of Total Wine the other day I am approached by a friendly fellow in a white shirt who asks me if I require any assistance.  “You seem perplexed,” he shrewdly observes.

Maybe.  I thought I knew what the word “import” means, but going through your Imported Beers section, maybe I don’t.

“Really?  Well, basically, imported brands are made somewhere other than the United States.”

I grab a bottle of Fosters Lager, a beer I truly enjoyed for a while.  In fact, I still have the 25 ounce can that sat atop my amplifier for many years, a reminder of my early rock’n’roll days.  Unopened and rusting.  It’s probably dangerous.

Like this?

So-called Australian Fosters is brewed all over the world, including Great Britain and China.  The swill it has become is brewed by Miller, in Georgia and Texas.  He reads the label, and it’s his turn to be perplexed.

How about this one?

Bass Pale Ale, a magnificent brew from Great Britain.  Now a product of the sewers of Binghamton, NY.  Says so on the label.   I used to adore it.  Now I can’t even smell it.

He’s sorry he ever met me.

We stroll down the aisle.  I point out Kingfisher, a full-bodied powerful beer from India, now a watered down shell of itself made in New York.  Red Stripe, now “a Jamaica Style lager” brewed in Latrobe, former home of Rolling Rock.  It’s still good, but a very different beer.  Lowenbrau was ruined years ago by Miller, who brews it locally.  Guinness and Harp, made in fucking Canada!  Sacre bleu!  And sacrilegious.  Although technically still “imported.”

With nothing to reply, the poor wretch slinks off.  Sorry.  Merry Christmas.

Look, there are plenty of wonderful beers on the market, and while I will never get over the demise of Rolling Rock, I don’t lack for choices.  My go-to beer is Grolsch, and when looking for something lighter I enjoy Red Stripe and Medalla.  If you can find it, Carlsberg Elephant is a real treat, but go easy.  Trust me.  Go easy.  You can buy Guinness Foreign Extra, a pricey 4-pack, but it tastes like what Guinness Stout used to be before they ruined it.  And recently I’ve fallen in love with two blends from Pike Brewery in Washington State: Naughty Nellie Blonde Ale, and Heirloom Ale.

But back to my original grouse: if these beers are brewed domestically, why are they shelved with the imports, and priced accordingly?  On this same premise, they could move Budweiser over here — the original, back before my time, is a proud Czech product of ancient vintage.

Hey, I know.  It’s only beer, right?  And it’s only rock’n’roll, but I like it.

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10 Responses to These Sudz Are Dudz

  1. Louie says:

    Many Restaurants that do not carry many REAL craft beers list Sam Adams as an import to charge more.

  2. Moose and Squirrel says:

    Did Anheuser Busch ruin Stella Artois, or was it already ruined when they got there?

  3. Joe Balls says:

    Rheingold is back, too, although it’s a different brewer. A bad beer then and a bad beer now. Give the new guys credit for keeping it consistent.

  4. CB Hudirolf says:

    This is eye-opening. I’ve been drinking Bass regularly for years, but over the last few months I’ve found myself not liking it as much and wondering if I just lost my taste for it. I think I know the answer now. That’s criminal. At the very least, the price should come down, but it doesn’t matter to me because I’m not buying it any more.

  5. Living Will says:

    Does it actually say “a product of the sewers of Binghamton NY” on the label? Because the only time I’ve ever seen something like that is on Milorganite, lawn fertilizer. Which my lawn seems to like a lot more than you care for Bass.

    • Squathole says:

      Will: I think at this point I would prefer Milorganite to Bass. However, I’m not a wasteful type so ‘d probably pour the Bass on the lawn. Fair trade Innit?
      .

  6. syrbal says:

    This is why we brew and drink more of our own mead here. Being disastrously allergic to barley, I generally dare not more than a taste of beer. My taste this month was satisfying, however: Shock Top’s “End of the World” beer….a complex and well balanced thing I didn’t want to put down even knowing how sick it would make me.

    • Kim Chee says:

      My grandfather made his own beer from rice. He used to give small tastes to us when we just little kids and we would giggle and stagger and pretend we were very drunk. He left recipe behind when he died but nobody in my family seems to have the touch.

      • syrbal says:

        I’ve been interested in home brewing since I was five — we had a landlord who made his own beer down in his basement. We make mead…a honey wine, and we have made old medieval recipes of herbal beers with no grain. This coming summer we hope to brew some actual grain based beer.

  7. julesagray says:

    when i was in college in madison, i had a neighbor who made his own beer. And that’s all I remember about that ripping good yarn.

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