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Pilsner or Ale?

09/12/2015 9:01 PM

What exactly is the difference between Pilsner and Ale ? Is it a recipe difference or a chemical difference ?

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I recently have tried several different beers to see if they agree with my palate and to see if a pilsner or an ale agreed with me.

Here is a short list of beers I have tried:

1. Stella Artois. Light taste, slight after taste, good cold, fair warm.

2. Red Hook IPA Long Hammer. Bitter when cold, terrible when warm.

3. Red Trolley. Smooth and creamy, toffee like when cold, slightly acidic when warm.

4. New Castle Brown Ale. Smooth caramel taste, foamy head when cold, slightly sweet and dry when warm.

The only German beer I ever liked was EKU, I also liked the Brazilian beer Brahma.

The only American beers I ever liked were Lone Star & Hamm's.

Do you have a recommendation for a beer I might try ?

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#1

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/12/2015 9:18 PM

Choose wisely my friend...

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/12/2015 9:29 PM

He waited until Saturday night to expect people with great knowledge and experience with beer to be sitting at home using their computers to communicate with other engineers on an engineering web site. I'm not so sure that the "Choose wisely" bit is off to a good start.

Perhaps the question should be asked on Tuesday thru Thirsty when the people that consume beer are on engineering web sites.

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#3

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/12/2015 9:39 PM

Spaten Pils (German) is a pilsner that my wife and I enjoy. Grolsch (Dutch) is one of my favorite lagers, but it has a "chalky" undertone that not everyone would like. On the darker end, we like Black Butte porter (USA), Guinness (Ireland), and others. Your taste sounds toward the mild side, so you might not go for Moose Drool or Arrogant Bastard ales (USA).

A brewing difference is that beers are bottom-fermented, whereas ales are top-fermented.

If you have a convenient source that sells many varieties, just try from the whole range until you find your favorites. A beer/ale guide, such as by Michael Jackson, could be good reading. If you have any local microbreweries, consider patronizing them.

Enjoy your researches!

(The best lager I ever had was Triple Mash Golden, from Cirque Brewery, which was owned by friends, but folded. They are the source of my tagline below, which I adapted a little.)

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#39
In reply to #3

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/15/2015 8:11 AM

Many varieties indeed, the way to proceed. I always look for "different" beers(lagers, ales or pilsners) when I enter the local liquor store. Most you can buy a can at a time , at least here, so easy enough to test many. Last batch I bought were mostly India Pale Ales all from micro-breweries. I wide range of tastes for all being the same "style". Still haven't made through all the brands, but only one I really enjoyed, but, sorry, can't remember the name. Okay though as it is likely not available in your area.

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#4

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/12/2015 10:55 PM

Blond, brunette or redhead.

There's just no accounting for taste.

Don't try to analyze it and don't drink something because someone else likes it.

Find something you like and drink it.

I think Dos icky tastes like pee water.

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#5
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/12/2015 11:55 PM

Among Mexican beers, I like Negro Modelo the best. Pacifico, Corona, and Tres Estrellas are better than XX.

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#7
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/13/2015 8:47 AM

Agreed. I sometimes order it when dining at a Mexican food restaurant.

Finding "good" Mexican food is a challenge when outside of the southwest US, in my opinion.

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#10
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 5:08 AM

Pee water? Just how would you know?

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#12
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 7:19 AM

Blind taste test, of course.

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#14
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 7:37 AM

lol,....One needs new friends after that.

anyways..... Pilsner or Ale?

well I never turned down anyone when it's offered to me. Or complained.

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#24
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 11:00 AM

I agree. I finally got to the point in life where I don't try to justify what I like. I like what I like and I don't drink the others. I agree with you about the XX. Someone mentioned Negro Modelo - I've drank it a few times and it is OK. Other wise I like Cold Bud. Just my taste, no excuses, no justifiction. -- JHF

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#26
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 11:11 AM

We agree.

But, only cold Bud from a bottle for me.

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#28
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 11:45 AM

Ditto - only canned if glass prohibited, like at beach or on small boat. Although when I was young and boating a lot if one could not control their beer, they got put off on a deserted island. Plenty of those on Lake Havasu and Lake Ouchita. -- JHF

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#29
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 11:58 AM

Never been on Havasu. Sold my last boat two years ago.

Got lost (sober) 50 years ago, before cell phones, etc. on Ouachita, during the daytime.

That'll get your attention.

Was in Hot Springs last June. Looked for you, but didn't see you anywhere.

Marking this OT.

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#41
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/15/2015 10:09 AM

I launched at Crystal, went up stream, came back and missed the turn, got all the way to Brady Mt. Thought I was going to run out of gas before I got back. Who said the only marine adventures are on the high seas in big ships?. Havn't been in AZ in about 15 yrs. JHF O. T.

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#6

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/13/2015 7:32 AM

St. Bernardus ABT 12 if you are on a budget.

Westvleteren 12 (XII) [Voted Best Beer in the world] if you have copious amounts of disposable cash and if you can even find it. You can import it for about $60 per bottle from the Belgian Shop, but it technically can only be sold from the abby that makes it.

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#34
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 11:59 PM

Good that you like the Belgian Beers.

Belgium is the land of beer.

Here they are:

http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/belgian_beers.shtml

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#8

Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/13/2015 12:08 PM

We have so many real ales in the UK, as a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) I can recommend dozens.

Go by the brewery, Batemans is an excellent brewery, all of their ales are super.

Shepard Neame, Fuller's, Theakston's, so many and all excellent, beware of the 'craft ales' coming out, they are a modern adulteration of ales!!

Old Peculier, Old Thumper, Old Empire, Victory, ESB, Hobgoblin, Bishop's finger so many names and tastes, from burnt and bitter right through to light and quaffable LOL

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#23
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Re: Pilsner or Ale.

09/14/2015 10:58 AM

Agree. One thing I do like when I get to UK is to visit small town local pubs and try a local craft ale. Superb. Had a local craft in a little town called Swayfield (my wife lived there once) t was the best so far. I do not remember the name of the ale. Sorry.

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#9

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/13/2015 9:46 PM

One thing I learned on the weekend is that besides the beer sort you also need to watch where it was brewed.

A so called German beer might be brewed somewhere else because it belongs to one of these multi national breweries. Everything like Corona to Budweiser and Ales could come from a different brewery than the name of the beer advertises.

I once tried some Becks (supposed to be German) and it was not palatable. Brewed in Asia I think it was.

Did some serious testing with local Ale on the weekend and it still is the best.

Watching the news helps to distinguish if the brewery in question is still independent or has changed hand into one of the bigger groups. They then brew beer under the same name with a different quality.

Check this out for further education:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Beer

Cheers!

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#11
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 7:03 AM

You didn't answer the question between pilsner and ale.... but that was good info about the corporate makers of beer for the beer connoisseur. but then again, the true 'beer connoisseur' would already know that as opposed to the 'beer drinking connoisseur'

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#36
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/15/2015 3:19 AM

I admit I do not know the difference and I never looked at it other than from the perspective of what beer I like.

Being in the drinking faculty I need to do some more exploring on the link I provided.

But then I could also do more field testing . . .!

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#38
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/15/2015 7:28 AM

When I got out of college.... it was the eighties.....

the group of us would go out after work and tip a few....

there was a few how should I say..... "at the time they were called yuppies".

They loved showing how refined they were..... And they were discussing and comparing wines.... the bouquet, the tastes, which was fine.... until they started talking down to the beer drinkers.

now these kids were younger than me.

I started college at 25, and my tastes changed throughout... since I turned 15,... ah 18,.... Miller, Bud, (Now bud light) Michelob, Michelob Dry, Corona, Heineken's, plus a lot of college beers......

So I started talking to my beer drinking friends about the bouquet of the beer we had,...

Well my buds picked up on that, we'd hold it to the light, grade the head on the beer. we played it out like experts.... which to a degree, we were,.....only we played it out a lot more animated and with more enthusiasm.... But we took it a step farther....a lot of us where quite knowledgeable about brewing, the type of grains used in the beer, hopps, even the region where the hopps were grown..... and least we talked like we were quite informed.

And we'd asked our wine connoisseurs their opinion........ unfortunately,.... they left.

That night was quite satisfying and...... informative..

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#44
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/16/2015 9:49 PM

This is a telling story. Thanks for sharing!

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#13

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 7:33 AM

The simple answer to the question is: it is partly a different recipe (different types/quantities of hops and malt, specifically the Saaz hop for genuine Pilsner), and partly a different brewing process, bottom fermented for Pilsner (or 'beer/lager') and top fermented for ale. Pilsner itself was originally developed around 1840 in Pilsen in the Czeck Republic (by a brewer from Bavaria), and very quickly became the most popular type of beer in Germany (known as Pils) and beyond. Americans would call Pilsner a type of beer, and Brits would call it a type of Lager.

There is a little bit of confusion over terminologies, which is partly regional. Beer and ale are interchangeable in the uk, and what americans call 'beer' the brits will call 'lager'. Historically there is also some confusion: ale (Old English 'ealu', Old Norse 'öl') was produced from malted grain, usually barley, and did not contain hops. Beer (Old Norse 'beor') was, in earlier times, either ale with added hops, or (particularly in Scandinavia) a sweet alcoholic beverage (like cider).

My favourite American quaffing beer/ale (if I had said this thirty years ago my friends would have laughed me out of the house!) is Sierra Nevada. My favourite all-time quaffing beer was Dogbolter, brewed by the Firkin chain (arguably inventers of the modern brew-pub around 1980?), sadly no longer available (thanks to Allied-Domecq!).

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#15
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 7:50 AM

Bert Grant's Brewery Pub opened in 1982 in Yakima, WA, USA. It is said to be the first in the USA--don't know about worldwide. East of Yakima is one of the world's largest hops growing areas. Grant had worked for a large hops distributor for many years before starting his own facility.

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#25
In reply to #13

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 11:05 AM

That was the only reply that actually addressed the OP's question.

I will add that pilsner is a sub-category of lager, so I think that the relevant question is, what is the difference between ales and lagers. It all boils down to the yeast:

From http://www.midwestsupplies.com/differences-ale-lager-yeast.html :

"Brewers yeast is categorized into two main varieties. They are classified as ale yeast (top-fermenting type, Saccharomyces cerevisiae) or lager yeast (bottom-fermenting type, Saccharomyces uvarum)"

ales can be dark or light. Lagers are typically light(most common inexpensive American or Mexican "beer" that Americans see advertised are lagers,), but can be made light or dark or more hoppy.

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#16

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 8:54 AM

Do something really fun and try to brew your own some day. It is a good time; I highly recommend it and have been trying it out myself for ~8 months now. I am just an "extract brewer" right now. Probably ~$300 investment to get enough gear to do reasonable extract boiling, two stage fermentation, and bottling equipment.

You can go to beeradvocate.com and search by beer style to see what you might like to try in different types of beer. I am trying to get my hands on some milk stout today and if I like it I might put it on the list for brewing in the near future.

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#17
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 8:58 AM

Don't be too disappointed at your first batch.... As you continue to brew, one does get better.

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#18
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 9:07 AM

My first batch was an American Ale and in my hurry and excitement I forgot a pound of the malt extract. I didn't strain and sparge my hops either coming out of the boil and it came out pretty bitter. It was drinkable though so I did the honest thing and pounded it down. Since then I've had more success; my last one was a saison which was brewed with lime and lemon peel and grains of paradise. It has an incredible head on it and I have to pour really quietly just to get it in the glass. I bottled some Pumpkin Ale this weekend and we will see how it turns out in a couple weeks. My plan is to upgrade my wort chilling and fermentation temperature control next; here in TX I am in danger of not being able to pitch yeast at the right temperature and control fermentation at the right temperature, particularly in the summer. After that is under control we'll see if I make the leap to all grain brewing.

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#19
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 9:16 AM

The first we did was a dark ale,....

when we first poured the first glass, it looked dark, great head, it 'looked' absolutely delicious,...... until we tasted it.

It seems all the taste when into the aesthetics....

We did have better 'luck' when we made 'jet fuel' from our corn crop.

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#20

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 9:25 AM

Would Mexico have any water thats fit to make beer with? I have an old friend that makes annual trips to the Generous Electric plant (GE) and I am told that the water intakes on the river for Corona is just down stream from the waste water dumps from GE and other large industrial facilities that basically located there to enjoy the lacks pollution controls on what they can dump in the river.

Anyone know more about which type of beer is best when made with this artificially flavored water?

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#21

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 9:34 AM

Pliney The Elder. Got two in the fridge right now!

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#37
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Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/15/2015 3:21 AM

Two cartons you mean! Right?

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#22

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 10:26 AM

I definitely prefer pilseners, and the orginal Budweiser Budwar (the czech one, not the american) is the best I know

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#27

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 11:16 AM

And when you find you're finished with that string, please let me know its length.

I submit this humble story in answer to The Great Question, with a tip of the hat to my pseudonym.

In days of yore Hogwarts held a great magical brewing festival to which (as the name suggests) great brewers did magically arrive from all eras of history.

And come eventide all were seated in the ballroom at Ye Longe Table. The waiter presented himself to the first gentleman and enquired of his chosen beverage.

"Sir, my name is Adolphus Busch and I would drink nothing other than the best beer in the world, Budweiser!"

Moving forward the second brewer took up the challenge. "I am Gerard Heineken and will have nothing short of the finest lager that bears my name!"

Third in line was J. C. Jacobsen who would drink nothing other than his beloved creation of Carlsberg.

And so on around the table, from the great names to the lowly brewers, from Carling to Coors, from Theakston to Tsing Tao.

Finally, somewhat exhausted, our waiter arrives at the last gentleman, the great Arthur Guinness. His pen hovers over his waiters pad in expectation.

"A glass of water please, waiter!" he booms.

There is much consternation, and a few guffaws from the assembled malted dignitaries. The waiter is much confused and whispers to Arthur "Sir, in light of the venue and occasion, I thought you would order a pint of your famous stout?"

"Well", said Arthur, "no-one else has ordered any beer, and I didn't want to be the odd one out."

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#30

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 1:56 PM

You may like König Pils. I find it has the best bouquet of any I find....

I was their Computer Engineer for a short time in Duisberg many years ago!!

It is available in may countries, I have drunk it in Spain, brought in with a big lorry each week!!

If you can read German:-

koenig Pils

Belgians know how to brew beer, see here:-

Beer_in_Belgium

My favourite Belgian Beer is Leffe, see here:-

Leffe

Ale is not beer, it is what is brewed in the UK. You cannot compare true Ale with beers of any types, but do try a White Shield if you want good Ale, but let the barman pour it, you will ruin it with a bad pour!! He will show you how!!

Worthington_White_Shield_UK

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#31

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 2:49 PM

And now your honor, having heard a veritable plethora of opinions, all different I might add (except the two old men who agree on that American swill Bud) and none of them with YOUR TASTE BUDS.

I refer you to post #4 where one of the afore-mentioned old men said "find something you like and drink that."

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#32

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 5:03 PM

German beers, try the wheat beers cold, light flavour Australian beer, try Cascade cold or Coopers English beer, try any lager cold, and the best of luck Try Heineken cold, fair If you like hops (bitter) in your beer don't try the above. The Russians say the Aussie likes his beer "Ice", and that's how cold it should be.

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#33

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/14/2015 11:39 PM

Thanks everyone who responded to the post. I thought I would try to give an answer to each reply.

1. Everyone works different days and I would imagine that even engineers might enjoy a cold one now and them even if they were talking to other engineers.

2. I see he has got his hand on her leg, but where is his other hand, on second thought, don't answer that.

3. I hope moose drool isint anything like dog drool.

4. Yes, I have had a blond and a brunette but never a red head.

5. How would he know ? Probably used the telephone and called the manufacturer.

6. I believe the phrase " care to share " got started about the same time.

7. Never quite understood the dog thing, unless they copied " the little rascals " mutt.

8. Now I know why monks living in Abbey's sing long into the night.

9. Is " The campaign for real ale " related to Gordon Ramsey's " Campaign for real gravy " ?

10. I agree, when you visit small out of the way towns you get to experience how the country folks do it, something you will never know in commercialized big cities.

11. One thing about those Norsemen, when they weren't plundering and pillaging they were doing some hardy partying.

12. My wife got me one of those beer making kits and I need 48 empty bottles, so far I've got 23 empty ones so that means I need,,,,

13. I had heard that story about the water too, I always wondered why Mexican beers taste the same.

14. I read the German, I see they have " Dose " can which must be German for " Tall boy " , although I know that quite a few German words are English words but I can't think of any English words that are German words.

15. Now I've seen everything, man's best friend replaced by man's biggest nuisance.

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#35

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/15/2015 12:37 AM

We peed in his bottle when he went to pee. He didn't even notice.

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#40

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/15/2015 9:28 AM

I would think that if Hamms is satisfactory, anything would be.

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/15/2015 12:17 PM

Hamms had the best behind the bar beer signs. Real collector items.

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#43

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/16/2015 3:46 PM

While in Hamburg Germany I visited a nice little Pub established in 1750, On outside of the door there was a sign and the best we could translate it read as follows.

Notice, as of Wednesday each week there will be no peeing in the river due to us brewing Beer on Fridays.

The name of the place the best I recall was Groninger, their Pilsner by the same name was superb.

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#45

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/17/2015 2:56 PM

My lawyer tells me that PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) is the only beer that tastes like it used to in the old days.

One of my friends gave me what was supposed to be an exotic beer. After taking a couple of swigs I marched over to the sink and poured it down the drain. A year later he gave a bottle of similarly foul-tasting fluid and I did the same thing. I don't know where he gets his taste or who even brews this stuff but Old English tasted like nectar of the gods in comparison.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/17/2015 3:15 PM

And did he charge you for that opinion?

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/17/2015 3:28 PM

If he did, he could sue for his money back and he would have a pretty solid case, too.

Maybe even a keg!

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#49
In reply to #46

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/17/2015 5:47 PM

Actually he's just a friend of mine in the bike club. We were having PBRs and pizza after the ride.

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/17/2015 3:24 PM

PBR me.

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#50

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/18/2015 10:43 PM

I enjoyed Anchor Steam ale when I was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco back in the eighties. Not really a micro-brew any more but I have enjoyed many offerings from Sam Adams. They have had some duds, but overall, pretty good. Some of their seasonal brews are quite good. I definitely enjoy ales and even a good stout over pilsners any day. (Fresh Guinness from the tap is to die for. So smooth and creamy and just a hint of bitter. I made the mistake of trying it from a bottle once. I poured it down the sink.)

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/19/2015 7:52 AM

Taking the tour of Guinness drinking after the tour is wuite an experience. It's on my list.

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#51

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/18/2015 11:23 PM

We pulled into a small town pub named Bubba's (go figure). They didn't have anything we wanted on tap.Then the waitress said "We have some microbrews." She brought us a sample of light, medium and dark. They were all good.

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#53

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/19/2015 8:52 PM

I toured the Olympia Beer Brewery in Tumwater, Washington. The most interesting thing was the 18 mile pipeline to bring good water in. They offered us a beer sample at the end but I wasn't of legal drinking age so they could only give me a soda.

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#54

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/19/2015 8:57 PM

When the YWCA bought the old Rainier Brewing Company building in Spokane, Washington, they repurposed the beer filters for their swimming pool. The Rainier Brewery sign was probably one on the coolest animated signs ever. I used to watch it a lot as a kid.

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/21/2015 8:02 AM

No link to the sign?

Drew K

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/21/2015 9:36 PM

Hard to find any information about the Rainier Brewery in Spokane. Wikipedia said Sick's had a branch brewery in Spokane. Found all kinds of information on the one in Seattle.

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#56
In reply to #54

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

09/21/2015 8:47 AM

There was a Rainier brewery in Spokane (in addition to the one in Seattle)?

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#58

Re: Pilsner or Ale?

10/04/2015 8:28 AM

Back in the 1960's we had here in NJ no less than 10 breweries . Most were in Newark . A very fine Newark ale has recently been resurrected , Ballantine IPA . Delicious stuff . And at over 7 % alcohol it has a nice kick to it too ! Only one brewery stands in Newark today and that is Anhueser - Busch . At 10.5 million barrels a year, the breweries output can't keep up with the NJ / NY demand for Bud , so Bud around here can actually be shipped in from distant breweries . People sure love their beer !

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