For pretty much my whole life, I’ve been lead to believe that all beer made in Canada is strong, delicious, and the envy of beermakers the world over. You know, “real beer for real men”, or some such nonsense. Conversely, American beer is weak, watery, tastes like bum, and only people who don’t like REAL beer would dare drink it.
I’ve come to realize that this is pretty much a total lie. Yes, Bud, Coors Light and the tragically ill-named Milwaukee’s Best are all terrible and fit the stereotype, but are Canadian and Blue really any better? Maybe slightly, but they’re pretty friggin far from being among the best beers in the world, despite what their slick ad campaigns might say. They really couldn’t be more generic – not terribly offensive, and you’ll drink one if there’s nothing else left in the fridge, but they have no redeeming qualities, and they’re excessively overpriced. It seems safe to say that for the most part, macrobrews are pretty crappy, regardless of the country of origin. There’s no craftsmanship. No taste. No love.
Surely then, Canadian microbrews must absolutely destroy their American counterparts in alcohol content, taste, and overall manliness, right? Again, not so. Stone Brewing, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium Brewing, Lake Placid Brewing and many other American microbreweries are currently making beer that is way, way better than anything made in Canada. Checking the “Top 100 Beers” list compiled by the beer nerds at beeradvocate.com reveals that just about all of the top beers in the world are either Belgian or American. The only Canadian brewery to even make the list is Quebec’s Unibroue (who excel at making Belgian-style beer).
Now, don’t get me wrong here – I enjoy a Lakeport Honey or a Bohemian as much as the next guy… but it isn’t really “good”, it’s just “not terrible”. Plus it costs $26.40 for 24 bottles, which is straight-up awesome. All I’m saying is, we really need to drop the arrogance about our beer-brewing prowess. It’s pretty much baseless, and somewhat embarassing.
So the next time you’re in the U.S., try a beer you’ve never heard of before – a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a Fat Tire, a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout or an Ubu Ale. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised… at the very least, (in the words of Dave Chappelle) “it’ll get you drunk!”.
last 5 songs: “helicopters” – the stills; “stockholm syndrome” – muse; “retreat” – the rakes; “my wife” – the who; “chinese people” – jerry seinfeld