Friday, December 11, 2009

What Bev for Zed

You’ve been hunting Zombies all weekend. The backwater area this outbreak popped up in is hot and dry. All that sweaty work really works up a thirst. Water just won’t do. Sports Drinks? Please. You need beer.

But which one?

You don’t want one that will bog you down with treacle or alcohol, but you don’t want a beer that’s like making love in a canoe (F’n close to water!) It should be good, though. You might get bitten and infected and never drink a beer again, preferring human brains. But you want something that will fortify like liquid bread, while still being refreshing. You need a bit of alcohol to take the edge off the horror, but not so much that your aim is impacted over much.

Never fear, I have some recommendations.

Right now, for me, the perfect beer to go with zombies is Victory Brewing Company’s Prima Pils. It’s refreshing and bright. Like there is a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited. It’s brewed near Philly, so your regional suds establishment may or may not be able to get a hold of it.

In the past, favorite beers on par with Prima have been Tupper’s Hop Pocket Pils, of Ashburn VA, and Magic Hat’s Blind Faith out of Vermont.

Note: all these beers MUST be fresh. If you can’t tell what the bottling date was from the packaging, look for cloudiness of the liquid or dust on the bottle. Blind Faith was known for turning into beef broth after 3 months. It’s the nature of the microbrewed beast. No preservatives means they can go ‘bad’. Bad doesn’t mean pathogenic. It’s just the taste is off. Fresh, these beers are ambrosia. Nectar of the GODS.

If you like a bit more bitterness from your hops, go with Victory Hop Devil IPA.

Other very good beers to snatch up on the east coast, any Dogfish Head. Shelter Pale Ale is good and you can increase your hop character by working your way up the numbers of IPAs. 60 Minute, 90 Minute, 120 Minute. By now there is probably a 4 And A Half Hours IPA from Dogfish. For Zed hunting stick with 60 or 90 if you an advanced IPA drinker.

For more widely available beers, Sierra Nevada is one of the originals and still pretty good. I go with the Porter and the Pale Ale, but the Torpedo IPA is also very nice. The weather is getting colder, and the thought of a Porter appeals right now.

Few places can bottle a stout right. Pity. There are stouts in this country in little out of the way breweries that make Guinness taste like Lite Beer from Miller. Maybe not the ideal Zombie-Beer, though. Stick with Porter.

On the West Coast, I found this great little number called Racer 5. Stuff from Russian River Brewing is also good, but my exposure is limited. Anchor Steam, when fresh, can surprise you. It so hard to get it fresh out here. And they don’t date their packaging, so, sorry Mr. Maytag.

Is the beer near your house crap? Heck no. Colorado is supposed to be great for beer. The line from Cleveland to Milwaukee hits some very good small breweries. Bells in Kalamazoo, Goose Island, Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland. But I can’t get them here.

One day there is going to be a zombie outbreak near one of the small brewpubs and you’ll be trapped there surrounded. Surrounded by brain hungry undead and surrounded by delicious beer. I’d love to be trapped at McGuires Irish Pub in Pensacola that way. They have good doors that can be barricaded, good vantage points on the roof for sharpshooting, and great beer and steaks in the restaurant. A RoMERO mission could last as long as the food held up, even if we have to herd the last shamblor around for a few weeks to keep the party going.

And what if you can’t get ANY of these? What major beers might I recommend? Well, Yeungling is ok in a pinch. Guinness, naturally, is good, and widely available. If the beer is really cold and the sun really hot, then Rolling Rock can even appeal. I’ll even drink a Budweiser. The beer is well made and natural, and if you’ve been away from it for a while you can really taste the apple ester. Avoid Miller products. Chemicals and corn. Avoid Coors, too. It’s water. Literally. Killians Irish Red is Coors with caramel coloring added. Blue Moon is a Coors product. Leininklugel is a Miller property. The Leiney may be fine, but they do have the taint of Coors and their Franken-Hops and other chemical weirdness. Clear bottles is a bad sign. Either they raped the hops to compensate for the photo sensitive bond that turned hop flavor molecules into skunk, or they are skunked. I’ll only get Samuel Smith’s beers, in the clear bottle, if I can buy them by the opaque cardboard case. In a German Beergarten, keep your clear liter mug out of the direct sun, it can skunk before you finish it.

That’s my Zed safety tip for today. Remember, shootin THEN drinkin. Not the other way round.

What authority do I have to dispense such wisdom? A heckuva lot more than my authority on shooting. Trust Breda to tell you how libraries work, trust Tam to tell you how gunstores work, trust OldNFO to tell you how P3s work, trust Roberta to tell you how starships work, trust Frank to tell you how farms work, but trust me to tell you how breweries work.


TheAxe said...

Another one to keep an eye out for is Otter Creek's porter. It's what I'm usually drinking when I'm in the gnr chat.

Rova said...

Chimay Ale, the one with the gold label. Brewed in Belgium by Trappist monks. We hammered a superior court judge on the stuff to the point he didn't have heels in his shoes. Makes a lethal "root beer float" with Cherry Garcia.

I've favored Red Tail (used to live just on the other side of the hill from them) Ale. Nederland has a numbingly good microbrewery and BBQ joint that's the stuff of dreams, too.

Great post, worthy of Lazarus Long!

Old NFO said...

Excellent precis on beers! Another good microbrewery is the Tied House in Mt. View, CA GOOD beers and a nice little sampler set

Mike W. said...

I'm a huge fan of Newcastle Brown Ale. I just wish they'd ditch the clear bottles, since sometimes I get some that's semi-skunked.

I actually like Red Stripe as well, but only as something simple & light on hot summer days.

Pretty much anything by Sam Smith's is awesome.

Unknown said...

Red Stripe was nasty...sorry.

You should also check out some of the Van Sternberge Brewery (Live Bottle Conditioned Belgian Ales imported by GlobalBeer).

Gulden Drak
Piraat Ale
& Bornem Dubbel are just a few of my favorites.