At long last, we have reached the final four. This is becoming a grueling test of endurance for yours truly. I’m like Adam Richman from Man v. Food, he hits the food wall, I’ve hit the beer wall. Someday I’ll look back at this and be amused, but right now I feel like I’m trapped in a giant swimming pool of beer and must drink my way out. At least we are near the end and down to the champions of each bracket. I’m sure by the time the real Final Four hits I’ll be ready to get back in action. As long as Duke loses, I’ll be a happy guy.
(3) Budweiser American Ale over (1) Blue Moon
I wish I could travel back in time and see how the powers that be at Anheuser Busch decided to brew American Ale. I like to think one of the brewers (if you can call the people who make Busch Light “brewers”) hit their head at work one day and had a vision from the Pawtucket Patriot telling them that they were pathetic because they had all this great brewing equipment and have Bud Light to show for it. They then set about creating a real beer, an amber ale that they could be proud of and tell their grandkids about.
Blue Moon is what I would best describe as a “gateway beer.” If it can get you away from macro-junk and into the world of craft beer, then mission accomplished. I will drink it when I go out and the only choices on tap are Miller Lite, Budweiser, Labatt, and Blue Moon. It is decent; nothing special but a nice alternative when faced with only bleak choices.
In conclusion, the faux Belgian White, when analyzed is a pretty mediocre knockoff. Points go to Anheuser Busch/InBev for creating something worthwhile and trying to bolster the product line with a legitimate attempt at a craft beer.
(5) Hoegaarden over (2) Pilsner Urquell
I would like to begin by saying on a summer day, when I’m finished mowing the lawn, Pilsner Urquell is almost as good as it gets. It is refreshing and smooth. But in the end it is a pilsner and can’t compete with the complex flavor profile of Hoegaarden. I know my Prague peeps won’t be happy, but Belgium carries the day.
(3) Anchor Steam over (9) Red Hook Long Hammer IPA
First I would like to correct an inaccuracy in my last post. Long Hammer is brewed in Portsmouth, NH and not in Seattle. Epic Portions’ corporate lawyers didn’t want me to outright apologize due to legal implications, but I say lawyers be damned. (Except John’s Dad and my Father-in-law, Sister-in-law, and best man at my wedding. They are all a credit to the profession. All other lawyers can take a rocket ship to hell. Except those who read EP. Ya’ll are cool.) In that spirit, I apologize for and regret my error.
So, Anchor vs. Long Hammer wasn’t a West Coast battle, or some weird medieval blood sport. No NWA vs. Tupac, more like NWA vs. Portsmouth native (and Travel Channel’s own) Samantha Brown, the most famous living Portsmouthian I could find. And so goes the defeat for Long Hammer.
Anchor Steam is a credible winner in this group. It has a wonderful hoppy flavor with a smooth finish that has the tinge of bitterness that you want without losing any of its drinkability. Anchor will be tough to beat in the next round.
(4) Negra Modelo over (6) Dos Equis
First off, many thanks to John for joining me at Los Amigos for a delicious meal and a battle of beers. Since it was Mexico vs. Mexico, limes were allowed, something I normally wouldn’t consent to but I felt the playing field would be even here. Besides, I drank plenty of both sans lime and was ready for a new twist in the battle.
Let me say right away that the lime made Modelo Dark come alive. A nice dark lager with a layer of complexity became more than the sum of its parts. Sadly, limes will not be allowed in the next round, and that may hurt Negra Modelo, but let it be said right here that this beer is elevated by the lime and will be enjoyed that way by me in the future.
(3) Budweiser American Ale vs. (5) Hoegaarden
(3) Anchor Steam vs. (4) Negra Modelo
Before everyone declares a winner in the first battle, remember that Northern Iowa beat Kansas and that Butler is in the Final Four. I know our European readers prefer football, so I’ll bring up the 1950 World Cup USA over England win or 2002’s Senegal over France. The point is that upsets happen.
As for Anchor and Negra Modelo, you have to wonder if another upset is possible. But one thing I have to say is that when you blind test these beers strange things happen. Many of the battles that took place to get us here had surprising results. Tune in this weekend to see who makes the championship match.