General goings-on (Garrett, session beers, and beer school)

So I’m going to Garrett Oliver’s tasting tonight. I’d hoped to score an interview with the man, but I guess having a print readership of 6 puts me pretty low down the media cred ladder. Maybe I can yank him aside for a minute and ask him things discriminating drinkers want to know.

Things like: “what’s a good session beer?” In the race to market beers of ever increasing strength, bitterness, and general extremity, craft breweries have exhibited a tendency to overlook lower-strength beer styles. While I enjoy a glass of Avery Maharajah IPA (in fact, on Saturday I enjoyed three of them), the 9.7% alcohol content tends to drive me further into the depths of blithering idiocy than can be reasonably expected from a functional human being. When I drink beer, I want a night out, not a pass-out.

Noobs, here’s a suggestion for a beer you can order all evening: Pilsner Urquell. The Czech staple clocks in at a measly 4.4% ABV, two-tenths of a percent more than Bud Light. Oh, and it’s one of the best lager beers in the world. American mass-market brewers have imitated Urquell’s color, but they come nowhere close to the Czech stuff in flavor or aesthetics. This beer has more body, visual appeal (big, soapy head), and malt/hop flavor than any lager the majors, and most American craft brewers, can put in front of you.

We’ll have to do Pilsners again in an upcoming Beer School. For this week’s tasting, however, we’re covering the beers of autumn: harvest ales and pumpkin ales. All you have to do to participate is show up at Monty’s Korner (Rochester), tomorrow at 7:30. Bring a thirst and an appreciation for sheet pizza.

Oh, and if you want to join my newly created Beercraft group, get a Facebook profile and head on over to <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20095020504″>here.</a&gt; I have no idea what this group will become.

-Mark

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