It ain’t all Lost Abbey and Russian River and off-the-charts-amazing Belgian beers here at Hedonist Beer Jive, you know. Like you, we have to slog through a few hog troughs to get our hands on the elixirs we love. Because the beers we drink are self-selected, of course, and generally are purchased with HBJ’s own money, the quality level of what gets ingested is generally pretty high. That’s why most reviews I write are 7/10 or above; the new stuff I’m trying usually is being tried because someone told me about it, I read about it somewhere, or what have you. Yet believe it or not, there are still a few mediocre or barely-average beers that cross my lips. Here are a few of them, recently tried:
WITKAP-PATER SINGEL – See this one around all the time – it’s one of those Belgian beers with excellent distribution in the United States, and I grabbed it out of curiosity more than anything else. Didn’t really like it much. It is a very fizzy, almost champagne-like effervescent drink, with intense white grape flavors and too much bubbly on the tongue. Perfumed and fruity and just a little bit annoying. 5/10.
SUDWERK LAGER – Had this on tap at Delfina Restaurant in San Francisco. It’s a pale, basic, yellow lager, supposedly in the Munich Helles style. It’s really just not my thing – crisp and golden and good for washing food down, but seriously uninteresting and not something I want again. 5.5/10.
SAM ADAMS CHERRY WHEAT – Consumed at JFK Airport in NY, NY during a flight delay. A little astringent, with a hardcore cherry taste – even an over-the-top cherry smell. It’s a filtered wheat beer, I believe, and way too carbonated. Too much of a strange bite – not good for washing food down. I didn’t hate it, but regretted ordering it just the same. 5/10.
MAD RIVER STEELHEAD EXTRA PALE ALE – Consumed at “Kitty’s” in Emeryville, CA. Very pale yellow, dry while still being drinkable, but they weren’t kidding when they said “extra pale”. A little zesty with some sediment, believe it or not. Nothing earth-shattering by any means. I like this brewery’s barleywine, but this not so much. 5.5/10.