100 Beers in 1 Year (Part 1)
I love beer but tend to stick to the beers that I know and love. So last week I decided that in 2012 all this will change and I set myself a challenge. Kind of like a New Year resolution, except it isn’t January 1st and unlike New Year’s resolutions which are normally a chore, this one will be fun.
The challenge is simple. To drink 100 (different) beers between now and the end of the year. This works out to be around 3 to 4 different beers per week. It shouldn’t be too hard, but it will force me into trying some beers that I’m not going to like. All will be photographed and rated.
So without further to do here are the first 10 beers.
1. Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen
Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen is a German wheat beer brewed in Frankfurt by the German brewing giant Binding. For a mass produced Weizen Beer it isn't half bad. The beer pours a very nice cloudy golden/orange color and has a thick white head. The beer isn't as strong as some of the other Weizen beers, but it was cheap and very drinkable. I could have drunk many more of these but unfortunately had work the next day, and have another different 99 beers to get through.
2. Berliner Kindl Weisse (Green)
Is it a beer or is it something else entirely? This is what I kept asking myself as I was drinking the Berliner Weisse. Berliner Weisse beer has a long history in Berlin, and it was once the most popular drink with over 700 breweries serving it in the 19th century. Sadly these days it seems Berliner Weisse is more of a curiosity. When I asked a Berlin local about it, they told me that very few Berliner natives drank it and it was considered a tourists drink. Berliner Weisse comes in 3 or 4 flavors, red (rasberry) and green (woodruff). I did have both and I found the green variety to be much more drinkable, the rasberry was far too sweet for me. While the green (woodruff) flavor was still very sweet and a little syrupy it went down very easy on a hot day. I think the Kindl Weisse is a great summer afternoon drink, but its not one I'd have an evening session on.
3. Radeberger Pilsner
Radeberger is one of the big mass produced Pilsners in Germany. I was in Berlin when I was drinking this and it was on the menu in most pubs along with Berliner Pils and Bitburger Pils seemed very popular mainstream beers.
Radeberger Pils pours a very pale golden yellow, it has a medium sized head and a very crisp finish. There isn't anything that makes Radeberger stand out above the other German Pils but that is not to say it is bad. German Pilsners set a very high standard. It is a very easy beer to drink and if you are settling in for a long night of drinking then this could well be your beer.
4. Krušovice Černe
I ordered this Krusovice beer in Berlin, not realising at the time it was a Czech Beer. It was on the menu as a Dunkel. Anyway later I found out it is a Czech dark beer brewed by the Krusovice Brewery who have been brewing it for over 100 years.
The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a thick white head. Krusovice Dunkel has a malty, slightly smoky flavor with hints of coffee and caramel also coming through. This was a very nice beer and one I’d definitely order again.
5. Krusovice Imperial (Blonde)
I ordered this after the Krusovice Dunkel and had high expectations. What a big letdown this Blonde beer turned out to be. The beer poured a nice golden color with a good head, but the flavour was badly lacking. Sweet and very thin tasting, there wasn't really much to take from this beer other than it seemed very flavorless and a little watery. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to drink this after the Krusovice Dunkel but its not a beer I'll be ordering again in a hurry.
6. Singha Beer
It has been a while since I had a Singha beer. I normally have Singha with a curry and this was no exception. I ordered this Singha beer over a Thai curry. As a beer there isn't much to like or dislike about Singha, it is innoffensive but bland and quite watery. It did the job and washed the curry down, but there are much better tasting lagers out there than Singha.
7. San Miguel
San Miguel seems to have ridden a wave of popularity over the past couple of years. In the UK at least it seems to be on tap almost everywhere you go, which is a bit of a shame because we already have an overabundance of mass produced watery lagers to choose from without adding another to the list.
But that is exactly what San Miguel is, just another mass produced, thin tasting, watery lager. Its cheap, innofensive and its everywhere. (Excuse the terrible photograph it was a late night)
8. Black Sheep Ale
Although I've lived in the UK for almost 10 years now I can probably count on 1 hand the number of times I've had a bitter (beer). I now kind of regret this because bitter beer is a UK tradition and I feel I should have made more of an effort to enjoy the bitter or real ale as they are commonly called.
That being said I like my beer cold and bitters are served at cellar or room temperature, which has always been a sticking point with me. So what I am about to write next makes me a complete heathen in the world of bitter drinkers........yes I purchased bitter beer and chilled it. Now bitter drinkers will baulk at the idea of chilling a bitter beer because apparently it kills all of the flavor. But nevermind, I decided to do it anyway with this next entry - Black Sheep Ale.
What came next was a revelation. Despite being chilled, the flavor of the beer was still there, and it tasted great. The bottle of Black Sheep Ale poured a copper brown color and tasted malty and slightly caramelly. It was very smooth and refreshing with a very pleasant malty aftertaste. I will most definitely be buying this again (and chilling it).
I feel that I can't give a rating because I am pretty clueless about bitters, and afterall I am chilling them.
9. Ringwood Fortyniner
After being encouraged by the Black Sheep Ale, I purchased a couple more bitters. The next on the list to try was Ringwood Fortyniner. Again I have to confess I drank it chilled, and it was a completely enjoyable experience.
The beer is named after the 1849 goldrush and is brewed by the Ringwood Brewery who have been brewing it since 1978. The beer pours a golden/copper color and has a very nice malty taste with a bittersweet finish.
10. Thoroughbred Gold
Thoroughbred Gold is another bitter but much paler than the previous two. I had fairly low expectations of Thoroughbred Gold because it only cost £1 (around $1.60 USD) for a 500ml bottle.
I was unexpectedly surprised. The beer poured a nice golden color with a medium head, it was bitter, malty tasting but quite crisp and refreshing. Maybe chilling the beer took the harsher edges of it, but for a £1 beer I was amazed at how decent this was. While I didn't think it was as good as the Black Sheep Ale or Ringway Fortyninger, I could have happily drank a few more of these.
So that concludes part 1. Ten beers down just ninety to go!