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What are you drinking?


I’m cheap and visiting my girlfriend’s family, so I’ve been downing the low priced Trader Joe’s bourbon while drinking Anchor Steam’s Brewer’s Pale Ale. I associate Anchor Steam with my college years in the Bay Area and usually buy it while I’m in the East Coast out of homesickness. But honestly, I’m not sure it’s that great. Anyone else drink something more for the memories than the taste?


I grew up on the East Coast and spent some very formative adult years in Baltimore, where I learned to love Yuengling Lager. I live in California now and whenever I go home I make a point of buying a couple of 6-packs for the duration. But it really doesn’t stack up against any serious craft brews and plus I am pretty sure the owners came out big for a politician I despise, so there’s that…


Ah yeah, that’s a pretty good bad pick. I didn’t come across Yuengling until I moved to New York, but people pretty quickly told me about its unfortunate political associations. I actually got the same talk about Utz, another East Coast staple.

Now that I think about it, I also drink Eel River’s Blonde from time to time for sentimental reasons. I grew up very close to the original brewery in California, and while the stuff is organic, it’s… not very good.


Brakspear’s bitter. It was the local brewery (Henley-on-Thames) where I grew up and back then I thought it was the pinnacle of beer. Of course, it’s now just twiggy and in danger of disappearing altogether - the brewery in Henley shut down years ago, it moved to Hobgoblin’s brewery in Witney and is in danger of being phased out as Hobgoblin step up their production.

I drink it when I’m in town because Henley has a paucity of craft pubs - there’s Lovibonds, but it just doesn’t cut the mustard any more. I live in nearby Reading, where we have Siren, Wild Weather, Elusive, Double Barreled and some fine craft beer places - BrewDog, ZeroDegrees, Fox and Hounds, Greyfriar, Castle Tap, Fisherman’s Cottage and a first rate bottle shop in The Grumpy Goat.

The memories though - drinking cheeky pints under age in The Three Tuns, rugby and the smell of deep heat, smoky chatter with my Dad, times with my brother, cheeky scoops before Sunday lunch. Really happy memories too.


Thanks for sharing. the memories. :slight_smile:


Occasionally, when I used to visit San Antonio, Texas, I’d grab a Lone Star beer.

I don’t know why, other than nostalgia. It’s awful, and I don’t even like beer.


Not necessarily nostalgia related, but what does everyone do if they end up at a bar/restaurant that only has cheap/mass market beer on offer, but they want to have a beer? For me that means things like Molson, Labatt, Moosehead, Carling, Budweiser…

If it’s available, I will always go with Labatt 50 (not Blue, Blue tastes horrible to me). It’s surprisingly the only one those cheap beers that I find I can get any enjoyment out of.


Do places in the US always have Guinness? The only places in the UK I’ve seen without it are those that are going for more discerning customers, so they replace it with a different stout (often Titanic).


I don’t know about the U.S. In Canada, most places have Guinness, but not necessarily the simplest sports bar type places. If they do, then that’s definitely my first choice.


It helps if you never ever go to sports bars.


99% of places you can drink in Japan will only have basic lagers on offer. If I can’t drink a good beer, it makes no difference to me, so Asahi, Sapporo, Yebisu, Suntory… whatever they have (and frequently it will only be a choice between the low-malt-tax-dodge lager or regular lager from one brewery, so there really isn’t any choice).

Or I’ll order nihonshu (sake).


Sapporo is a funny one in Canada. You can find it at some surprising bars for pretty cheap, because it’s a domestic beer here. Sapporo in Canada is brewed at the Sleeman Brewery in Guelph, Ontario- Sleeman being a pretty cheap beer. I don’t know about pricing and availability down south, but Sapporo in the U.S. is also a domestic beer brewed in Wisconsin (Sapporo also owns the previously American Anchor Brewery).


It’s not a common occurrence, but sometimes it’s the only option in very small towns.


Oh, I hear ya. I’m just at a point in my life where there is no potential reward great enough to make me walk into a loud smelly room full of loud smelly dudes watching other, overpaid, loud smelly dudes play stupid corporate professional sports on wall-to-wall TVs. I don’t care how good the beer might be.


Well, my favorite bar in Boston is the Cask 'n Flagon (corner of Brookline and Lansdowne, next door to Fenway Park) which is rated the Best Baseball Bar in the US. Different strokes, etc. :beer::baseball:


I think this was explained here before? (I can’t find it, sorry, all! I’d put in a link, but I’ve scrolled back to 2017 and back, I may have simply missed it.)

I’ve heard it from others, too, but it’s still confusing to me.

I can’t quite wrap my head around it. What is going on with this?

(EDIT: we have other odd issues here in Florida, and I have a friend in Okinawa with antiquated laws as well)


In Japan, “beer” is quite strictly defined, and heavily taxed. One way to make beer that doesn’t count as beer for tax purposes is to use very little malt, so it gets classed as “(an) effervescent alcohol(ic drink)”. Or so I understand it. I’m far from an expert.

Many foreign beers get classed as effervescent alcohol for this reason, but the import taxes mean consumers don’t see any benefit from this.


Do you know why that is? Is it simply something that got written in and never has been dealt with? I know you aren’t an expert, but you’re the closest person I know to being one.

We have weird laws, too, in Florida. Mostly, everything has to come in a very specific volume. So we can’t get beer from other states or countries unless they are in a particularly sized can or bottle. They can be larger or smaller, but not in between.

It’s a ridiculous holdover from prohibition, although they’ve been (slowly) winding down on these rules for years, mostly because of the strong culture of craft and micro-breweries that have sprung up here since the early 1990s.


A quick search on the topic reveals it is very much current law, and recently revised. For instance, in April this year the “malt requirement” to qualify as beer went from >67% to >50%.

I also just learned that a bunch of other ingredients, such as hops, will count for this requirement from October 2023, which will certainly shake things up.

Currently, looking at a 350 ml can, 42% of the cost to the consumer is tax for beer, 36% for effervescent alcohol, and 27% for some other classification I don’t understand. That’s… a lot.

However, when the 2023 law kicks in, this contrast is going to be evened out at the same time. So, less tax for beer, but more stuff qualifying as beer.

…I’d research more, but my daughter is now up and about.


Thanks, that was really interesting!

5 more years to go!

(PS: have fun with her today, my friend. I’m fixing to go to bed soon :grin:)