So, what is not real beer? The “Great American Beers” and other knockoffs such as…Miller Lite, Budweiser, and the worst, Coors Light.
The latter “Great American” brands are crap, they’re not brewed how real beer is supposed to be brewed. Remember these two words: “adjunct grains.” Used by the Great American Brewers, adjunct grains are ingredients such as corn and rice that act as substitutes for malted barley when brewing beer. This is done in order to cut costs. The problem with adjunct grains is that they are fully fermentable, which means that all of the sugar (which is broken down malted barley) is eaten by the yeast. When all of the sugar is eaten up by the yeast, a very thin body (the thickness of the beer) is produced. Because the beer body is so thin, only a small amount of hops can be used, which leaves the beer with a very dull taste. I understand what these brewing companies are doing from a business standpoint. They know that people will buy whatever they put out there. Nonetheless, I really could give a damn how successful the GA companies are. You deserve a real beer.
1. Warsteiner – Brewed just outside of Warstein, Germany since 1753, this brand is made within the accordance of the German Purity Law of 1516. This law states that a beer must be brewed only using water, malted barley, and hops (using yeast to make beer was discovered after the law was written). You can buy a Warsteiner Premium Verum (a smoother, lighter beer) and a Warsteiner Dunkel (a thicker, dark beer with a malty taste) in several local alcohol retailers. Both beers sport a satisfying 4.8% alcohol content.
2. Delirium Tremens – A strong pale ale that was first squeezed out on December 26, 1989 (a late but great Christmas present to the world). It’s a Belgian brew that is made from three different kinds of yeast. Imported from the city of Melle, Delirium Tremens is a bit harder to find in America. However, this beer has a whopping 8.5% alcohol level and is a former winner of the “Best Beer in the World” title at the 1998 World Beer Championships, making it well worth the search (believe me, I’ve had one before).
3. Gordon Biersch Marzen – This beer can be found on draft at your local Gordon Biersch (a fast growing restaurant/German style brewery chain) as well as bottled for sale in several liquor stores around America. Originally brewed in Bavaria, Marzen is a traditional Oktoberfest style lager characterized by an amber color and a medium body. This is Gordon Biersch’s most popular beer, likely because it has such a perfect balance of hop and malt to its taste (making it more accessible to the masses). Additionally, the Gordon Biersch Marzen has a very smooth finish with a caramel malt aftertaste. This beer has an impressive 5.8% alcohol level.