My Favorite Beers by Donald Burger, Houston, TX
My Favorite Beers
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

Oatmeal Stout:
My favorite Oatmeal Stout is Breckenridge Brewery's Oatmeal Stout. It is from Colorado, and fairly easy to find. I usually buy mine at Specs. The beer has a nice dark color, and plenty of taste.

India Pale Ale:
This style of beer is one your friends who have not yet experienced the joy of ales will like. As ales go, it is fairly light. However, it is full of flavor. I think the BridgePort India Pale Ale is really on the mark. The label says it is floral, hoppy and delightfully complex. That is not just advertising hype. It really is complex and it really has the flavor of hops. This beer can be appreciated on many levels. The color is great, it had a wonderful bouquet and is full of taste. For those who are not yet ready to embrace stouts, this is a great beer to introduce one to what authentic ale is all about. Give it a try. I get mine at Specs.

Pale Ale:
When it comes to a regular pale ale, I think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a very good buy. It is easy to find, and has a very typical pale ale taste. This is a good beer to offer to friends who have only drunk pilsners. The beer is refreshing, has taste (but not a lot of hops) and should convince anyone that there is a world of flavor out there in the ale world. Try it.

Scotch Ale:
No contest here. McEwans Scotch Ale cannot be beat. This is what a beer should taste like. It should be drunk at slightly cooler than room temperature-and always in a glass so one can enjoy the fine color. Sadly, this stuff is not cheap-but it is perfection in a beer.

Wheat Beer:
Celis White. If you have never tried a wheat beer you should try this one from the Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas. It has a true wheat beer taste. The label says it is "Belgian Style Beer." Unfortunately, it gets cloudy when chilled, so drink it from the bottle.

Lawnmower Beers:
Mostly, I drink ales. Actually, I sip ales. One does not guzzle down an ale. One savors it. The warmer it gets, the more flavorful. Yummy. Still, there are times that you just want a refreshing brew. Like after mowing the lawn. And you want it quick. For such times, two beers are my choice. San Miguel is a pale pilsen beer from the Philippines. For a while, it was hard to find. Now you can usually find it at Specs and even at some grocery stores. It is not complex, but it is a great beer to down in under five minutes, when you are hot and the temperature is too. My other favorite "lawnmower" beer is Zima. The original flavor. I know, it's not really a "beer" but it quenches the thirst in a way Gatorade never can.

Best Pilsner:
I am not a pilsner fan. However, maybe it's because I grew up in Colorado, but I don't think you can beat Coors Banquet beer for an American pilsner.

Light Beer:
I hesitate to even discuss light beers. Still, there are times when one is forced to drink them. Like when a restaurant has nothing on the beer menu worth the calories or alcohol--but you want a beer because the wine selection is even worse. I sometimes settle for a Miller's Genuine Draft Light (MGDL for those in the know), but I prefer Amstel Light. The label claims it is a Lager with the Taste and Flavor of a Quality Imported Beer. As light beers go, it is by far the best I've had. Give it a try if you just have to have a light beer and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Canned Beer:
I don't like to drink beer sold in cans. Beer should come in bottles. Indeed, beer demands bottles. However, there is one beer that comes in a can that I heartily recommend. That beer is Guinness Draught. You find it in four can in a carton. It is not cheap. However, it is a great beer experience on every level.

Guinness has outdone itself with this beer. There is a "special Guinness 'floating widget' inside the can" that helps duplicate the draught on tap taste. I don't know how it works. I don't know if it works. I do know that the beer tastes very good.

Of course, you don't drink this beer from the can. If you do you will miss many of its virtues. What you have to do is pop the lid and pour the beer in a steady stream into the side of a tilted glass. You will notice immediately that the color of the beer changes while you are pouring. You will also notice that Guinness has managed to insure a great head on the beer.

Set the glass of beer on the table. Sit down. Stare at the beer. It will be a creamy color immediately after you pour it into the glass. But the magic starts and the beer transforms itself into a rich, dark color with the most wondrous head. Now it is ready to drink. The carton claims the beer has a "smoother, creamier taste." Guinness has it exactly right. This is a well balanced beer, that asks for slow sipping.

If you get the impression that I like this beer, you are right. Few beers can be enjoyed on so many levels. Try a four pack. I am sure the beer will impress you and anyone you are kind enough to share it with.

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