Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Five Summer Beers video


After the way CBS screwed the pooch with their silly "Five Best Beers Made in America" poof piece (as I commented on FaceBook, "I have not seen this clueless a set of comments about beer from a wine person in years. I really thought we were making progress...clearly I was wrong."), I opened a link to a TIME magazine video about "Five Beers To Try This Summer" with some trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised: this is so much better than the CBS coprolite I can't even quantify it. Have a look; nicely done.

17 comments:

Greg said...

Of course, it helps when you ask someone who knows about beer, rather than assuming that a background in wine makes you an expert on all things fermented.

Lew Bryson said...

Amazing the difference that makes...and how simple the idea is!

Bryan Kolesar said...

Seems like a big difference can be in doing some homework ahead of time (i.e. finding a reputable venue/establishment and talking with someone knowledgable) and then letting the expert do most of the talking (i.e. non-expert interviewer goes mostly to the background instead of trying to be too much a part of the segment). Nice find...

Chris said...

And ABV listings for each beer...

jp said...

curious why you thought it was a poof piece. those 5 beers are all pretty good no? and arguing which are the best beers in America or anywhere is really just semantics anyway right? I mean those beers are as good as any to throw up there as the best. Maybe to sophisticated beer aficionados (geekerei) those beers might seem a little mundane/out fashion but to the general public (which is as you know CBS early edition's audience )these beers are all pretty darn good. If you do not like his commentary/tasting notes I guess that is something else. But I do not really pay much attention to those anyway. For instance I usually check the bottom line to see if you like a beer or not full stop, that and the alcohol volume are usually enough for me to order a beer that you write on. PS I know you are going through a very difficult time, from my experience with the same situation keeping engaged helped a lot so a little more blogging in 2h 2010 might be a good thing.

Lew Bryson said...

jp,
First, all five beers are from Oregon. ALL FIVE. And as my friends in Oregon have said, they're not even the five best beers in Oregon. It's not that they're mundane, it's that to call them the "Best in America" is just silly when they don't represent anything but a thin slice of American craft brewing. The commentary was abyssmal, a throwback.
I'll do what I can about the blogging. Sorry to have been delinquent.

jp said...

yeah 5 beers from oregon that is pretty dumb ok forget what i said

Bryan Kolesar said...

I get that the whole thing was focused on this concept where they picked a city/region called Beervana and wanted to theme the piece around it. And, yeah fine, they had to pick five beers and maybe they purposely chose five that don't get a lot of mainstream press (except the Widmer and the Dead Guy, perhaps) or maybe they just randomly chose five...whatever. Five best? Well that's another topic for another day.

I was a little more miffed by the sweeping and casual, dumbed-downed, not very helpful comments about how to pair the food. Now, I take pairing suggestions sometimes with a grain of salt, depending from whom the recommendation is coming. I'm betting, though, with this wine guy that if you were to read a wine review from him and his suggested food pairing, you'd see some very specific, detailed instructions how to go about the pairing.

But instead, here we get "grilled seafood, raw oysters, that sort of thing" ('that sort of thing', eh? so, basically anything from the sea prepared either raw or grilled?!), "chicken, potato chips, pretzels, you name it" (the first three have nothing to do with each other, so 'you name it' basically means just about anything you want, right?!), "ales are ideal burger wines" ('wines'? was that a typo or a cute cross-reference?), "anything from fried shrimp to french fries" (easy, too easy. anything? fried ice cream?), and "sausages, ribs, that kind of thing" ('that kind of thing' again? again, leaving the options wide, wide open).

I realize, I do, that we sometimes go to great extremes and over complicate and sophisticate the topic of beer and food pairings, but I think it's one more than worth pursuing. But, for newcomers that need assistance with it, simply saying that you can just about do anything you want because palates vary and no one is right or wrong can leave people just as hopelessly confused as before they began.

Instead, to better help people learn about beer and potential food pairings, how about we try: "try pairing Scallop & Potato Chowder with Flying Fish Oyster Stout", "try pairing Carrot Cake with an IPA", "try pairing Wild Game & Mushroom Lasagna with De Proef Saison", "try pairing Victory Abbey 6 with Spicy Glazed Ham", and "try pairing Watermelon Gazpacho with Cape Ann cask-conditioned IPA".

p.s. these were all previously recommended on The Brew Lounge :-D
p.p.s. sorry for the long comment
p.p.p.s. now I'm finished
seriously.

Lew Bryson said...

Wouldn't have minded as much if it was "Five Best Beers in Oregon" (well, okay, I would have, because that's just silly), but they said they were the best in the country. Asinine.
And the food "pairings"? I'm writing an article right now on just how bad that was.

Joe said...

Much nicer piece, but - what's a hefeweizer? (@ 2:07)

;)

Lew Bryson said...

I noticed that too. I think the name confused 'em.

Gary Gillman said...

So often still there is the idea of beer as a drink to go with mundane foods, or as a seasonal refresher. Even when craft beer styles are acknowledged, these old notions lives on. (Personally I think beer is no more apt to go with a burger, or ribs, than wine).

This is the view of the culture at large though; good beer and its uses are not widely understood although progress has certainly been made in the last 30 years.

Beer is still a sub-culture, unlike wine appreciation.

Gary

Bart said...

What exactly is a beer sommelier ? Why are they wearing jackets with jeans when drinking beer ? Leave it to New York to make the beer experience metrosexual. Cheers!

JohnM. said...

The CBS piece is so absurd it's difficult to get too upset about it. As a part time Portlander (still have a condo there), my initial reaction was one of embarrassment, but after reading over the article in it's entirety, it was pretty hard to take anything in it seriously.

As for Bart's (only half serious) question as to what a beer sommelier is, they function in much the same way that a restaurant wine sommelier does. The sommelier will recommend what beer might go with a particular dish, or in the alternative, might advise the aspiring beer advocate what kind of food would go with a bottle of 2008 Fred from the Wood. Just as an oh by the way, Higgins restaurant in Portland has had a beer sommelier on their staff for some years now. Not sure how much work he sees, but they do have one. :-)

Jack said...

I see that the Pony Bar uses the 12.5 ounce "pint" glass. I haven't been there yet, so I don't know if they call them "pints" on their menu. Even if they do that glass is still just not cool!

Anonymous said...

I've conquered the pairing issue in a very simple way... order the beer you want to drink and then order the meal you want to eat. perfect pairing.

Bart said...

Sorry to go on about this, but the whole piece is laughable. This whole beer nerd thing is getting out of control. The word gastropub is an oxymoron. The only food you should eat with beer is fried and covered in yellow liquid cheese. I'll satisfy Lew's fancy for Philly and give an exception for cheesesteaks, although they're too filling. If one of these jacket wearing beer sommeliers walked into San Francisco's Tornado they would be kicked out into the street by an angry barkeep. I think the joy of beer is it's simplicity and diversity.