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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Session #21 -- My Favorite Beer

It's The Session, beer blogging on a common topic, and this month it's "What is your favorite beer and why." See all the links soon here at A World of Brews.

You've got to be kidding me. I don't have a "favorite" anything. Despite Matt C. saying "BS everyone has a favorite", well, I don't. I don't have a favorite beer, a favorite whiskey, a favorite restaurant or brewpub, a favorite cheese, a favorite movie -- actually, there's a good example of why I don't do favorites. Let's go with it.

Say I had a favorite movie [beer]. I'd own [stock] that movie [beer] on DVD [in a kegerator], and I'd watch [drink] it, what? Three times a week [day]? Good God, how soon would I be bored senseless [bored senseless] by it. No, instead, we joined Netflix [go to the local beer bar] and we watch [drink] different movies [beers] all the time. And sometimes we watch [drink] an old favorite again -- like The Quiet Man [Augustiner Maximator] or Big Trouble in Little China [Tröegs Nugget Nectar] -- but not that often.

Get it? The thing I love about the beer scene in Pennsylvania, America, the world is that I can get a lot of different beers, almost whenever I want them. If not one particular beer, well, something like it -- or something completely different that I may find I like as much or more. A lot like Netflix, which is the multitap beer bar equivalent to Blockbuster's JAFSB. My favorite beer is a different beer. Doesn't mean I don't like repeating -- I remember the first night I got a glass of Philly Pale Ale I liked it so much I had three more -- but I don't get stuck in a rut either. Even when I go to Düsseldorf and get stuck into an all-day session at Uerige or Schlüssel -- oh, happy days -- you know...I come home, and have a HopDevil, or an Old Heathen, or a Stoudt's Pils, or a Walt Wit.

BS? I don't think so. Just too ornery to go along with The Session this month? Well... maybe.


Rob said...

Too ornery? Looking at the other posts, doesn't look like you're alone. Of course, maybe we're all just ornery. I blame DST.

Bill said...

Hmm. One one hand, I question your premises (Premisses? Apparently, you're being questioned by an idiot!). I have a favorite movie, but I don't watch it all the time to the point of getting sick of it -- I probably see it every couple of years. I have a favorite book, and am gratified to know that, every five years or so, it remains my favorite book upon re-reading. So having a favorite beer would not necessarily mean continous consumption of it.

But on the other hand, I couldn't come up with my favorite beer.

Then on the third hand (see? You're being questioned by an idiot), I realized as I typed all this out that I do have a favorite beer. On the fourth hand, if I had access to other brews that I like, would it still be my favorite?

So, my fifth hand slaps me, tells me not to worry about it, and enjoy whatever brew it grabs tonight.

Lew Bryson said...

We prefer "eejit," but I hear you!

But if it's your favorite beer...why wouldn't you want to drink it all the time? My son's favorite meal is chili...but he likes salmon and meatloaf and enchiladas, too.

I guess I'm befuddled by the whole idea of a "favorite" anything. I like a lot of stuff. I love my wife, but that's different: I don't love a good hoagie like I love her!

Anonymous said...

My favorite beer is Rochefort 10. I had one about 4 months ago and bought another bottle yesterday. I'll leave it around until the mood is just right. Until then I'll drink whatever I feel like or is available.

DempseysArmy said...

You said it so much better than I. Guess that's why you get paid the big bucks! :-)

Bill said...

"But if it's your favorite beer...why wouldn't you want to drink it all the time?"

Well, in my case, I _would_ want to drink it all the time, but that doesn't mean I'd exclude other brews nor does it mean I don't have the ability to manage long term consumption so that I wouldn't burn out on it. I was trying to show in my first post that your premiss/premise of burning out on your favorite is false -- if you had a favorite movie, one would presume you wouldn't then watch it to the point of diminishing returns, and one would also presume you'd still be watching other movies. If you had a favorite beer, you'd take steps not to burn out on it, and you'd still seek out and enjoy other brews.

My favorite beer is Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Well, unless it's Long Trail Double Bag. I've had the chance to drink Arrogant B regularly, and am always amazed by its depth of flavours and its level of satisfaction. If I lived in a state where I could always have some on hand, i would. But I wouldn't drink it or anything I love to the point of overkill.

Lew Bryson said...

Yeah, Bill, but I've got a problem with the whole concept. I don't buy "favorite" and I don't buy ratings. I mean, when I do tasting notes, all I'm really saying is "I liked/didn't like this beer/whiskey, and here's why; you might like/not like it too." I've tried to move away from the whole best/favorite thing; that's a large part of why I stopped doing my "best of" list on my website.

"Current" favorite, maybe. But even that...nah. I like too many things. Favorite seems like a crutch to me, like "I found my fave, I can stop thinking now!" I'd rather keep looking.

Alan said...

I am with you, Lew. "Favorite" in a rich experience of life, this veil of tears and roller coaster of joys, is one of the least useful notions going.

Anonymous said...

I took a pass on this month's Session for the same reasons you and Alan and Jay note. Hell, I can't pick a favourite beer for an evening, much less a life. Ditto whisky, wine, music, works of art, cuts of beef...

Thanks to all the bloggers who weren't shy about pointing out the absurdity of this month's subject.

The American Don said...

Easy, my favorite beer is "the next one". I look forward to trying the next beer even more than my highest rated beers.

As long as some chump brewer doesn't call his next Saisson "the next one", I should be good to go.

Matthew D Dunn said...

I went a little crazy with this one.

Lew Bryson said...

This is "I drink, therefore I am," right?

Thanks for the exposition (not to mention the compliments). I didn't really mean that having a "favorite beer" would preclude drinking any other beers, that's taking it too far. But reasoning that you'd have to not drink your favorite beer too often in order for it to remain your favorite seems a bit contrived.

I realize my recent "Top Ten" lists here on the blog undercut this position to some extent, although I do note that they are unranked within the ten-count. (And I'm way behind on those lists...but who cares? It's my schedule, and if I don't have a good Top Ten list, why make one up?)

Does it weaken my argument to say I have a number of beers I consider favorites? Actually, that's where Matthew's epistemological argument comes into play. The ranking is too difficult, too hard to exercise with precision. I do what humans do: the best I can. Then I do what I do: I'm happy with it, and move on, and have a drink.

acmtg said...

There are a dozen or so beers that I would give consideration to as my favorite, but for me it really comes down to nostalgia. Actually, I think that's a great way to do it.

What was the beer that got you into beer? What beers are standbys when you get together with your best beer buddies? It's really all about what a beer means to you. If a good brew can stimulate the memory as well as the taste buds, that counts for a lot.