I‘m going to level with you. It has happened on occasion that I find myself the recipient of a free beer or two.
I know I rather publicly denounced the practice of giving away free beer once, but that was in instances where breweries were clearly providing incentives to licensees so that they would sell their beer, and in this instance it involves me getting the free beer, so it’s totally different…
Having said that, I’m not unaware that the folks who are nice enough to drop off beer for me are often hoping for a little social media love in exchange and it’s often the case that I don’t provide the goods. This can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes I keep my mouth shut about beer I don’t love, adhering to the old “it’s better to say nothing at all” adage for the odd time a generally good brewery strikes out. Sometimes I honestly just like a beer so much that I guzzle it down before I remember to take some notes. And sometimes I just plain forget.
Mostly though, it’s this: I don’t like beer reviews.
There. I said it.
Firstly, I don’t like doing them because I’m not all that good at them. I mean, I like to think I’ve come to know a thing or two about beer, but I still don’t have the know-how or vocabulary to talk about what’s going on in my glass like say Jordan St. John does. I also just don’t like the nitty-gritty of analyzing the look, smell, and feel of my beer as much as some others do and I simply can’t approach the task of reviewing beer with the clear enthusiasm that people like Chris Schryer do.
Finally, as I’m generally of the opinion that you should probably just drink whatever the hell you like, I don’t really see why anyone would want to read my in-depth analysis of something they may experience in a totally different way.
So that’s why I don’t often post beer reviews.
Having said that, I do tend to taste all the beer I drink with some degree of awareness, and I frequently document the process–sometimes with the hopes I’ll one day post my thoughts and sometimes just because I drink beer more critically these days. What this means though is that I have an iphone full of pictures of beer and scribbled notes with phrases like “toasted malt” and “caramel backbone” that ultimately don’t end up anywhere because I dislike beer reviews for the reasons outlined above.
So, with an eye to unloading some of those pictures and sharing my thoughts on some recent (and some not so recent) beers I’ve tasted, I thought I’d dump seven reviews on you at once. And, in order to make the process slightly more entertaining for myself and hopefully more interesting than my reviews typically would be, I thought I’d present those reviews in haiku form.
Sidenote: It shouldn’t be assumed that the beers here were given to me for free. Some of these brewers have probably given me freebies, while some, notably, never fucking giving me any free shit even though I talk up their fucking beer all the time.
Sidenote two: Isn’t it a delicious irony that I’ve taken such a long-winded approach to introducing a post featuring a poetry form that’s meant to emphasize brevity?
OK, here we go.
Bellwoods Brewery’s Motley Cru.
I never loved sour
It simply was not for me
Beer snobs seek Belgians
but few would know to head here.
Mill Street? Yes! Surprise!
Junction Craft Brewing Millennium Ale
A nice little ale
from those folks in the Junction.
Do they still make it??
Granville Island English Bay Pale Ale
I like my pale ales bitter.
Best to take a pass.
Creemore Springs UrBock
Subtle and ruby,
Roasted and nicely balanced.
Molson owns this? Wow.
Great Lakes Brewery’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout
Fantastic beer, man!
This one needs to come back soon.
What a long name, though.
Indie Alehouse’s It Takes Two to Mango Saison
I don’t love saisons.
I don’t love fruit beer either.
This, however? Gold.