Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Disney Beer of the Week - Bohemia

You've just wrapped up your Future World touring.  Your hair is all messy from the high speed loop on Test Track. After you make it across the long pathway towards the World Showcase Lagoon, you have two choices. Left or right. I say go left. Why? I'm thirsty. I want a flavorful beer, that is crisp, slightly bitter, dry, and refreshing. I want a Bohemia. The pride of Moravia made in Mexico.

Three reasons I love this beer.

1. It is a great Czech/Bohemian Pilsner. It showcases the Czech Saaz hop's floral and spicy peppery aroma and flavor.  Its supported by just enough body and bready malt flavors to balance, yet remains highly drinkable.

2. I can't buy it anywhere exept at the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. I'm not sure who distributes this beer, but it is not available in South Florida. It is also head and shoulders above the other beer selections available at the pavilion.

3. It is the perfect beer to start a beer journey around World Showcase. There is not one overwhelming flavor, and it keeps your palate fresh for                                                        the rest of the afternoon.

Please, don't put a lime in this beer. At least try a few sips without it if you must. Those limes are for beers with offensive aromas and flavors. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones in clear and green bottles?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rose & Crown Pub

I must preface this post first with the fact that I am obsessed with beer, brewing beer, and beer culture.  I'm also a big fan of Disney Parks. One place where two of my interests intersect is The Rose & Crown in Epcot. This is a favorite spot of many WDW enthusiasts, including my old man and family. So I've spent a few afternoons here sipping on less than stellar $8 pints of beers I can find for $2 at any gas station.

The Rose & Crown has a great exterior, atmosphere, scenic view, air conditioning, and pretty tasty food. One category where it falls completely below the mark, beer. The United Kingdom has one of the richest brewing traditions, and boasts some of the best beer made in the world. What can we find at R&C? Mass produced, industrial, nearly flavorless beer.

Our options:

Bass Ale: Once a great beer. Unfortunately, after being acquired by AB InBev, this beer has been stripped of most of its appreciable qualities. What's left is a mostly bland, usually stale beer, with very subtle positive qualities. This beer may still be drinkable in the UK, but does not travel across the pond well. 

UPDATE: The last pint I had wasn't half bad. Maybe the it was a fresh keg. Maybe it was the jalepeno margaritas. Who knows. I still don't like supporting AB InBev.

Boddington's: Yellow Guinness, without the roasted flavors. Creamy with a slight biscuity taste. If you want a easy drinkin' glass of nitrogen, this Bod's for you. Usually my first choice here. Drinkable, but $8?! Eh, whatever, I'm on vacation. 

Guinness Stout: I've probably had thousands of these in my beer drinking career. Beautiful appearance, highly drinkable, probably the best choice out of all available. Still a very subtle flavor masked by nitrogen. Pasteurization leaves this beer tasting like cardboard. All that foam does a decent job of hiding this.

Hoegaarden: A belgian beer. In the UK pavilion. Designed by Pierre Celis the man responsible for reviving the nearly extinct Whit beer style. Then commoditized into a mass market ordinary beer not too offensive for the world's Bud Miller Coors drinkers. Skip this, and when you get a chance, pick up a St. Bernardus Whit. True to Pierre's original recipe.

Stella Artois: Again, belgian. Skip this and go to Germany for a Radeberger Pils.

Harp: Budweiser anyone?

Possible Substitutes:

Fullers London Pride: At 4.7% alcohol, bursting with delicious english toasty and caramelly malt flavors and accented by a beautifull floral and citrus hop bite. Can't think of anything else I'd rather drink on an August afternoon in Epcot.

Black Sheep Ale - An authentic Yorkshire Bitter. Great biscuity malt
flavors with a kiss of fruity and herbal hop goodness. Tremendously drinkable. Available in most good beer bars/stores in FL.

Anything by Samuel Smiths: Not my favorite, but a big improvement over the current selection. Widely available and recognizable to a decent sized crowd.

There should be at least one or two beers representative of the fantastic beers from the UK. Nothing on the menu even comes close. Hopefully this changes sometime soon. I'm not asking for much. Just one beer that is worthy of one hour of minimum wage labor.

Here is my main gripe. There is an extensive collection of scotch. At least one that any scotch drinker would enjoy. But beer? Bah, its all the same right?