A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Brian -

I was introduced to Keith's on my first visit to my Canadian wife's (then girlfriend's) family. Decent beer, but definitely not a "real" IPA. I will definitely be looking for L'Alchimiste next time I'm up that way.

If you get a chance to try Stone IPA out of San Diego (available in most of the western US, I think) you definitely should. They also make a special IPA called "ruination" that is a must-try for a true hophead.

Alan -

I think I have had most of the Stone products and I got a good shot of the IPA from the deck as I listened to the Yanks and Sox play last September.

Marc Belanger -

Skunky smell/taste is a reaction between light and hops. Pretty much like Al Keith's IPA, using clear bottles is bad marketing, it spoils the beer almost instantly. I can't understand why their marketing is based on the distinctive quality of the beer and they spoil it right up front using the worst bottle you can put a beer in...

J -

my friends back home in northern ireland acquired a taste for keiths on a trip over here while visiting ontario. the problem was they could never remember the name(probably from too much keith's the night before) and everytime they would go into the beer store they would ask 'give us a pack of kevin's' which would result in the guys at the counter staring at them in confusion as they went 'kevin's, kevin's, give us some kevin's'

justin hale -

I find it funny that folks are comparing Sleeman's to Stone and claiming that Stone is a "real" IPA, so to speaks.

The problem here, is that most folks drink IPA's that are brewed in the U.S. They've taken the style added more hops to it than any other culture on record. The U.S. makes unbelievably hoppy IPA's compared to alot of the other's you'll encounter.

Try some IPA's from Europe and you'll see what I mean. Most of them tend to be more balanced and not relying on the hops as much as their American counterparts. I'd recommend Samuel Smith's, Fuller's and Belhaven to start.

The Belhaven will give you that same smoked flavor you spoke of in the Sleeman's. Plenty of caramel, too. But a good beer none the less.

I do love my American IPA's, though.

Frank -

Thanks. I always wondered why Alexander Keiths Pale Ale resemble more Labatts that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Now can someone explain why most British 'Bitters' like Boddingtons are creamy, while Sleeman Cream Ale resembles Heinekin.

blork -

It is true that the "american way" is generally to take a good idea (e.g., hoppy IPAs) and to double it to make it "twice as good!" I like bitters, but I do find the super hoppy North American IPAs to be like novelty brews. Thanks for the tip, Justin -- I will look for those English IPAs to try.

The glass bottle things is, as Marc says, pretty silly. Sleeman got an award for "packaging" based on those bottles, but that was based entirely on visuals aesthetics, not on the beer itself.

Keith's is an OK beer for a Canadian domestic. I'm not knocking it. But I do find it amusing that a bunch of blokes from Northern Ireland took a liking to it. That's like hearing about a group of Italians coming to Toronto and declaring that Kraft Dinner is delicioso! But then, just because someone is from the UK doesn't necessarily mean they have refined taste in beer. When I was in London last August, most of the native blokes I hung out with drank Kronenbourg and Heineken at the pub! (Again, decent beers, but not what you'd expect English blokes to be sipping!)

Alan -

As you can imagine, I like both the UK and US versions of the IPA. Some of the eastern US bombs are less bombastic than the west coasters but they are all bigger than UK. I see them as three separate styles - or maybe more if you start counting double IPAs.

Mike -

Sometime in the mid-80s, I owned a then-nifty digital watch into which you could program contact name/number info for display. I think it gave you 8 contact slots.

I used one of them to write "KEITHS PLEASE" which I could display to bartenders in noisy pubs. Will occasionally purchase Keiths these days, but not often.