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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Craig -


Dig that crazy scene man. It ain't no plastic reaction Madison Avenue junk. Don't brew me no brew with artificial bubble, man!

By the way I had to learn the UC Natural Carbonation Beer Song as a rite of passage, on the RIT swim team, back in college.

Laurence -


Love your images of sweet, especially a "tiny round corner" to play off other things. It is exactly what I noticed when I came back to Anchor Steam recently after many years, this small but noticeable treat of sweet at the end. And it got me thinking: the hint of sweet bookending an unmistakable hit of hops and less than 5% alcohol makes this a beer to quench the thirst on a hot day and to compliment most meals throughout the year – all without losing your wits too quickly. Hence, a really great “regular” beer.

Gary Gillman -

Alan: as someone whose beer days started before the craft brew era, I have always retained a fondness for some old-style beers, e.g., a fresh Molson Export on draft is one such. Glad to see you can enjoy an old-timer without automatically inveighing against corn and rice and such. In truth, some of these beers were decent and people liked them. Matt's Brewing goes back to to the 1800's, I respect that tradition. Next time you are in the market area of the brewery, look for Maximus Super, a 1970's-era malt liquor lauded by Michael Jackson at the time. I heard they still make it. Or the cream ale. The Saranac line is the new school but the old is not without interest. A new school-old schooler is Saranac Black Forest, which I learned not long ago is the old Prior Double Dark under a different name.



Pok -

I propose that if you can't get it on tap within a 5 minute drive from wherever you are right now it aint regular beer. And so one man's regular is another's exotic. And the grass is always greener and so on.

Alan -

You must have shares in a cane sugar plantation.

Pok -

Not yet but some market research is imminent.

The Professor -

I'm with you, Alan.
Like Gary G., my love of good beer goes back to the years before the era of so called "craft brew". (I use the quotes only because i know for a fact, from tasting them back in the day, that many such brews existed 40-50 years ago...you just had to seek them out).

Even as I was a devoted fan of the ultra hoppy, year long aged, and much missed masterpiece that was the original Ballantine IPA, I definitely agree that beers with a somewhat maltier palate do not seem to get nearly the respect that they deserve, especially these days with the current fad of "how much hop intensity can we pack into this bottle" and showing little regard for balance.

My turning point came probably 25 years ago with my first taste of Traquair House Ale, with all of its luscious malty goodness, and ever since, the warming mellowness of a malt forward and well aged strong ale has delighted me as much as the puckeringly hopped brews did in the past. A nicely balanced malt forward brew arguably shows off the skills of the brewer much more than the average hop bomb, methinks.

The venerable hop has, I'm afraid, become somethng of an "easy way out" for the new breed of brewer lacking the traditional skill set and training of the master brewers of years gone by.