So far, a day and a half of wandering around Canada's coolest downtown. Walking up and over and around an iced hill. Shopping with family. Forced marches in search of tea and Converse. I am struck how there is such availability of what I want to call table beer. A perfectly good jug of decent ale that adds but does not distract. Something that is easy drinking and balanced. But then I read this entirely backhanded inversion of a beer review and I get confused:
...basically the same hue as that very cheap, very terrible rose wine that makes your teeth ache... the first sip is a pleasant surprise: this beer has a decidedly dry, hoppy character, rounded out by a touch of fruitiness. It's a great drink for anyone who finds IPAs punishingly bitter, as I often do — the grape must adds a complexity and gentle sweetness that smooth out some of an IPA's sharp corners, transforming it into something reminiscent of a Belgian trippel. It's easy drinking and balanced.
With reviews like that, who needs condemnations? Yet "easy drinking and balanced" has its place. The milder beer. The less annoying beer. There must be a name for these. Table beer? Dinner ales? These sorts of names have been used before for the beer you want when the beer you are told you should like fails. I have had too many failures recently. The beer from the brand new gypsy brewer that turns out to be a contract brewer who lacks confidence to the degree everything is about the weird added ingredient or that's just a muddle of three hops pushed into a space that would barely fit two. They make no sense. Beers of Annoyance. BOAs. That's what they are.
What is the opposite of a BOA? The beer you wished your friends who lack all pretense would stock their fridge with? There has to be a better name than that. Sure we would all say "easy drinking and balanced" but there has to be a better way to describe them than that.