Roundtable Discussion: The Most Overrated Beer in the History of the Universe (So Far)
Obviously all of us are mindless sheep without the brain power to keep from drooling on ourselves, let alone form our own opinions about whether or not a beer is good. Well, not all of us are high functioning idiots, just you, the public, are. Here at J Street, we are experts with the most exquisite taste and the fairest minds for judging the rest of society. However, we use our extreme powers only to further the greater good of society. That is the purpose of these round table discussions: so that you, the public, can see what it is like when the gods disagree in Valhalla. Also, we have one track minds and that track is beer. Choo-choo! Beer train coming through! May it’s headlight guide us out of this cave of ignorance.
This week we are discussing the most overrated beers. We are going to define overrated as popular and/or pricey beers that people keep buying, keep ordering, and presumably yet incomprehensibly keep drinking. The topic was my idea and it came to me when I was waiting for Pyzocha and Shintern at RFD. While I was quietly enjoying a pint of Eliot Ness, a middle aged couple comes in and tries to order. I will recreate their conversation perfectly from memory
Boring Old White Guy “Helen, this place is terrific! They have Sam Adams on tap. Have you ever tried it? It is wonderful!”
Stretchfaced Botox Bitch “I don’t know, Harold. Do they have Stella? I don’t see any beers that are as good as Stella. Oh barkeep! Do you have any beers on tap that taste like Stella? Have you ever heard of such a beer you plebeian!”
Then I stabbed both of them with my lazer eyes and they died horrible painful deaths and are now spending eternity in Hell. END SCENE
Ok, I hate fancy pants beers. Well, I hate sissy beers. And I really hate Blue Moon. Why? Because I like it. It makes me feel like I am having brunch with Charlotte and Samantha after a walk of shame through Central Park. This is not how I want beer to make me feel. I want beer to make me feel like I have been chopping wood all day or I just got back from a sniper mission where I laid under mangrove roots in a fucking swamp breathing out of a straw for 14 goddamn hours and never even saw my target because of piss poor goddamn faulty intelligence. Fucking spooks, they don’t know shit! And Blue Moon doesn’t taste good, so much as it tastes refreshing. And a fucking orange? What the fuck, I want a beer not a salad. Why are you drinking that you fucking Grad Student? Does it make your poetry better?
My choice for the most overrate beer would have to be Guinness Stout. This “stout” has such bland and mild flavors I believe it is called a stout merely because it is dark. All I can think of when I head “Guinness” is a bunch of drunks on St. Patrick’s Day asking for one with the clover in the head. There are easily hundreds of better stouts than this most famous stout; ones that have actual robust flavors and some body! I think The Simpsons got it right when they called Guinness a combination of bog water and chocolate syrup. This beer is definitely not worth the wait for a slow pour.
That stout is pretty flimsy! (Get it?!!)
Stella Artois. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a horrible beer but certainly isn’t worth $6-8. I have a “Pretentious Beer List” that is made up of beers that are overpriced, low quality, over-hyped, mostly foreign, and usually ordered to talk about some study-abroad/vacation/soul-searching trip to another country where they consistently drank the highest quality of beers. Stella Artois is close to the top of that list, especially since it is seen as a shit beer in other countries (it sold for a pound and 35 pence a pint at the student union and a pound fifty at the cheap bars). In the UK, people use it for Shandies (50% lager 50% sprite/7-up); here, people order it, drink it down, and proceed to cough-up bull shit — all while paying $6-8 at a normal bar. I would be frightened to know how much one might cost at a club, wine bar, or lounge.
Pull up a seat friend, let me tell you about the time my gran-gran paid for me to go to Europe for a semester. Crazy times! You had to be there!
I would vote for Newcastle Brown as my most overrated beer. I wholeheartedly agree with other picks that have been made, but throughout college I found that Newcastle was heralded as the beer-drinker’s perfect solution to paying too much for good beer. True, it was better than Natty Light. And it wasn’t as expensive as a legitimately nice beer. But I was always puzzled by the hype that some people created around Newcastle. I find that it lacks any sort of real weight or flavor that one should be able to expect in a good brown. Even for the price, I think there are far better beers that are equally accessible.
Hey bro! My student loans are in. Let’s have a good beer night. No, a really good beer night!
Heineken. Why is Heineken considered a “good beer”? The only good answer I have for it is product placement and advertising.
You can find Heineken almost anywhere, most restaurants carry it. It’s a pale lager, that doesn’t have a lot going for it. It’s basically a fancier way of saying Coors. It’s not good.
I consider Heineken to be the Budweiser of the Netherlands. Basically a boring beer that if you can get the name out and get it to stick, you’ll be okay.
Their marketing is what makes them. The beer comes in nice green bottles and they stand out compared to everything else, which in this case is quite possibly the worst thing you can do to a beer besides clear bottles. Then you can get it in a mini keg, which Krups has made a fancy dispenser for, that really only dispenses Heineken products (and a few others that decided to throw their hat in the ring). Many people use Heineken as the fall-back good beer. Why? Because it has an easily mispronounced name? It’s crap.
Plus Heineken is the official beer of Chelsea FC, so double fuck Heineken.
From here a mention of PBR lead to a discussion to what overrated and/or overhyped actually mean. The discussion was not resolved Red Stripe was also mentioned as deserving a place on the overrated shelf. Anyway, overrated beers suck and vex me. BEERS! PROPERLY RATE YOURSELVES FROM NOW ON!