July 2007

Monthly Archive

Oh no, not Sex and Beer!

Posted by on 09 Jul 2007 | Tagged as: Beer News

rubbel2.jpgThere is, it seems, a beer called Rubbel Sexy Lager that features labels decorated with scantly clad sex kittens whom, with a coin and a bit of scratch-off effort, you can undress to reveal their stunningly desirable female naughty bits. Because of this, it’s been pulled off the market.

In a newspaper interview, the head of industry regulator The Portman Group said, “Some people might think this is harmless fun but there is a serious issue involved. The industry has set itself strict marketing rules and this drink has fallen short of those high standards.”

Excuse me? Hello? We are talking about the beer industry here, right? Or have I somehow stumbled off into an alternate dimension? Has the Portman Group ever seen a Superbowl ad? In the news reports they claim they fear the name of the beer and the scantily-clad model could lead drinkers to associate the product with sexual success. Is that not what just about every single TV beer commercial would have you believe?

I am calling this a case of out-and-out hypocrisy.

It’s perfectly okay to promote your beer with labels depicting demons, skeletons, and the occasionally busty barmaid, but not the exquisite artistry of a unclothed naked female? That strikes a nerve. What else can you expect, though, from a society that accepts death and violence as perfectly acceptable but sexuality is dirty, nasty, and bad bad bad.

If it weren’t for sexuality, and probably a good amount of beer, I’ll wager that no one at the Portman Group would ever have been born.

Killian’s Irish Red

Posted by on 06 Jul 2007 | Tagged as: Beer Reviews

I haven’t really had a Killian’s Irish Red since the summer of 1984.

I remember this quite clearly, because I remember everything about that summer clearly. I was a young broke bohemian trying to be a “Writer” in Berkeley, California, and I was head over heels in love with a girl named Karla who lived in San Francisco. That was the year I sold all my expensive, professional cameras just to have money to burn with this girl.

Also, it seems, Killian’s Irish Red was the beer to drink that summer. At least, it was in Berkeley and San Francisco.

I didn’t really care for it, but I was always too broke to buy what I really wanted, and besides all my friends liked it, and it was always around. So I drank it. I mean, at least it wasn’t Budweiser.

So, skip ahead to year 2007. The future. And I am in a luxury suite in an undisclosed northern city, in the middle of a three week assignment. I am now a writer (dropped the capital “W” from it) and here I am, once again, sitting with an open bottle of Killian’s Irish Red in front of me.

I twist off the cap. Take a sniff. Yes, it smells dimly of beer. There’s beer in the bottle somewhere.

Not expecting much, I take a swig.

Well! I’ll be darned. Either this beer has improved over the last 23 years or my tastes have changed. It’s flavorful, and I’m smiling.

For one, it’s hoppy … much more so than you’d expect from a mass produced brew. It makes me picture a bunch of hops dressed as little warriors dancing around on my tongue and poking at it with sharp sticks. “Hops! Hops! We’re hops!” Yes, you’re hops, I noticed. And I keep noticing it because the maltiness is so pale it has problems competing. Another taste swimming around in this beer, one that took me most of the bottle to pin down, is a kind of corn cereal note, not unpleasant … in fact, fairly sweet.

The beer makes a clean finish and leaves me wanting another one. It’s good. Not something to curl my toes and roll my eyes back in ecstasy, but no one — especially me — would really expect that from something bottled by the people who make Coors. I’m simply pleased that it didn’t make me retch.

Left Hand Milk Stout

Posted by on 02 Jul 2007 | Tagged as: Beer Reviews

I have to admit something up front. This isn’t an impartial review. I already know I like this beer, even if it does have an awkward name. “Milk Stout.” Dairy is not something you really want associated with beer.


Here we have yet another beer crossed with coffee. I’m not sure if there’s any actual coffee in it, but even Left Hand’s website comments on the flavor: “Strong roasted malt and coffee flavors build the foundation of this classic cream stout. The addition of milk sugar mellows the intense roastiness and gives this beer the most incredible creamy mouth feel.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. So, I hereby endorse it. It is what they say it is, and I say it’s darn yummy.

If I was in a scenario where I was, say, stranded on a deserted island with a cargo from a shipwreck, and cases and cases of beer washed ashore, but only one type … this may well be the beer I’d choose to be that one. Why this one? Well, I’m supposing I wouldn’t have any coffee on the island, because the shipwrecked beans would have all been ruined by the seawater. So this would have to be my beer and my coffee.

I have to have both of these things to live, you know. I mean, that’s a given.

No coconut milk for me, thank you. Just Milk Stout.