Thursday, October 26, 2006

What is that?

I'll kick off the questions. As previously mentioned, I'm not such a big beer guy (cocktails are more my thing), but I do sometimes like a beer, and I've realized that there is one specific style of beer I'm particularly partial to. The trouble is, I don't know what to call it, nor do I possess the terminology to properly describe it. Barley? Hops? They mean very little to me. Does this beer-breed have a proper name? I don't know.

So I'm turning to you, the big beer guys and gals out there (and I know there are some), for help. What do I call this thing?

I've had various beers that fall into this category, but I've forgotten what most of them were. There's only one concrete example I can give: Sapporo. Again, I'm completely ignorant of official terminology, but I would say it's light and extremely dry and sort of sharp and distinctly bitter—that very specific bitter taste that all the beers I'm talking about possess—and that's it. No berries or floral overtones or chocolate or warm nuttiness or anything else.

What is that? Does it have a name? Is it a lager? But I've had other lagers that don't taste like that. What other beers fall into this category? What is that?


  1. Yes, but I've had other beers that weren't Japanese that also had that quality. I realize I'm not being very helpful

  2. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Sapporo is a Happoshu Lager or a Japanese Rice Lager depending on the brew. Stella Artois, Kronenburg, Peroni, Grolsch, Abita Golden are also lagers that are similar. Bud, Tecate and those types are also lagers. I believe Japanese lagers use more rice where American and European ones use less or no rice. There are full malt lagers which are fuller like a Brooklyn Lager. Then you have your ales, porters stouts et al...

  3. Anonymous9:38 PM

    i was coming here to say: sounds like a lager. but shannon sort of puts me to shame.

  4. I also like Kronenburg. So I think we've established that I'm talking about lagers (as I suspected), but not just any lagers - a subset of lagers. I'll have to drink my way through that list and construct a Venn diagram, placing some within that-breed-of-which-I-speak and others outside of it, and then take the Venn diagram to a beer-ologist for a diagnosis. Maybe it has something to do with my weird flavor cult. I've got a long night ahead of me.

  5. All in the name of science, my friend.

  6. to add some non-science to the mix, maybe it is the drier lagers without overly oppressive hoppy floralness that you like. For example, traditional American lagers (Bud, et al.) to me tend to have a sickly sweet aftertaste, which the Japanese brews usually don't. (is that the rice effect? dunno. Bud uses rice, too, and I can't stand it.)

    The medium hops gives the Japanese beers a crisp bitterness that isn't too biting--well balanced. Actually, if you can get it, try Stroh's. Yeah, it's cheap, but to me it's the American macro-brew that is most similar to Japanese beers.

    and what Shannon said, too.

    damn. 10:50am on a Friday is too early to start thinking about beer.

  7. Okay, I think we're honing in on an answer here: lagers but dry, bitter-ish lagers; easy on the hops. Got it.

    And Sapporo is A-1, but I would be willing to go even dryer, lighter, and bitter-er... er. I will now set sail on those lager seas, journeying into the unknown, seeking that Great, Dry, Bitter Land beyond.