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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    First I have to ask a question to answer your question: Where are your taste buds?

    Beer is an amazing taste adventure that, at least in my experience, is best had without a meal. Let the beer work and give you what it has to offer, much like wine or sushi (without soy sauce, wasabi, and the like). Maybe you just need to do more exploring or maybe beer will never taste worthwhile to you. The only way is to try different stuff and grade each case on its own merits. I could make a pretty exhaustive list of great beers but I'll hold off unless you want it.

    To the second question I say don't sweat it. If you want to milk a beer for hours, go right ahead. If you don't want to drink at all, that's fine too. If your company is hung up on you being dry for the evening then that's their issue, not yours.

    And Keld Denar is incorrect. Michigan is where microbrew magic is at. Try out anything from Short's Brewery, Dragonmead, Atwater, Motor City Brewery Works, New Holland, Arbor Brewing, Bells, Founders, Frankenmuth (I can keep going), and you will know what good beer is.
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    Round here, it's very common for people not wanting to drink much to just have one beer the whole night, or a half pint of cider the whole night. Nothing wrong with it.
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    Wow, lots of advice overnight. Both on types of beer and on etiquette. Thanks, everyone.
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    First let me say drinking or not is always a personal preference, even in establishments with drink minimums (which are usually just cover charges to get in the door, phrased different). Shoot I bet if you wanted you could get apple juice and nurse it all night and no one would bother you.

    I'd recommend if you want to try several types of beer (and you're old enough) to order a "flight" of beer. Typically 4 oz glasses of 4-8 different beers, and if you're drinking craft beers, it's great. There's a local (for me) bar that does a beer tasting event once a week, a twenty gets you participation, and you get a glass/partial glass of several different brews of the bartender's choice*.

    And some people just don't like beer. That's cool. Some people, like myself, simply cannot drink beer due to health reasons. I used to love trying different beers, too. I have problems with acidic blood, and formation of crystals/tophi of uric acid (read: chronic gout).

    *This particular bar boasted near to 1000 different beers, literally 900+ different varieties of beer from around the globe. As a matter of principle, you'd couldn't even ask for a macrobrew (being big name US brands like Bud, Coors, or any other of those beers) in the beer tasting. Okay, you could ask, but the answer is always, "No."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    or a half pint of cider the whole night.
    Finally. I was worried that I'd have to bring this up.

    I got started drinking late, probably 24 before I started drinking socially, I just plain don't like beer. Yes, I've tried a variety of brands and styles. No, they all fail the "do I enjoy the taste of this?" test. Beer is not for everybody.

    Now, cider - there's something I can get behind. I can drink a beer at this point (and it's still somewhat of a social thing if, say, somebody's bought a 12-pack and pizza or something as a gift for helping them move), but I got started on cider and various mixed cocktails as a drinker in general (although I've come to enjoy the occasional neat whisk(e)y - which I still like better than beer).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    Nursing a beer is bad idea because it will most certainly warm up and nothing is worse than warm beer... no, not even that, having said that you if you can keep your beer cold throughout the social gathering, I don't see a problem in only having one. (Well I do; but I like beer a lot )
    It has been mentioned, but ales are often supposed to be served at room temperature, so keeping it cold is not an issue.

    I would also put my voice in advocating cider as an alternative to beer. I much prefer it, myself.
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    Well, since now we're bragging about microbrews I'm just gonna leave this here and point out that Albuquerque also the really awesome local food is nice and spicy and goes great with a good brew. I know there are probably dozens of lists with different top cities, but since we're bragging I'm just going to conveniently ignore those.
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    And now I want some Woodchuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by polity4life View Post
    And Keld Denar is incorrect. Michigan is where microbrew magic is at. Try out anything from Short's Brewery, Dragonmead, Atwater, Motor City Brewery Works, New Holland, Arbor Brewing, Bells, Founders, Frankenmuth (I can keep going), and you will know what good beer is.
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    I feel I should add something that others appear to have missed.

    When drinking beer, keep an eye on whether it's normal or "Export" as export varieties have higher alcohol contents. Personally, I prefer export to normal, but you might not.
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    I don't drink at all... There's a social gathering I go to regularly in a bar. I just don't get anything to drink, because I don't want a drink. Pretty simple. I don't think anyone finds this odd.

    Occasionally I'll get water, especially if I ever find myself chatting in the smoking section (I don't smoke either.)

    I don't recommend feeling pressured to do something just because everyone else is doing it. That's a great way to not have a good time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    Anyway, is it a bad idea to take one beer in a social situation, and just sip it, so as to not seem like the odd man out? I don't exactly know how to handle social situations in which alcohol appears and want to know for next time.
    That's what I believe one is supposed to do. Have one, perhaps two, drinks and nurse them through the evening so you don't seem like a bluenose but retain your wits.

    I will have one drink a night and either nurse it or switch to soft drinks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    First, what's even up with beer? I don't get how people think it tastes good. Or is it just cheap? (I'm in the US, on Long Island right now.)
    Anyway, is it a bad idea to take one beer in a social situation, and just sip it, so as to not seem like the odd man out? I don't exactly know how to handle social situations in which alcohol appears and want to know for next time.
    Beer is usually an acquired taste. Not liking it is not unusual. Simply sipping one beer...or just ignoring the beer and grabbing a soda is reasonable. "I don't drink beer" is not terribly uncommon, even if some social circles(ie, college) tend to push it.

    Note additionally that beers vary significantly in flavor. Just because you don't like bud lite doesn't mean you'll hate all beers. Try some different stuff. Personally, I'm not a big beer drinker(though there's a few I like), but I'm quite find of Angry Orchard cider.
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    Regarding beer temperature: warmer (cellar temperature is best, rather than fridge cold) brings out more of the flavors of a complex beer. For a lighter beer, it really doesn't do much.

    Also seconding Angry Orchard. Very flavorful. A lot of ciders (at least, the more common ones in the US...I'm aware there are places in the UK that take their cider pretty seriously) taste more apple-juice-ish, rather than cider-ish to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Michigan is East Coast now?
    Maybe on some maps with a really distorted representation of North America? Or are you suggesting that the best microbrews are next to the pond? If so, I will rigorously disagree sir!

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    I think we need a beer thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshL View Post
    I'm aware there are places in the UK that take their cider pretty seriously) taste more apple-juice-ish, rather than cider-ish to me.
    I'm from the Westcountry where we take our cider seriously.

    Ignoring the cheap supermarket level brands that 16 year olds get drunk on, like White Lightning, you get the main commerical brands like Strongbow which aren't really much better (Scrumpy is probably the best of the lot).

    The more expensive ones like Bulmers/Magners are better. I'm quite fond of Black Rat myself, but there are cider micro brews, much like for beer.

    A word of warning for Americans and other people used to American beer, cider is generally a fair bit stronger than beer and it's very easy to drunker than you expect, especially when drinking it in pints.

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    Bulmers/Magners aren't that much better than Strongbow, tbh. A good draught cider, though, is very good. Green Goblin is probably the best known thing that I've really liked, but there's a lot to be said for just going into a pub and asking what they have on tap.

    I did try a bottle of Henry Westons perry a while back, which was delicious. I should get some more at some point. And if you're looking for something truly potent, Old Rosie has quite the kick to it.
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    My favourite cider is probably Merrydown. I like all the scrumpys I've tried. Think my favourite scrumpy would be gut-rot Old Rosie.
    Last edited by Castaras; 2012-09-28 at 07:11 AM.
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    Rudeness with that sort of thing is subjective, and will depend on the context. When my friends and I go out we tend to get rounds - that is, one person buys a drink for everyone at the table, then when those are finished someone else buys everyone a drink, and so on. The idea is that everything evens out by the end of the evening but you don't have to disrupt the conversation too much by having everyone head to the bar all the time individually.

    However, it's also a fairly easy system to abuse. It's very rare that anyone will say anything if someone is taking advantage of the system, but after a few times of avoiding buying a round, it will definitely be noticed and this will be viewed as a damning deficiency of character.

    So that's just something to be aware of, and realistically it applies regardless of your drinking habits. If you know you only want one drink, it's probably best to say that at the start of the evening, so that nobody thinks you're trying to get out of paying or waiting for someone else to buy you a drink. If you're matching the others drink for drink but only drinking soft drinks, it's still a good idea to get a round of drinks in for everyone else.

    Also, beer is very much an acquired taste. I don't think anyone likes it the first time they try it, but it grows on you, and now I wouldn't want to live without it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPlayItLoud View Post
    Well, since now we're bragging about microbrews I'm just gonna leave this here and point out that Albuquerque also the really awesome local food is nice and spicy and goes great with a good brew. I know there are probably dozens of lists with different top cities, but since we're bragging I'm just going to conveniently ignore those.
    You made this a chellenge, so sorry: I've been living in upper franconia for the last seven years, and here we have 200 breweries for 1 million people. There's no place in the world that gets even close to that.

    Also, I think combined upper, middle, and lower franconia not only have more breweries than the entire rest of Germany together. They also don't need the rest of Germany to be the country with the third-most breweries in the world, after China and the United States.
    California may have slightly more breweries than upper franconia, but they are also almost 40 times larger.

    Speaking of declining a beer, in my experience this is not a problem at all in Germany. Good friends might gently push someone to at least try one once, but that's it.
    However, I have heard and read a lot about certain places in asia, where it's more complicated. In societies where direct criticism is considered to be highly disruptive and improper, problems still need to be adressed and people have to compare their oppinions and feelings about them. In such circumstances, being somewhat drunk has been established as the socially accptable way to adress such problems. If you say something inappropriate, it is not rude or an insult when it was just some drunk rambling. But that only works when everyone is drunk and everyone makes themelves exposed. It also means you can't be exactly sure what was said by whom and how it was meant, but the next day everyone still has an idea what things anger and trouble people. Without first hand experience, I am not sure how drunk people actually get when drinking with coworkers, but since the whole thing is a show anyway, I suspect that it is the appearance that matters most. And I think most of the time people don't actually get completely wasted. But it's something that is very difficult to get out of in an elegant way. If you don't drink, you don't trust the other people and they make themselves vulneable to you but you don't do the same in return. Which probably makes alcoholism a much bigger problem. You can't really say "sorry, I am an alchoholic, I can not participate in this tension releasing activity".
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-09-28 at 07:54 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    You made this a chellenge, so sorry: I've been living in upper franconia for the last seven years, and here we have 200 breweries for 1 million people. There's no place in the world that gets even close to that.
    Well, that's obviously an entirely American list, which limits it rather. If you're including northern Europe, I doubt there's anywhere in the USA that would make it into the "top 10 beer cities". In fact I doubt there can be many in the "top 100".

    American beer is no longer (all) a byword for "rats' urine" but I think they still have a fair way to go to catch up with Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, England, the Netherlands, et al.
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    First off, do not let yourself be forced to drink. If you do not want to drink, don't. If you are driving, you always have the designated driver excuse as well, I have pulled that one several times over the years.

    I have to say, I am not a huge fan of most beers I have tried. Only comments I can say is that Żywiec is rather nice. Only beer I have had that I would consider good.

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    Huh...I had some of that just a few weeks back, and I had to confirm with my friends that it was not in fact water...had no taste to me.

    I am also going to have to weigh in and say I am part of the cider crowd. That is where the deliciousness is at. Favorite brand of that is McKenzies, though I am sure there is better out there.

    Really all in all, I prefer vodka and wine to the beers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post


    Huh...I had some of that just a few weeks back, and I had to confirm with my friends that it was not in fact water...had no taste to me.
    Yeah, my post was satirical. Coors Light, especially when you get it on tap, is as close as you can get to alcoholic water. That is its appeal, however.

    Most of my rant was true, from a certain of point of view . Budweiser does have rice has an ingredient, for example. But, this is usually pointed out by beer snobs as a failing and a mark of inferiority.

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    Since I'm seeing a gratifying number of cider people, many from places who seem to care about it more than the US, I may have to get a rundown of which brands my local grocery (i.e. the one across the street from my apartment) carries later to get some opinions.
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    it's never impolite to refuse alcohol.

    the problem with beer is thus. cheap rum still tastes like rum.
    cheap beer tastes like fizzy piss in a can.

    people who "dislike beer" are overwhelmingly referring to pale lagers that make up the bulk of the stuff you'll see in a cooler at a picnic. it is bitter by intention and most people are only exposed to the low end.

    porter/stouts (guiness being a big name) are my personal preference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTarget View Post
    Since I'm seeing a gratifying number of cider people, many from places who seem to care about it more than the US, I may have to get a rundown of which brands my local grocery (i.e. the one across the street from my apartment) carries later to get some opinions.
    In the U.S., the only major cider producer I know of is Woodchuck. To be honest, I don't know how it compares with British cider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    In the U.S., the only major cider producer I know of is Woodchuck. To be honest, I don't know how it compares with British cider.
    Woodchuck on the east coast and better places and Hornsby's on the west coast seem to be the only reliably obtainable ciders that aren't small scale or specialty products.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPlayItLoud View Post
    Well, since now we're bragging about microbrews I'm just gonna leave this here and point out that Albuquerque also the really awesome local food is nice and spicy and goes great with a good brew. I know there are probably dozens of lists with different top cities, but since we're bragging I'm just going to conveniently ignore those.
    And might I point out that Burlington, Vermont is second on that list. Represent!
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    Part of the problem with cider is that, unlike beer, or even wine, it takes so long to produce the raw materials from scratch that it's difficult to respond quickly to demand. Most cider that's available is made from eating or juicing apples, because they're the varieties that are most widely grown, and because if the cider doesn't sell, you can use the same crop next year for eating/juicing and still make money. This is why most "commercially available" ciders taste nothing like actual cider.

    The only places that are really geared up, therefore, to produce decent ciders are those which already have the trees in situ and usually have quite a long tradition of growing cider apples. Principally, the cider belt in England (between about Devon and Herefordshire) and Normandy. There are a couple of pockets elsewhere that have managed to produce decent ciders, normally by combining dessert apples with cooking apples to produce something like a cider apple taste, although they still tend to be sweeter.

    Blackthorn, Strongbow, Magners and Bulmers are for the most part sickly horribleness: of those, Bulmers is the best of a bad bunch. Don't even think about touching any white cider (white lightning, white ace, white star, etc.)

    Weston's is probably the most widely available "proper" cider in the UK: I don't know about its overseas market. Aspall's is also not too hard to find - it's of the "blended" type but still tastes ok. Old Rosie is pretty good, all things considered, and, if you can find it, Sheppey's is also well worth a go. The best places to get hold of proper cider tend to be beer festivals, food fairs, or specialist shops. If you're in or visiting London, for instance, there's a stall at Borough Market that sells a variety of some very nice New Forest ciders at a pretty reasonable price. Supermarkets will usually have a limited selection, though, and you can sometimes find some unusual ones on offer.

    As advised previously, though, cider is a lot stronger than beer, so bear that in mind. Best to think of it like a light wine rather than a strong beer, and don't try to match your beer-drinking friends for volume unless you have an iron constitution!
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  29. - Top - End - #59
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    It's totally cool to not drink alcohol or just drink only one. I'm pretty sure no one is counting how many beers everyone has been drinking.

    However, I couldn't stand to be the only one sober in a party where everyone else is drinking. Personally, I find that pretty jarring. Therefore, beer.

    As for the taste, well, it's a taste. I like beer, some don't. I don't like blue cheese but I can understand that other people do.
    I know what you're thinking. "Did he prepare six Explosive Runes this morning or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is the 3rd level spell Explosive Runes, the most powerful Abjuration in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    In the U.S., the only major cider producer I know of is Woodchuck. To be honest, I don't know how it compares with British cider.
    Around here I can find Woodchuck in most stores, Angry Orchard and Strongbow relatively cheaply in specialty stores, and a selection of imports in *really good* specialty shops. Woodchuck would be the cider equivalent of Budweiser/Miller/et al; it's not much like 'real cider', but it's relatively cheap, you can get it most places without a lot of work, and it's easy to drink. The main difference (aside from actually having a cost instead of the nearly-free price point of really cheap beers) is that a bad cider is far and away more drinkable than a bad beer.

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