Ask a Drinker

Do you want to know something beer-related? Need insights on tasting or styles? Please ask and I will answer.

My answers may not be what everyone agrees upon, so if you think you know better, please share your answers and comments too.

Scroll down and use the ‘leave a reply’ area.

22 thoughts on “Ask a Drinker

  1. Hello I hope you are doing fantastic. I got a question for you, based on your experience as a drinker which beers you suggest to drink that have the best tastes and also affordable? If you know more than one you can tell me too . also which ones have the less alcohol per volume? Let me know the answer of these too when you can

    • Hi Javier,

      More and more craft breweries are coming up with “session ales,” a style of beer with full flavour but lowered alcohol. In fact, I once tried to start a movement to call this style “China Pale Ale,” but it didn’t catch on.

      These may be tricky to find depending on your location, though. I recommend keeping an eye out for Brewdogs “Dead Pony Club” (Scotland) and Murray’s “Punch and Judy,” (Australia.)

  2. I had a good look at your site, and it is well structured, clean pages, so it reads well with the white background.
    May I offer a suggestion to include some Belgian beer and breweries. Belgium is famous for its beer. Keep it going, it is a good website. Nancy.

    • Good call Nancy, I too love Belgian beer – especially Kwak. I’ll add some info on Belgium soon!

    • I love IPA with summer foods, like Sushi or barbecued meats with chilli sauce. Anything curried or spicy, like Mexican cuisine.

      You could also try a ‘food pairing experiment’ by selecting a group of, say, 6 different foods and 6different beers, and sit around with friends trying every possible combo, until you select the winners!

  3. In Spain every grocery store has many varieties of non-alcoholic beers. These are great for taste and you can enjoy without getting tipsy. You can drink and drive – no problem.

    In other countries it’s difficult find even one or two varieties and in some countries non-alcoholic beer is unknown.

    Clearly if you drink straight alcohol there’s no real taste. So the taste of beer doesn’t come from the alcohol content.

    So what’s the situation in the states?
    Wouldn’t it be great if you could drink and drive too?

    • Hi PJ, I don’t live in the states, and also I don’t really understand what you are asking here. But if you want to drink a good non-alcoholic beer, I recommend Lowenbrau… it tastes pretty close to real beer without the danger of drink driving.

  4. I have a question, why do some beers give you a monster hangover and others dont?

    Great site by the way, I love beer and I have a feeling I will love your website soon 🙂

    • Several reasons why Dave – great question by the way.

      One of the main culprits are additives and chemicals. Many of the mass produced beers we are familiar with are filtered to give them a golden transparency – but the filtration involves using chemicals to assist in clarity. Chemicals that include long formulae, like PvPP – even the swim bladder of fish in some cases! Plus you deal with hop extracts, foam-stopping compunds… all sorts of nasty things.

      Another one is rapid fermentation at high heat, which produces “higher” alcohols, such as fusel oils – known to be poisonous in high doses, turn good people into angry monsters and give you a killer hangover.

      For a beer that won’t kill you 24 hours after drinking, find a brewery that proudly advertises natural brewing methods – or better yet, brew one yourself!

    • What a tough question to answer – Almost any good beer!!

      It all depends on the day, the type of work, the weather, the view in particular… and of course, personal taste. For me right now, I have a view of the city, it’s cold but sunny most days and my work is mainly indoors, so I’ve been enjoying some Old Ales: Dark, a little sweet, a little strong and quite warming.

      How about your situation?

  5. How about bluemoon. I like it quite a bit but most of the microbrew/pubs in Portland don’t serve it, so I always say do you have something that tastes like bluemoon? Invariably whatever they recommend is not comparable. I don’t care for many kinds of beer in general but I do like a good cold bluemoon. It occurs to me that maybe I am asking the wrong question at the pub.. suggestions?

    • Hi Vic,

      I have to admit, I like a good Blue Moon too. Although if I were in Portland I’d be going microbrew-crazy! The style of beer you need to tell the bar staff is “Belgian Wit,” although every brewery’s version will be a little different.

      The Blue Moon Brewing Company is actually a part of the Miller / Coor’s family, and has been disregarded by many craft brewers because it is a mass-produced beer. Still pretty good though.

      Most Belgian Wit (AKA Belgian White Ale) style beers will contain orange and coriander flavours, and Blue Moon appears to use the orange, but I’m not sure about the coriander.

      I hope this helps next time you need to ask for a “Belgian Wit brewed with orange!”

      Cheers,
      Jesse

  6. Great site! I’m an Aussie beer-drinkin’ sheila from way back. lol! I now live in Vietnam where I enjoy some (aka lots) of the best and cheapest beers on the planet… with ice on a hot day… don’t knock it til you’ve tried it… I’ve converted a few Aussie blokes who now ask for ice in their beer.

    My question though is about my number 1, all-time favourite beer, Corona Extra – what is it about the lime? I’ve heard so many stories… Mexican’s stick a lime in the top to keep flies out; it reacts with the hops… for some reasons I can’t remember, and; it’s purely for flavour. Do you know the real reason?

    • Hi Kim, always great to meet a fellow Aussie on my site!

      I tried a Vietnamese beer here in Japan the other day, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. Very malty, like a German lager – I think it was called Bia Ha Noi or something similar.

      I too have heard many tales of why the lime is added, here are the top three I find to be the most likely:

      1) It’s to add flavour to the beer and make it drinkable (even to non-beer drinkers)
      2) Because Mexican bottles are recycled AS IS (rather than broken down and remade, they are re-used by the same bottling company.) Although sanitizer is squirted into the bottle, it may not spend much time on the lip of the bottle before the cap goes on, so lime is used as an extra step sanitizing the bottle before you put your mouth on it.
      3) Before the bottles are placed in a refrigerator, they spend time in dirty rooms where rats, cats and dogs come into contact with the bottles. Although the cap is on, animal diseases can still come into contact with the neck of the bottle. Like point 2, the lime is a sanitizer.

      Whatever the reason, once American visitors to Mexico discovered the lime in a Corona, they were in love. It became Corona’s biggest marketing device!

      Has anyone heard any other good theories on this?

  7. Hello. I understand that the pH of beer is extremely acidic. Something like 3.2. 7 being a normally sought after pH value of most skin cremes and what not. 6.0 to 8.0 is the range that we would normally encounter. I wonder if such a low pH value is a benefit or a detriment and in what areas? Our gut is acidic so does this mean that beer, assuming I am correct about its low pH, may be more compatible with the gut environment?

    • This one is more of a question for a brewer and a healthcare professional in tandem, but here goes:

      You are correct, beer is surprisingly acidic, generally between 3.5 and 4.5 PH. Certainly it is not good as a skin treatment, although some soaps do use beer and it might actually be beneficial as a mild cleaner if you do wash it off immediately – although I am no cosmetic scientist!

      The low PH is a result of the mashing process and in fact is necessary to good yeast health during fermentation, however I am honestly not sure about how good it is for your gut lining. As with all alcoholic beverages, moderation is the key.

      Cheers!

  8. Nice website. I would like to ask a few questions. It’s three I hope you don’t mind me asking.

    What is the best beer on the market?
    What beer do you suggest for a light drinker?
    How often should you drink?

    I just turned 21 not to long ago. I am pretty new to this whole drinking thing.

    • Wow, you really asked the tough ones!

      – There is no such thing as the “best beer on the market.” We live in a golden age of beer, and there are literally thousands of great beers out there. Possibly millions. Just go to a craft brewery or a good bottle store and try a new one each time you have a beer! Tasting nights with friends are also a great way to explore your favourites.

      – For a light drinker, try some session ales. You may find them at Craft City

      -I can’t give you health advice, sorry. If you are concerned, ask the department in your local government. In the USA, for example, it’s the Surgeon General’s office.

      Thanks for the challenge!

  9. Hi
    I loved your page on Ask a Drinker. Beer is great for a hot day in summer and I so love Blue Moon with a lime twist in it on a very hot day. I have been thinking of getting my man a set up for making beer at home. What in your opinion is a good system that doesn’t break my bank account? Also, is this kind of thing legal in California?

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