Brew Review

Belgium Bonanza


Looking to entertain my parents and knowing that my Pappy considers Miller Lite a beer adventure, I found myself a bit limited when it came to liquid refreshment. As I was going there anyway I went to the beer aisle at my local BJ’s to see what sort of beer collection they might have. You see, I have found that if you don’t mind the limited variety, BJ’s has a passing collection of inexpensive beer. On this particular day, I could have purchased cases of Guinness, Yuengling, Bud or Heineken. Of course, Pappy would shun the Guinness and openly mock me for purchasing Yuengling and neither Bud nor Heineken would do. I looked for the split case sample packs that I had found there before.

It was at BJs that I found the Leinenkugels variety pack of Sunset Wheat, Honey Weiss, Berry Weiss and Red Lager, the Michelob pack of Honey Wheat, Shock Top Belgian White, Dunkel Weisse, and Hop Hound Amber Wheat and the Sam Adams pack with 4 bottles of six different beers. And, on this day, BJ’s did not disappoint as I could choose from the aforementioned Sam Adams sampler, a taste of Mexico (Dos Equis, Dos Equis Amber, Cerveza Sol and Tecate) or a taste of Belgium (Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden). Knowing my Pappy’s delicate palate, I opted for the Belgium box for while it was only an 18pk, I knew the Stella would certainly be welcome. True to form, my Pappy did not disappoint as he turned a suspicious eye to my beer offer and asked why I just couldn’t have a Miller Lite in the house. He reluctantly accepted a Stella and after a first apprehensive sip and to his pleasant surprise (and my utter amazement), Pappy not only enjoyed his first Stella but asked for another. At long last, I can move beyond Miller or Bud.

I found the three beers to be good representative of the differing styles of beer. I think I liked the Hoegaarden the least, not that it wasn’t good I just liked the Stella and Leffe better. I found the Leffe to be particularly surprising in that I had had it out and didn’t really like it. I’m not sure if it was the freshness of the bottle or maybe the temperature but my first taste was not only not impressive but not favorable. This is why unless the first taste was just undrinkable, I like to give beers a second or even a third try. To recap, I would rate the pack as follows:

Stella Artois – A
Leffe – A-
Hoegaarden – B-

7 replies »

  1. Two things…

    #1 – Does your Dad know that you refer to him as Pappy on the blog? I doubt that he would have let you get away with that when he was in his prime. Then again, you are quite often the Good Son, and offer him many entertainment options, particularly where adult beverages are concerned. Always good to keep the Dads well lubricated.

    #2 – You give beers a 2nd or 3rd try??? Talk about an understatement!

    Slainte!
    G-LO

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    • Two things…

      #1 – What my Pappy doesn’t know can’t hurt me. And, yes, in his prime, he would have already drank the Kipling Road Whisky Society out of business.

      #2 – I will have you know that I have actually crossed several beers off of my list never to be ordered again. Unless, of course, there is a beer special or some jack wagon from CHI thinks PBR pitchers are a good way to spend company money.

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  2. Comments ….

    #1 – You father doesn’t require that you purchase Guinness to openly mock you!

    #2 – Stella isn’t that far from Bud but your father is moving towards the light …. I do however suspect that AB InBev is just putting Bud in green bottles and serving it in fancy glasses.

    #3 – Was that Leinenkugels variety pack in the feminine hygiene section? Honey Weiss? Berry Weiss? Talk about hitting from the ladies tees!

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    • Retorts…

      #1 – My Pappy is now well aware that I will pick his retirement home so the mocking has eased a bit.

      #2 – Don’t make jokes about my Pappy moving towards the light. At 77, he fails to the see the humor in it.

      #3 – Stop mocking the Leinenkugels! I would take a Berry Weiss over your drink of choice – Bud Light Lime any day.

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      • For the record, I have never chosen Bud Light Lime …. it and many other cheap beers have been “exchanged” for better beer by guests at parties at my house

        Much like a stray dog left on my doorstep I only chose not to throw said cheap beer away …. all beer deserves a warm home …. IN MY BELLY (except that smoke beer that G-Lo and I had a Cork a few years back, that stuff was rough!!)

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  3. Smoke beer? Rough? Nahhh. That chunky Sake that looked like someone coughed up a lung… now that was rough!

    And speaking of Cork, we need to get back there one day. They have a respectable beer selection and some very good bar grub.

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