Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Darn Good Beer (Or At Least The Ones I Like)

I used to drink a lot of beer in college. But for some reason, the older I got, the harder it was for me to drink it. If back in the day I could down four to six bottles before I got significantly inebriated, these days two would be enough. Not “enough” in the sense that I have that nice, tingling buzz, but more like I-have-a-giant-rock-in-my-stomach kind of feeling.

Recently, though, I have discovered some beers that I enjoy drinking. Hamburg-native Matt introduced me to Warsteiner when we started dating several years ago. We spotted a limited supply of the German pilsner in Rustan’s and we grabbed a few bottles for me to taste. It was ok, kind of like our local San Miguel.

Later on, he made me try another German import: Weissbier or wheat beer. That one I liked. A lot. The cloudy, golden liquid smells great and is light and fruity on the palate. Mickey’s- a german deli along Jupiter Street- brings in an assortment of these wheat beers, although some brands are not always available. When they have my favorites though (like Paulaner or Franziskaner), you can count on me being there munching on Neurnbergers and my nose buried in the thick, white foam on top of a pilsner glass.

Our trips to Hong Kong have also introduced me to a wide variety of beers from all over the world. City Super- our favorite grocery in Harbour City, Kowloon- offers a plethora of choices, and brews are not an exception. I have noticed that their beer selection is more diverse than their assortment of wine, so I usually gravitate towards the former when I am there.

One of my favorites is Fischer Blonde from Alsace, France, a small city (Note: Actually, its a region in France. Thanks, Cosmopolicious, for the correction.) right on the German border. A crisp, high-alcohol pilsner, Fischer has a nice fruity aroma and a light flavor with almost no bitter after-taste. Maybe I unconsciously associate it with Alsatian wines which I favor, so I enjoy it more because it has a “wine-y” character to it. Plus, it does not give me that “heavy” feeling I sometimes get with wheat beer. I wanted to know what regular beer drinkers thought of this wine, so I checked it out on-line. True enough, some beer fans complained of it not being “too hop-y” or “tasting flat”. Uncannily, the same characteristics that got me hooked on Fischer in the first place. Interesting to note, though: I noticed that those who had an intense dislike (to put it more delicately) for this particular type of beer were mostly British.

Another beer that my sister Foxychef discovered on our recent trip was Grimbergen Blonde. An authentic abbey beer from Belgium, this particular brand has been around for 900 years. There is a whole lot of tradition behind this, for sure. Not noticing its 6% alcohol content, I was initially deceived by its diminutive container. The flavor, too, will have you drinking this very (and I mean VERY) fast. The color is bright and golden, with a delicious aroma of apples and caramel. Thinking about it now makes me wish that I brought some home. Or at least drank the rest of my sister’s bottle when she was not looking.


Scotty Too Hottie said...

sana you brought some home nga! we should do beer's paradise one of these days.

Anonymous said...

"If back in the day I could down four to six bottles before I got significantly inebriated"

Oh la la....... ;-)

I will serve you next autumn in Berlin a Weissbier/wheat beer from "Weihenstephan" which is made by monks. The best Weissbier in Germany!
And add some bavarian Weisswurst/white sausage with sweet mustard. YUM, YUM

Take care,

Chinkee said...

Hey Scottie! Yeah nga eh, now I regret being too lazy to carry all those bottles back to the room.

Yeah we should do a beer tasting at Beers Paradise! Since you thought of it, you're buying. Hahaha!

Chinkee said...

Hey Martin! Now that is one offer I cannot refuse. Even Hamburger Matt admits that bavarian beer is far more superior to the ones from the North. Will surely be looking forward to that part of our trip. And don't forget the Rieslings you promised!;-)

Cosmopolicious said...

i'm glad matt finally realized our supremacy! it was about time!
note: alsace is a region not a city. strasbourg or colmar being cities in alsace... ;-)
honeymoon at oktoberfest right?

Chinkee said...

Hey Cosmo! Hahaha! Actually, Matt only admits to Bavarian beer being the best German beer. He still thinks every city outside of Hamburg is either inadequate or "rural". Hahahaha! Go ahead, I'm allowing you to punch him the next time you see him.:-)

Thanks for the correction. I'll edit my post accordingly.

Yes, we plan to be in Germany for Oktoberfest. Please tell your parents we're sleeping over. Hahaha!