Natural Equine Filtration
I had great fun quoting Chicago columnist Mike Royko (since deceased) in what was surely one of his best literary efforts of that era. He wrote that American beer tasted as though it had been “filtered through a horse.” When some of those brewers complained, he apologized—to the horse.
It’s embarrassing now, when I see my praises for Rainier Ale, but what else could I do? The “green death” was clearly the best American beer, or at least the only one with taste. Rainier was better then than it is now. It was what was called a “bastard” ale; brewed from lager yeast, with ferment “warm” at 70 degrees F, aging 30 days at 32 degrees F.
I babbled on at some length about American beer made from the Reinheitsgebot ingredients PLUS such “cereals as corn, rice, oats, rye, unmalted barley, sorghum, and soy beans, any of which might be used in the form of flour, coarse ground grain, steam rolled and pressed grains, (or) chemically leached cereals such as grits. To these may be added any of the 59 other chemicals and ingredients approved by the FDA. ” The product was called “’malt beverage’ and has been known to appear in such flavors as raspberry, strawberry, lemon and lime…(and) fermented and aged for as little as two weeks…and (thoroughly filtered to) remove most of the…’good’ taste of beer your grandfather may remember.” I concluded: “One of our beverages is missing–beer!” Dark beer was dying and along with it, good American ales.
Beware the Yellow Horde
Today, we have (in addition to light/lite beer) yellow Dry Beer (from the Japanese), which was followed by yellow Light Dry Beer. We also got yellow Ice Beer (from the Canadians), Light Ice Beer, dark yellow Red Beer and color-free beer. Did I mention Michelob Ultra yellow lo-carb beer. Will it never end?
Not for a while anyway, because the yellow-beer mob is invading all of the great brewing nations of the world, and a few new ones (such as China). As we speak, the yellow horde is introducing its tasteless, colorless, adjunct-laced, senseless, useless, boring malt beverages to the youth of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The poor things.
And what of the Chinese? It may well be 2050 before they are able to taste most of the nearly ninety beer styles we have access to these days. But by then, the world’s great beer styles will only be made here in the U.S.—assuming we don’t try to invade China for their beer.