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Posts Tagged ‘Ballantine Ale’

Summer has arrived finally. The warm, somewhat humid, sunny day brought me to the beer store or, more correctly for the Live Free or Die state, the regular old grocery store, Hannaford. I rolled past the cooler windows looking for the just right brew for this bright summer day. I slid past all the IPA’s: Harpoon, Smuttynose, Red Hook, etc. I even passed up the thin little slot where the Harpoon Leviathan brew Imperial IPA sat. I went past the Guinness Extra Stout and even past the Sam Adams summer ales – summer this, summer that – wimp beer I say.

Pabst-1I know what was really on my mind – summer quantity – the volume pack – in cans – cold – budget priced, but… had to have the taste that came through in an ice cold can. Well it could have been Bud, which certainly fits that bill pretty much, except my summer brew secret is Pabst Blue Ribbon!

I’m not going to tell you that I would pour it into a pint glass and watch the head form, or remark on the grand color, or describe the array of tastes it releases. No, it is a thirst quencher first and foremost. It is crisp and clean, a touch of hops, a dry after taste but nothing to write home about. Pabst is durable and, unlike Bud, the last ounce in a slightly warmed up can doesn’t get skunked. None of that bad Bud aftertaste from the dregs.

One might wonder where Pabst has been over the years. They proudly write of the America’s Best award from 1893 on the cans. However as the Best Big Brewery they garnered awards in 2006 and 2007. Pabst serves as the brewery behind many old brands including Ballantine, Schlitz, Shaeffer, Olympia, Blatz and on and on.ourPortfolio-1

HaveAnother
Pabst six

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I see that Nate has plunged into the IPA. Me, I’m still besot with the strong ale of winter. I found a six of Guinness Extra Stout, which I went on about in a previous post. That special taste is really unique, bitter yes, but it’s the burnt anadama bread taste that makes Guinness Extra, well, extra!

I know I promised my daughter I’d stop at the store and pick up some ice cream cones but if I wait ’til tomorrow I can zip back up to the Hannaford’s supermarket in North Conway and snare another six of the “black”. It’s the only store around that carries the Extra Stout – maybe the manager drinks it. In thirty yards of beer cooler there is one thin six-pack wide space with Extra Stout, you’d miss it in the first pass down the aisle without a keen eye.

Anyway, I got thinking about my beer drinking roots again. Along with the Ballantine XXX taste acquired prepubescent (see previous posts for that story) I had the good fortune as a teenager to work for an exclusive country club in the men’s locker room. Along with regular plush locker room chores we also kept beer on hand for the members. Needless to say, walking home after work, in the gathering darkness across the expanse of the trim fairways of the golf course, a beer or two would be consumed.The choices available for us to pilfer were Budweiser, Carlsberg and Heineken. Carlsberg stood out with a robust strength, an old world taste, right from the bottle. Heineken had a hoppier, fresher, crisp taste and Bud, well we seldom bothered unless for just a really cold thirst quencher. Bud was of course the beer of general consumption for us – day in and day out. 12 oz cans, as cold as the ice coolers would get it. Each of us kept a cooler in our car. I remember nailing my Z28 down rte 128 at 100+mph and having the air pull the cooler top off and slam it against the rear window. The look on my shotgun’s face told me he would need to clean his underwear. Anyway, Bud sure had its place. That super cold steel can pulled from the icy depths, opened with a church key (this was pre-pop top opener days) one small hole to release pressure, “psshss”, and the other full triangle slice to drink her down.

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