Happy Oberon Day
Is this year's batch supposed to be not as good as it usually is?
1. Where did you hear this?
2. If so...why?
I guess I should have replied to the OP, as I see you were trying to get at the same question. In any event...
I wasn't a fan of last year's batch, but Oberon is more about the feeling than the actual beer. If I were drinking for taste, it would be a Best Brown.
Batch? Or does the recipe get tweaked from year to year?
We got more snow today here in Madison. It sure doesn't feel like Spring, but a couple of bottles of Oberon will help with that I'm sure.
I remember they days when it was called Solsun and only came in 22 ounce bottles... perfect for sipping on your porch after work on a hot summer day in Ann Arbor.
Oberon is one of those things that I can be "tool cool for." Oberon was outstanding 6-10 years ago but has steadily declined in quality. Arcadia Whitsun is much better and is the original Oberon batch recipe.
Oberon is the most overrated beer in craft beer history.
Speak the truth. Oberon is way overrated
Why do hipsters always burn their mouth? Because they eat everything before it is cool.
To try this Whitson..where is it brewed?
Battle Creek, MI. (Yay, it's known for more things other than cereal and being really goddamn boring!)
I'll take Whitsun as well.
Honest question for those of you with seemingly vehement opinions about beer quality: can you actually tell a real difference or is there a little part of you that just wants to be a beer snob and critique the taste like you're giving them a Michelin Star? It's been shown over and over again (at least for wine) that most people can't taste the difference between cheap/pricey wines... so does the same apply to beer? Obviously name-brand light beers are watery, but do you really find a difference in a $16 six pack (yes, I've seen them!) versus an $8 six-pack?
A lot of commentary about "craft" beer strikes me as incredibly arrogant, much like you'd perceive some pretentious dweeb as he comments about the "aromas" in wine and uses a bone spoon to taste his caviar. Except in the case of "craft" beer it's worse. Now it's some hippiester on federal student loans getting his Ph.D in mid-18th Century Native American studies who only drinks $3.50 beers because he wants to be able to revel in his ability to note the "hint of lilac and strawberry which really sets this beer apart" as he tosses his scarf over his shoulder while trying to impress some average-looking girl dressed like an ex-hippie 6th grade public school librarian.
Thanks, but I'm fine with my Pabst.
There is a huge difference between a meta beer (Bourbon County, Black Note, Ola Dubh) and a run of the mill stout. Its not even close. There is definitely a continuum though, and discovering the beers you enjoy along that continuum is all part of the fun. We are in a golden age of craft beer. You can chose to ignore it as it seems you have or you can get swept up in it as many have. The picture you paint of hipsters drinking the beer is a tired and inaccurate cliche. I know far more people in their 30-60's who drink craft beer than 20 something hipsters. I also find irony in your selection of PBR as your beer of choice when this is the chosen beer of hipsters (consumed ironically of course).
If people have the disposable income and enjoy the diversion and satisfaction that drinking and evaluating craft beer provides for them, great. You only appear like an ignorant hater spewing this kind of vitriol. Are you being who you want to be Herm?
You've never seen a hipster over 30? Try the Kerrytown farmers' market, or the A2 art fair. Or, like, Ferndale.
Seriously, though, we throw around words like "snob" and "hipster," but most will agree that it's fun to develop and demonstrate an expertise in something. Especially something that is delicious and gets you tipsy.
Interesting points. One thing that I've always noticed is that people do tend to believe that a step up in the "tiers" of beer instantly make it better. For me, it's more about selectly a specific type I like and drinking that whether it's considered better or worse than other flavors. For me, that's German beer, but I'm sure it's different depending on each individual. But I do agree that "tiers" alone don't determine the value.
Craft beer is more expensive because of the ingrediants. Barley and craft hops are more expensive than rice, corn, and commodity hops that the big brewers use. Two Hearted Ale probably uses five times more barley than Bud Light and at least five times more hops. Bud light uses rice in place of barley, which is much cheaper. Of course if there were no market Two Hearted Ale wouldn't const $10/six pack, but Two Hearted Ale wouldn't exist if the market was only willing to pay $6/six pack. It would be a money loser.
Wine is expensive for mostly market based reasons. Barley can be grown anywhere. Hops need a specific environment but they can produce as many hops as the market demands. The same is not true for wine. A given appellation has specific flavor qualities that are passed on to the grapes and then the wine. In addition, weather in a given year affects the taste. This severly affects the supply side of the equation, causing prices to climb. You can reproduce (within reason) the best beer every year so any supply limits are brewery imposed.
There are large differences between beers that are absolutely detectable by even a novice palate. Generally, price is good discriminator of beer quality. Of course there are outliers. The story is similar for wine but I don't think the quality/price ratio is nearly as linier.
I was with you 100% until you mentioned PBR. A pox on that beer; it tastes like ass.
I hadn't really been wondering, but now I know what ass tastes like.
Honest question for those of you with seemingly vehement opinions on people who enjoy good beer: do you actually think most people who drink craft beer do it to look cool or do you think maybe there is actually something to it? Maybe they actually enjoy it?
I find it funny how your post seems to criticize a group of people for being arrogant and snobish, and yet you have just acted that exact same way towards an entire group of people.
If you were really interested in the answer to your original question (whether craft beer is discernable from macro-breweries) you would go out and buy a couple six packs of craft beer, and taste it against your PBR. You very well may still like the PBR better, a lot of people do, but you will most certaintly tell the difference between the two styles. Yet, for some reason I highly doubt that that was actually the intention of your post.
Oberon is not particularly overrated - it's a decent example of its style (a style that just about every craft brewer has a version of). Not the best but far from the worst.
The thing with Oberon is that it's a great first "good" beer. It's very approachable for someone used to drinking light American lagers. So a lot of people used to pounding Natty Ice sip an Oberon and say, damn, beer can actually taste GOOD and not just like dirty water? This is awesome!
Oberon is now frowned upon by particularly snooty beer geeks for just thy reason - it's too easy to like. As you start appreciating good beer, you naturally are drawn to more assertive brews with more hops and bolder flavors. Oberon is emphatically not that.
But not everybody wants to drink a 100 IBU hop monster on a hot beach day, and for certain applications Oberon is near perfect. A
As part of the Michigan diaspora, this is one of those demarcators of the season that sadly no one around me understands.
Going to Bells tomorrow afternoon. Can't wait!
I miss Kalamazoo on days like tomorrow, anyone who's ever lived there knows it's basically like St. Patty's day redux.
I BBQ every weekend in the summer (real BBQ, low and slow) and I honestly cannot imagine doing it without Oberon in board.
In central Ohio for work. Anyone know where Oberon is available Monday?
Still porter season for me with this damn weather.
One hour at Ashley's
An Oberon with an orange wedge is heaven in a bottle!
No fruit in beer.
Okay tommy tough nuts.
I live in kazoo. Bells is now busy every day. It has tourist buses stopping in on the weekends. But its great beer and I can enjoy it on tap whenever I feel.
And no food should go in beer. Oberon isnt blue moon
and Oberon was called Sol Sun (he says while smacking his dentures).
Larry was sued by the makers of Sol, a terrible Mexican import and had to change the name of the Sol Sun. I still have a Sol Sun frisbee.
Good to see to KZoo represent here on the board. I'll stick to Two Hearted though.
Two Hearted Ale is my favorite beer (see screen name). I'm a big Bell's fan. I just hope they can maintain their independence. I foresee an era of consolidation. Whether it is regional breweries merging or InBev swallowing them up and killing their soul, I don't know.
that I really, really, really dislike living in Texas.
At least you have more than three (equally terrible) choices.
You are a liar. There is now Cafri and Exfeel.
We have five (quality terrible) choices (though Cafri is the best of the worst).
Hite Max and Hite Black Beer Stout are also really bad. Then you have Budweiser which isn't quite bad enough so they make it with Korean industrial waste water.
That's why you drink Soju
Paint thinner is more palatable. Can't understand how my folks drink it with dinner sometimes, let alone at all.
Korean's love their cheap, watery lagers. Took forever to get my dad to switch from Michelob, and even now prefers Stella and Heines to more hoppy beers.
OB does go well with a big table full of spicy Korean food though
We can get Oberon in AZ year round (nah nah na boo boo, stick your head in doo doo)
I just moved out to the west coast and have been dreading an Oberon free summer. If any Mgoblogers in San Francisco know of a place to get Bells or Three Floyds, I'm all ears.
Well for Bell's you can head to Arizona. Unfortunately for FFF the closest place is probably Munster, IN.
Damn, I guess it's just as bad as I imagined it would be. Time to find a new favorite brewery!
The IGA near the Hilton in Sedona, AZ had Two-Hearted. One of the more random places I've found Bells (the most random being in a bar called Duffy's on Viaques, Puerto Rico)
Supposedly Bells distributes in AZ because Larry Bell was tired of not having any to drink during Spring Training.
You can't be serious? There is more good beer in California's little pinky than the rest of the country. I like Oberon OK, and it's good in the summer when I'm visiting Michigan, but seriously, you will be just fine. Go to the Russian River, and anywhere in that area. So. Much. Good. Beer.
No offense meant, but I'm bringing my family on a vacation to SF so I can get to Russian River Brewing, Bear Republic and a few others up there. When you start getting used to West Coast beer that other stuff won't taste quite as good as you remember.
I lived in California for several years. It's got good beer, but overall Michigan and Colorado are easily the best beer states out there.
I lived in Michigan, and....well.. That doesn't matter.
I respectfully just disagree.
No, it really doesn't matter. Both have good stuff.
Russian River is tremendous. I've had the pleasure of drinking several of their beers as they distribute to the Philly area. The Elder is fantastic but I'd take a Heady Topper over it any day. To me their sours are where they do their best work.
Oberon is way overrated, I agree. It is an old recipe that had its day and has been passed by, much the way Two Hearted has. That said, it is nostalgic for many people because its kind of like Mad Hatter, it was a gateway to better beer. Also it is a widely available seasonal, that got the youngsters tuned into seasonal releases. These are good things.
No Bells in CA, but CA is home to a ton of good craft beers.
You'll never fill the hole in your heart left by Bell's absence, but you'll find a host of good beers that will make life passable.
Lots of great beer in cali and the west coast. If you can find it, the Sierra Nevada Estate is well worth checking out when they do a release around end of summerish. Then there is always Rogue, Stone, Russian River, Widmer Bothers, and a whole host of smaller and specialty beweries.
There was a couple years back a place that basically bootlegged Bell's into cali but they were unfortunately shut down. But there is still a ton of great beer out here. In SF there are a couple stores with catalogs in the several hundreds(upwards of 800) of beers including many very very hard to find beers from both the west coast and the world.
More well known ones. Personally, I think Stone is ok, but their best beers are the ones they make the least (why they do this, I have no clue).
There are so many great, small places. A person just has to get around and try them.
More than likely your not going to find Three Floyd's or Bells on the Bay Area. I recommend your drink some Alaskan Amber one of my favorite beer choices.
There is 3+ inches of snow on the ground here in Howard County, MD. Thus, schools are closed, and people drive at 10 mph. And more snow coming all day.
Sure as hell looks and feels like winter.
I hate how DC and NoVa get access to Bell's, but Maryland doesn't.
PS I too remember the 22s of Solsun. And mason jars of Oberon at Dominick's back in school/residency. Those were the days.
Walked into Busch's this morning freezing cold, saw the Bell's man dropping off the first batch of Oberon for the year, immediately thought it was spring, and got happy.
Went back outside and got sad.
I miss Oberon days in the Zoo! Delicious!
Oberon is fine, but when I go to Bells I always like to try the experimental batches they have up on the chalkboard. You can find some real gems that don't ever get put into bottles.
It's a shame that out of all the great beers from Bell's that Oberon is the most famous.
Every year I get into Oberon fights. I like the beer for what it is, and it is one of Bell's most popular because people who aren't into the more aggressive craft beers also like Oberon. I like Founders and Bell's the best out of Michigan, although Michigan is full of great brewing companies. Oberon is a great wheat beer and it is great for its season. I like Hopslam, but I'm not sure that it would be the perfect refreshment on a scorching summer day especially at the price Hopslam goes for. Similarly, I don't drink Oberon in the winter for the most part. To all the Oberon hating snobs, get over it, because it isn't going anywhere since it's the beer that people like from both the Bud Light camp and the more aggressive craft beer loving camp.