A Drinker’s Guide: Big Beer and Strong Ale
After a long weekend of sampling big beers, I feel it’s my duty to discuss the topic of Strong Ales in more detail. A Strong Ale is defined by BeerAdvocate as a catchall style of beers containing 7% ABV and above. I’m not a big fan of high alcohol beers in general, probably because it severely limits the number of beers you can drink in one sitting and Salty’s more of a “session” drinker. That said, Half Pint and I stumbled across a few tasty ones this weekend.
The first was a Stone Arrogant Bastard, the standard big beer from Southern California. Bastard is not hard to find in bottles at the grocery store all over America, but we had the pleasure of finding a cask-conditioned batch at our local pub. We also had a Stone Russian Imperial Stout that was sweet and smooth and knocked us on our asses at 10.5% ABV.
This is not a beer review, nor a discussion about the best Strong Ales, but simply a quick “Drinker’s Guide” to help you handle yourself in public while sampling the big boys.
- Stop playing the trivia machine, pool, and darts. None are going to work out for you very well. Stick to activities that don’t take too much brain activity: shuffleboard, foosball, or just talking loudly to the person next to you.
- Stop pretending you’re reviewing beer after the third one. Face it, you’re just talking out of your ass now. You don’t really know if there’s a distinct floral aroma anymore, stop pretending you can smell anything. Yes, you sense that it’s high in alcohol but honestly, Chief, you’re not critiquing anything.
- The third a final suggestion I have for you big beer drinkers is to stop sampling before it’s too late and find an Indian restaurant immediately. The spices should wake up your senses and snap you out of the big beer haze. Luckily, we happened upon the India Jones curry truck on our way home. It really saved the day!
Enjoy your big beers and Strong Ales, but don’t forget these simple rules that should make your high alcohol quaffing more enjoyable. Cheers!