Daily beer project

Beer #1: Samuel Adams Boston Ale

Posted in American Craft Beer by dailybeerproject on January 14, 2010

I was genuinely excited to try an ale since I’m pretty sure all the other beers I’ve tried previously were lagers. I opened the bottle to smell before tasting and was pleased with the aroma–a little more fruity, a little less grainy than what I remember from lagers. I poured it into a mug, straight down the middle rather than down the side (I know nothing about pouring and proper pouring etiquette for different beer styles–if you’re a savvy pourer, please give me some guidance in the comments), and it foamed up to fill half the glass–the rest would have to wait for later.

I took the first sip and enjoyed the initial flavor, but when it hit the back of my mouth where my bitter tastebuds are, it tasted quite bitter and a little sour, even unpleasantly bitter. It was the same as I remember from past beer tasting experience. And the same reason I never liked them. The initial fruitiness was still quite nice, though, and enough to make the first four ounces or so reasonably enjoyable.

The middle third was difficult. The effect of the bitterness seemed to be cumulative, and I had a hard time getting it down. I thought there was no way I was going to finish this first beer. 29 more seemed out of the question.

Then I cheated–I poured a small glass of chardonnay and distracted myself with half of that while I let the beer sit a bit longer. Ten minutes later, I tried again. The bitterness seemed to have subsided somewhat, and I was able to pretend to enjoy the rest of the glass. I rewarded my efforts by finishing the glass of chardonnay.

Summary thoughts: if it doesn’t get better, I’m going to have a really hard time going 30 days like this. Especially when there is no shortage of things I’d rather drink. But there’s a reason I committed to 30 days and not three–I already knew I didn’t like beer and was under no illusions that just the one more would change that. We’ll see if 29 more do the trick.

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6 Responses

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  1. etiberius said, on January 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Pouring tips:
    Pour down the side of a room temperature, clean dry glass. At the very end of the pour tilt the glass upright to leave a slight head. It should fit fine in a pint glass or tumbler. Cold mugs are for lager

    Your experience with the ale is a little telling- letting it warm up, relatively speaking, allows you to taste the flavors a little better- especially the malts- balancing out the bitterness of the hops in the brew..

    • dailybeerproject said, on January 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      OK, next time ale goes in a pint glass. And I’ll pour like you said.

      But what’s the drill for lager, since that’s on the agenda for tonight? Same thing? Down the side?

  2. etiberius said, on January 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Ok- I found a film- check here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/pour.php
    they say vertical at half, but I hate overpouring a head so I err towards the 2/3 point.

    I would pour most non speciality beers in pint glasses. For the Boston Lager tonight I would stick with a pint glass. I saw the frosty mug for a cheap lager like Old Milwaukee or high life.

  3. SYJ said, on January 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Hmmm…if bitterness is a problem, try a Newcastle or Sam Smith’s Nut Brown – both are malty-sweet with virtually no bitterness.

    • dailybeerproject said, on January 15, 2010 at 2:55 am

      Funny thing is, I wouldn’t think bitterness would be an issue, but it is. I love coffee and dark chocolate–bitter flavors usually appeal to me. But in this case it doesn’t seem to work. Yet. About to crack open the Boston Lager…

  4. […] I’ve liked previously as well as some I didn’t (I’m especially anxious to give Sam Adams another try). Never fear, eleven days hence when the project officially ends, I’m not going to […]


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