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#76 2018-08-26 01:39:10

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 5,458
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

^^ & ^ There are a lot of non-alcoholic beer-like drinks in Japan these days, with not even <1% alcohol; all the Japanese brands claim 0.00%, and all taste awful IMO. The German low-alcohol (under 1%) beers I've tried tasted much better, but people here got fixed on a it-must-be-zero thing. Maybe it was a marketing ploy to shut out the European competition. At Raffles we used to stock the German "Gerstel" which didn't taste too bad, but more and more customers started to insist on no alcohol whatsoever.

But, no, what I've been referring to, and what the above "faux beers" linked article (recommended for entertainment) referred to , is a Galapagos phenomenon created by Japan's weird alcohol tax law. I doubt if these drinks exist anywhere else. Try Googling "happoshu" or "third beer" or read my blog post from 2012, which I like to think explains it all fairly well: The Third Beer

BTW don't believe a couple of other web articles which claim that "third beer" drinks cannot use any malt at all. They're wrong. The allowed malt is just lower, even, than "happoshu". My favourite, called "Mugi to Hoppu", is made from wheat, barley and hops only, yet still gets in the third-beer tax bracket! Amazing R&D work by the Japanese manufacturers which has no meaning whatsoever in any country with sane liquor taxes. These things are therefore unexportable, and the government plans to gradually bring the tax levels closer together to encourage the manufacturers to put more effort into actual beer that might be saleable overseas.

@ohnonot Beer is not native to Japan - it was introduced by, and at first exclusively drunk by, Westerners, hence the historically high tax level. The Japanese word is the phonetic transcription of the English word ビール (biiru). Interesting that Chinese and Korean do have native words. I don't know the exact Chinese characters but it might be something like 麦酒 (wheat liquor) and the Korean "mekju" means the same. In fact I think 麦酒 might have been used in Japan too once. I have an old (pre war?) beer bottle labelled 大日本麦酒株式会社. That company later became Kirin. Most SE Asian countries' languages (that I know of) use a localized rendering of the English word "beer", eg "bia" in Viet Nam and "bir" in Indonesia.

As you may have gathered, this is a topic close to my heart. smile


John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#77 2018-08-26 02:19:26

hhh
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Registered: 2015-09-17
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

@johnraff, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD-AXgYO0lo

The best beer I've ever had, I can handle an IPA in the heat and humidity...

https://www.calderabrewing.com/caldera_ipa.html

-edit- I am drinking a Yuengling lager ATM,so there's that. tongue

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#78 2018-08-26 02:45:15

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 5,458
Website

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

IPA originated in Britain of the Empire days, but now seems to have become very much a thing in the US, and more power to you! It sounds like good stuff.


John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#79 2018-08-26 02:56:36

Dobbie03
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From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,259
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

I need to experience more Japanese beer, the problem is NZ is going through a Boutique Beer boom of it's own and I am so spoiled for choice.


I like my Metal like my coffee.......Black!
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#80 2018-08-26 06:40:52

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,773
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

IPA is a "thing" here in Finland, too. IDK; I thought it's a global fashion, but of course weird taxes (I had to look up Galapagos Syndrome) can influence these things.

johnraff, I didn't see that older article before (only the one with the blue can).
So the taxes are on brewed malt, not alcohol content? that's weird, and explains the birth of "fake beer". your article describes it well.
I hope they reform it some time...

Here in Finland, taxation goes with alcohol content afaik. it's apparent in the prices, every now and then i do the math in my head: compare prices of the cheapest beer, the cheapest wine and the cheapest spirit - it always comes out the same per percent of alcohol.
one would think the good news is that expensive, high quality beverages are cheaper by comparison, but of course marketing takes advantage of the high prices and the consumer's willingness to pay more.
This is particularly apparent in beer prices - while the cheapest half-liter can costs sth like 1.6€, one can also get craft beer for sth like 6€. supermarket, not pub.

So there's a continuous search for good & affordable beer (i feel for you, johnraff), and for a few years my choice has been this company's beers.
They seem devoted to producing good quality beverages for sane prices, and are pretty succesful.
The Pils and Lager are at just over 2€ per half-liter can, and the stronger IPA is at 3€.
I'm a fan of the German Reinheitsgebot, and those beers fulfil it, even the IPA (IPAs very often conatin yeast in addition to the 3 base ingredients, but not this one).
Additionally, they claim that their factory runs on electricity produced by wind power alone. It's printed on every can.

PS: Law demands that drinks with alcohol content above 4.7% are sold in Alko-shops only, not in supermarkets.
This is a (smaller) Galapagos Syndrome in itself, becasue it hinders direct import of "normal" beer from e.g. Germany, where the most typical alcohol content is 5%.
But very recently the bar has been raised to 5.5% (you will notice here that there's 2 IPAs).
Here's hoping it will soon be possible to get good German Pilsener for sane prices.

PPS: Bottles vs cans - I prefer bottles but there's a weird thing here in Finland - the very cheapest beers come in bottles, and the most expensive ones (craft beers in small bottles, both locally produced and imported) - everything else is in tin cans.

PPPS: for some reasons (even though taxation does not favor it) those alcopops are popular in finland, too. maybe because by adding sugar to alcohol, it's easier to get a buzz (and a hangover). i particularly hate that most of them are called Cider (Siideri) - they usually conatin apple wine, but are just a concoction of sugar, alcohol and flavour.
Real cider is fremented apple juice, and lovely.

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#81 2018-08-27 00:04:35

hhh
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Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 7,921
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

I think you're over-analyzing it.

Homer no function beer well without.

Bart, get me my wallet!

reaches for pocket Right here, dad!

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#82 2018-09-16 04:18:34

Dobbie03
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From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,259
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Currently supping on a fantastic stout by Panhead.  Panhead Blacktop Oat, you non-Kiwis are missing out.


I like my Metal like my coffee.......Black!
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#83 2019-02-09 07:28:41

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,773
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Since Christmas I have become partial to Calvados.
No particular brand; apparently the manufacturing process is so strictly controlled by law that you can't really go wrong when it says "Calvados" on the label.

It's made from apples.

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#84 2019-02-10 01:12:05

THX1138
Member
Registered: 2019-01-14
Posts: 191

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

I usually only drink red wine. I like a nice, saint emilion grand cru, Shiraz, Cotes Du Rhone, or Rioja. I rarely drink on a weekday or Sunday, usually only Friday and Saturday. I try to stay off the web after a drink (it doesnt always work (staying off the web, I mean)).


The telephone is an antiquity - you never know who is calling, there is no image, it is an outmoded product which constantly disrupts work (Ralf Hutter (Kraftwerk)) ps: my wife knows how much I dislike being disrupted at Work - Ralf Hutter hit the nail on the head there

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#85 2019-02-10 08:43:00

nore
>2⁹
From: squirrels' nest
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 444

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

ohnonot wrote:

Apparently the manufacturing process is so strictly controlled by law that you can't really go wrong when it says "Calvados" on the label.

A sip is nice with a cup of black coffee.

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#86 2019-02-11 23:21:12

glittersloth
...always giving it to you straight
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 786

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Don't drink beer all that often now, but picked up a couple of bottles of Crazy Mountain Cara De Luna Black Ale on a whim today, mainly because wierd artwork on the bottle. Looks better than it drinks. Not terrible, but nothing special either. Slightly chocolate-y and quite smooth. A half-decent "dessert drink" I suppose.

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#87 2019-02-12 05:00:10

Dobbie03
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From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,259
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Been supping on some delicious beer.  First one was Harrington's Belgian Tempest, a spice strong ale.  Really nice.

Second one was Mac's Birthday Suit, a double hopped IPA.  About to take a step down and crack a Sapporo, delicious but not as flavoursome as the last two.


I like my Metal like my coffee.......Black!
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#88 2019-02-12 09:18:44

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,773
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

This thread is beginning to remind me of Australian Table Wine.
wink

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#89 2019-05-27 10:36:34

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,769

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

About 2dcl of dark version of Velkopopovický Kozel the other day (beer).

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2019-05-27 10:39:52)

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#90 2019-05-27 18:15:38

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,773
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

^ They sell that up here, too, but I think they put a lot of "stuff" in it (sugar...).
I'm more "german" with beer: 3 ingredients, none of which is sugar or starch. Surprising how many different tastes you get with it, see my favorite brewery's products. red ale is another nice one.

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#91 2019-05-27 19:17:53

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,769

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Actually I rarely drink alco, so on a rare occasions I do almost everything tastes like an overload.

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#92 2019-06-03 11:37:52

misko_2083
Member
Registered: 2016-05-24
Posts: 205

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

https://i.imgur.com/xYDCSZP.jpg
Greek beer.
Because of a very small similarity to the cyrillic,
I can read only the brand name, Amstel Mpura, 5% vol.

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#93 2019-06-03 13:15:53

unklar
Member
Registered: 2015-10-31
Posts: 883

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Beer in a can of sheet metal is a rape of taste nerves...   monkey

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#94 2019-06-04 02:03:11

hhh
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Registered: 2015-09-17
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

I beg to differ. Just pour it into a glass. The best beer out of the hundreds I've tried came from a can...

https://www.ratebeer.com/beer/caldera-ipa/22106/

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#95 2019-06-04 02:14:15

hhh
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Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 7,921
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

To round out my Top 5, Caldera IPA being Number 1 (I'll have to add dates because beers and beer companies change, perceptions change, etc...)

Lowenbrau Munchen (mid-90s, before the were aquired by ABV)

https://loewenbraeu.de/

Trappist monk (originally) lambics from Belgium, like peche (peach) and framboise (raspberry)...

https://www.merchantduvin.com/brew-lind … lambic.php

https://www.merchantduvin.com/brew-lind … lambic.php

Dinkelacker...

https://www.familienbrauerei-dinkelacke … ry-en.html

Dab (mid-90s)...

https://www.dab-beer.com/

So pilsners, lambics, and one very tasty American IPA. I'll stand by that.

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#96 2019-06-06 04:45:43

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 3,773
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Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

"mid-90s"? sure they didn't have websites back then?
do you mean you still objectively remember the taste from back then? and it doesn't taste like that anymore?

misko_2083 wrote:

Mpura

That's "Bira" - the greek do not have a letter B so they "emulate" it with "Mp".
Are you sure Amstel is Greek?

unklar wrote:

Beer in a can of sheet metal is a rape of taste nerves...   monkey

I tend to agree, but unfortunately it is very, very common hereabouts - and also good beer in bottles is usually 25% more expensive for no apparent reason - so I've gotten used to it - it's not so bad (see my previous post) but there's always that small taste of tin in the background somewhere ... sad
So I'm glad to spend a weekend in the Land of Reinheitsgebot...

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#97 2019-06-06 05:52:01

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 5,458
Website

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

Amstel is originally from the Netherlands, but that can looked Greek enough. Maybe they have a factory there. So would it then be Greek beer or Dutch beer? Fairly standard international default lager anyway.


John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , Japan Links, idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
In case you forget, the rules.

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#98 2019-06-06 10:18:23

misko_2083
Member
Registered: 2016-05-24
Posts: 205

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

^Looked it up and found: Athenian Brewery S.A. the operating company of Heineken International N.V. in Greece serves as the exclusive bottler and distributor of Amstel beer for Greece.
It just looks like Greek.
Like with Coca Cola, they send some special "powders" from US, add some local watter and bottle it. Finally they add a sticker with the language of the customers they want to sell the product.

ohnonot wrote:
misko_2083 wrote:

Mpura

That's "Bira" - the greek do not have a letter B so they "emulate" it with "Mp".

Interesting, didn't know that.

unklar wrote:

Beer in a can of sheet metal is a rape of taste nerves...   monkey

Cans are often "accused" of giving metal taste to the beer. But they are better than glass bottles.
They block UV light, so the chances that they preserve the original taste are higher than in bottles. Beer does not get in contact with the metal because the layer of polimer separates the beer from the can.
When opening the can you use glass and it's perfectly fine.

By the way, metallic taste in beer comes usually from production process.

Last edited by misko_2083 (2019-06-06 11:04:33)

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#99 2019-06-06 13:08:37

Martin
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 328
Website

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

misko_2083 wrote:

By the way, metallic taste in beer comes usually from production process.

Last fall I attended a talk given by a bio-chemist who after many years in research in the pharmaceutical industry had broken loose and started something herself. She had realised that micro breweries lacked know-how in scaling up from hobby to commercial production. They are still too small to hire the engineering skill needed and even more so to buy the equipment needed. Hence, she turned consultant to cater for this market.

The talk was about the various things you need to monitor/measure at different steps of the process and what impact on taste you get when things are not just right. Now I can't help but notice some of this in beer I buy. People are sloppy and cut corners :-( Yesterday I had an IPA from New Zealand in a restaurant and made me think of this  talk...

On a side note she told us that one thing these small actors are actually not good at is the alcohol level. You can easilly get across beer in Swedish grocery stores that are way above the legal limit. No, she did not tell us which brands :-)

/Martin


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#100 2019-06-06 14:53:29

unklar
Member
Registered: 2015-10-31
Posts: 883

Re: Club Lounge - What are you drinking now? (Alcoholic Version)

ohnonot wrote:
unklar wrote:

    Beer in a can of sheet metal is a rape of taste nerves...   monkey

I tend to agree, but unfortunately it is very, very common hereabouts - and also good beer in bottles is usually 25% more expensive for no apparent reason - so I've gotten used to it - it's not so bad (see my previous post) but there's always that small taste of tin in the background somewhere ... sad
So I'm glad to spend a weekend in the Land of Reinheitsgebot...

Undoubtedly I can understand that and I was premature with my assessment of sheet metal and glass. (misko_2083 is right)
In other countries, beer can objectively not be stored in glass bottles for so long. Therefore the tin can is more suitable, because it is opaque.

If you come to the country of the "Purity Law", avoid the brand names of the beer. Bring some time with you and try the beer "on tap" ("vom Fass") in a pub. It usually tastes much better than the brand from the bottle.  wink

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