Monthly Archives: June 2012

Yuengling’s Lord Chesterfield Ale

I’m back from a brief hiatus. Life has been hard the last few weeks. Only the strong survive. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Thus spaketh Nietzsche before he went nuts. Those German philosophers…so insufferable, so ponderous. Well, so German. But at least  they make good beer.

One problem about becoming a beer connoisseur (have to distrust that word because it is French)  is cost. The high suds mark in the glass gets harder and harder to beat without shelling out more Benjamins. Thus, every so often, I go lowbrow to reset the taste pallet. It is hard medicine but necessary. Thus, let me introduce the Lord of Lowbrow Lord Chesterfield:

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Now, I don’t know what fiefdom Lord Chesterfield ruled over. I suppose I could Google his name and find out. This much is certain: Lord Chesterfield used to be the worst beer in America before Yuengling decided to make its beer drinkable to anyone outside of Pottsville’s city limits. I think it was 5 dollars a case and then money back with returnables. How bad? It could have killed roaches that survived a nuclear winter. So, when one is Lord of the Sewer, a climb up the ladder to daylight is massively noticeable.

A few years ago at the local distributor, Yuengling had a stand set up with samples of their brews. Fighting the past, I decided to take a chance on the Dark Lord and take a sip or two. It had a good result…I did not gag and convulse into drive heaves. The downside of the upside is now the cases of Yuengling run around 20 to 23 dollars or so. Plus, you have to find something else to kill the radioactive roaches it it ever comes to that.

So, I bought a case of the Lord Chesterfield the other day. Definitely hoppier than the Yuengling Lager. Not bad, not great. Drinkable. I think Beer Advocate gives it a “D.” At least there is a grade that can be assigned. Before, an “F’ would have been a gift and stood for “Foul” “Fiendish” or just plain old “Filthy.” Now it is just Feudal, worthy of the teeming masses. Far from being aristocratic, Lord Chesterfield has joined the League of Nations of acceptable beers that sticks it to the the Big Wigs. For that alone, it is worth drinking.


I wandered arou…

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I wandered around the beer distributor on Friday night for close to an hour like a vagrant (Beer Distributor? It is a Pennsylvania thing, you wouldn’t understand unless you are from the state that is still working through the demise of Prohibition). Like a woman looking for the perfect top, I just couldn’t decide which case to buy. And no, I wouldn’t solve the dilemma by just buying both.

It was my buddy’s birthday and his wife reminded me that he favored either IPA or Stouts. Beer is just one of those universal gifts that most men who are not weenies go “Oh boy!” when he sees his case-bearing friend enter the door. It is a good gift but it is not without hemming and hawing. What to buy, what to buy? Should I be daring and buy a case of something that I have never had? What if it sucks and is expensive? I settled on an IPA for sure. It just seemed to fit the birthday vibe the best. Half the battle was done, the hard hand-to-hand combat remained.

BTW, I also gave a Triple Perfection Belgian liter to my buddy at his wedding reception yesterday. If you invite me to you celebratory events, there is better than average chance that I will bring beer. But, you will not know what type. I have to retain some mystery as to be alluring.

I kept flipping through the price binder at the Beer Distributor. I have no problem spending money but some cases are so egregious in regards to cost that one should have his head examined for profligacy if one were to buy. Although I love beer, I don’t want to become the equivalent of a wine snob, sniffing corks like dogs sniffing butts. It is not really about wine; it is about the Rolex factor. See what I can afford? Ask me what time it is.

I found that I was using the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA as my gold-standard reference in my searching around and around. Hoping for revelation. A case that was in the mid-thirty dollar range, its tastes are exquisite without being snotty. Rocky mashed-up with Charm School. I continued to wander and wonder. Then it hit me, why not just buy the Dogfish? The heavens open wide and the angelic courses sang, “He is mighty slow but he finally has seen the light.” Old two by four on the side of the head, that’s me.

I hoped that my buddy would be giddy about the gift. In the back of my mind, I searched the records to recall if he was ever dismissive of the brand. I didn’t think it would be possible but one never knows. Nothing of the nature was brought forth from the abyss of my memory.

Needless to say, my buddy was pleased with my selection. We had a great night hanging out with a cool group of people, drinking some beers, eating some ribs. Smoking some hand-rolled cigarettes (tobacco, just to clarify). It was raining like the Dickens which just concentrated the essential energy of the party around the square table in the kitchen.

My mission had been fulfilled, my meanderings had turned out to be meaningful. My buddy texted me something on Saturday to the effect of being appreciative that I treated him well with the Dogfish Head Ale 60 Minute IPA gift as he was not likely to treat himself. He’s a humble and hard-working dude, not likely to sniff a wine cork anytime soon. Since birthdays are only once a year, taking him some 60 minute was a gift worth giving.  It is more blessed to give than receive.