Despite my apparent (if not borderline obsessive) love of beer, I don’t spend much time evangelizing. I figure this is a pretty captive audience, by which I mean I have logged all your IP addresses and have zero compunctions about showing up at your doorstep should you decide to stop reading me. However, did you know there are people in this world who harbor the ridiculous belief that beer doesn’t taste delicious? I was stunned too.
I refuse to live in a world where there are people so deluded. We, the beer drinkers, have a sacred duty to eliminate the scourge of beer dislike from the world. That’s why today I’m proud to announce a global, grassroots campaign to hunt these people down in their sleep, drag them screaming from their homes to the lip of an active volcano and inciner…
I’ve just been informed by my editor that TSJ, evidently an ideological wasteland, does not wish to have their precious website associated with a genocidal pogrom. Weaksauce. So, instead, let’s explore my secondary plan.
If we can’t eliminate these defectives from our society, we must take active steps to convert them into beer drinkers. It’s not gonna be easy, though. Remember that non-beer drinkers are basically babies. Pudgy, wobbly little babies that simply understand nothing. If that sounds offensive to some of you, SHUT UP, BABY. I don’t care what Patrick Swayze says, I WILL put you in the corner.*
I was just kidding, Mr. Swayze. Please don’t dancekick me!
New beer drinkers need to be coddled. They haven’t had the chance to develop their beer palate with sequential rounds of hop poisoning. The good news is that most beer haters have only had shitty ones so reprogramming may not be too difficult.
As much as I really, really, really love mocking my lessers in the beer world, there comes a time to rise above such pettiness and begin building bridges. N00b’s need love too. That’s why I’m instituting a new feature called “Trying To Explain Why Beer Is Good To Stupid Idiots That Are Stupid”.
(I’m not really a marketing guy.)
For this feature I will present FNGs beers that I believe will coax them into further experimentation. I can’t guarantee that a few palates won’t be offended in this process, but since non-beer drinkers aren’t really people it’s a risk I can tolerate.
*Dirty Dancing reference, anyone? Hello?
Boddingtons Cream Ale (3.5% ABV)
Apropos of nothing: I want to have a butler named Boddington. I don’t know if you get to rename them upon hiring, but I’m not going to let that stop me.
“Oh Boddington, a fresh pale ale if you please?”
Boddingtons Cream Ale is a bright yellow brew with an unbelievably taut, full head. It looks like you could scoop the foam out of the glass and insulate your home with it. It is light on aroma, but smells grainy with a hint of light fruits.
The most standout feature of this beer is its ridiculously creamy mouthfeel. It has a velvety texture that coats the mouth and makes the experience that much more savory. The flavor, while pleasant, is nowhere near as robust as the beer’s presence in the glass. It is grainy with some light honey notes and a mild vegetal finish.
Boddingtons is a great gateway beer. There are very few off-tap selections that can rival the feel and texture of this beer. It has all the characteristics that can reverse a wayward beer drnker.
FNG Synopsis: “The fact that I keep taking sips must mean I like this…”
FNG Grade: A-
Wells Banana Bread (5.2% ABV)
Naming a beer after a specific food is always a bit dicey. Consumers expect to sip on this and end up with a big mouthful of banana bread, not a banana-bread nuanced beer. If you truly want to drink banana bread no blender will reject your whim (though it rightfully should).
“Banana bread with vodka? Oh no, sir, I think not.
Go talk one of those Jamba Juice assholes into it.”
That’s not to say that this beer isn’t a banana bread powerhouse. It has an unmistakable, irrepressible banana smell, almost akin to a scratch’n'sniff sticker. It also has a bready first bite with full malt flavors and a light caramel sweetness. Unfortunately, the banana flavors in this are best compared to everyone’s least favorite Runt.
Goddamn you, Wonka. Damn you to hell.
Like the Boddingtons this is certainly a unique experience, but the banana flavors just taste too artificial to ring true.
FNG Post-Belch Synopsis: “Now THAT tastes like banana bread.”
FNG Grade: C
Bootlegger’s Hefeweizen (5% ABV)
Hefeweizens usually have a reputation for being fruity and mild. It not only makes them excellent bridge beers for amateur drinkers, it also makes them the perfect foil to deftly swap with an IPA and watch the n00b go fetal from bitterness overload.
This maneuver, when executed properly, can even result in an embarrassing posthumous face.
The Bootlegger’s Hefe has a very savory aroma, almost akin to a teriyaki. The yeasts used in hefes can produce some very unique smells, but that’s peculiar even with those standards. It has some spiced notes as well, but nothing that stands out as much.
The flavor is similarly out of left field. The first thing I note is a chalky sweetness like those strangely personalized Valentine’s candies.
The sweetness evolves to be a bit more like a Babcock peach, but it never becomes sticky-sweet. Ultimately it maintains that hefeweizen fullness and mild flavor, but brings a host of unique and fun characteristics that both new and seasoned drinkers alike can enjoy. It’s fun for the whole family!
FNG Synopsys: “I like this one. It leaves me alone after I drink it.”