Well let me get these awards going before I order the Chinese food. The one thing about beer that most non-beer drinkers think is that beer is harsh. And they're right, when you first try it. Who did not taste some of your Dad's beer at 5 years old and spit it out immediately?
Of course as those beer are usually swill beer, chances are they are just reacting to the carbonation and some light hops. But what would a beer connoisseur think of as a harsh beer. That doesn't necessarily mean that a beer tastes bad, but tastes like "DAMN". I thought about going for one of those sour beers. The Gordon Biersch Berlinweisser I had in Atlanta popped up first in my mind. That sourness was something else. There are a lot of other sour beers out that get right there with it, including some lambics. But I am TRYING with the sourness, as this is a very popular style and not too long ago I would have said the same thing about hops.
So let's get away from the sour beer, and focus our attention on the swine. The new kids on the block at Southern Star Brewery in Conroe, TX have come on the scene with limited success. I've seen their cans of Pine Belt Pale Ale in many of the bigger beer stores in Houston. I've seen them at the home of a few beer friends. I am tickled pink that Southern Star is here to become our second Houston area microbrewery, but that Rauchbier is on another level of harsh.
I'll admit right up front, save a few choice cuts, I cannot stand pork. Particularly bacon, ham, and sausage. I will go to town on some chops and ribs (another stereotype), but all other pork should be banned. And that smokey rauchbier smelled and tasted of straight ham at first, and as it warmed up it tasted like bacon bits. Bacon bits have got to be right up there with the atomic bomb and Chris Brown R&B music as the worst things created by man. How many good salads have been ruined by those little hidden chips of fat and disgust.
I slugged that Rauchbier to the bottom of the glass and hated myself everytime it went down. I considered chugging it and almost retched, and I think teared up a minute. The Double IPA I had next was no match for that bacon/ham aftertaste.
And like I said in my post about this beer, I would not be surprised if it won some awards in the specialty and maybe even smoked beer categories at competition. It's just me. I cannot stand pork.
Therefore, the Beer Brotha Beer of the Year Award for the most harsh beer of 2008 goes to Southern Star's Rauchbier. Congratulations and keep brewing. I say bring the pain with every beer and don't stop till you get enough.