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icerose
07-23-2009, 07:28 AM
Okay, I have never drank in my life and honestly have no desire to.

However, my MC in one of books needs to describe a micro-brew she tries that's one of the best she's ever had.

I have no idea what it would taste like, smell like, what subtle flavors would she detect? What aroma would appeal to her? She's a med student if that helps. She doesn't really drink all that much and definitely doesn't go for the cheap stuff despite living her early years on a farm.

You won't find her knocking back a cheap beer with one of the guys. If she drinks alcohol it's either to blend in or enjoy the flavor and a light buzz. She never, ever gets drunk, it lets her guard down too much and she's far too careful to ever let that happen. So again, quality over quantity. What kind of beer would this character go for and how would she describe it? She's on the East Coast too if that helps, New Yorkish area.

Thanks for the help.

katiemac
07-23-2009, 07:41 AM
Well, I can't really get too in depth for you, but if I order a beer at the bar, I prefer one of these:

Blue Moon (served with an orange slice)
Hoegaarden (sometimes served with a lemon slice)
Sam Adams Summer Ale, if they've got it

I can't drink dark beers, like Guinness. They're usually way too heavy for me. Generally, the lighter, the better. The three beers I listed above are all wheat beers brewed with either orange or lemon peel.

In terms of any of these three being "the best beer ever tasted," I'm sure there members here better schooled in beer than me, but for a character who doesn't drink often, I'd say they're common enough for your MC to find in a bar/grocery store, especially in New York. (I'm on the East coast, myself.)

ETA: Shocktop is another one brewed with orange peel, but I've never actually had it. I've witnessed a lot of girls ordering it at the bar before, though.

icerose
07-23-2009, 07:47 AM
This is a made up brewery, its something she sees in a picture that helps her track down her target. It's a new brewery, something that stands out. That's interesting that they use citrus peelings.

katiemac
07-23-2009, 07:52 AM
Gotcha. In that case I might just do a Google search for a couple of different kinds of beer, then search the company's own description of them. For example, the (condensed) description of Sam Adams Summer Ale is as follows:


Refreshing, crisp, and tangy, Summer Ale is brewed with wheat malt, lemon zest and Grain of Paradise, a mysterious brewing spice used by Renaissance brewers centuries ago.

Upon further investigation I find there's a hint of mango and peach in addition to lemon.

So once you get an idea of what kind of flavors your MC likes (and I'm going to suggest a lighter beer if she's not much of a drinker), you can go from there.

Medievalist
07-23-2009, 08:10 AM
Err . . . I blog about beer here (http://beerreport.com/). It might help.

GeorgeK
07-23-2009, 08:11 AM
Go to a liquor store and read the back labels on a few brews. They hired writers to entice the unwary and the seasoned verteran. Typical comments are...
floral bouquet
bread-like
hint of caramel
The list goes on. There are so many styles of beers that it's sort of a too vague question.

Medievalist
07-23-2009, 08:15 AM
Sam Adams, while dear to my heart, doesn't technically qualify as a microbrew.

Shocktop is a Michelob brand, and brewed by Anheuser-Busch; it's not a microbrew, and, again, this is a technicality, some would say it's not even American.

If she's a microbrew snob fan, she'll likely favor a regional microbrew, and will have preference to have it on tap, but will, in a pinch make do with a six pack.

This site has a beer map (http://beermapping.com/).

GeorgeK
07-23-2009, 09:03 AM
preference to have it on tap, .

Yeah, that'd be nice, but around here you don't get draft unless you want it watered down, and then they try to charge 5 bucks a glass. Thankfully the worst offender is now closed. I'm sure the new owners of the previously booming restaurant attributed the rapidly declining patronage to the economy and not their blanded down food or watered down beer. I feel a rant coming on.

But, for the OP, my wife doesn't like beer much, but when she does it's usually a Pale Ale, Bitters or Cream Ale. Also avoid any beer with a weird gimmicky name. If it's called Goat Piss Ale, there's probably some truth in advertising there.

alleycat
07-23-2009, 09:52 AM
Okay, I have never drank in my life and honestly have no desire to.

However, my MC in one of books needs to describe a micro-brew she tries that's one of the best she's ever had.

I have no idea what it would taste like, smell like, what subtle flavors would she detect? What aroma would appeal to her? She's a med student if that helps. She doesn't really drink all that much and definitely doesn't go for the cheap stuff despite living her early years on a farm.

You won't find her knocking back a cheap beer with one of the guys. If she drinks alcohol it's either to blend in or enjoy the flavor and a light buzz. She never, ever gets drunk, it lets her guard down too much and she's far too careful to ever let that happen. So again, quality over quantity. What kind of beer would this character go for and how would she describe it? She's on the East Coast too if that helps, New Yorkish area.

Thanks for the help.
She really sounds more like someone who would enjoy wine or a cocktail more than beer. Or, if she were drinking beer, someone who would prefer something like one of the Belgian or other imported beers.

I'm no expert on micro-breweries, but most of the one I've tried have a deeper, richer flavor than a standard American beer. A more pronounced flavor, in other words. Common American beers tend to be on the bland side with a few exceptions.

alleycat
07-23-2009, 10:03 AM
And here's a link to a local restaurant/microbrewery in my area:

http://www.blackstonebrewery.com/pub_beers.html

You might be able to use some of the descriptions they use to describe their beers.

They make a good cheeseburger too! ;-)

CommonReactor
07-23-2009, 01:58 PM
I lived in Fort Collins, CO, which has at least 3 micro-breweries (but, I think they have more than that). They all brewed Belgian-style beers, which you could Google to find flavors and "notes". One of the micro-breweries had lots of different beer flavors and had light and dark beers. Their beer list is here: http://www.newbelgium.com/beer. If you click each beer, they talk about flavors and pairings.

The reason I picked that particular brewery is because they often have different, unique beers, which may interest you based on your description. Hope that helps!

Note: I'm not trying to advertise for this brewery, but I just thought they did a decent (snobby??) job of describing their beers.

icerose
07-23-2009, 05:42 PM
Thanks for the links, the descriptions are pretty much what I'm looking for.

dirtsider
07-24-2009, 12:55 AM
Depending on if your MC is in the NJ area, there's a micro-brewery/restaurant called Triumph's. It makes some of its beers onsite and you can see the vats. There's one in Princeton, NJ and one in New Hope, PA. If she's picky about her beers, she'll probably go more for the Lagers or Ales since there's more of a taste to them.

Another little tidbit - there's a restaurant up in Milford, NJ, called the Ship Inn that has its own microbrewery. It's an English-style pub, if you want some ambiance for your MC. I think there may be a website.

Shadow_Ferret
07-24-2009, 01:06 AM
There are plenty of excellent websites that rate beer and describe it.

Tastings (http://www.tastings.com/)is one.

Ratebeer (http://ratebeer.com/)is another one.

icerose
07-24-2009, 01:56 AM
She's actually using the micro-brew to track down a specific bar with a specific bartender. The bar looks like an average bar in the picture she has that's holding the guy she's looking for, so she uses the one thing she's not familiar with, namely the beer bottle.

Oberon
07-25-2009, 05:35 AM
I drink a variety of beers, mostly ale, as I like the enhanced flavor. Hops are key, some ales may be called "very hoppy," i.e., Arrogant Bastard Ale by a west coast brewery. Micro breweriess will have their own names for their brews. Some pretty silly, but their fun. Dead Guy, Black Toad, Red Tail, Downtown Brown. A true microbrewery probably won't have national distribution, like Sam Adams, Wee Heavy (Scotland) or others made by big breweries. Belgian style wheat beers are fruity. I don't know if they are done much by microbreweries. You can make up a beer your MC likes and describe just about any way you want to.

icerose
07-25-2009, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the tips, Oberon, I'm trying to decide what my MC likes. I know she's more a light and fruity kind of person because it's a total opposite to her deep dark inner personality.

Kalyke
07-26-2009, 04:13 AM
There are bars that feature the beer of a nearby microbrewery.
That will take some research. I love EMPYRION beers. My favorite is vanilla porter. They have a brewpub called Lazlo's in Lincoln Nebraska (where I live). They also sell to Fireworks another restraunt. They sell to local stores in Lincoln, but I think they are fairly local. They have maybe 7-9 different Types of beer. Top quality, all.

So you can find 2 local restraunts by looking at a beer bottle-- if that is your question-- you can find several stores also because they sell to various local market stores and probably at least some regional importing.

MattW
07-26-2009, 08:23 AM
Also avoid any beer with a weird gimmicky name. If it's called Goat Piss Ale, there's probably some truth in advertising there.
Dogfishhead produces a number of great beers, none of which have a fishy flavor. Though I found one IPA that was too hoppy even for this hophead.

Medievalist
07-26-2009, 08:38 AM
Dogfishhead produces a number of great beers, none of which have a fishy flavor. Though I found one IPA that was too hoppy even for this hophead.

They make a number of "ancient" beers--which I find fascinating.

mscelina
07-26-2009, 08:44 AM
Icerose--I'd suggest a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or something along the lines of a Blue Moon. Blue Moon on tap is customarily served with an orange slice. But she's a med student, right? Sierra Nevada is one of the YP beer of choice.