Friday, November 2, 2007

Today's Two Beers

Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale
About 11 years ago, when MAGNET's office was out in the burbs, I often got takeout beer from a place called Uncle Bingo's, which was kind of a scary joint. They sold pretty much only fried food, had lot of customers missing teeth and frequently had to call the cops. I initially went there just because the place was such a dump, and I thought it would be funny to tell my friends I was buying beer at Uncle Bingo's. But everyone there was really nice to me, so I kept going back. This being Morrisville, Pa., circa 1996, Sam Adams beer was about as exotic as it got there (when I would purchase a sixer of Boston Lager, the regulars would comment I was drinking the "fancy" stuff again), so it was at Uncle Bingo's that I purchased my very first scotch ale. I was 25 at the time and not extremely versed in the different styles of beer; I knew I liked to drink both scotch and Sam Adams beer, so I figured Sam Adams Scotch Ale would be the best of both worlds. I liked it but couldn't figure out why it didn't taste remotely like scotch. Anyway ... Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale. I really dig this Portsmouth, N.H., brewery, both for its quality beers and its timeless packaging. Their seasonal Scotch Style Ale is part of their limited-edition, 22-ounce Big Beer Series, and it's a winner: earthy, smoky and delicious. Though I doubt the Uncle Bingo's crowd would like it.

Founders Pale Ale
The dry-hopped pale ale from this Grand Rapids, Mich., brewery is a very drinkable beer that's perfect for people who don't like to be hit over the head with hops. I have tried and enjoyed most of the brews these guys have bottled in the decade since they opened their doors, and I think my favorite is (coincidentally) their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale.

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