Some beer is great, actually a lot of it is. So good in fact that we dedicated a Foodie Friday to all the different beers we tried while we were in Europe. Beer helped us to become friends with a few Iranians and we became enthralled in Tanzania where our beer options were Safari, Kilimanjaro, Uhuru and Serengeti. We tried a huge variety of beer on our trip, mostly because we wanted to collect a variety of labels, and here’s our good, bad and ugly.
This one is really difficult to put our finger on. While we were in Cologne, Germany our friends there introduced us to Kölsch and explained to us that by law it has to come from that very region. We were there during the world cup, while Germany was making a run for the championship, and on game day we went to buy some and found the warehouse of a beer aisle at the local supermarket completely cleaned out. The beer is refreshing but really, is every bit as good as those wonderful pilsners we tried while we were in Prague….namely the original Budweiser. We didn’t have any trouble finding that in a local Prague bar and the local version of the familiar ‘black and tan’ was quite frankly amazing. Given that we have friends in both cities, I think we’re going to have to call it a tie. (I’m willing to take my chances that our friend in Munich isn’t reading….she might have a slightly different opinion.)
This one goes to Egypt. Many of us have been toasting the changes occurring there recently but the unfortunate truth is that Islamic countries, even secular ones, just don’t understand the concept very well. The local brew was actually OK but it was only memorable in that it was almost impossible to find outside of a tourist restaurant. Wanting to celebrate our completion of the overland Cape Town to Cairo route we struck out again and again. Finally we found a liquor store (we’d been told that the handful in existence were all run by Christians rather than Muslims….I’m not so sure of that) and, giving up on beer, made the switch to liquor. Have you ever heard of Jani Walker Red Lion? I imagine it is pretty similar to motor oil. Runner Up: Every time I go home and visit my parents I’m confronted with a refrigerator filled with Michelob Ultra. How Lance Armstrong, the world’s premier endurance athlete, became associated with a low-carbohydrate beverage is one mystery….how they get away with calling that yellow water beer is another.
The recent purchase of Anheuser Busch by InBev has had many Americans upset that our American beer is being stolen by Europeans. Company number two, behind InBev is South African Brewing Co, based in Johannesburg. (In case your curious, familiar names like Miller and Peroni are SAB labels.) While in Jo’Burg we toured the International Beer Museum (which is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon) and were surprised to learn that our tour entitled us to a taste of traditional African beer. Thankfully it was just a taste and we were later given two pints of real beer, plus a small souvenir glass filled with some more.
This column of ishouldlogoff.com aims to answer those questions that we always get asked. What was your favorite this, or your worst that. Every week we aim to highlight a new topic and will do so until we run out of ideas. If you have an idea for a Good-Bad-Ugly post, feel free to tell us in the comment section below or send us an email. To read all of them, click here.