My family is German. I grew up drinking beer. Not Skittles, rainbow-of-fruit-flavors beer. Not bitter, more-hops-than-a-rabbit beer. Not coffee colada beer. Not Sriracha donut beer.
Beer flavored beer.
Spaten, Paulaner, Erdinger. Goooood. The entire category of Weißbier (wheat beer). Sign me up. Stella Artois, Pilsner Urquell, Modelo, Killian’s Irish Red. Goooood. A cold Coors Banquet? Goooood.
OK, so here’s my super unpopular opinion: IPAs are terrible. I can’t stand them. The IPA evangelizers are a devoted bunch. “How can you not like IPAs?!? They’re so fresh and clean and citrusy!” Right. In the same way that Mr. Clean is fresh and clean and citrusy. And then, inevitably, “You just haven’t tried the right IPA.” There’s apparently a whole category of IPAs for People Who Hate IPAs. One of the perks of my job is that I get to try a lot of different beers. And, in the interest of being a good sport, I’ve tried dozens and dozens of IPAs. They’re all terrible. They taste like something I should use to clean my windows. Or my kitchen drain.
And then there’s the avalanche of flavored beers. Weird, often downright nauseating, flavored beers. Every time I walk into the store, there’s a new, bizarre flavor of beer on the shelf. I can’t keep up. And all these beers are competing for shelf space, so the weirder, the better. Notice me, pick me, drink me.
The one exception I made for flavored beer is the Radler. In Bavarian (German) dialect, Radler means cyclist, and it’s the Bavarian version of a sports drink. It’s an extremely refreshing, low-alcohol drink made with beer and limonada (a German lemon lime-soda with less sugar than American Sprite). It’s usually a 50/50 mix of beer and soda, but the proportions vary according to who’s making it. I’m starting to see more and more canned versions of Radlers here in the US, and they’re delicious. These are my two favorites:
Back to the parade of unholy beer flavors . . .
There’s dill pickle beer, carrot cake beer, Old Bay beer (I love Old Bay, but I just can’t with this one), pretty sure the world didn’t need Lucky Charms beer, coconut curry beer (which is actually described as an “explosion” of flavors), oatmeal raisin cookie beer (raisins don’t belong in baked goods or beer), banana bread beer (which I will admit to being curious about), Fudgie the Beer (bought it, tried it, just vile), and, just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, there’s cucumber cilantro beer.
Just because you can make it, doesn’t mean you should. 🤢
Another wildly unpopular opinion: I’m one of the 8 people on the planet who don’t like pumpkin pie, or pumpkin spice, anything. And only two more months until pumpkin spice takes over the beer shelves again.
Pass me a Coors, would you please?