Beer brands mentioned by Burkhard Bilger in "A Better Brew," about the rise of extreme beers, in the Nov. 24 issue of the New Yorker.
Ale Mary Full of Taste
Anyone else get the feeling that pacifists and women don't exactly dominate the industry? And that if "Burkhard Bilger" weren't already his real name, it would be the perfect pen name for a beer writer?
On a personal note, I'm pro-beer but anti-annihilation. I've tried and enjoyed He'Brew ("The Chosen Beer"), bottled by Shmaltz Brewing Company, itself a most excellent name. (In Yiddish, shmaltz means fat, especially chicken fat; metaphorically, shmaltz means "maudlin sentimentality." I love that the word, like the beer, contains malt.) The label design is amusingly over the top, and the brew names include some humdingers: Jewbilation, Messiah Bold, Genesis Ale.
But the brew I'm currently pursuing is Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, which Aces Full of Links brought to my attention. The name is purely descriptive, although in this case that means it's also distinctive: there isn't exactly a surfeit of chocolate-flavored beer in the marketplace. The internal choc-bock rhyme is pleasingly memorable. And apparently what's inside the bottle is pretty special. Three years ago, Aces called it "a beer-lover’s delight. Dark, smooth, rich, chocolaty, malty, not too bitter. Creamy. And, well, dreamy."
Also pricey. The California chain BevMo (sorry: BevMo!) purports to sell it at $15.99 for a 750 ml bottle, but it's perennially out of stock. I've staked a back-order claim.
Image: Obamantor beer, a Maibock lager initroduced by Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver, during the 2008 Democratic convention.