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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day… hell, quote of the month

You’re going to pay over $12 for a six-rack of an IPA that barely tastes like an IPA in a market already over-saturated with IPAs, especially as craft breweries go. The flavor is negligible, and no part of it is enjoyable, even if you’re the sort of masochist who loves having their taste buds scorched by more hops than a rabbit farm. The beer doesn’t stand out in any positive way, especially in a place like Virginia that’s fertile ground for local breweries, all of them featuring their own particular IPA (or several).

Matt Sampson, who really know how to write a beer review

22 comments to Samizdata quote of the day… hell, quote of the month

  • JohnK

    I have gone off IPAs. They tend to taste very sharp, almost like grapefruit, which is not what I want in a beer. I like to support small breweries, but not when that is the product.

  • I actually like some IPAs, and specifically one called Elvis Juice that actually has grapefruit added 😀

  • William O. B'Livion

    It’s been scientifically proven that people who like IPAs had their mouths washed out with soap on a regular basis as children.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    It’s brutal, but not quite as brutal as Jeremy Clarkson’s takedown of the Dacia Logan, to which even the petrolhead par excellence was minded to prefer a bicycle.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I only drink lager nowadays, since it has the lowest gluten content of any kind of beer. A supermarket a short walk from here sells a good Czech lager for 85 € cents /half-liter bottle. (It used to be 79 cents not long ago.)

  • Steven R

    I have never liked IPAs, simply because I dislike overly-hoppy beer.

    I am a homebrewer, and actually have a batch in the process now that uses no hops at all, but instead uses gruit (in this case yarrow, horehound, and some juniper berries) like was done before hops were used.

    I’m actually excited about the results.

  • It’s been scientifically proven that people who like IPAs had their mouths washed out with soap on a regular basis as children.

    I realise it is fashionable to sneer at IPAs but that might just mean you have only had lousy IPAs, of which there are many (see above 😀 ), but there are many great ones unless you only like a very narrow range of beery tastes. I am more of a Porter drinker but I do like some full-on IPA too.

  • Jonathan Bailey

    The craft brewers all seem to compete on who can most effectively employ hops as a bludgeon. No craft IPA I’ve ever tried has had any balance.

  • Sounds like it doesn’t even have the can-you-believe-it interest of Beastie Bunny, made from a load of barley that an Islay distillery discovered in an old barn, having been completely overlooked from some unrecorded earlier time but, like proper waste-not Scots, made into a whisky batch anyway.

    Aftertaste of engine oil and old overalls

    was what I read about it while waiting for the waitress in the Edinburgh Queen Street Whisky Society restaurant 10 years ago. I did not believe them – until (just) after I tasted it a few years later in a friend’s whisky shop in Belgium, whereupon I realised what an exceptionally accurate description that was.

    BTW, Perry, let me express my appreciation of adding suffixes and other variants to the titles of SQotD posts. It helps commenters see what threads have been added to in the RHS list, so more easily keep up to date with comments. I encourage this be done generally, at least whenever a still-comment-active SQotD is swiftly followed by another one.

  • James Strong

    I like Brewdog Punk, which I am told does not meet with unicversal approval.
    Anyway, what about the intoxicating effect? One of the reasons for drinking alcohol is to get pissed. (Note to American readers: being pissed is a pleasant state of intoxication, nothing to do with being irritated or angry. When I was last in the USA about 20 years ago people talked about having the buzz on. I don’t know if that expression is still in use.)

  • Paul Marks

    I do not know enough about beer to make a useful comment – and I have not tired this beer anyway.

    But I wish the Gentleman every success with his brewery – brewing in Virginia goes back more than 400 hundred years and grew out of an English and Germanic tradition of brewing that is ancient.

    And, of course, I thank him for his military service.

  • bobby b

    A few months ago I did a three-day bar crawl around Fort Meade (the general area under discussion here.) Tons of newer small breweries, which was encouraging, but almost all of them seem to specialize in IPAs, which was not. Definitely an East Coast thing here. Easiest way to make a “distinctive” beer is to play with hops. Better way is to play with grains.

    Drinking IPA’s is like smoking menthol cigs. Once a month is fine. Virginia and Maryland beer is in a competition to see who can pack the most bittering and aroma hops into a tun. Not my style. Give me my Pile-O-Dirt Porter (from non-trendy Spearfish, South Dakota) any day. But I can only have a couple. Carbs, you know. 😉

  • Charles

    Three years ago in Bangalore, India I ventured into a microbrewery around the corner from the hotel. Wonderful stuff on their chalkboard. I tried several of them over the course of my stay and was never disappointed, despite my coddled and over indulged snobbery when it comes to beer. One I could not bring myself to taste was their IPA. I mean, what was the point? We were already in India!

  • bobby b

    I think in India, they just call it PA.

  • bobby b

    P.S. I think Mr. Sampson wrote more of a review about what Marine 0861 grunts think of self-aggrandizing hero Seals than about the beer. But it was funny.

  • llamas

    Personal tastes aside, it might be well to remember that hop cultivars vary greatly between Europe and the US. European hops tend to be more floral and aromatic and less bitter than US varieties. So an IPA that is highly-hopped with European varieties will tend to have a much-stronger flavour and aroma, but with less accompanying bitterness. Traditional Bass IPA and the old Charrington IPAs that were sold in London’s Dockland pubs in the 70s and 80s would be good examples. I remember them well 🙂 you could drink these all night and not suffer that parrot-cage aftertaste next morning that is common with US-made IPAs. An IPA that is highly-hopped with American varieties will tend to have a flavour that is more bitter, less aromatic. Shakun arson goot. I know lots of people who love American-style IPAs, the hoppier the better, and the brewers wouldn’t keep brewing them if they weren’t popular. I don’t care for them myself, but then I’m delicately-nurtured.



  • James Hargrave

    Just drink a dark mild from a Black Country brewery.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Just in case anybody is still interested in discussing beer:
    I checked the gluten content (parts per million) of various styles of beer, and they vary by orders of magnitude:
    Lager: 63 ppm
    Stout: 361 ppm
    Ales: 3,120 ppm
    Wheat beer: 25,920 ppm

    I am interested in gluten because there is a controversial theory that it contributes to dementia. Why run the risk?

    Porter is, i believe, pretty much the same as stout, so it should be safe, unless drunk by the gallon.
    IPA is presumably a subset of ale, so it should be enjoyed sparingly.

    Wheat beer, of which i used to be fond, is almost as bad as pasta. Drinking a pint of wheat beer gets you about as much gluten as 330 g of pasta (which no Italian would eat at one sitting) or 130 g of bread.
    (That’s assuming that the ppm measure is about total weight, not dry weight.)

  • Myno

    Just moved from Hawaii to North Carolina (yea!). Went to local store for a 6 pack. 387 varieties of IPA, and two ambers. Amber yum. (Never knew IPAs were hated by others too. The things I learn on this blog!)

  • Stuart Noyes

    The stupid bloody yanks think all beer has to be chilled. They have zero idea.

  • Nathan

    @Snorri – Cider has zero gluten. Unless they botch the production.

  • bobby b

    Snorri Godhi
    October 14, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    “I am interested in gluten because there is a controversial theory that it contributes to dementia.”

    Many of my friends would point out that we frequent a libertarian blog, and so it’s obviously too late to worry about dementia, so we should just drink what tastes good to us.