Thursday, October 25, 2018

Special Episode 2: Budweiser Budvar with Lieutenant Nathan Fortner & Simpler Times Lager with Smilin' Mike Mason and Squire Brendan Roche

I. Introduction

"The pickled eggs were on a shelf suspiciously near the beer."

Today is a little different than usual.  We are combining a tele-review sent in from England via the mysterious INTERNETS from the elegant Nathan Fortner of a beer we look forward to trying ourselves, Budweiser Budvar, with a totally unplanned special review of the WORST BEER WE HAVE EVER HAD, Simpler Times Lager - this generic, Trader Joe's horror that will give us far more nightmares than vampires or zombies.  Hold onto your butts kids, this is a weird one.

Today, on Pickled Eggs & Cold Beer, we're talking about Budweiser Budvar and Simpler Times Lager. 

"Formaldehyde with a WD-40 topper."

II. Our First Guest, Lt. Nathan Fortner


III. Rubric for Budweiser Budvar

BeerAdvocate: 3.59 of 5

RateBeer: 3.13 of 5

Untappd: 3.27 of 5

ABV: 5%

Origin: A Czech beer, state-owned, imported to the US as Czechvar.  We haven't had the imported version yet but Nathan warns us that, as far as he knows, it is generally imported in un

Ingredients: Whole Saaz hops, Moravian barley malt, spring water (from an ice age lake 300 metres under the brewery) and a strain of yeast used by the brewery since 1895.

Cost: $ and 1/2 - seems to be $7 typically in the US for a six-pack.

IV. Our Review and Talking Points for Budweiser Budvar

Nathan liked it and said it was tasty. 

V. Our Second and Third Guests, Squire Brendan Roche and Smilin' Mike Mason

The Simpler Times Three, plus (on the far left) friend of the podcast
Adam Kennedy, dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire.  Because why not?
VI. Rubric for Simpler Times Lager

BeerAdvocate: 2.86 of 5

RateBeer: 2.18 of 5

Untappd: 2.74 of 5

ABV: 6.2%

Origin: A contract beer whose label and recipe are owned by Trader Joe's, brewed for them by Minhas Craft Brewing in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Ingredients: We aren't sure - we couldn't find a definitive list, but the general consensus is it is a corn adjunct beer, though what form the corn adjunct is added in is debated.

Cost: half a $ . . very, very inexpensive, cost us $2.99 for a sixer.

VII. Our Review and Talking Points for Simpler Times Lager

Appearance: A nice amber color.

Aroma:  Industrial-floral.

Mouthfeel: Formaldehyde, metally aftertaste. 

Authenticity, Marketing, Other Factors: A contract beer made by an old, respected brewer for a national chain that is beloved by some, reviled by others as the Starbucks of grocery stores.  Can design is nice, but unless you shop at Trader Joe's you probably didn't know it existed.

Mike Mason noted that this beer tastes like, "rubbing alcohol and stale bread" and gave it a 0.5 of 5 - "because its not a handful of mud, which would be a zero." Squire Roche called it, "an open-faced crap sandwich" and suggests it should be paired with "a mouthful of nickels" and also gave it a 0.5. Eric lamented the taste of metal, "I feel like I had a nose bleed" and gave it a 0.25. Our overall rating? A 0.42 of 5.

VIII. Plugs

Camaron (E-Z) Cheeseman

Drew S. 

The War of 1812

IX. Recommended Reading and Viewing

Lee Breslouer. September 25, 2015. "Every Trader Joe's Beer, Ranked by Great Divide's Head Brewer." Thrillist. 

Benjamin Cunningham. January 27, 2014. "Where a Budweiser Isn't Allowed to be a Budweiser." Time.

Will Gordon. June, 2011.  "Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Trader Joe's Beer." Serious Eats. 

Roger Protz. "The Oxford Companion to Beer Definition of Budweiser Budvar." Beer & Brewing Magazine. 

Nick Redmayne. November 9, 2017. "How Budweiser Budvar Became the Heart of Czech Beer Culture." The Independent. 

Ronald Theriot. November 20, 2011. "Czechvar (Budweiser Budvar)." Louisiana Beer Review on YouTube.

Ronald Theriot. June 6, 2013. "Simpler Times Lager."  Louisiana Beer Review. on YouTube.

X. Our Sponsors

This episode was sponsored by two wonderful local businesses:

Leben Farms of Abingdon, Virginia

Leben Farms is a community supported-agriculture (CSA) program that offers locally grown fresh vegetables in weekly boxes to its members in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.  Using organic and regenerative practices to grow nutrient dense food, community-supported agriculture is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.

Check them out on Facebook or Instagram.


Glade Pharmacy in Glade Spring, Virginia
33472 Lee Hwy, Glade Spring, VA 24340

Locally owned and managed, Glade Pharmacy provides the highest quality pharmaceutical service in the Emory/Glade Spring area.

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