What are you drinking?
Compiled by Jonathan Kroberger
Today is International Beer Day and there’s nothing we like to talk about more than a few good brews. Between the Oxford Companion to Beer, America Walks into a Bar, Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing, The Economics of Beer, and several episodes of The Oxford Comment, OUP employees have managed to imbibe a little expertise in the area. So we asked a few staffers about the brews they’ve been enjoying lately…
This is a beer I had with one of the tour guides (the cook actually) on a hike up the Salcantay trail to Machu Picchu. I learned two things from this trip: (1) I’m a terrible hiker. (2) I can outdrink Peruvian tour guides. While the first lesson led to very sore feet and quite a lot of complaining, the second one led to a couple of incredible nights. These beers (one of which you partly see here) might be some of the best beers I’ve ever had. They were Pillsen beer and while they aren’t my favorite beers (I tend to go for Belgium triples) they made me forget all the hiking I did that day and all the hiking I knew I had to do tomorrow. They also fermented a nice kinship with me and my guides on the tour and brought comradery in a way that beer can do to strangers who live worlds apart.
Owen Keiter, Publicity Assistant
For reasons unknown, my friends and I have begun to drink this bizarre concoctions made by Bud Light called the Lime-A-Rita. The drink comes in a large can, tastes sort of like a lemon-lime Gatorade that’s gone bad, and is high enough proof to knock you over if you’re not careful. Despite our lack of respect for the beverage, it’s strangely enjoyable, and it has begun appearing regularly in our apartment down in Bushwick. You enjoy it like a truly awful pop song — it’s the Vengaboys of booze.
Tim Allen, Assistant Editor, Reference
Though I live in New York City, I’m a Chicagoan by birth. New Yorkers may not know how to make a deep-dish pizza or a proper hot dog, but Goose Island IPA is a little taste of home that I can find just about anywhere in the city.
I’m all about the craft beers, and as there are so many to work your way through, I like to try a different beer every time I go out. Right now I’m definitely more drawn to wheat beers and pale ales, and just tried Breckenridge Agave Wheat this past weekend—very smooth, refreshing, and enjoyable.
I’m also a sucker for Sam Adam’s Summer Ale. And come fall, any and all pumpkin ales. (Last fall I had one called “Braaaiins!” from the Spring House Brewing Company. Quite tasty.)
Certainly outdoor beer drinking is one of my favorite summer activities in NYC – I don’t want to use the august forum of the OUPblog to condone or suggest I have participated in any illegal activity, but I have noticed others finding ways to discretely sip adult beverages at Prospect Park concerts or under the Brooklyn Bridge. Some of the best establishments for drinking en plein air include Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, the Beer Garden in Astoria and….the Zeppelin in Jersey City, where this photo was taken this past July.
OK I’ll be honest; I have no idea what I’m drinking here. But I do remember drinking it in a “German beer hall” in Jersey City on a recent OUP outing, so it’s fair to say I’ve been drinking lots of German beer lately. Generally there’s nothing crazy about them, no blueberries or sage leaves, nothing aged in wooden casks salvaged from an ancient shipping vessel. Just beer. My favorite is Ayinger’s Oktober Fest-Märzen. Pumpkins don’t get anywhere near this seasonal brew, yet it still manages to taste like a big glass of Fall.
What do you recommend enjoying this August?
Jonathan Kroberger is an Associate Publicist at Oxford University Press in New York.