Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bitter Beer Face


What is BITTER beer?
First we need to break down the definitions of what a bitter is and why this word belongs in the beerophile's dictionary at all.

Bitter is an English term for pale ale. These beers vary in color from gold to dark amer and in strength from under 3% (or Boys Bitter) to as high as 7% abv. Around the 1830's advertising expressions were using pale ale and bitter synonymously, where breweries used pale ale to donate the style, pub goers refereed to the same beers as a bitter. Using the term mostly to differentiate the hopped pale ales from the milder porters and amber ales. 

Sensory vocabulary: Hop Bitterness
Type: Taste
Discriptors: Bitter, hoppy
Threshold in beer: 5 to 7ppm (5 to 7IBU)
Appropriateness: always to some extent; may be up to 100-plus in some extreme beers
Source: Isomerized hop alpha acids; should be clean, pleasant, without harsh, woody or astringent character


Historically BITTER BEER FACE was a widespread epidemic that moved its way across America through the 90s. Beer drinkers far and wide grew tired of suffering through cans of Natural Ice and Bud Dry that brought them this terrible affliction. Thankfully Keystone Light was there to rescue all with is watered rice and corn flavored brew.

This ad gives us the impression: If beer has too much taste, we might embarrass ourselves by our in ability to handle it. We are so afraid of social oppression that we would rather dull our senses then face the threat of possibly making a fool of ourselves. 

Sour IS one of our main tastes

funny gifs

The dictionary tells us BITTER BEER FACE means two things:

To make a face after drinking beer, often made by people who are unaccustomed to alcohol.
"Kyle made a bitter beer face after taking a sip of Natty Light"

This used to describe a girl who is so ugly the first time you saw her, a pained and disturbed look will cross your face. 
Also a girl who looks like the bitter beer face guy from the old keystone beer ads. 
"Man! Did you see that bitter beer face over by the pool table?"

In general BITTER BEER FACE is now a slang term for things we don't like, like a child sucking on a sour candy our infatuation with the mushy negative face has become displayed by entire photo albums of the cult following.

There are two sides of the fence:

You have the people opposed to bitter beer, digging themselves a hole in the sand because things change and it can be confusing. 

Then there is the insane American march toward total hop domination.
Personally i think that the "Hoppy Beers" Serve a great purpose, nothing Grabs your attn faster than a Massively hopped beer. First and Foremost, craft brewers need to grab peoples attn, that is how you break years of market training to buy "BMC Crap" You make a beer that they cant forget, and "hop bomb beers" do that. At least they do that to people who dont brew, and dont understand the finer points of Craft brew. 
You have to "Wake them up" before you can give them subtly. If you take your run of the mill BMC drinker, and you give him a Malt heavy brown ale with low hops, your not going to "Shock his senses" in most cases, I know, Sadly i used to be a BMC Drinker, i Drank Ice House and Coors Light and Keystone, My "wake up" to craft beer came at the hands of Dechutes Obsidian Stout, it has a Strong flavor that "Shocked my senses" and made me say, "Damn what else is out there that i have been missing", i have not been able to drink a BMC beer since.
But it is all Marketing trends, if people come in and start asking for something "less Hoppy" then the brewers will start offering it, business 101 says the customer is always right, you have to give them what they want or they will take their business elsewhere and you have to cater to the majority, if you have 100 customers that come in and all want a fine IPA and 1 guy that comes in and keeps asking for a low hop pale ale, who are you gonna aim to please? 100 customers at 6 bucks a beer = 600 bucks 1 guy at 6 bucks a beer = 6 bucks, the math says you please the 100 first.
 -Author of Bizarre Brews 101 on RealBeer.com

This Russian man eats is head to make the BITTER BEER FACE, he doesn't drink an IPA

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