Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BEERNADA - Response to Reader Comments

It's been an exciting morning here at Johnada. We posted our first Beernada column about Steam Whistle and got a serious response right away. In fact, the comment was so good that we've devoted an entire post to it and Zach's response.

I think that if you are going to write about the beer you should do some background research. Steam Whistle trucks their water in from a spring up north of the city. They do have a Czech brewmaster but make a Bavarian Style Pilsner so you wouldn't necessarily get the Saaz hops. And this is just being picky, but UV makes beer go skunky, not green bottles. I love to see reviews but if you claim to be a beer expert and want to write good reviews you should probably do some reading first.

Here at Beernada, I don’t pretend to get it all right. Fortunately or unfortunately, when I form my subjective and decidedly non-academic opinions about beer, I don’t cross-reference with George Stombopolous [sic]. And sometimes, apparently, I’ll have to learn to read between the lines. Given the prestige of Steam Whistle beer (check out their long list of good reviews: http://www.steamwhistle.ca/ourbeer/awards.php), you might be surprised that the only information they provide on their website about their brewing process is ‘We use traditional brewing techniques and only four natural ingredients including spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast - all GMO-free.” Update: There is a virtual tour that explains more than this: http://www.steamwhistle.ca/tour/virtualtour.php. After tasting their beer, I’m not likely to take a tour. Wherever their water comes from (the contents of the water are what’s important), whatever hops they use (you can’t tell by smelling it), the fact remains that the overwhelming aroma of this beer is dimethyl sulfide (non-GMO, in fact). Maybe it’s a Bavarian-style pilsner according to some, but in my opinion it’s not worthy of the association.

And, not to bore our readers any more than is required, but I thought I should clarify: Green glass is a bad idea for beer bottles because the photo-oxidation reaction that produces 3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol production (“skunky” aroma) occurs at wavelengths of VISIBLE light from ~350-500nm. Yes, the low wavelengths are in the UV range, but the point is green light is around 500nm. The Steam Whistle I’ve tasted doesn’t have too much trouble with this, but it might actually improve the aroma. Not that I really want to push anyone’s buttons, but Steam Whistle still falls short of that 3rd Molson.

We at Johnada did some fact checking (perhaps a little too late?) and Steam Whistle is advertised as a Bavarian-style pilsner. We can't confirm or deny the part about the spring (update: we can confirm), but we have no reason to believe it's not true. We should also mention that all the opinions expressed in Beernada are those of Zack Amoryces, and Johnada does not necessarily endorse all of them. For example, we love George Strombolipoulus and he will probably be awarded a Canadian Hero Award before we're done here. However, in the case of this review, despite some misleading facts, we stand by Beernada. Steam Whistle ain't no good, whatever the reason . . .

If this doesn't settle things, we might have to do this the old-fashioned way.


Meg said...

Wow! This seems to be a scientific showdown about beer. All's I want to know is:
a. Will it get me drunk?
b. How bad will it taste coming back up the next morning?

Mason Kessinger said...

how on earth did they find your review? how did they find it so quickly?

this is some good blogging johnny, you done yourself, and your fellow americans good this week.

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