Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beervana DMS award 2010

Beervana recently began what I hope will be the annual DMS awards. It's sort of an answer to the beer blogging world's tendency to sound like fawning fans (which most of us are). Instead of the best beer of the year round up, it's the worst beer-related happenings of the year. So here are my nominations for the Dismal Malty Substances for 2010:

Worst Beer:  This was a local one. I hate to say it, but they're not really doing poorly with press and hype right now, anyways: Surly oak aged bender on cask. This tasted and looked like iced tea that was aged in a douche bag. It was way over-oaked, possibly infected, and not treated in the cask properly at all. It was served completely flat, but still not even up to the top of the pint. Terrible.

Worst Innovation: Sorry, Beervana, I'm nominating Cascadian Dark Ale on this one. I'm going to be pedantic here, but "Cascadian dark ale" is a little too self congratulatory for me. It's also completely non-descriptive, in that Cascadia is not a region that exists outside of Narnia, and "dark" is such a broad term that it does nothing for someone who's not already familiar with the style. So as a new style name it doesn't even work as well as "Black IPA".

Worst Macro-Related Product: Bud Select 55. I even feel dirty just writing the words. Belgian In-Bev figured out that as you remove the beer from the bottle, the calories get lesser, too. So does the alcohol. This clocks in at 2.4% abv which is actually below the 3.2% maximum that even the most prohibitionist states dictate. Amazing. You almost wonder how much flavor and alcohol they can strip from something before you can't call it "beer" any more. The real shocking thing about this is that they market it as a premium product and it actually costs more than some of the off-brand labels like Schlitz or Pabst. Unsurprising, but shameful nonetheless.

I'm sure there were more. Many will undoubtedly come to mind after I write this. If anyone reading this happens to have some in mind, blog it or leave them via comment at Beervana.


  1. CDA as worst innovation definitely flies with me (although I oscillate both ways). It is self-congratulatory, though this isn't always a bad thing. And then there's the question about whether it's an innovation--which is another reason it's a dubious style. I'll definitely note it down.

    As for the Surly, I can't speak to it, but Bud Select 55 (lightly alcoholic beer-flavored water) is certainly an affront to beer.

  2. Self-congratulatory wasn't the best term for it, because there's nothing wrong with regional pride, but I think you know what I mean. There's nothing inherently cascadian about it.