The Professor's Profile

Title Last Reply

The United States of Beer

Their specialty beers are quite good as well (particularly their porter and their "H.P.Lovecraft Series Innsmouth Old Ale").

1 day ago
The Professor in Beer

The United States of Beer

PBR (despite being a shadow of what it once was flavor-wise) is still pretty popular in NJ where it was once a 'local' beer. But since it's recent availability here, a lot of places seem to be switching over to Narragansett as their 'cheapie' brew. And it's actually not bad at all for the type of brew it is, and for the price point.

1 day ago
The Professor in Beer

The Price Of A Beer At Every Major League Baseball Stadium In 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC] | VinePair

Beer brewed for specific markets to comply with local laws and designated as "3.2 beer" is actually about 4% alcohol by volume. Standard beer (excluding craft beers that seem to be promoting an ethanol contest) is usually around 5% or just under, with some being just under 6%.
To me, the supposed lower alcohol in some stadium beers isn't even the real issue...the bigger issue is the inflated prices.

But again...the stadium vendors themselves are not 'watering down' the beer. It would just be too complicated to do at dispense.

Jul 25, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Johnsonville Brats--what's the big deal?

Good brats are awesome. I like most varieties of sausage and bratwurst is definitely in the top five.
But the Johnsonville brand brats are not a good example They're widely available and certainly edible in a pinch...but that's about it.

Jul 25, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

The Price Of A Beer At Every Major League Baseball Stadium In 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC] | VinePair

How are they watering the beer???? Watering finished beer would be pretty difficult to do.

Jul 23, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Lamb Brains - No Gross Out Intended

I don't think the cholesterol is to be worries about. Research has apparently indicated that dietary cholesterol is nowhere near as bad for us as we've been previously old.

That shouldn't really come as a surprise I guess...for years stuff like Crisco, trans-fats and all, was hailed as a healthier alternative to lard. Turns out, it was a MUCH worse choice nutritionally to the point where trans-fats will likely be banned altogether.

Jul 23, 2015
The Professor in Home Cooking

Great Hot Dogs at Rutt's Hut? Fuhgedaboudit!

Yipes!
Really??

Jul 23, 2015
The Professor in New Jersey

total rise of pizza dough volume. Pizza expertise appreciated 100 or 50%???

chefj has got it exactly right.
And that overnight rest is absolutely key to a really good pizza dough.

Jul 22, 2015
The Professor in Home Cooking

Lamb Brains - No Gross Out Intended

My late Dad used to love them with scrambled eggs
(however, they had nothing to do with his demise).

Jul 20, 2015
The Professor in Home Cooking

Reuben Potato Skins

Sounds like a nice combo...but scrap the Thousand Island dressing and use Russian dressing instead. It will be even better.

Jul 20, 2015
The Professor in Recipes

A craft beer empire is about to be made

There are certainly worse ones in the Garden State.

Jul 18, 2015
The Professor in Beer

A craft beer empire is about to be made

@kempshark:
You're very lucky to have great local brews in Florida and your support for (and loyalty to) them is admirable.

Here in NJ there is definitely an ever growing number of local small brewers...a couple of them aren't bad, however none of them are particularly noteworthy and a couple of them are a bit of a joke.
Supporting "local" is all well and good. What's _not_ good is paying premium prices for stuff that is no better than (and in a few cases, much worse than) what some guys brew at home in their basements.

Jul 18, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Pabst heading back to Milwaukee (well, sort of)

Ummmm...I think that Eugene Kashper (Pabst's new owner) is actually American (of Russian descent), educated at Columbia University in NY. I could be wrong about that, but it hardly matters anyway. Indications are that he'll probably do a LOT better job with Pabst and it's brands than the Metropoulos family had done during their tenure.

Kashper, unlike Metropoulos, seems to actually _care_ about the products and bringing some traditional quality back to some of the once distinctive legacy brands under the Pabst umbrella (and some of the old brands were most definitely distinctive products in their heyday).
They're off to a very good start with the successful (even if somewhat imperfect) revival of Ballantine India Pale Ale, which got underway just prior to Kashper's acquisition. If some of the other brands get the care that went into that new rollout, I think there will be some real surprises in store.

Some (but not all) small brewers are making some truly excellent beer, and I give them props for that as well as for their part in waking up the American tastebuds to what beer CAN be.
But excellent beer definitely didn't start in the late '70s, and in coming few years, small brewers aren't going to be the only source for truly great beer...not by a longshot.

Jul 17, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Pabst heading back to Milwaukee (well, sort of)

The Latrobe brewery was taken over years ago and has already been brewing other products since Rolling Rock joined the AB-InBev fold.
The brand (Rolling Rock) and the brewery in Latrobe, PA were sold separately.

By the way, AB actually went to great pains to replicate (successfully) the DMS character found in the original Rolling Rock...a characteristic which is normally dismissed a defect in other beers. A nano brewery would probably come by this 'defect' naturally. LOL.

Jul 17, 2015
The Professor in Beer

A craft beer empire is about to be made

The article lost me at the first sentence ("The craft beer world is getting a little smaller.")
If anything it just got a little bit bigger.
Firestone (like Goose Island, Elysian, and others part of merger, acquisition, or even outright takeover) IS STILL CRAFT.
Brewing IS a craft. If Firestone maintains it's high quality (or like Goose Island, actually improves in quality), this is a non-issue and a non-story. Besides...Duvel (while not among the trendiest of Belgian brewers) is not such bad company to be involved with.
There will surely be more ventures like this one, as well as acquisitions and outright mergers. If it makes for better availability and distribution of good beer, events like this are a good thing.

Jul 17, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

I'm not a fan of yellow mustard myself, but in any case, it should be noted that it's not yellow because of artificial food coloring.
Turmeric (a natural ingredient) is what makes it yellow.

What has happened to Friendship Cottage Cheese? (not good changes)

I agree. Changes like this are usually made to allow the product to be manufactured at a cheaper price, but still sold at the old price.
Friendship _is_ still more expensive than other brands and still claims to be all natural on the container. I guess technically, guar and/or xanthan gums and carrageenan _are_ natural, though they certainly don't occur natural in cottage cheese :-/

Friendship's Farmer Cheese is still unadulterated. My solution these days is to purchase that, and if I need or want it to be creamier I simply mix it with a bit of cream or half & half.

Friendship's C-Cheese used to be such a good product.
I certainly won't be buying it anymore. :-(

p.s... seems as though carrageenan _is_ under some scrutiny these days:
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401181...

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

In the end, the article is more than silly. It's downright dumb.

Canned Clams

Except for fresh clams (which make THE best clam sause for pasta) my favorite thing to use are canned baby clams.

Jul 11, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

What has happened to Friendship Cottage Cheese? (not good changes)

Why do companies do this???
I've been a long time huge fan of Friendship Cottage Cheese (especially the 2%, Large Curd variety) because it seemed to be the one brand on the market that didn't add vegetable gums and starches putting the curds into a gloppy mess like most other brands...it was just pure, plain, real cottage cheese.

I recently purchased some of my favorite and something definitely wasn't right...the texture was all wrong. A look at the ingredient list revealed a major and shocking change, and now included added vegetable gum.

Now, I know of course that these gums are made from natural sources and don't mind or even notice them in some other products (please don't throw things, but I am in the minority of Chowhounds that thinks that guar gum actually improves some ice creams) so this is emphatically not about any chemical or health issues, or the sort of thing that the ridiculously inept and scaremongering FoodBabe likes to call out.
It's just that this formerly great, simple product just tastes all wrong now.

I called the 1-800 number on the container (Saputo Foods answered) and they confirmed to me that the 'formula' has indeed changed. When I inquired as to _why_ they did such a thing, the very polite lady told me that their R&D department added these ingredients to "improve the taste and texture".
Of course, they really did the opposite (perhaps in an effort to reduce production costs?)

Another good, favorite product bites the dust. :-(

Jul 07, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Who still drinks soda?

Also, Vernor's was originally sweetened with stevia (until stevia was banned by the FDA in the early '90s).
Vernor's (which is now on it's third or fourth corporate owner) then switched to high fructose corn syrup and they still use that... even though the ban was lifted a few years ago.

Jul 02, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Who still drinks soda?

Didn't Vernor's switch to HFCS some years a go when they changed the recipe??
Used to love Vernor's...I rarely drink any soda any more (other than plain seltzer) and Vernor's is still not bad, but has definitely lost some of it's "zing". :-(
So has my other favorite from many years ago, "Moxie"

Jul 02, 2015
The Professor in General Topics

Master List of Beers Owned/Destroyed by Anheuser Busch/InBev

That's my guess. Very often (at least in these parts), concert venues tend to contract with outside vendors for the concessions.
At least the one Josh attended had Goose's IPA, which is certainly not a bad choice by any standard (truth is, it's better than a lot of other ones I've had, even since the AB takeover).

At the last few concerts I attended, the _only_ beer choices were Bud and Bud Light :-(
Needless to say, I opted for wine (they were pouring a low rent but surprisingly decent tasting Malbec for the same price as a Bud)

Jul 02, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Refunds on Tap for Beck’s Beer Drinkers

In principle I totally agree with you about the purpose Class Action serves, and the positive benefits that can result.

But the question remains: What exactly was deceptive here in the Beck's case???
From the moment that the very first brewed-in-the-USA version of Beck's appeared on American shelves, the label clearly said "Brewed in the USA." That sounds pretty clear to me
I hate to be blunt, but it seems to me that anyone who felt duped had to be either illiterate, greedy, or just a moron.

I'll reiterate...I'm not an apologist for or particular fan of AB-InBev (though admit that I also don't consider them to be the evil Empire)... just being the devil's advocate here for the sake of discussion.

Jun 26, 2015
The Professor in Beer

The Next PBR: 22 Old Beers Ready for a Rebrand

If you're interested in what the original classic Ballantine XXX tasted like in the late 60s to early 70s (when the brewery closed), try this little experiment which I stumbled upon one quiet evening while looking for a slice of nostalgia:

Get a bottle of the current version of Ballantine XXX and a bottle of the recent revival pseudo recreation of Ballantine India Pale; mix them in a glass at about a 70/30 ratio (XXX/IPA) and the result is a pretty close approximation of the original XXX (save for the aroma...the old XXX had more hop aroma than this blend exhibits). If the IPA is not sold in your area, the character is also approximated with some Sierra Celebration (mixed in the same ratio).

The result is pretty surprising and pretty accurate. And proof that there actually was some decent beer with character around in the so called 'dark ages'. :-)

Jun 26, 2015
The Professor in Beer
1

The Next PBR: 22 Old Beers Ready for a Rebrand

Are you saying that would be a good thing? Seriously?

I'm betting that the new owners of Pabst have some surprises up their sleeve in the coming year or two. They seem to be a bit more serious about bringing original quality back to some of the legacy brands they own.

Jun 26, 2015
The Professor in Beer
1

The Next PBR: 22 Old Beers Ready for a Rebrand

Ballantine XXX Ale (the standard Ballantine flagship product) is a brand owned by Pabst and it is brewed for them under contract by Miller (whereas the newly revived Ballantine IPA, also owned by Pabst, is brewed for them by a smaller outfit in Minnesota).

Word has it that Ballantine XXX is about to undergo a makeover in an effort to bring it back to it's original character. Despite what the article erroneously claims, in it's heydey Ballantine Ale was _anything but_ 'swill'...it actually had a lot of character with a hop presence comparable to some of the best craft brews made today, and it was highly regarded as a cut above in quality compared to other beers of the day.
As is well known, in recent years it has been dumbed down considerably from what it once was.

Jun 26, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Refunds on Tap for Beck’s Beer Drinkers

I still think this was more of a financial win for the attorneys involved than any kind of meaningful victory for consumers.

I don't purchase Beck's (although it's really not a bad product) but seeing how the label on the current version of Beck's pretty _clearly says that it's brewed in the USA_, I can't help but think that any claim of deception just seems a stretch and even a little moronic on the part of the buyer who initiated the action.
The law firm bringing suit probably gambled this as a contingency deal, but it certainly paid off for them (and also for the defense attorneys on the AB-InBev side).

All I can say is, if I ever needed an attorney, the guys that successfully argued such a nebulous case would be the guys to retain. LOL.

Jun 26, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Refunds on Tap for Beck’s Beer Drinkers

Given the full disclosure nature of the labeling on the current Beck's product, this case still reeks more of money grab by opportunistic law firms. Like breweries big AND small, they are in business to make money.

I'm guessing that this never even went to court (correct me if I'm wrong about that) and that this outcome was a settlement by AB-InBev to just put the whole issue to rest. They probably also figured that a $3+million dollar payout to the attorneys was already too much.

I don't buy Beck's (though, as I mentioned previously, a side by side comparison revealed pretty clearly that the St. Louis product is in actuality virtually identical to the formerly imported German version), I'm not sure what all the fuss was about in this case. It may say "originated in Bremen, Germany" but quite clearly states that it is brewed in ST. Louis, MO.

Jun 25, 2015
The Professor in Beer

Refunds on Tap for Beck’s Beer Drinkers

Miller's Löwenbräu...now THAT one _was_ a sad disaster.

Jun 24, 2015
The Professor in Beer