Big-Name Distributors That Still Know How To Make Good Beer...

  •  So, as much as I (and most other craft-brew enthusiasts) love to slam the mass-producers of cheap, watery, disgusting beer, it would be wrong to say that all large-scale breweries are bad...After all, there must be a reason that they got popular in the first place, right? I think theBoston Beer Company would be a prime example... This post will give some of MY examples of these largely popular brews that I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy:

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    Killians Irish Red - This brilliant, ruby red beer smells and tastes exquisitely of caramelized malt. Medium bodied and slightly sweet, this is a beer to be downed by the six-pack and literally defines Irish Red!
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    Labatt Blue - This pale yellow brew is the number-one selling Canadian beer in the world! Slightly sweet with a good hop aroma, there are some fruity notes to this refreshing beer. Also, as a huge John Candy fan this brings back great memories of the Hockey game scene in Canadian Bacon!
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    Margaritaville's Landshark Lager - The best alternative to a Corona I have ever come across! Jimmy Buffett knows how to have a good time, and he proves it yet again with the production of this brew. Clear and golden in color, this beer has a slightly heavier body than its competitors and is very reasonably priced. This is the perfect beer to take to the beach or to follow a couple rounds of Margaritaville tequila.
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    Michelob ShockTop Belgian White - I'm not sure how closely this resemble anything Belgian, but it is very good and refreshing for a mass-produced wheat beer. The bright yellow brew is unfiltered and hazy with a strong citrus taste. The wheat and spicy notes make it incredibly easy to drink, and its light mouthfeel appeals to even occasional beer drinkers.
     
     
     
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    Newcastle Brown Ale - Another brew from across the pond, this brown ale is SOOOO good! I could drink this beer by the keg...Very well balanced with sweet malt and nutty flavors, the thick texture is velvety smooth. The bitter finish has me coming back for more!
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    Red Stripe - Can there be a better ad campaign than "Hooray Beer!"? Red Stripe has everything going for it: great commercials, a sweet medicine bottle that is almost unbreakable, and really good flavor. Lightly hopped,  this beer is perfect for spicy food. There is some tart citrus flavoring to the brew, almost like lemon/lime that makes it incredibly refreshing. I buy this brew in 24 packs...
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    SkipJack Amber - This beer is a Regional beer from Anheuser-Busch that is brewed in Williamsburg, Virginia. It has only been brewed since April 2007, and supposedly it is brewed to be "uniquely tailored to the region's taste preferences". Well apparently they included me in the sample, because I enjoy this caramel malted, spicy hopped brew on the rare occasion that I can find it...
     
     
     
     
     
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    St. Pauli Girl - A mass produced German beer with a hot chick on the label? Yep, still works...This beer is a nice golden yellow with an amazing aroma of German malts and hops. The yeast is the secret ingredient though - It adds a tremendous amount of body to the brew that distinguishes it from most other American-made lagers. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    Stella Artois - A beer that claims to be "Belgium's original beer" - That might mean something if Belgium were known for making good beer...Traced back to 1366, this clear gold brew smells like a lager with very distinguished yeast. A nice, solid mouthfeel with biscuity malt leads to a crisp, dry finish.
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    Widmer Hefeweizen - The 2008 Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Cup, there isn't much bad you can say about this beer. A golden, hazy, unfiltered wheat, this beer should almost come with trademark lemon slices attached to each six-pack. Slightly sweet with a bitter finish, this beer is a must for warm weather.
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    Widmer Drifter - The younger, more mischievous brother of the Hefe, this pale ale is really hoppy and delicious. Not so much bitter, but just very well flavored with floral and citrus hops, Drifter is very unique for a pale ale. Not to mention is was the Silver Medalist at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival...
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    Yuengling Lager - A gorgeous amber color with a medium body, this beer is from America's oldest brewery. Their flagship brew, this beer has been produced since 1829 and survived the Prohibition. Caramel malt balanced with generous helpings of floral hops make for a beer that smells lovely, and tastes even better!
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    Yuengling Light Lager - This is the ONLY light beer in the world that I will drink...When I know I am going to be hammering back a TON of brews, this is the 12-pack I will grab. You've seen those commercials for Diet Dr. Pepper that say it tastes just like the original? Well this is the legit brewed version of a copycat! This light lager tastes just like the original with only a slightly lighter mouthfeel. Yes, that's right, a light beer that REALLY DOES have some taste!
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    Yuengling Porter - Dark brewed goodness, this brew has also been in production since 1829, but specifically for early tavern owners and for family trade - did you catch that? They brewed this beer to trade for other goods...This dark brown, almost black beer is full-bodied and creamy, with chocolate notes and a smokiness that adds complexity.
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    Yuengling Black & Tan - This beer makes me proud to be an American! Second only to the traditional 1/2 Guinness, 1/2 Bass Ale, this beer was a staple in my house as I was breaking into the foray of craft beer. I still enjoy it on occasion, as it is a very unique and flavorful beer. The beers (their Porter and Premium beer) are obviously pre-mixed in the bottle, lending a twist to the flavors as they have had time to mesh. You MUST try this beer!

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