Beer of the Weekend #51 and #52: Moosehead and Sierra Nevada Stout

BotW is double dippin’ this weekend. The first beer is Moosehead brewed by Moosehead Breweries Limited of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Moosehead is my favorite Canadian beer. It’s the last beer I drank not to be profiled on BotW (I drank it the week before BotW #1: Red Seal Ale). There were times when I seriously considered moving to Canada just so I could spend cold winter nights cozy and warm with a bottle of Moosehead and Hockey Night in Canada. (Don Cherry’s suits would have probably blinded me, though.)

Now, the reason I bought Moosehead is because I ran out of Pabst (or Pabst Genuine Draft, if you want to be technical about it). I drank the last can last Saturday night and was in need for a base lager. Despite my shitty fridge situation (see BotW #46), I decided to buy an 18-pack of PBR bottles if BevMo! had them in stock. They didn’t, so a sixer of Moosehead became my substitute.

Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Poured a clean, clear straw yellow. A finger of foamy head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a slight lacing and then a ring around the edge.

Smell: Grains dominate. It also has that distinct skunk scent, which, thankfully, is not as offensive and rank as the real thing.

Taste: My first mouthful was foul. My taste buds were a little out of whack because I didn’t remember Moosehead tasting that bad before. Subsequent sips were more even and balanced — more brew-like. Grains dominate as in the smell. Not much complexity, which should be expected, though it’s definitely better than the major macros brewed farther south.

Drinkability: It’s an ideal drinking brew for all you kids out there. The perfect bottle beer. After seven or eight Don Cherry might look chic.

Fun facts about Moosehead:

-Serving temperature: 41°F.

-Alcohol content: 5 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: The only thing suggested in
Beers of the World is “Curries.” BeerAdvocate suggests barbeque, Italian, and earthy cheeses (Camembert and Fontina).

-Large quantities of Moosehead have been stolen twice in the past five years. In August 2004, a truck carrying 60,000 cans of Moosehead headed for Mexico was found abandoned and empty in a parking lot in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. An extensive search by police and local citizens located almost all the beer, most of which was heisted by the truck’s driver. One can was found with teeth punctures, which means a thirsty bear decided to kick back. In September 2007, 77,000 cans and 44,000 bottles were reported stolen from a transport company in Mississauga, Ontario.

-Moosehead won a gold medal at the 2003 World Beer Cup.

-Moosehead is aged 28 days.

The Quiet Man’s grade: C+.


The second beer of the weekend is Sierra Nevada Stout brewed by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California.

Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Opaque black. Two fingers of head developed (mostly because I fucked up the pour) and dissipated quickly.

Smell: Roasted coffee malts up front with a slight hint of dark chocolate and caramel. I also got a little plum.

Taste: Whoa. Very balanced. It’s creamy smooth at first. Roasted coffee malts dominate and leave a bitter mouthfeel when it goes down. It was a shock after the impressive beginning.

Drinkability: A little too bitter for me, but it would make a great dessert drink.

Fun facts about Sierra Nevada Stout:

-Serving temperature: 45-50°F.

-Alcohol content: 5.8 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: From the Sierra Nevada website: “Black malts give Stout a smokiness that demands an equally intense flavor pairing. Smoked or raw oysters are a traditional accompaniment, but other shellfish serve equally well. For vegetarian dishes that stand up to Stout, try lentil stew, marinated eggplant, or smoked tempeh. Stout also makes a delightful dessert beer when matched with creamy tiramisu or toasted almond biscotti.”

-Sierra Nevada Stout was the gold medal winner in the Stout, Sweet & Foreign category at the 2000 California State Fair.

-Sierra Nevada sells a “Stout & Stoneground Mustard.” I’m unsure if the “Stout” refers to our beer in question.

-“The Bros” of BeerAdvocate — founders Jason and Todd Alström — gave Sierra Nevada Stout an A+ rating, the highest I have ever seen in my BA browsing. That was one of the main reasons I bought it. However, I just realized “The Bros” are not to be trusted. Everyone’s tastes are different, so don’t assume a beer is excellent just because someone else thinks it is. (I’ve known this for a while, but I was uncharacteristically swayed this week.)

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

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