Saturday, May 20, 2006

Fire and Ice: The Best Brews and Worst Wort

Hi ho!

Moody the minstrel here inviting you to talk about our favorite letter B! No, not that one! I'm talking about the kind that comes in a can, bottle, or keg! No, not that one, either!

Come on, people! You know what I mean!

According to the Beer Advocate website, these are currently the best 100 brews in the world. The results are interesting. Although I'm sure Rob will be happy, Rogue Ale has been knocked out of the top spots by breweries in Czech, Germany, California(!!!?&#%$*), Indiana, and New England, but it still features strongly in the top 30. Deschutes Ale's Obsidian Stout is in there, too. I might point out that the number one ranked beer (which is also ranked number one on the Rate Beer website) is produced by a monastery in Belgium! (Oh, those evil monks!)

On the other hand, according to the Rate Beer website, these are the worst 50 beers in the world. It's both amazing and truly sad how many of these are produced by Anheuser-Busch, Miller, or Coors. It's also surprising how many are produced by Carlsberg, especially considering Carlsberg itself is usually considered a very classy brew!

I guess it's all in the taste buds of the beholder. Speaking of which, does this look orange to you?

(Incidentally, today a little boy who accompanied his mother to ye olde academy for today's PTA assembly and conferences referred to me as "the fat teacher with glasses". Considering I spent most of my life horribly underweight, well...maybe I need to reduce my brew intake a little...)(No, I don't...)


DewKid said...

Oooooh, orange.

Pandabonium said...

"It's both amazing and truly sad how many of these are produced by Anheuser-Busch, Miller, or Coors."

That's just because the purpose of mass market beer is to be a cheap sedative for the working class.

Anonymous said...

Still, if you want to talk about over all sales of a brew, it probably is Budweiser, at least in the US, because most people would rather pay for cheaper beer, and aren't aclimated to the rich taste of microbrews.

Roll out those beer adds!

Pandabonium said...

Looking at both lists, the only one I've even tasted is Bud-lite. So I guess I've never really had the best or the worst.

I just wish Japan would lower the dang taxes on beer. 77 yen for a 350 ml can (about 70 cents for a 12 ounce can) is way too much. Lets start a revolution with a Tokyo Beer Party and dump all the Yebesu beer in the bay.

On second thought, I'd rather pay the tax and drink it.

The Moody Minstrel said...

because most people would rather pay for cheaper beer

I just wish Japan would lower the dang taxes on beer. 77 yen for a 350 ml can (about 70 cents for a 12 ounce can) is way too much.

You're both absolutely right, and that's why the big thing in Japan now is "hoppushu" (hop liquor, also known as "low-malt beer"). Since the malt content is either really low or non existent, it doesn't qualify as "beer", so the taxes are much less. Consequently, it's a lot cheaper. That's why it's so popular now that many supermarkets mainly stock it and carry little (and sometimes even no) actual beer.

Unfortunately, hoppushu also tends not to taste very good...

shlemazl said...


Sorry to be off topic, but I don't want to post on Saba's blog any more.

If you believe my "Saba" posting on my blog is a smear campaign, please point out why. I did my best to pick representative comments and linked back to Saba's posts.

I also posted a detailed reply to her last post on her blog.

The reason I posted the "Saba" quotes on my blog was because I was disappointed with Saba.

That was after she said that she would support Hamas if it were strong enough to defeat Israel and that she would never accept the exist of the Israeli nation.

After that I feel that there is nothing else to discuss. She sure isn't a genuine supporter of a negotiated solution

Anonymous said...


You could have at leastmentioned your favorite brew!

No, I don't agree with Saba either, and it is surprising that people with internet access can still have such a limited world view.

But prejudice seems to know no bounds.

shlemazl said...


Call me a girl, but I prefer cider :-)

The Moody Minstrel said...


That's okay. You'll get no gender accusations from me. I like British cider, too!

Actually, I appreciate your asking me in this manner. You're being more civil than I was. I have no intention of attacking you as a person (especially since we've never really met), but to answer your question, I called it a smear campaign because:

a. The title of the post was Saba's full name and included her picture, i.e. your whole point was to draw attention to the individual rather than the issue.

b. Although you didn't say so directly, the whole tone of the post from the beginning was along the lines of, "Hey, everybody, let me introduce this idiot. Look at her. This is what she says. Can you believe this idiot? She wants to kill us all! Let's all make fun of this idiot! By the way, this is where you can find her..." Again, though you included quotes from her site, your main point was clearly to humiliate the person and make the person a target of wrath rather than criticize the points she made.

c. A lot of the time you included quotes that were actually fragments and, if not viewed in the context of the whole statement, could easily be interpreted the wrong way. That would seem to indicate that you were being intentionally selective in your quoting in order to portray the individual, rather than the content, in a particular way.

d. You summed the whole post up by making a rash accusation, i.e. accusing her of wanting to massacre all Jews. I don't know why you saw fit to go that far, since she never really said anything of the sort, directly or otherwise (though in terms of the selected quotes you presented it might seem that way). At any rate, that was pretty ugly (and stereotypical) demagoguery.

Yes, Saba's views are very extreme, and I definitely don't agree with everything she says. However, I thought the conclusion you made by way of your interpretation of her statements was also a bit over the top. Yes, she said she would never support the existence of Israel, but she has also said time and time again that she would accept it. She has expressed her support for the two-state solution rather vociferously. Her comment that she would support Hamas if they were a more viable fighting force surprised me because it was out of character and contradicted many of her earlier statements. I figured it was either an irrational, knee-jerk response to your comments (Ask Pa've about my tendency to do the same thing :-)) or a careless choice of words. At any rate, she has also said time and time again that she does NOT support terrorist attacks against civilians (she calls such acts "sickening") and she does NOT advocate mass slaughter of Jews.

Anyway, that's why I call your post a "smear campaign", because for all intents and purposes that's what it looks like. Saba certainly doesn't need me to defend her, but I was shocked when I read your post. I enjoy a good argument, and sometimes a good dig now and then can be fun. I also found your comments on Saba's site thought-provoking and appreciated the links you provided. (In that light, I'm sorry to see you go.) However, for you to resort to that kind of mud-slinging when you seemed to be holding your ground really let me down.

I hope that answers your question. If that was never your intent, I hope you'll pardon me, but it certainly seemed that way.

shlemazl said...


Thanks for your reply. I disagree.

a. Posting her picture and name and drawing attention to the individual does not make it a smear campaign. Distorting does and I do not believe I did that.

Both name and picture were available on her site. She asked me to remove the picture and I did.

b. You misunderstood the post; sorry it wasn't very clear.

If you look at the comments of the readers of my blog you will see that noone said "hey let's make fun of this individual", except for 1. A few of my readers went on her site and there were no insults.

The objectives of the post were to

- Show that we are dealing with a pretty westenized girl. That itself causes sympathy - at least in males :-)

- Show that she does have a lot of the facts straight, but seemed confused to start with.

- Share my frustration that when she did come of the fence, she came on the wrong side. It is views like this and moral support for Hamas &co that lead to more and more murders and never to the conclusion of the conflict.

c. I tried to select interesting and representative comments. I could not reproduce the whole thing, but tried to make sure that people go to her blog. Sometimes I picked fragments because her writing style isn't great. Neither is mine - I am not a native English speaker - but I tried to select parts that made sense to me.

I was selective, but honestly presented the evolution of Saba's views over the 4-day conversation.

For example our early dialoge included this:

- Shelmazl: Do you want Israel to withdraw or not?

- Saba: Right now? with hamas doing what its doing? maybe not

d. She did not say that she wants to kill all the Jews. I did not say she said it. This was my interpretation of her final post. I found the post confusing, but she did say that Israeli civilians are prepared to die and finished with saying that "she will never accept this nation".

She also said "If it was possible to leberate palestine from Israeli occupation, as in if Palestinians (Hamas and co.) had enough weapons and a strong enough army, hell i would support them."

Thus her earlier disagreement with Hamas is purely tactical (don't attack Israel now when they are stronger).

Hamas charter has a very clear objective of destroying Israel and killing all the Jews.

These are not the views I take lightly whether they are expressed against Jews and Israel or against any other nation.

Saba seems to be back on the fence. She wouldn't say whether she stands by the "hamas" and "no acceptance ever" paragraphs. She also claims that she will shut down her site.

I suspect that, sadly, she does hold the views she expressed. She probably no longer wants to publicize them under her real name - she is applying for the Canadian citezenship.

P.S. I also like red wine, including Australian

The Moody Minstrel said...

it is surprising that people with internet access can still have such a limited world view.

Forgive me, old friend, but considering how broad your world view is (not), I find that comment ironic.

Okay, you've made your position much clearer, and I appreciate it. Yes, perhaps there was some careless use of words by all parties involved...and maybe some quick jumping to conclusions? One of the dangers of internet communication is that intent is not always clear and so is easily misunderstood. It turns out that Saba was quoting something written by someone else (a Jewish author, ironically), and I still don't interpret what she said exactly the same way you do, but whatever. It may soon be moot anyway. I think everyone involved knows where we each stand on this, so let's let them judge.

Oh, I had some really good Australian reserve pinot noir when I was in Brisbane last summer. I'll be going there again in a couple of months thanks to our new sister school just up north in the Sunshine Coast area. I hope I'll have at least as much fun as I did last time...except this time I'll have 20 Japanese teenagers in tow...

It was interesting what Andrew pointed out to me regarding the local tribes (the "traditional custodians of the land", as he called them). I'll at least make an effort to honor his request that I pay them my respects. A lot of interesting things happened on Saba's site. I hate to see it go. But you may be right. She said once before (a month or two ago) that she had to be careful what she said because she didn't want to get in trouble with Canadian authorities. She never explained what that was all about, so I assumed it was a joke.

shlemazl said...


Pe've could be right of centre. Perhaps this disagrees with your politics.

Yet Pe've was commenting on someone supporting Hamas and it's not equivalent to being on the right of the political spectrum.

At least I hope you would agree with this point (?) :-)

Indeed it would have been helpful had she referenced the source of the views she expressed in the first place. Still does not justify what she said. I read plenty of antisemitic staff written by Arabs (including Palestinians). Should I say that "I support Neo Nazis and will never accept the existence of any Arab state"?

There is an update on the "Saba" situation - she left a comment on my site. Perhaps she is not totally "lost".

Don Snabulus said...

Speaking of beers, what about Israelis and Palestinians? Let's have an extended conversation on someone else's blog about something completely off topic.

I wonder if Rachel Corrie drank beer? Just kidding. Hey, if we "keep it civilized," maybe I can sucker people into letting me hijack their blog? Oops, a crocodile tear just fell into my cider.

cehnab - Hebrew for rude

shlemazl said...


I did mention my love for cider and wine. If you want me talk about beer... I can tell all I know: Britain is the country of warm beer and cold women.

Sorry about the hijacking. You are welcome to hijack mine - talk about beer all you want.

You can also delete all my comments.

rob said...

Obviously I haven't had many of these but my favorites from the top 100 list that I have been able to get in Oregon are:

Stone Ruination
Pliny the Elder
Arrogant Bastard
Stone IPA

I think those in Eugene can find all of these (except maybe the Pliny) at the Bierstein on 11th. If you haven't been there, you really must go! Unfortunately, I don't bother now that it's well known unless it's pretty early in the day to avoid the crowd. Hopefully they'll move and expand their floor space but I don't think the pizza place in the same building is going anywhere anytime soon with the college so nearby...

I still do drink Rogue, on the rare occasion. I'm really fond of the Younger's Special Bitter but the American Amber is a fine one too. Anyone from back East remember Genesee Cream Ale? In those beautiful bright green cans? Utter crap, but I grew up on it and still love to have one for nostalgia's sake. They actually had it at the Bierstein last time I was there.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Heck, I'd appreciate Arrogant Bastard just for the name! There's something somehow satisfying about drinking a craft ale with an "in-your-face" name like that.

Oh, Snabby, sorry about the topic drift. Shlemazl and I were just continuing a conversation that started somewhere else (and wound up being stopped). It wasn't so much a "hijacking" as an "Oh, there you are! Anyway..." I guess it was all a bit confusing (annoying?) for everyone here not privvy to it, but I don't think Shlemazl meant to be rude. Feel free to delete those comments if you like.