Table and Vine keg party #2

Table and Vine is having their second Keg Party this Friday and Saturday 27 and 28, Held at the store at 1119 Riverdale Street, Route 5, West Springfield MA. They claim to have 30 different kegs for tasting during this party! I was there last year and sampled Saranac IPA- Lake Placid ubu and ipa- Palm- Sierra summerfest- Anchor Steam- Harpoon ipa- Allagash white- Ten penny- Woodstock red rack ale. All of which were outstanding brews as far as I can remember! Best of all I got to meet George Lenker the Beer Nut. There will be hot dogs and hamburgers, and Brews all are free! It’s a must go to event. For all the low down check their web site.

Top 5: Overrated beers

By our local western mass Beer Nut! I have only tried two of them, and he may have something here!

To get in touch with him go here

clip_image002By George

Joe Namath, Phil Rizzuto, Ben Kingsley, John Wayne, "Gone with the Wind," "Titanic," Eminem, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Pachelbel’s "Canon in D Major," Nathaniel Hawthorne, J.R.R. Tolkein, and on and on.

Many readers will immediately see the connection between all of the above names and titles, but if you’re not one of them, here it is: They all have appeared on various lists of people or works that have been deemed "overrated" by various wags over the years.

Now, before I start getting any hate mail (for the above list, anyway) let me say that I’m not saying those people and things are overrated. I just culled that list from various other lists. That said, I must admit to agreeing with choices such as The Doors and Tolkein.

It’s probably obvious by now that the only reason to begin a beer column with a list of supposedly overrated things is that I’m going to list my choices for the most overrated beers.

The Internet loves lists like these and who am I not to give the Internet what it wants? Columnists also love lists like these because columnists like anything that involves arbitrary and subjective opinions that might rile some readers and get a good discussion going. It’s what we do. (And I fully expect some wiseacre comments about "Most Overrated Columnists." Yeah, yeah. Bring them on. I can take it.)

Before we get to my list, however, let me make a few things clear. (Although I know many of you have already stopped reading this section and are scanning the list for something to disagree with.) By putting a beer on the list below, I am not saying it is a bad brew. The only criterion I used is a beer’s "greatness" (in my opinion, of course) vs. its reputation among the supposed cognoscenti of the craft brew world. As I said, this list is arbitrary, subjective and, I hope, provocative.

So read on, agree or disagree, grumble, nod, or rant. I welcome and encourage your comments. Then have a beer and discuss with your friends. That’s what these things are all about.

My Top Five Overrated Beers, in ascending order:

5) Racer 5 — I can see jaws dropping everywhere on this one. Lenker is dissing Racer 5? Did someone kidnap the real George and replace him with someone who isn’t familiar with his tastes? No. I’m just trying to be fair and honest here. I love Racer 5. But, as Chad Ochocinco might say: "child, please!" It’s a great IPA, but there are others just as good: Smuttynose IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, and our own Northampton Brewery’s Blue Boots.

4) Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout — You’ll have to excuse the brevity of this particular paragraph but I’m writing it as I’m being flown to an undisclosed location to avoid the pitchfork and torch crowd I assume is on its way to find me after reading this one. Great stout; complex and bitter. A bit too much alcohol burn for my tastes. Worthy of praise? Yes. Worthy of being called "Lord"? No.

3) Rocheforte Trappistes 10 — Twice the number used in Racer 5’s name; only half deserving of its reputation. Nice beer, kind of like James Taylor is a nice singer.

2) Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout — I love Founder’s. The brewery makes some of my favorite beers. This isn’t one of them. If I want coffee, I’ll order coffee.

1) Westvleteren 12 — In this case, the oft-repeated "This Is Spinal Tap" phrase "this one goes to 11" isn’t a compliment. It’s probably not fair to list a beer I’ve only had once, but I’m not going to let that stop me. The one I had was great. But not Tom Brady/Michael Jordan great. It was more Brett Favre/Allen Iverson great. I’d have another one in a second if I could, but that doesn’t make it The Beatles of beers. It’s more like The Beach Boys (which is a band I also love, by the way, but overrated by geeks everywhere.)

OK, have at it. Grouse at my choices, but try to keep it civil. And make your own list and post it below. My paperwork for the witness protection relocation program is almost done.