An Amateur Beer Snob’s Guide to Beer: The B Beers

What you will find below

I am ranking 527 beers, alphabetically, I tasted between December 1997 and October 2009. My numerical ranking is based upon my own scale of 0.1 to 10.0. If you’re curious about my ranking systems, let’s just say that a 5.0 is a decent beer, a 1.0 is an awful beer and a 10.0 is a fantastic beer.

B beers

Bad Frog Beer

4.0

A weak lager, but still stronger than your average American premium beer. Has an interesting label with a frog flipping you his middle finger. Made in Rose City, Michigan.

Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout

7.9

A strong, sweet stout that goes down smooth. A true beer snob could gulp this stuff down, but non-snobs would choke on it. The cost isn’t expensive, but the taste is; so this would make a good gift beer. From Anderson Valley Brewing Company of Mendocino County, California.

Barrel House Brewing CompanyFlying Pig Pilsener

4.9

A little soapy tasting, but I wouldn’t bitch too much about spending an afternoon with a case of this stuff. Goes down very smooth. Non-beer tasters could try this without being too far out of their league.

Barrel House Brewing CompanyVandermeer OO

5.9

This is supposed to be a strong ale, but it went down pretty easy with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Worth your time to try. The Barrel House Brewing Company of Cincinnati, Ohio makes this drink as well as many others.

Bass Pale Ale

7.9

This brew is very wet and smooth. It has a good beer taste without being overly strong nor overly weak. This is a good staple for beer snobs and a beer good for just drinking. This brew would also go nice with deli sandwiches.

B E (Bud Extra)

2.4

Apparently this is Budweiser’s answer to all the hopped-up, high-caffeine, high energy drinks crazy in bars. Basically it’s beer (barely) with ginseng and guarana extract. Looks like a light beer, but tastes like a fruity seltzer. If you like beer, don’t drink this. If you like cheap, fruity wine, this might be for you.

Beamish Irish Stout Draught

5.4

One of the smoothest stouts available, but unfortunately not very strong. Pretty flat with a little kick going down.

Beck’s

3.5

This Bremen, Germany, beer is wet, weak and watery. Has a very American taste with just a touch of extra strength.

Beck’s Dark

3.8

Watery and weak with a burnt taste. Not strong at all. Obviously made for America and beer snob wannabes. There’s a slight maple taste here.

Beck’s Light

4.5

Reminds me of Corona. Has a good amount of carbonation, but is light enough to still be enjoyable. Seems to have almost a lemon texture going down. One of the better light beers available.

Beck’s for Oktoberfest

4.9

A nice, sweet amber flavor here, somewhat like that of a medium lager. Pretty easy to swallow.

Belhaven St. Andrews Ale

7.0

A fine ale from Scotland without the overpowering sweetness. Apparently the golf links of St. Andrews are the first place golf was ever played, thus the bottle says “The Home of Golf.”

Belhaven Scottish Ale

6.1

This is a strong, sweet and sturdy ale brewed in Dunbar, Scotland. This beer is so sweet that the ranking score I gave it would probably be higher if it weren’t so sweet. In the last century or so, “Scottish Ales” have come to mean brews from Scotland that are high in barley but low in hops. These beers will have a strong, sweet taste and are dark colored.

Bell’s Amber Ale

6.3

Fairly smooth with a little too much carbonation. Has a typical “amber” flavor to it.

Bell’s Best Brown Ale

6.4

Nuttier than many brown ales. Has a slight tea flavor in the aftertaste.

Bell’s Home Grown Ale

5.0

A little carbonation. The taste isn’t very strong, but what there is has a cool bitterness and a touch of sweet.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

7.0

This beer comes from Kalamazoo Brewing Inc. in Michigan. Not the strongest stout I’ve had, but still pretty darn strong. Has that thick, syrupy, burnt maple flavor of goods stouts.

Bell’s Oberon Ale

6.8

Too much carbonation with a bitter taste going down. Kind of reminds me of a fizzier pale ale or weak lager. Way back in the back of your taste buds you might experience a little sweetness.

Bell’s Pale Ale

7.0

A decent pale ale, but it has a distant sourness like an India pale ale. Non-beer snobs can work their way up on this pale ale (mainly because it is a nice precursor to stronger pale ales).

Bell’s Porter

6.6

Has as strong nutty/maple flavor. A fine porter with some kick, but not overpowering.

Berghoff

4.7

Craft brewed in Monroe, Wisconsin, by the Jos. Huber Brewing Co. Strong but too sweet for me. Nothing special but not bad.

Bert Grant’s Amber Ale

5.7

Lots of malty taste here. In fact, too much malty taste in my opinion. Sweet and goes down pretty easy.

Bert Grant’s Imperial Stout

7.2

Has a pretty sturdy smoky maple flavor that’s common to all good stouts. Not the heaviest stout I’ve ever had, but far from the weakest.

Bert Grant’s India Pale Ale

5.9

Very bitter with a slight sour smell. Just a little carbonation, but goes down fairly smooth. Supposedly this stuff is made by the first brewpub created after prohibition. The bitterness is so strong that it brings down this beer’s score.

Bert Grant’s Perfect Porter

9.3

The label on this beer tells the truth – this is the perfect porter (or, at least, the best I’ve had as of this writing). This drink is heavy almost to the point of being a stout, but it’s not hard to swallow and isn’t as thick as … oh, let’s say Guinness. You can’t see light through a clear glass if it’s filled with this stuff – the sign of a great beer.

Bert Grant’ Scottish Ale

6.9

A sweet taste in the beginning that turns to a strong bitter taste on the way down. Very little fizz. Wet, almost like tea. Too rough for beginning beer snobs. This stuff is made by Yakima Brewing & Malting Co. of Yakima, Washington.

Big Bear Lager

3.4

There is a chain of grocery stores in the Midwest in which the stores are called “Big Bear.” Yes, this is their own personal brew. This beer is brewed by The Hoster Brewing Co. of Columbus, Ohio, for the grocery chain. I’ve had worse lagers, but there isn’t much special here. It’s got a good color and is stronger than I expected.

Big Rock Warthog Ale

6.7

The Big Rock Brewery of Calgary, Alberta, Canada makes this. Pretty smooth with just a little honey sweetness as it goes down. Not overly strong, so anyone can enjoy it. This makes a pretty good bar beer for bar food. Has a slight sour smell but that’s not in the taste.

Bitburger

6.0

The bitterness grows here the more you drink, especially in the aftertaste. Wet with a touch of fizz. Despite being a German brew, this has a very made-for-America taste. Not bad but nothing special.

Blatz

2.4

Too much fizz but fairly easy to swallow. Is sweet on first drink but the taste soon turns watery and weak. Not as bad as I expected, but definitely nothing to write home about. The G. Heileman Brewing Company of Detroit, Michigan brews this wetness.

Blue Moon Belgian White

8.0

Has a smooth, frothy, slight-sour taste and texture that reminds one of a lambic (my favorite style of beer, by the way, though pale ales aren’t far behind). Do not pass up any opportunity to try this beer. It’s fantastic. It has a fruity smell that also hits the taste buds on the way down the throat.

Blue MoonHoney Blonde Ale

6.4

Smooth and frothy with a non-overpowering honey sweetness. Just the barest hint of spices.

Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale

4.5

An amber beer that was made using pumpkins. Not an overly strong beer, but too complicated for beginning beer drinkers. This is a seasonal brew from the Blue Moon Brewing Co. of Denver, Colorado, and Memphis, Tennessee. A little reminiscent of spicy holiday brews. A very smooth and frothy texture, but I don’t care much for the flavor.

Blue Ridge Amber Lager

5.9

Good cold and wet, but not much here for a true beer snob. A pretty good beer for premium beer drinkers to expand their tastes with.

Blue Ridge ESB Red Ale

6.0

The Frederick Brewing Co. makes this brew. This beer is of the style called “bitter” in England. Really, there’s not much special here. In taste and texture it’s similar to many other “red” beers, though it’s probably just a little better than most reds.

Blue Ridge Porter

7.7

Has a decent amount of bitterness and a fairly strong coffee and/or burnt caramel flavoring. This is a “chocolate” beer, which doesn’t mean it has chocolate in it; chocolate beers are dark and often have the coffee taste I mentioned earlier. Brought to us by the Frederick Brewing Co. in Frederick, Maryland.

Boddington Pub Ale

4.9

Brewed at The Strangeways Brewery of Manchester, England. Word of warning: Don’t drink directly from the bottle because of a floating plastic device inside. The ball is not supposed to come out of the bottle, but you never can tell. I’ve seen a few other English beers, usually in cans, that have this plastic ball in the bottle; supposedly the ball gives the beer more of a straight-from-the-tap texture and a nice head. This beer has one of the frothiest heads around. The beer is very smooth and has a somewhat cheap, American lager taste but not the texture. Leaves a bitter aftertaste on the tongue.

Bohemia

3.5

Yet another weak, fizzy Mexican brew. You premium beer drinkers might like this. I’ll leave it to you.

Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche

6.2

A microbrewery in Denver, Colorado makes this amber ale. Fairly sweet with no fizz. Goes down smooth and easy with a watery texture. Worth tasting and might even make a good drinking beer, especially with bar snacks like pretzels. This would be a good brew for beginning beer snobs to start working their way up with.

Breckenridge Brewery Christmas Ale

3.8

A little wetter than most holiday brews, but otherwise it’s another overly-sweet, overly-nutmeggy, overly-cinnamon and overly-bad Christmas beer.

Breckenridge Brewery I.P.A.

6.8

The typical India pale ale sourness is strong here, but not unbearable. Smooth, but makes rough swallowing.

Breckenridge Brewery Mountain Wheat

5.0

So light it almost seems tasteless at first. Goes down easy enough for non-snobs to enjoy, but has an interesting light texture that true snobs can linger on too.

Breckenridge Brewery Oatmeal Stout

8.7

This stuff could give Guinness a run for its money. Thick like a stout should be, but still goes down smooth. Has a nice nutty, burnt flavor that isn’t overly strong. One of the most drinkable stouts on the market. A little tasting lesson here: Stouts are better served a little warm (let’s say no higher than 55 degree Fahrenheit). The flavor comes out better when stouts aren’t ice cold; actually, this is true for most beers.

Breckenridge Brewery Strawberry Wheat

4.7

Fruity with a little sweetness. Very wet but also very weak and flat.

Brewery Hill Caramel Porter

8.1

For those of you who want to taste the classic flavor of a burnt, caramel porter, you need go no further. This porter is strong without crossing the border over into a stout. Brewery Hill Brewing Co. of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania makes this fine drink.

Brewery Hill Centennial Lager

8.0

A smooth, soft lager that reminds one of “blond” ales without as much carbonation. The light, layering sweetness is kind to your tongue and not overpowering at all. Apparently these people know how to make beer.

Brooklyn Brown Ale

6.1

Sweet, sweet, sweet! Has a smooth burnt maple flavor and a touch of carbonation. A good brew, but not a great one; nothing for the Brooklyn Brewery of Brooklyn, New York, to be ashamed of.

Brooklyn East India Pale Ale

8.1

One of the better IPAs available because it is wet, smooth and the sourness often associated with IPAs is at a minimum here. The texture is a little heavy. Goes well with chili.

Brooklyn Lager

8.2

Fairly strong for a lager, especially one from the U.S. Has a smooth bitter quality and goes down wet and easy. What every lager should be.

Bud Dry

3.4

Little fizz with a sweet flavor that is barely there. Yet one of many “typical” Bud beers.

Bud Ice

3.2

The Anheuser-Busch people keep remaking Budweiser every few years and this is one of their latest efforts. Apparently ice crystals are formed in this beer’s finishing process and this adds to the taste – does this mean they just freeze a bunch of Budweiser, then let it thaw out? I don’t know, but I do know the taste is stronger here than in other beers of the Budweiser family.

Bud Ice Light

2.9

The most watered-down of all the Budweiser family. If you like weak beers, this is for you. There is less fizz than in Bud Light and less taste than any of the other Bud beers. Goes down easy because there isn’t much to go down.

Bud Light

3.0

This is the light version of it’s slightly weaker cousin, Budweiser. There isn’t much taste here, but there is a little more fizz than in Budweiser, thus the slightly higher score (hey, at least there was more of something).

Bud Light Lime

3.5

One of my higher ranking beers in the Budweiser genre of beers. Not that this is a great beer, but the lime flavor alone helps just a tad, dissolving some of that noxious bad beer flavor. This is a decent brew for really hot days.

Budweiser

2.9

This is the most “typical” and “American” of all beers. That being said, this is also the beer by which all others are measured to some degree or other. Marketing has made this beer what it is, because there sure isn’t enough taste to have done it. Weak at best. Goes well with truly American foods like hamburgers and pizza.

Budweiser American Ale

4.0

This is, without a doubt, the best of the beers from the Budweiser folks. Not that that’s saying much. Very clean looking, and goes down smooth. The taste is okay, but nothing special. Lets your non-snob friends think they’re drinking something special. Worth trying once, but that’s about it.

Busch

3.0

This beer tastes like it’s supposed to – like a cheap beer. Still, I would suggest this beer over Budweiser if for no other reason than it’s a good thirst quencher. This would make a good beer during the summer while you are mowing the yard (not that I’m suggesting you drink and operate machinery – have the beer when you’re done).

Busch Light

2.9

This is a weaker and sweeter version of Busch beer. Don’t worry, the fizz is still there if you want to burp.

Related link

An Amateur Beer Snob’s Guide to Beer: The A Beers

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