During the Club All-Brew I came up with an idea for one of our scheduled brews—how about a retro beer? You know the beer you used to drink back in the day when there was only black and white TV and you had to walk to school uphill in the snow…
A Retro Beer is a culturally outdated or aged style from the overall postmodern past that has since that time become the norm once again—or not. But for this exercise we will expand our definition to include regional beers from wherever you are from or where you went to college etc. Any old-school or obscure beers will do.
A Retro beer for me living up in South Jersey would have to include Genesee beer—especially the Cream Ale. Other examples would be a beer that my Dad drank called Ballantine beer. Many years later I discovered Ballantine IPA which was tame compared to today’s over the top hop grenades—but it was a very tasty beer worthy of this assignment.
Even more bizarre my brothers used to drink something called “Hop n gator” Some kind of fruit flavored malt liquor which was brewed by Iron City Brewing. I also remember another beer (sort of) called Champale—a champagne and beer concoction that would rival all the specialty marketed drinks you have today.
These are just a few examples of some Retro Beers for me, but they will be different for all of us. While those old-school beers lacked a lot in variety and flavor, they are certainly steeped in history—I think this could be a fun beer brewing experience for the club. So sit back and think of some beers that you remember from the “good old days” and do some research to formulate a recipe and brew it.
Notable Retro beers:
Piels, Ballantine, Old Milwaukee, PBR, Black Label, Coors Extra Gold, Hamms, Dixie, Olympia—it’s the water, Rolling rock—ol’ 33, Strohs, Genesee, Milwaukee, Old English, Falstaff, Utica Club, Miller, Schaefer or whatever floats your boat. There will be no wrong beers brewed as long as you dig deep into the annals of brewing history or brew something that you have fond memories—I will most likely do a Genesee Cream Ale—what are you going to brew?