Beers we have hated


The first time we had Chi­may Tripel was on a trip to Brus­sells in around 2004. We were inter­est­ed in beer, but not yet obsessed, and end­ed up in the Leffe Cafe because it was the only place that we stum­bled on that looked vague­ly wel­com­ing.

We worked our way through the menu, try­ing such excit­ing beers as Stel­la Artois and Leffe Brune, before get­ting to the Chi­may. We knew it was sup­posed to be some­thing spe­cial, so had high hopes for a tran­scen­dent moment.

And we hat­ed it. We found it lit­er­al­ly undrink­able. It tast­ed of noth­ing but alco­hol, and smelled like lighter flu­id. It made our eyes sting. How could peo­ple enjoy beer that strong!?

For some years, the idea lin­gered in our minds that it was foul. For­tu­nate­ly, we did give it anoth­er go, and learned an impor­tant les­son: our tastes can and do change over time.

14 thoughts on “Beers we have hated”

  1. I can’t believe peo­ple think that garbage Stel­la Artois is good beer. It’s a mix­ture of Bud Light and Nat­ur­al Ice and com­plete­ly, utter­ly dis­gust­ing in my book. I’m glad you recon­sid­ered try­ing Chi­may, tru­ly one of the great beers of the world.

  2. Chi­may in the same sen­tence with alco­hol and lighter flu­id some­how makes me want to go buy some Chi­may right now! Though I am more a fan of the Red or Blue than the White.

  3. I remem­ber I hat­ed the first weizen­bier I drunk. I thought it was awful!

    It had cost me quite a bit of mon­ey (I was still liv­ing in Argenti­na) so it was very painful to pour it down the drain…

  4. I’ve kind of gone the oth­er way. I’m real­ly not that fond of Chi­may now, though I haven’t devel­oped a taste for Stel­la!

  5. Despite my best efforts I have nev­er man­aged to enjoy any Rauch­bier. Hope­ful­ly one day my taste buds will evolve and allow me to appre­ci­ate the style.

  6. Tip for improv­ing Stel­la: have it poured by the bar­man and then ask for a clean glass. Pour it into the clean glass and drink. The loss of car­bon­a­tion will make it less bad, and the expres­sion on the barman’s face will make it all worth­while!

  7. First time I ever had Chi­may Bleu was in Brus­sels, at the Cafe La Four­m­i­liere on Place Rouppe. Not my favourite town, but that’s now one of my favourite beers. The bar was fan­tas­tic, too. A real time warp. I think it’s recent­ly been turned into an iron­ic restau­rant or some­thing.

  8. The first time I had Orval. Did not hate but did not real­ly like very much. I was already famil­iar with Chi­may and some of the most com­mon bel­gian ales (Leffe, Grim­ber­gen, Hoe­gaar­den, La Trappe), which I liked. But that funky / “bret­ty” touch in the Orval was a bit off for me, as it made Orval quite dif­fer­ent from what I con­sid­ered beer to be back then. Today, I wish that funky side to Orval was a bit more evi­dent. In my opin­ion (and I don’t think my taste’s evo­lu­tion is the only one to blame…), it has waned late­ly.

  9. Chap and Jon – here’s Pete Brown on the devo­lu­tion of Stel­la. EDIT: now with added link!

    Kei­th – hel­lo again! Red is my favourite. A good, sol­id Bel­gian beer for any occa­sion.

    Beertruck – we’ve only real­ly recent­ly start­ed to appre­ci­ate Orval and, even now, it’s not one of our favourites. Seems to need to be aged, and cer­tain­ly can’t be too cold, or it tastes very bor­ing.

    Andy – as I’ve said before else­where, rauch­bier is the def­i­n­i­tion of an acquired taste, although if you haven’ acquired it yet, maybe you nev­er will. Shame. Have you tried the Schlenker­la Helles? (If you’re the Andy who sells it, this is a daft ques­tion.) Very mild­ly smoky.

  10. In a sim­i­lar vein, I’ve often made tast­ing notes for a beer, been a bit lazy about post­ing the review, then had anoth­er in the mean­time and got a lot more from it the sec­ond time round, which helps me get a fuller pro­file. Maybe my tongue is slow to wake up at times!

  11. Leigh – I think there’s some­thing very healthy in being able to admit that beer tast­ing (or tast­ing any­thing for that mat­ter) is very sub­jec­tive. Beer can taste dif­fer­ent depend­ing on what you’ve eat­en, the weath­er, the glass it’s served in, how it’s been stored…

  12. Beers we have hat­ed ? When I was a boy (c1979), Fullers ESB was the strongest reg­u­lar­ly brewed beer in the coun­try and (IMHO) tast­ed of soap pow­der. Now I love its blend of fruit and bit­ter­ness – but what hap­pend to the soap­i­ness ?

  13. Hmm. I used to find corian­der leaves ined­i­ble because they tast­ed of soap; and couldn’t drink Earl Grey tea for the same rea­son. Now, nei­ther taste remote­ly like soap to me. Maybe it’s a range of flavours the taste­buds need to get used to?

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