Friday, June 6, 2008

Chuck's Steakhouse and its 28-ounce Michelob

I was wrong about big domestic beers.

There, I said it.

They're not all bad.

In fact, Michelob Lager has more to offer than I expected.

Having been a bit of a brew snob lately, I have not tasted much in the way of big domestics, not for a while. I think the last time I drank a big can of Budweiser was more than a year ago, at the House of Blues, when the band Drive-By Truckers was on the stage, and I was afraid I would get my ass kicked if I bought Heineken.

So I had written off the big domestics in favor of microbrews and imports.

Until I dined at Chuck's Steakhouse on Restaurant Row here in Myrtle Beach -- twice, recently.

My wife and I like to eat there when we can; it's got an excellent, old-school steakhouse touch to it. I even like the fact that their salad bar isn't a mile long; it's something more typical of the era before salad bars mutated and took over the restaurant industry.

Anyway, Chuck's has only one draft beer, Michelob, plus a tap for the beer substitute Michelob Ultra.

The folks at Chuck's will sell you a big frosty goblet containing approximately 28 ounces of Michelob for $5.50.

I noted that the Michelob had interesting, hoppy characteristics, followed by a pleasant dryness.

This was not the blandness I had come to expect from big domestics. Michelob had something going on. It showed up. It had something to offer.

Perhaps all the time I have spent focusing on the imports and microbrews, and learning about their characteristics, helped me understand what there was to appreciate in that Michelob.

Because after I made my favorable assessment of Michelob, I looked up the company Web site, on which -- it is claimed -- that their lager is made with "European noble aroma hop varieties" and "a 100-percent-malt blend of the finest two-row and caramel malts."

Damn, it really makes a difference, especially when compared with Bud.

Hmm, I'm sounding a bit sappy here. But then again, I'm now determined to give Coors and Miller another go. Maybe there's something I've been missing -- whoa, did I say that?

Stay tuned.

-Colin Foote Burch

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