best kind of beer for the playa?

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
mooserider
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best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by mooserider » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:09 pm

OK, here's a real subjective question: What's the best kind of beer for the playa? Pilsner, lager, IPA, porter, stout, wheat beer, etc.?

I'm just contemplating what to pack in my personal supplies, since I'm not a home brewmeister, and will therefore have to go commercial.

Also, is there an issue with cans bursting or bottle tops blowing off from the reduced air pressure up on the playa (as in, should I buy my brew in Reno or Fernley instead of hauling microbrew from home near sea level)?

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Jovankat » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:15 pm

Cans are definitely the way to go because they can't smash and cause MOOP, they can be taken to Recycle Camp to be recycled with profits going to a local school and because if you choose to pack them out to recycle at home the crush down and take up less space.

As for what sort of beer I'd imagine the answer is what you enjoy drinking the most...

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Token » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:19 pm

Scientific answer:

An IPA would be suitable for no refrigeration over long periods of time. Developed just for that.

The Burning Man yardstick of civilization:

Pabst Blue Ribbon, or PBR.

I personally find a strong Ale fits the bill out there. Lots of bitter, lots of hops, lots of yeast esters. My palate always gets screwy out there and the less subtlety to the brew the better.


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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Ratty » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:19 pm

Well, I might as well say it. PBR is the official beer of burning Man. Drink a few and play beer ball with the rest.

But do let the air out of your over inflated bike tires and expect your potato chip bags to pop.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Yep. PBR. I never drink the crap off-playa but it's watery constitution is perfect on the desert.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by mooserider » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:25 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Yep. PBR. I never drink the crap off-playa but it's watery constitution is perfect on the desert.
Hmmm... that's why I drink Rolling Rock (and Matt's when I could get it). Beer for when you're thirsty!

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Just_Joe » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:29 pm

"Not only it is inexpensive, but PBR is one of those rare beers that tastes almost identical whether it is cold or warm…at least to me. "

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by jeanerz66 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:31 pm

I always enjoy a good IPA. More bang for your buck and my go-to hair-of-the-dog beer. But maybe too heavy for the playa? I don't really know.

But cans would be the way to go.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by rideincircles » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:05 pm

I plan on brewing a few beers out on the playa, but I think refreshing beers sound like the best option.

So far I have on oaked cherry apfelwein, a carbonated grape pyment (mead made with welchs grape juice and honey), and an imperial coffee stout ready to be kegged. Those will probably be for more night time options.

I am thinking a lemon lime hefeweizen, citra saison, and either a double IPA, IPA or pale ale as my other one. I plan to bring 6 5-gallon kegs out there, but am still working out the battleplan.

I had a bottle explode that got hit by the sun this week, so always keep that in mind. If I bring any other homebrews, it will have to be bottles since that is my only easy option.

Refreshing beers will be your best bet.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Elderberry » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:11 pm

The only kind of beer to drink on the playa is COLD beer! (Preferably served in frosted mugs.)
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Jackass » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:22 pm

I enjoy both PBR and Tecate at varying temperatures. Had some Rolling Rock in a can last year...not so good.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by maladroit » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:34 pm

If you want decent beer in cans, hard to go wrong with anything from 21st Amendment. New Belgium also has cans...a cool Ranger IPA and a taco while the sun sets and people start turning on their lights and sound systems? Fuck yeah.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by tamarakay » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:49 pm

I stood out on the corner during the DPW parade with my ice chest and handed out ice cold Shiner Bock. I believe I was informed I was God, that I was Queen of Burning Man, and that I FUCKING RULED or some such. :D
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by tamarakay » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:51 pm

rideincircles wrote:I plan on brewing a few beers out on the playa, but I think refreshing beers sound like the best option.

So far I have on oaked cherry apfelwein, a carbonated grape pyment (mead made with welchs grape juice and honey), and an imperial coffee stout ready to be kegged. Those will probably be for more night time options.

I am thinking a lemon lime hefeweizen, citra saison, and either a double IPA, IPA or pale ale as my other one. I plan to bring 6 5-gallon kegs out there, but am still working out the battleplan.

I had a bottle explode that got hit by the sun this week, so always keep that in mind. If I bring any other homebrews, it will have to be bottles since that is my only easy option.

Refreshing beers will be your best bet.
:shock: um, Hi! Feel free to camp over by Dye with Dignity. I mean, you know, we are very friendly.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Elliot » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:14 pm

Yup, a light thirst-quenching lager for the desert throat, and PBR does the job at minimal price --- plus it is kind'a traditional, as was mentioned. A running joke, so to speak. And really, it is not such a bad beer for the purpose.

For flavor, anything you like. Just make triple certain there will never be such a thing as a broken bottle, so... cans, yes.

Last year I brought one of those little devices with a lever on it, that crushes cans. I installed it on a post above a small garbage can (just for the aluminum cans), and we made only a couple trips to recycle camp.

Now for today's amusing anecdote. (*leaves time for folks to... leave*)
In my trucking days, we had a contract with a major potato chip company to transfer products between their factories and distribution centers. One common run went from Fresno, CA, to Denver, CO. We were required to go north to I-80 thru Wyoming, and back south from Laramie on US-287 and I-25 to Denver, because I-70 runs over an 11,000 foot pass. And we were required to weigh the load in Wyoming -- not for the weight, but to generate a receipt that proved we drove that route. Still, every load was opened and inspected on arrival. Of course, once in a while some clever trucker decided to save a few miles... and arrived in Denver with fourty-eleven-gazillion ruptured bags. Such was the difference between 7,240 feet over Donner Summit and 11,158 feet over the Eisenhower Tunnel near Vail.
Whether any store is able to sell such chips in Vail is unknown.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Ratty » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:19 pm

Elliot, last year I gifted a tire to someone that had theirs blow up on the way there. Is it a common occurrence?
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Drawingablank » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:21 pm

Being a dyed in the wool IPA drinker and home brewer I couldn't resist bringing a large assortment of IPA's last year (basically a six pack of every IPA the store had that I don't normally see on the East coast). I must have spent 350.00 on IPA's (and they are a lot cheaper in Nevada).

What a disappointment! Basically I went through all the cheap ass PBR in 2 days and regretted bringing all that expensive beer for the next 10 days.

Don't get me wrong - I love IPA's and drink them almost exclusively in the default world , but at the burn PBR tastes so much better and is more thirst quenching.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Meat Hunter » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:54 pm

What is IPA beer?
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by trilobyte » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:56 pm

My subjective answer... you want something in cans (no breakage hazard and bonus points for recyclability), and IMO you want the cheapest stuff you enjoy drinking. The cheap stuff is generally more watered down, which is what you want during the heat of the day in the desert (hydrate? no, BEERDRATE!). A lot of folks prefer PBR, and that does work well, but personally I prefer Tecate. It's a cheap Mexican beer that's very readily available in California, and in many cases costs less than PBR. My girlfriend has better taste than I do, and she prefers something a bit better if she can get it. For a few years we'd hunt down and get her a couple cases of Corona in cans for her, but now that Stella's available in cans she prefers that. Hope that helps!

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Thecatman » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:07 pm

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Elliot » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:36 pm

:D
IPA = India Pale Ale. This was invented for shipping from England to India in colonial days. It has more hops and/or whatnot, which helps it survive the long journey on a ship without refrigeration.

I often drink my PBR this way: I take a big mug and fill it with ice cubes. Then I pour in the beer. This way I start with good beer flavor, and end up drinking ice water. Win - win.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by GreyCoyote » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:43 pm

Question: what is the best beer for the playa?
Answer: The one you hold in your hand.

That is all. You can thank me later. :mrgreen:
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by TT120 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:55 pm

For me, PBR is acceptable when it's cold but once it warms up, it tastes like alligator piss to me. I love IPA's but that also has to be cold. This year I'm bringing some California Blonde Ale from the Eel River Brewing Company. I think that will be great out in the deep hot Playa.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by CyanEssence » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 pm

The best beer for the playa? I think this is largely a matter of personal taste. Your palate, like your style of burning, will be different from mine.

I agree with what TT120 says, and would add that I also feel the same way about warm Tecate, and warm red wine (I am talking full-on "desert warm"). I can handle PBR and Tecate cold just fine. Heck, I'd go so far as to say I can enjoy it, but once it gets warm, I'll pass.

For some reason I have it in my head that anything hoppy would be better warm, maybe because I slow sip "winter" beers warm around the holidays, and those are always hoppy. I haven't tested this out at BM yet...


I'd definitely go with cans like everyone else says. Bottles just aren't worth it when you think of potential breakage and packing it out. Jovankat, thanks for the tip on recycle camp. I had no idea that existed.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by danibel » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:00 pm

I used to just buy cases of canned Modelo (a mexican beer, not quite half a notch better than tecate, IMHO). Now that Sierra Nevada is available in cans I buy one case of Modelo and one case of S.N.. Sapporo (Japanese) is available in cans, but hard to find in a case. It's usually sold as a single at liquor stores. You can find all kinds of beers in cans now. And like most people said - it's a matter of your own taste.

One year some campmates brought bottles of Sierra Nevada. I made sure they took every one of them home.

A shovel is a good thing to pack as it's just about the only way to clean up a broken bottle. picking glass out of the playa = no fun. Bring cans and save yourself (and campmates) all the trouble.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Meat Hunter » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:20 pm

Would O'Dourle in a can qualify for a IPA rating?''''

What does IPA stand for anyway?
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by happydragon » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:12 am

My go to is Ellie's Brown Ale from Avery brewing, comes in cans and is just plain great. I also bring along a few 22's of some imperial stout just because those are my favs but hard to drink in the middle of a hot afternoon. (great on a cold evening though)

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:40 am

Rollin Rock for out and about and Corona with lime in camp.
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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by Elliot » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:23 am

Meat Hunter wrote:Would O'Dourle in a can qualify for a IPA rating?''''

What does IPA stand for anyway?
Wake up, Harold! :wink: Look a few posts above for full explanation.

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Re: best kind of beer for the playa?

Post by MyDearFriend » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:10 pm

Best I ever had in BRC was a black pepper pilsner at at Goathead's homebrew camp; I have found it twice now and oh, boy. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Pilsner for daytime, porter at night (though it is really hard to find a canned porter for under $2 a can and I hate to pay that much).
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