Monday, June 27, 2011

Touched by a Shark

by J.S. Holland

This time I gotta disagree strenuously with those super-snobs over at Beer Advocate. Their gang of self-styled brew experts dismiss Landshark Lager with C- and D ratings, mainly because it "lacks complexity". This is rather like an overbearing cheese "expert" saying that no one should ever eat swiss cheese because it's blander than Gorgonzola.

Beers are tools, essentially, and one must apply the proper tool for the proper job. I certainly wouldn't order Landshark at a five-star restaurant to accompany my Lobster Newburg (not that they'd even be carrying it anyhow), but hey, I wouldn't order a Coke either, and that doesn't mean that Landshark or Coke sucks. Landshark's place on the beer scale is the same as Corona's, Caguama, Miller High Life, or Dundee's Honey Brown - a simple, unpretentious gullet-washing cerveza with no aftertaste yet not as soulless as a "dry" beer. Perfect for outdoor activities, like hanging out on the beach, as the whole oceanic packaging makes obvious.

I enjoy the stuff immensely, especially with a lime slice and accompanying spicy foods and cigars. I can drink a whole 6 of these and not feel like I'm about to turn into a loaf of bread rising in the sun, which is more than I can say for a lot of chewy brews that the beer intelligentsia assure us are superior.

I guess you might have to be part Floridian to get it, and I confess this Kentucky Gentleman's got a lot of Florida on his shoes in recent years. I've enjoyed Landshark on many a sun-drenched day in my primary Gulf of Mexico stomping ground, which is pretty much everything between Clearwater and Sarasota, and all the islands and keys in the area. I especially love Pass-a-Grille, Perico Island, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key, and Lido Key, and a sip of the shark transports me back there, to those baby powder beaches and that nautical nightlife.

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