Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beereview: He'Brew Messiah Bold

About a month ago, I posted about "Beer Cocktails" and how vile they seem. While trying to convince you of the exceeding depravity of these concoctions I made an off-handed remark about He'Brew Genesis Ale. At the time, I was quite proud of my description of the "Lucky Dreidel." Here is an excerpt:
I don't want to bash anybody's personal preferences, but that wine is almost as horrible as that beer, which itself is pretty horrible.
Now, I didn't get any hate mail from Maneschewitz for trashing on their wine (which I still say is pretty horrible,) but I did hear from Zak Davis at Shmaltz Brewing Company. He was very professional in his criticism of my remark but I still felt bad about trashing a micro-brew. It had been a while since I had Genesis Ale and I did not have fond memories of it; it still wasn't fair to be so brusque in my condemnation.

Hence, I felt the guilt. I promised Zak I'd do another review and keep a fair and open mind, however my guilt has not been assuaged. Without any further blathering commentary, here's the review:

He'Brew Messiah Bold

My pilgrimage for beer review redemption was finally concluding after many long nights wandering the liquor stores of Central New Jersey (Wow, that sounds bad.) I was in search of "The Chosen Beer." I found Messiah Bold and rejoiced.

Messiah Bold is described as "A Rich and Robust Dark Brown Ale," which I found very appealing. It was also the only He'Brew I could find in three stores. Think of this purchase like those flowers you get your girlfriend after running over her cat; it's also like the spare present you buy for the holidays to give to someone who unexpectedly gives you one. It's guilt motivated. I picked a beer I thought would be my apology. I guess I'm not good at apologies.

Messiah Bold has a rich dark brown color. The smell reminds me strongly of bread, and there is pretty much no head or lacing. Also, I had a six pack of these and they were all pretty flat and watery. The flavors are not very complex, but are sweet and malty.

Ultimately, this beer is not bad, but it's certainly not rich and robust. It's middle of the road, but drinkable. I'd recommend it to people who want to like "good beer" but have very mild taste. So what's the silver lining? I only paid $8.50 for six of them. In this price group, even middle of the road is very good compared to what else is available.

As an aside, in this price range it's probably all about marketing. Dogfish Head sells a four pack for around $11 ($2.75 each.) They know that a customer who is willing to pay that much expects higher-than average quality and is probably looking for something fairly unique. They aren't trying to appeal to the "super bowl" crowd for something to wash down nachos.

At $1.42 each, He'Brew is going after a different market. The witty banter on the label makes their product stand out from similarly priced high-volume average quality beer. It's sort of like a gag gift you'd get somebody for Hanukkah. It's also a good thing to bring to a super bowl party to wash down nachos. The beer needs to be of the quality where they can still make money selling it for $1.42 a bottle.

If your preferences are for "normal" beer and you're on a budget, pick some up. It's certainly better than New Castle or one of the mass-produced brands.

See you next time, when I go into details about my recent "Pine Mouth" affliction.


  1. Hey hey now! I like Newcastle! I even did a review on it...

  2. I like it too, but I wouldn't pay $11 for 4 of them. It's a great ordinary beer. Good for mowing the lawn.

  3. How can you compare wine to beer!!!

  4. If you're referring to the comment from my previous post, I was saying that the wine is horrible and that the beer is horrible. They are independent of one another.

    To answer your question a bit better, some very fine beers are quite similar to wine. Barley wine is a particularly potent variety that blurs the line a bit. There are also crossover beers which use grapes or wine as flavoring. Check out Dogfish head Red & White ( sometime if you'd like to broaden your horizons.