<b>Drink Different: Beer – One Man’s Plea To Look Before You Gulp</b>
Aug 2012 30

Drink Different: Beer – One Man’s Plea To Look Before You Gulp

Posted In Blog,Booze,Favorites,Food & Drink

by The Wine Guy

Beer! Beeeeeer! Homer Simpson is not alone in drooling about beer. There are many days where I patiently count the minutes till work is done, and I can go home and have a nice cold brewski! Where wine is an elegant drink to be enjoyed and marveled at, and spirits are a challenging riddle or a philosophical question, beer is your girl or boy next door, available, accessible, and affordable! Beer has changed so much in my lifetime that it is rather hard to believe. When I turned twenty-one, if I wanted to buy an exotic beer I’d get a Heineken, and I’d be considered an elitist for doing so. If I was really lucky they might have Chimay, which was like buying a beer from outer space. Today our choices are enormous and growing daily. So the question is, why are you still drinking the same old crappy beer? What are you terrified of? Why do these crappy beers even still exist? Friends do not let friends drink Bud, Coors, or Miller! You want to buy American, be my guest, but choose from thousands of quality craft brews that kick ass!

I’m far from a beer expert; beer remains a wonderful hobby that I practice daily. While I do not have the passion for it that I do for wine and spirits, it occupies a special and wonderful place in my heart. So I am not going to give you a break down on the difference between a stout and a lager, there are plenty of beer geeks that can help you with that. Instead I am here once again to make a desperate and impassioned plea for you to stop drinking crap and start buying better beer. When you buy better beer it helps all of us. When a brewmaster decides to buy French chardonnay barrels and age their beer in them, and then you and I buy it, we send a message that says keep doing things like that. When he sees bud outselling his beer by a huge number he sees a message of hopelessness. Lets continue to encourage these wonderful brewmasters to take these risks and continue to push beer to higher and higher levels.

Take a chance on that odd label with the great description. Try a style you have never had before. I’m not a hophead. I do not think that more hops equates to better beers. Based on who buys hoppy beers, it would seem that I just missed the hop generation cut off. That said, there are hoppy beers that I enjoy immensely. When I am shopping for beer, I tell the expert that I do not like hoppy beers unless they are well balanced, but I remain open to suggestions, because someone passionate and knowledgeable about their craft is always worth listening to. When I hear the enthusiasm in the voice, and see the twinkle in their eyes, I feel that it is a risk worth taking. If they are wrong, then I am out ten bucks. Oh well. You might have spent your whole life avoiding pilsners, but there might be a twist on the style that you really enjoy. I encountered Chimay at a young age and enjoyed it, but I did not know that there were tons more Belgian beers and lots of other Belgian styles. The first time I had a Belgian sour it blew my mind! Have you had one? If the answer is no I have not, but yes I like sour things, then stop reading this, get in your car, and go buy a sour beer. If the answer is no I have not, but I do not enjoy sour things, then find a friend of yours that does, have them get it, and then try a sip of theirs.

The point is, that there is a huge world of beer out there and it is getting bigger daily. Spend a little more and get a bigger return on your investment. The reason that 750ml of beer might cost 15 bucks is because it was expensive to make. It was not some factory beer churned out by machines. Instead you are buying a hand-crafted beer that was monitored and cared for during the entire brewing process. You are going to an event, and you want to bring beer, do not buy a six-pack of blue moon, that you can get anywhere. Go into the shop and say to the person, I like blue moon, but I want to try something new. If you bring a New Zealand IPA to the party then you will have yourself a conversation piece. You can all talk about how different it is from the Sierra Nevada that five other people brought. You will be a hero! Bring a bourbon-aged stout, grab a Belgian IPA, take a high-end cider, do something different, we only live once! Your mission should be to go out there and find the best and most interesting beers available, not to play it safe and drink the same beer over and over and over ad nauseum!

This is the simplest of all my pleas. This is not a huge investment of your time or your money. This is a request that you take a small risk the next time you are purchasing a beer. That you engage your local beer expert in conversation let them get a sense of your taste, and let them broaden it for you. There will be a great reward for your endeavor; there are beers out there that you have not even dreamed of. There are beers out there that will stay in your thoughts long after you drank them. It is a new world of beer, whatever you like, there is a beer that is being made for you. Stop settling for less and start demanding more. You can buy corona next time, or better yet, never again. But I like light beers! Well that is great so buy a Belgian white, a German hefe, British pale ale, and start to experience just how awesome and varied light beers can be.

Soon I will be at work watching people buy the same old six packs, but some people will be asking me what they should try, and after a two minute conversation they will be going home with a fantastic beer while the other person…well sometimes you get what you deserve.

Dry Dock Brewing image: JackalAnon / ohaiworld

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The Wine Guy sells wine for a living, and lives to drink it. It’s his first and foremost passion. He avoids factory wines, loves to seek out bottles that are interesting and unique, and gets excited when he finds a grape he’s have never heard of.

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