I love craft beer. That’s really all there is to it. I love a great looking, great tasting, hand crafted beer. It’s a work of art. It’s a spectacular way to reward myself after a hard day’s work. A way to enjoy the company of friends. A great way to relax while watching the evenings ballgame or when manning the charcoal grill. To just sip on when enjoying a good book or watching a movie. A beer is, simply, the best “long drink” in the world.
In this blog, I hope to review beers that I have sampled and to give you insight as to why I like them or why I find them interesting. Some are popular brews that many of you have tried numerous times before and some may be more obscure. Either way, I will review to the best of my ability and I promise to give each a fair shake regardless of preference. I will review in regards to each brewers intent on how the beer is to be presented and the relative nature of the style. I’m still relatively new to the craft beer world, having only been tasting for about 3 1/2 years, so I still have many to try and much to learn with each new gulp. With that being said, I would like to give you a brief history as to how I became obsessed with this hobby.
I, like most, was naive when it came to “good” beer. I only drank the “macros”, which consisted of Bud/Miller/Coors. I would probably still be drinking those type of brews had it not been for a small leap I took when visiting a micro brewery.
I happened to be in Louisville, KY for a conference I was attending for work. After the conference I went out for a bite to eat. I walked into the Bluegrass Brewing Co. restaurant and brewery on 4th street. I wanted to have a beer, but much to my surprise they did not have my usual Coors Light on tap. The bartender handed me a tap list of beers. I saw words like: Porter, APA and Stout. I was clueless. I tried to act cool, as to not alert him to my ignorance, and said, “Give me that Summer Wheat there.” He pulled the tap handle and proceeded to pour a cloudy, golden colored beer. I thought, this will be ok. It looks similar to a Coors. He plopped it down in front of me and I took my first sip of craft beer…… and I hated it!!!! My palate was in a proverbial state of shock. I had to choke down the first one. When I finished, he asked, “Do you want another?” I timidly said, “Yes” for some reason. He slid the second one down the bar and as I brought it to my lips and took a sip….. it tasted much better. “Ok!”, I thought, “This is more like it.” After the second one went down much easier, I wanted another. It tasted even better!!! Wow. I never knew that beer was supposed to have character. After the third one, I was done, but man, that was some tasty stuff after I got used to it. As I look back on it now, it was a great gateway beer for an introduction to the craft beer world. It was light, low in ABV and not very robust (I have had it since and it’s mostly average).
I went back home a couple of days later and after a few weeks I found myself craving one of those “different” brews. Where could I find one? I live in a dry county, so it wasn’t like I could just drive to the corner store. The next time I was by a liquor store I saw a 6 pack of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and decided to pick it up. It was the same scenario. I choked the first one down and they gradually got better the more I sampled. One thing I specifically noticed was that it tasted much different than the Wheat beer. “Do all beers taste different?”, I thought. I had never paid any attention one way or the other.
Not long after that experience I had a friend give me a Coors Light at a cookout. I took a sip and found that it had absolutely no taste or character whatsoever. Well, that was it. No more of this stuff for me. I want flavor in my beer. Since then, I have never looked back. I had to try more and more different styles to see what each tasted like. Some I’ve liked, some I haven’t. All I know is that I had a blast experimenting with each, and still do.
For my reviews I am going to judge based on appearance, smell (aroma), taste, mouthfeel and drinkability.
My scoring system will be on a scale of 0-5 with 5 being the top of the line and 0 basically being undrinkable.
Please feel free to comment on the blogs. I’m very open to criticism. It’s still a learning process for me.
In the next post, I will start my reviews with one of my favorite beers. Anchor Porter.
Hope you enjoy reading.