I recently went to a little house party where there were a couple of guys kind of holding court on their hagiography in the craft beer ‘scene’ dating back to the late 80’s. Hearing the great lengths they had to go to, driving nearly a 1000 miles to DC for beer runs, planning their own beer swap meets and all sorts of other crazy things most of us wouldn’t put 1 millionth of the energy into was kind of cool. On the flip side, talking about what beers are their go –to’s, what new breweries they’re into etc. . It was all crazy barleywines and ultra-rich Christmas ales, nevermind those impossible to find oak barrel aged whatever’s from 10 years ago, and it made me sad.
Most of us started out drinking PBR, or Labatt’s or whatever you could get for less than $1 a can; in the woods, or corn fields or wherever we thought we could get away with it, and while some started drinking the good stuff early most of the rest of us have just gotten to the party within the last 5 or 6 years. We came up in a world where we’re not stymied by crazy prohibition era laws (mostly)and can regularly spy a new tap handle at our local.
It’s great to find a new lawnmower beer, or that beer that makes you close your eyes and think ‘man this is the PERFECT beer to drink this time of year’. It’s about the adventure, the sharing with friends and the memories of a certain place and time that the flavor can evoke and instill in you. It’s not just about pursing the most extreme palette singeing flavors or the rarest bottles. The beauty of beer and all food really is in the journey it takes your senses on not just the acquiring your holy grail. So that if you get to that point, like these guys had, where it’s just about the acquisition of the brew, you start to lose out on a little of the magic.
So to all the craft beer newbies that those beer snobs would look sideways at: YOU’RE the lucky one!
If you’d started drinking when these guys did you’d have had to drink a LOT of not so great homebrew, driven a LOT of miles to get ahold of a craft beer, and quite frankly you’d be BORED with all the AMAZING stuff that’s going on in the craft beer world right now. Craft beer in the U.S. is a Valhalla those bitter old beer snobs couldn’t have imagined, with that brewpub you love down the street or the local place that’s started brewing their own, or that barber/stylist that hands you a scrumptious homebrew while you’re getting a cut. Taste it, try it, ENJOY it and try not to get jealous of those friends who get to try a beer for the first time that you’ve loved for years. There’s always a new beer, a new adventure, a new memory right around the corner.
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- seethelighthouse said: Tomorrow starts Craft Beer Week in NYC! I’m psyched!
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