Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beer Discovery Tour

After I graduated college, I went on a quest to determine what kind of beer I really liked. Sound counter-intuitive? It wasn’t that I did not drink and enjoy lots of beer in college, it was more that my standards had changed. Rather than judging a brew by cheapest price and easiest to guzzle from a funnel, I began to judge by taste. There was no real scientific approach, just that when I went to a bar, I would survey the taps. Whenever I saw one that I had never tried before, I ordered it. I didn’t ask for a taste. Those tiny little glasses they give you don’t do the flavors justice. You really need to commit to a whole pint if you are going to determine-really-if you like it, or if you don’t.

I learned quite a bit about my tastes. I seriously dislike stouts. Unless it’s Guiness, and you happen to be dropping a shot of Bailey’s and Jameson into it then chugging it, for that stout, I will make the occasional exception. I love, love, love fruit flavored beers. This wasn’t really surprising, given my affinity for cider (Strongbow and Magner's preferably over Woodchuck). Give me a blueberry beer and you can call me happy. I also like cherry and apricot, though I’m not as big a fan of raspberry. I have been on a mission to try strawberry beer since I saw the movie Beerfest, but so far no luck. I enjoy a good heffeweisen. My two favorite beers are Schneider Weisse and Franziskaner. I can take or leave lagers depending on how dark they are, and Pilsners are just OK.

So why, you might ask, am I pondering my taste in beers on this lovely Saturday? Well, today I am attending beer summit with the BFFL, my VERY FIRST beer summit. And, well, I’m pretty excited about it. If there is an occasion for sampling, this is it. Breweries from all over meet in one area, and let you taste their wares. I cannot wait to find a new favorite to add to my list. If you are on a beer quest like mine, this would be an excellent place to start.

On the list of breweries I plan to sample today are:

  • Kennebeck River
  • Spaten
  • Woodchuck
  • Affligem/Weihenstephaner
  • Saranac
  • Dogfish
  • Uncle Frank
  • Clown Shoes

And hopefully many more. Now go out there and find a beer you love.

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