Monthly Archives: June 2011

It started innocently enough

I’m currently 42 years old and I’ve been drinking beer since I was in high school.  Back when I was young and stupid (high school), I drank whatever my friends and I could afford (Old Milwaukee, ugh).  In college, I drank whatever I could get my hands on.

Eventually, I graduated college and could afford the good stuff (Budweiser, ugh).  From time to time, I’d try something new (Icehouse, ugh) or exotic (Labatt Blue, ugh), but Budweiser was always my go-to beer.

As I got older and my tastes changed, I’d stray away from the great American Lager, but I always seemed to find my way back.  About 5 or 6 years ago, my wife and I were planning a trip to Disney World (yeah, we’re still kids at heart).  I remembered a previous trip to EPCOT when there were even more food booths than normal, and I did some research to see what I was remembering.

It turns out the prior trip I’m talking about took place in October, and that’s when EPCOT holds their annual International Food and Wine Expo.  My wife and I both like to eat so we decided the Food exp would be a great time to visit again.

As luck would have it, in addition to food and wine, just about every country represented had beer available.  It was amazing.  Anyway, as we were getting something to eat at a booth for America, a lady working the booth overheard me say something about beer and suggested I try the Sam Adams booth (yes, Sam had their own booth full of a variety of their beers) and get their Cherry Wheat.

I obliged and after one drink, I turned to my wife and said, “That’s the best effing beer I’ve ever had.” 

The problem with my comment was that I was pretty hammered by then from tasting all the other beers around the place and water from the lagoon probably would have tasted good.  So after we arrived back in our hotel, I told my wife I wanted to try EPCOT again the next day, and that our first stop had to be the Sam Adams booth so I could try the beer sober.

When we arrived, I gave the lady at the booth $2 for another cup of Cherry Wheat.  I looked back at my wife and said, “That’s still the best effing beer I’ve ever had.” 

That was my introduction to the fact that I could enjoy beer that didn’t come out of a Budweiser bottle.  But, I was still in a rut because for the next 2-3 years, the only thing I drank was Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

In August 2008, I stopped by to visit an old liquore store that I used to frequent and came away with several cases of Leinenkugel.  There was Summer Shandy, Berry Weiss, Sunset Wheat and Honey Weiss.  I liked some of them and didn’t like others, but realized there was a world of taste out there that I had been missing.

Fast forward a couple months and it’s October 2008.  One of my vendors from work learned of my new-found hobby of sampling beer.  She lived in Portland and told me she’d help enlighten me with a care package.

In the package, I received Bridgeport IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Purple Haze, Audacious Apricot Ale, Dead Guy Ale, and Black Butte Porter.  I was hooked.

Since that trip to EPCOT and the care package from my vendor, my hobby has taken on a life of its own and the number of beers I’ve been able to add to my beer geek resume has increased by about 325. 

I’m eagerly awaiting the next 325.

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Welcome to BeerMan’s Brewviews

I’ve got a new hobby.  I like to try new beers.  It’s bordering on a problem.  No, I’m not an alcoholic, but I can’t visit the grocery without stopping in the beer section and picking up something.  When people find I have an interest in beer, they always ask, “What’s your favorite beer?”  I give them the same vague answer each time, “One I haven’t had yet.” 

See, I like trying new stuff.  I’ve always got some beer at home that I’ve had before and I know I’m going to like.  It’s my go-to beer.  But in addition to my go-to beer, I’ve always got a lot of stuff I haven’t had yet. 

When I’m on a beer run, I’m like a kid in a candy store with all the available selections around me.  I take in my beer list (my list is a bit different than a normal shopping list, as I don’t buy anything ON the list) and start looking for things not currently on the list.  I can spend hours if the store is large enough.

Even if the beer turns out to be less than ideal, I’m always excited about the chance to add another bottle to my collection.  That’s where this blog comes in.  I’m going to tell you what I think of each beer I try.  Think of this site as a ‘brewview’ of craft and import beer.