How I Came to Like Craft Beer

Ah, this is a two-fold story.

Like every young man out of college, I was a fan of drinking.  But I didn’t really know what drinking was.  I liked to go out to a bar and have a couple of Coors Lights, mingle and call it a night.  I didn’t know any better.  Coors Light was fine.  It tasted like alcoholic water, but it got the job done.

As I got on with life, and got a little older, I tried other beers.  Amstel Light, Heineken Light, Bass Ale… you get the picture.  Mass produced stuff that didn’t do much other than give me a headache.  I was fine with it.  For a while, after reading Steve Hamilton’s books, I got into Molson.  It was Canadian, it had to be good. 

Then two things happened. 

1) My brother got a job.  Stop.  He’s had jobs before.  He did some stuff to make money.  But then he got a cooooooollll job.  He’s a beer distributor, and on Friday mornings, they taste test the new beers that come out.  And my brother likes to brag about it. 

So, I’d start hearing about all these different beers he was trying.  Dogfish Head.  Stone.  What were these things?  They didn’t have “Light” after the name.  They didn’t make commercials with people doing stupid things just to have a beer.

A lightbulb went off.  I started looking a little more carefully at the beer shelves.

2) My wife like documentaries.  We watched a few when were dating.  She and I went to see Food Inc. at one point.  I was kind of bored and left the theater with an incredible hankering for tortilla chips. 

But, because I love my wife-then girlfriend, I wanted to hang out with her.  And, one night, we were looking On Demand for a movie to watch.  Flipping through the documentary section, she would say a title, and I would say no.

Until she came across Beer Wars.  If you haven’t seen it, go out and watch it.  It’s the typical documentary.  Big corporations are evil, the little guy needs a chance to succeed.  BUT IT’S ABOUT BEER.  The small breweries you should support like Stone, Southern Tier, Dogfish Head, Troegs, and so on…

I was sold.

At that moment, I started to do my research.  I started to try beers like Dale’s Pale Ale by Oskar Blues and 21st Amendment Beers. 

Between my brother’s recommendations, and the movie telling me how evil everyone else was, I had a new hobby.

And here I am… reviewing damn good beers.


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