Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Beer

I have made it no secret... I love beer! Beer is the friend that never talks back or gives opinions. It has been a trusted ally of mine for several years. It is one of my crutches, the thing I fall back on when I don't know what else to do. It isn't the best crutch but when I have a beer in my hand I know where I am and why. But beer is even more than that to me now. It is something I not only use... it has become something I truly enjoy and respect.

Creating a beer that is outrageously good isn't easy. There are thousands and thousands of beer choices out there. I like to think I have seen a lot and tried all that I have seen, but I cannot claim it is true. I have spent some time recently researching beer a little closer. Learning about how it is made and what it takes to create great flavors. It isn't simple!! Some of my favorite beers are generally not part of the wider market of beer. The Craft brew market is growing fast. 2010 it is estimated to reach close to 9% of the over all beer market in the US. This is from over 1600 breweries. Each turning out multiple types and styles of beer. That put us in the 10 thousand range in the number of beers available to the market. I have only had a couple hundred at the most and I am the guy that always tries the new brew that showed up on the shelf. You would have to drink everyday none stop for months to try even a recognizable fraction of the total beers available.

So when you drink beer... do you go for the case of Bud, or the 12 pack of Pin Stripe, or the single bottle of Speedway? The three cost the nearly the same. I personally would take the bottle of Speedway any day of the week and twice on the weekends. It is about quality for me. In my past drinking ones self to a drunken state was the point of drinking. For me it is has evolved to being more than that. It is about the quality of what I am drinking. The flavors and overall greatness of the beer itself. I love the odd bottles of beer you don't find but once. Like special edition brews for random events. Like the 16th anniversary collection from Great Divide Brewing Company, the IPA was awesome! Or the entire 30th anniversary of Sierra Nevada. All very very good beers. But they are a once in a life time beer. When the supplies are gone they will never be made again. It is beers like that you can't just walk away from. You cant just not try.

The next time you drink a beer... think about what it is that that beer is to you. Is it just another beer or is it something more than just a buzz?

Andrew