Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My first time...

For a lot of you it may have been under the bleachers at a high school, after prom, or maybe you waited until college... For some of you maybe it was in front of your parents... Your first beer. What did you think I was talking about? The discussion of "your first craft beer experience" comes up often in our beer group as I'm sure it does yours, so I wanted to share the experience(s) that got me into craft beer.

My first beer was had on a camping trip with my family while I was in high school. It was a Corona and it was awful. It's an incredibly vivid memory of such an awful beer, but it's a good memory in all, since camping in the mountains of eastern San Diego county was one of my favorite activities growing up. I do blame (credit?) that Corona for keeping me away from beer for awhile. 

I grew up in San Diego (a hotspot for craft beer), went to San Diego State for undergraduate (a notorious party school), and studied to become a geologist (a group known for their affinity to craft beer). You'd think with all those factors in play I bathed in IPAs every night... Nope, I barely even drank anything back then, let alone craft beer. Yeah I was a stick in the mud. I do recall one evening when I went out with some lady friends (one I had a thing for) to Karl Strauss and had a couple pints... So maybe my first craft beer was Karl Strauss Red Trolley? Who knows. I do know I missed out on some greats beers in San Diego. 

I really blame Indiana for all this. I left San Diego (still craft-beer-clueless) for Indiana in 2007 to pursue a PhD at Purdue. What is a 20-something supposed to do in a small college town during winter? Drink!! My friends and I spent a lot of nights at Chumley's in Lafayette drinking schooners full of beer. Hacker-Pschorr, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, and Left Hand Milk Stout are the first craft beers I recall really liking. It progressed from there until early 2011 when this turned into a serious thing for me; there's no specific thing that happened I just know that's when I dove in. 
I've had a lot of experiences (and beers) in the last few years that have strengthened my love of craft beer, and quite honestly some that have made me reevaluate the hobby. Since I've left San Diego I've made up for my craft beer follies and spent a lot of time there discovering what I missed a dozen years ago. I've volunteered at events, gone to events, made a lot of great friends, traded, homebrewed, covered the house in glassware, and so forth. 
To be truthful I don't remember my first craft beer (where were you Untappd??), just a string of great memories. 

1 comment:

  1. Great morning read with my coffee. I remember the first craft beer I bought. Goose Island Honkers Ale.