Monday, May 19, 2014

Why would you drink that???

Over the next few weeks we'll be going through what we remember from our first time drinking craft beer. For some of us, its been pretty recently but for others it's been a long time.

The first craft beer I had was a classic, Stone's Arrogant Bastard. O-Dawg was a big craft beer fan in college, I was not. I was more of a 30 pack of High Life kind of guy. I had grown up in a Miller family and had seen my dad drink all things Miller, my cousin loved MGD and even my mom would crack a Miller Lite on occasion. For me right after college, the destination was more important than the journey and a hoppy beer was the wrong direction for me to go. I hated it.

I remember taking my first sip and thinking why on earth would anyone choose to drink something that was so bitter and just plane nasty... yes nasty was the thing to say when I tried my first craft beer, it's been that long. The beer was thick and heavy like a syrupy mixed drink.The flavor was nothing but bitter. All I could think about was the bitter beer face commercials from back in the 90s. I couldn't wrap my head around why someone would like this weird flavor. In retrospect I should have known something was going on. I didn't like coffee until I started drinking lattes in high school, I didn't like whiskey until I started drinking Jack and Coke in college. Apparently, I need a sweet start to ease my way into bitter new flavors. Anyway, from that day on, I opposed craft beer. I avoided it and I spoke out against all things expensive and hoppy. I was pretty much an idiot.

A while later I was finally talked into trying something again, and the only reason I did was because it was local. I tried a Sun King Wee Mac. BC, or before craft, when I wasn't chugging light beer, I would enjoy a Guinness or other imported English style beer with a big malty character. I liked the roasted sweetness that you got from beers like that. It was like eating a tasty snack while drinking a beer. Wee Mac totally fit the bill and then some. It was more complex than anything I'd ever tried before. Obviously, I hadn't tasted a ton of interesting beers. The malty sweetness just kinda coated my whole mouth and lingered long enough to make me want to keep drinking. It was like a cinnamon raisin bread but subtle and way more interesting. It was big but not so big I couldn't slam a few back. It was really the perfect beer to get me started.

Although I've broadened my horizons quite a bit, and now even enjoy an Arrogant Bastard on occasion, I still love Wee Mac. Nothing beats a $5 growler fill on Friday at the brewery.

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