Everyone has choices, but often most of us don't know what they are?
A lot of people drink beer and don't think too much about it. But sometimes, a scenario can present itself that can open your mind to a whole new world of choice and variety that you never even realised existed.
This is a right of passage that all craft beer drinkers come to when the time is right. Ask any real beer enthusiast what the first craft beer to totally blow their mind was and I'll bet they can tell you everything about it.
We've all been there at one stage when we taste a hugely more superior beer to the norm and suddenly realise that getting a standard pint from our local will never quite be the same again.
It can be a dangerous game because once you have tasted the forbidden fruit, it can be hard to really appreciate other (less impressive) beers in the same way.
You'll know when you've got to this stage, as some or all of the following will become applicable to you:
You find the cost of your nights out and beer shopping increase dramatically.
You begin to read the back of beer bottles (and enjoy it).
You no longer refer to beers as 'beer' anymore, they are now, IPA's or Pale Ales or DIPAs etc.
When you're with your mates you start telling them all about the brew they are drinking and you probably use words such as 'dank', 'hop forward' or 'mouth feel'.
Do any of the above sound familiar?
Well then congratulations on your decision - you have been successfully unplugged from the 'Beer Matrix'
- Welcome to Wonderland 🍺
My own story goes like this:
In my old job, I lived in Manchester, England. I always liked beer but I only really bought what was mainstream either at the bar or from the supermarket. Back then, beer was mostly a middle stage to getting drunk. Somewhere between water and Jack Daniels. Budweiser tended to be my safe beer of choice and could usually be found in my fridge (how times have changed!).
One evening, when I had gone to a restaurant in the city and whilst choosing a beer to go with dinner, I decided to try something a bit different from the norm.
This beer was from Boston and it's name was Samuel Adams...
I remember being a little concerned when it was served, as the colour was not that of the usual light, straw like, yellowy shade that I was used to drinking! Instead, this had a darker, wood stained brown colour. Had I definitely ordered a Lager?!
I had, it was clear to see from the writing on the bottle. So to hell with it I thought, let's get stuck in.
From that first sip, I never looked back!
Instead of the usual, light, bubbly (watery) taste, this beer had something very different - Flavour!
In fact, it was great. It had sweet malty notes more like what you would expect to find in a Real Ale but it also had a light and carbonated body with a bit of a dry bitter taste at the back end.
I was in love.
This beer that I had discovered (a Lager no less) tasted totally different to all of the other beers that I had ever had. It was incredible in comparison and as far as I'm concerned, it was from that moment on that the blinkers had been lifted and a new world lay before me to explore.
It's like the excitement of your first walk in a new town or the fun of that first drive on your own after you pass your driving test.
Beforehand, a beer was a beer. Now, 'a beer' represented something much more.
The knowledge that there were other Lagers out there, maybe even better ones again, filled me with excitement and new possibilities.
Like Neo from the Matrix, I had unintentionally taken the Red Pill - and washed it down with an ice cold pint of Samuel Adams.
Back in the Now
Things have moved on a lot from those days. I will always respect and enjoy Samuel Adams. I have also discovered such a wealth of fantastic beer styles and flavours since and the enjoyment that I get from trying new brews makes my life a much happier place.
We all have to start from somewhere...
If you are new to Craft Beer (or not) then I have some homework for you - don't worry, it's the best type of homework! 😉
Before next week I want you to buy some or all of the following beers:
Sierra Nevada - Pale Ale
Brew Dog - Punk IPA
Lagunitas - IPA
Brew Dog - 5AM Saint
Samuel Adams - Boston Lager
I have chosen the above beers for one reason only, they are easy to get hold of nationally in both Ireland and the UK.
There are more exciting and outragious beers out there but we can work up to them 🙂
Every day next week from Monday through to Friday I will post a review for each of the beers above. If you manage to try them yourself then you can compare notes and see what you think.
Just imagine, one of the brews above could be your awakening from the 'Beer Matrix'.
So, now the question has been asked and the choice is yours to make...
Is it the Red Pill or the Blue Pill?
Hopefully, see you on the other side 🍻
Please Like and Comment on this post on Facebook by clicking the box below. We would LOVE to know your opinions :-)