Tis a story as old as time: man meets beer, man tries beer, man falls in love with beer.
But it wasn’t always this way. I went to college in the late ’90’s, and, unlike several of my peers, I didn’t like beer. All the exposure I had was to light lagers, and they were awful. I never started trying them until I was about a month or two away from turning 21, and I remember the face every time I tried to drink it. My face puckered up, and I could never finish a can. So, I gave up on beer.
Fast forward 6 or 7 years later, and, hanging out with my brother and another friend in a bar in Des Moines, and they had a beer on tap, something-chocolate-something. I remember that it was not like anything I had drank before. It was magical. As soon as it was down my throat, it was like my taste buds were oozing chocolate.
A few months later, we were at the local Old Chicago, and I started scanning the beer menu. I noticed something that piqued my interest: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Could it be? I ordered it, and it brought me back to that night. To this day, it remains my favorite beer.
After that, I had a new appreciation for beer. I started by trying dark ones – stouts and porters, then lighter wheat ones – unfiltered wheats and even a cherry wheat. Then I started trying other styles like pale ales and red ales.
Then, in the early part of 2008, and I remember it fondly, some friends and I had just finished a softball game, and were enjoying some food and libations at the local brewpub, when my friend Austin mentioned a local grocery store started carrying homebrewing supplies. I had already started to love beer, and the thought of making it, crafting it, was too much to hold back.
During the great flood of 2008, my friend Dan and I made our first batch of beer. It was a Bavarian hefeweizen, made from a kit. His wife had bought him the homebrew supplies for his birthday. Not long after that, I had bought my supplies, and started the best hobby in the world.
So that brings us to today. I continue to brew beer and consume beer and read about beer and sometimes dream about beer (that’s another story), so join me, won’t you in thought on the best beverage in the world: beer!