Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Beer Philosophy

My Beer Manifesto. My Beer Goals. My Beer Philosophy. Beer, beer, beer. Other than my family, a few sports, and music, beer is my favorite thing to talk about, study, and admire.

My first real beer experience came as a teenager living in Germany. I had swore as a youngster when my dad offered me a drink of his Coors that I would never touch beer. I thought, at the age of 8, that it tasted "gross." Fast forward to 1983. I was in 8th grade, hanging out with my friend, Robert DiNardo. We went to the movies with a bunch of 9th graders. I think it was "Zapped" with Scott Baio. After the movies, we went down to the American Arms hotel in Wiesbaden. Our friend, Lars, had a roll of quarters. In the basement of the American Arms there was a soda machine which also carried cans of BUDWEISER. One of the kids produced a white pillow case and went downstairs with Lars. Another couple of kids stood at the top of the staircase as "lookouts." Lars either used up the entire roll of quarters to buy 50 cent cans of Budweiser or pushed the button until no more Bud came out. There were about 30 of us, so I think I got a sip. It didn't do anything for me. Some kids were drinking it, closing their eyes and spinning. To this day, I'm not sure if that did anything except make them dizzy.

Eventually, we moved on to the bars about a year later (no drinking age in Germany. Well, there is, but at 10 p.m. the bartender comes around and asks, "Are you 18?" and you answer, "Ja." He brings you another beer.) and drank our fill of pils, export, and a few weizen beers.

I'm sure I'll continue with the history and development of my beer tastes in other posts, but I want to get down to the nitty gritty.

My Philosophy

There are so many kinds of beer in the world today, that it's a shame that there isn't a beer store with every kind of beer in it, so you didn't have to search for it.  But someone once said that "It's not getting there, it's the journey itself, that makes life worth living."  Or something like that.  Good philosophy to live by, good beer philosophy.

So my goals on this blog are to share my feelings on the beers I drink and brew, but to also discuss how I came by the beers.  I will discuss my favorite kinds and the merits of each.  I will try new kinds and suggest that you also expand your palate and try different kinds of beer.  Because, although its okay to drink Miller Lite all the time, it's not very interesting.  Or original.  That would be like listening to AC/DC all the time.  AC/DC is not a bad band, in fact, I quite enjoy all the stuff Bon Scott did with them.  However, AC/DC was a good starting point for me to jump off into the world of music.

I used to say I only had three beers I liked:

1. Free
2. Cold
3. Everything Else

While in theory, this remains true, the fact is that over the past year I've sort of tried to get away from drinking typical beers (those that are easily available from any small town grocer), and try to drink something different every week, while falling back on the really good stuff I've found.

Every time I travel somewhere, I will seek out and bring back beer from the region I visit, if possible.  With restrictions on liquid in airplanes, this may be a bit more difficult.

I also hope to invite other bloggers (or could we call them, "bLAGERS?") to post here every once in awhile.  Hopefully, this will be people in regions I can't quite get to.  

I want to develop a network of people who appreciate good beer in the NW Indiana region.  Hopefully people who have families and are at the same place in their lives as I am.  Not that I have anything against single people or people without kids.  It's just that family is priority to me, not going out on the night on the town.

So like Jeff Tweedy said in Hell is Chrome:  "Come with me."


ABAT said...

Hey Jez,
JPW over at Alabama Ass Whuppin' said you were a beer god and to check you out.
Great philosophy fella. What was that old Sacred Reich song? '31 Flavours'. It's not always about mass consumption, it's about whether it is actually good or not.
I think the only New Zealand beer you guys get is Steinlager and as you've probably figured out if you've tried it; it's shit. That's why we export it. We keep all the good stuff here. LOL.
I just got back from Samoa a couple of weeks ago and their local brew is Vailima. Probably the best hot-weather beer I've ever tasted. Now trying to track down a source here in New Zealand. Until then it'll be a nice Export Gold or Corona.


Jez said...

Christ, did you actually say "Corona?" Please, no.

Luckily for us here in the U.S., there are many craft breweries experimenting with lighter or "lawnmower" styles. Check ratebeer.com for the reviews on these types of beers.

I've had Steinlager. Not necessarily bad, but nothing to write home to ma about, either.

What NZ beers do you recommend?

I'm no "beer god." Not even a beer king. Maybe more of a "Beer Jester."