The Discovery of Craft Beer

Getting started on craft beer.

Hopefully by now you have read the story about my very first beer drinking experience. It was one to remember for a little kid and one that kept me away from drinking till I was of age to legally do so.  It still shocks me that I was able to hold off till I was 21 and even then, I wasn’t a beer drinker, granted I would have a Shiner Bock here and there and I avoided the big three even before I had an opinion about them being the big bad boogie man. I can honestly say I avoided them cause when I saw drinking by my dad or his peers it was a Big Three light beer that was being put down faster than water. I guess I just associated light beer and commercial grade beer as blue-collar beer (nothing is wrong with blue-collar work I do it myself).

While serving in the United States Navy I made a good friend who opened my eyes to the world of Craft Beer.  I at the time being 22 had no idea there were different classes of beer and I am not even talking the difference in an Ale or a Porter, just that I had no idea there was a difference in a craft beer and a Big Three beer.  Needless to say, my world changed the first time he had a BBQ at his house and he pulled out a few bottles of Homebrewed beer. I had never had a homebrewed beer before heck I don’t think I had ever had a Porter before that moment.  It was good yet it isn’t the Beer that opened my eyes to the world I live in today.

A week or so later I get a phone call asking if I wanted to go to the brewery near my apartment, I had no idea that there was a brewery near me? Come to find out I lived less than mile away from my local source for craft beer. That day in September changed my life forever! We went to Williamsburg Alewerks in Williamsburg Virgina the same time of Year they release their seasonal Pumpkin Ale which they still describe as a nostalgically spiced Amber Ale “Pumpkin pie in a bottle”. That beer showed me that beer doesn’t have to bad to no flavor at all it can be an explosion of flavor that brings back memories or creates new ones.

That day showed me that real beer had been hidden from me for most of my life but most of all the world around me was blind to it.  Even today I meet new people who have never had a craft beer and when you ask them why they haven’t tried visiting a local brewery they normally all have the same response “beer taste bad”.  I am a firm believer that there is a style of beer out there for everyone they just have to be willing to try it out. There are people out there like my dad that still thinks what he can get from Budweiser is all he needs (though I do get him to try new beers every once in a while). Then there are people like my mother who was willing to give craft beer a shot and has discovered a great joy from Brown ales, Porters, and Stouts. It is all a matter of having your eyes or better yet taste buds opened to something different and unexpected.

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