My association with beer has followed a winding road. Like most teenagers I tried beer and did not like it. I drank rarely in high school. In college my taste for beer grew and my consumption exceeded the national per capita average. College was also the only time when I drank “hard liquor” with any frequency. Graduate school left little time or energy for drinking and I returned to the occasion and social beer. Then for many years I was a teetotaler and drank no alcohol. Then I would have an occasional beer at restaurants or with friends.
My interest in craft beer began the second time I attended my current church. We were talking with friends after service and someone mentioned that the church was having a beer tasting the following Saturday night. The friends and my wife and I thought that the event sounded fun and agreed to attend.
The beer tasting consisted of a barbecue chicken and ribs meal, short lectures by two home brewers and the owner of a shop that sells to home brewers, and tastes of a variety of beers. We learned and tasted the differences between ales and lagers and light malt and dark malt. It was fun and I realized that I really like the taste of beer. This experience inspired me to explore what I then recognized as a much wider world of beer. Future posts will describe that exploration in more detail.