If you have paid any attention to social media today you know today is National Beer Day. A holiday to some and a simple Monday for others.
Once upon a time I was a wine and mixed drinks only kinda gal. I snubbed my “drinking age adult” nose at all efforts to serve me beer at social functions.
Then I met J.
My beer loving, social drinking sweetheart.
When we met she had, and I’m not exaggerating, cans of Miller Light and some bottled water in her fridge. That’s it. I nearly had second thoughts about what I was getting myself into. I’ve come a long way since then and she has too. Thanks to her I’ve learned to enjoy craft beer and look forward to trying new selections. She now has a brewery date any time she wants. Plus now has an upgraded fridge with food selections and bottled beer. Classy.
We’re lucky enough to live in a huge craft brew area of Western NC which means I’ve had a chance to taste test the best of the best. It’s a whole new world.
For all of you who are still beer shy I offer you this newbies guide to beer.
Try a flight the next time you are in a place you can try some brews. You can sample several types and find your style. This is great for sampling seasonal beer too. Don’t be too shy to try something new. Even if you don’t like one of the selections you aren’t out the cost of a pint.
Ask your server / bartender for a recommendation. If your server is a non beer drinker he / she can still tell you what’s ordered most often. Sometimes you can even taste test before you commit, just be courteous of your bartenders time. If the bar is full they may not have the time to tell you to stop being an asshole and order already.
Head to your favorite restaurant for Pint Night. These are great nights to enjoy a new beer because you get to keep the glass. That’s right. You can keep the glass. That means no more red solo cups at your next party. You can serve your friends in real glasses. Like grown ups.
Try a selection which pairs well with your food this summer. There is something about a super cold beer on a beautiful evening, or afternoon, whatever your fancy. Having a burger? Pretty much any beer goes well with a burger hot off the grill but if you must narrow your choice try a medium bodied Ale. Chicken more your thing? Try a lighter Lager or a Wheat selection. These beers pair well with pasta dishes as well if you are not already having wine. Having a bite which is a bit heavier? Sharing an appetizer at your local pub? Try a Porter or Stout. while my least favorite, these brews have the most flavor and will be a dark, rich beer.
Grab some friends and attend a craft beer festival. There are many, many to choose from in our area. If there are none in your locality you should move. Pack your things and head someplace more fun immediately.Life is too short to be bored.
Still lost on what to try? Lets compare to basic a wine selection. Light bodied beers such as the Lager and Wheat are much like the white wines we know and love, a Pinot or Sauvignon Blanc. There are also hard ciders crafted from a variety of fruit which compare to a sweet Moscato. Your medium bodied beers, such as the Ale are like nice mellow Merlot. The darker heavier bodied beers, which I have yet to work myself up to fully appreciating, such as the Porter and Stout are like the Cabernet of the wine world.
So the next time you find yourself an occasion to have a brewsky, be it a Monday night after work or National Beer Day, be sure to try something new.
Live adventurous. Be brave and always have a DD.