Thursday, December 28, 2017

Beer Hunting

[Originally published December 7, 2016, on Chocolate Chip Mint]

I've discovered beer. And, pounds have discovered my waistline. I realize I don't have much to complain about. People roll their eyes when I do. (Thin, they call me.) Still, I don't like it. (The bathroom scale is back to its usual antics.)

I make excuses. Like menopause. That would do it, too, wouldn't it?

Or, I could blame my brother but he only led me to it - beer - but he didn't make me drink so much of it! We went to a taphouse - Feral Public House - about 18 months ago and had a tasting flight. We had a very informative server who picked our beers for us and introduced us to a whole range of flavors that I had no idea existed in the realm of beer. Bud Light, Coors, Pabst - those were the beers that I was familiar with and avoided. If I drank beer, it was a bottled India Pale Ale that left a syrupy residue on my tongue that I found unpleasant. I tended to avoid beer if I had the choice.

But these beers - the ones we tasted - were different. Eclectic, ranging in styles and flavors that were unfamiliar to me.

Onto the bandwagon I jumped.

It just so happens, I live near the beer capital of the world and in a town where craft beer is growing at a rapid pace. There are 11 breweries or tap houses within biking distance from where I live and countless more venues that have local craft beers on tap.

That one flight led to various brew fests, the Brewcouver passport, and the Pour of Discovery passport. Passports are passport-like booklets that get stamped every time you visit one of the breweries named within. I completed both and got, as reward, a t-shirt, pint glasses, a growler, and tokens redeemable for more beer at the next fest.

I also signed up for membership in WABL (Washing Beer Lovers). That cost $30 but my membership can be renewed for free if only I collect 50 more stamps. I started Labor Day weekend and already have 38. I should be able to 50 by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. Easy peasy.

I also have a brewery passport app on my phone which covers the United States and Canada. In the seven months since I've had that one, I've already collected 59 unique stamps.

Okay, maybe I've gone overboard but I have to say, not only is the beer good, beer people are friendly. (I would say they're friendlier than wine people but I don't want to offend my wine-o friends who have been very welcoming and generous.) Also, I find that beer is easier - than wine - to taste. By that, I mean the different ingredients, nuances, things that make one beer different than another. Wines can be so esoteric and pretentious.

And, so, I went beer hunting last weekend, all in the pursuit of more stamps. In fact, everywhere I go, I'm in search of more #WABeer.

Maybe I'll become a beer blogger and attend the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. Or, roam the country in an RV in search of great beer. (We wouldn't be the first to do it.)

Or, maybe I'll get distracted by something else. Who knows? In the meantime, I'm having fun and that's what it's all about.

Join me in a pint, won't you?

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