Fruity Beers over Mansfield, Ohio
I firmly believe that it’s important to challenge your own likes and dislikes, because, once you’ve stuck by them for a while, they become an actual part of you, and not a quirk of your personality. For example, I have allowed my love of beer to define me. Beer has become my “Thing.” I’ve tried to figure out how that happened, but it doesn’t really matter: I am The Girl Who Likes Beer, A Lot.
I am especially vigilant in challenging this Like. I challenge it pretty much every night. But these challenges have split my definition into further subset labels like “Hop Head” and “Sour Puss” (which isn’t actually a label, but it should be), and “Despiser of Fruity Beers.” It’s this last label I decided to challenge recently, employing the help of three poets, which as you might remember, is the only way to have tasting.
I picked up a mixed sixer of beers that were somehow fruit-related several weeks ago. Then, about 10 minutes before we were scheduled to start, I began frantically researching them. From there I created a lineup of beers that I hoped ranged from tamest to most taste bud-withering. Continue reading
Little Old, Pink Notebook
I can hear my parents bickering through my window as they approach my door. I tell them this when I let them in and my dad yells, “We’re old and can’t hear a damn thing anymore!” My mother bustles through laden with bulging tote bags and tupperware. Dad says, “get the beer,” and gestures with full arms at the two six-packs on the ground. When I lock the door my mom turns around on the stairs, “We’re old and can’t hear anything anymore!”
My mother just returned from Pittsburgh where she visited a beer store whose name is now forgotten. Because she doesn’t know much about beer, she purchased a mixed sixer of IPAs whose labels she didn’t recognize and a six pack of an IPA from Pennsylvania. I only recognized one of the singles, so she did good.
While Mom gets dinner dished out, my dad says, “I say we start with one of these,” he rips off a can from the six-pack for me, “and then these,” gesturing at the mixer. I picture us both on our backs, passed out, and my mother leaning over us, irate. This is how we do tastings in my family.
Recently I’ve been looking at the technological side of beer tasting. There’s a surprising number of beer-related apps, for example. Everything from a virtual encyclopedia of beer abvs to rating “communities” to next drink recommendations. I checked out my little old, pink beer notebook that I kept pretty religiously for a few years. Most beer entries went like: Name / percentage & state of origin / bar or circumstance. Then mixed in among these are phone numbers with no name, band name ideas, email addresses for people I don’t remember. The handwriting gets more expansive as it moves down through the night. Does BeerAdvocate have a data field for bartender name and level of attractiveness? Continue reading