I love beer. I’ve brewed my own and drank lots of it. Over the past ten years, I’ve become an obnoxious beer snob. I can’t help but smirk and chuckle as some poor soul bellies up to the bar, only to order a Girl Lite or Miller Lame. Hell, I can drink Sam Adams and piss Budweiser. I understand the purpose of that mass produced garbage, pleasant bubbles and alcohol without all that pesky flavor to get in the way. How else could Joey from Staten Island, with his blown out haircut and white capri pants, get Gina, also from Staten Island, wasted enough to blow him on the closest beach to Club XS in Seaside without it? By hinting that he has friends in the mob? Yeah, if by “mob” you mean the group of orange skinned from fake tanning, lip gloss wearing, douche bags he hangs out with. By showing her his low end BMW that mommy and daddy bought him? Doubtful. CHEAP TASTELESS BEER. That’s his only chance of not going home alone to jerk off while watching “Growing Up Gotti” and looking at himself in the mirror. Now don’t get me wrong, I have consumed mass quantities of that cheap swill, but that was when I was young and broke and the whole purpose was to get my self as FUBAR as possible for the least amount of money. I’ll never forget the excitement that Chuck and I felt the day we found a liquor store in Dewey Beach, Delaware that was selling cases of Coors Light for $9.99 when all of our friends thought that the cheapest around was selling them for $16. hehe. We drank that whole night for two bucks a piece. Remember that Chuckie? I believe that was the same night that our one gay friend came home and exclaimed that he got laid and we spent an hour trying to figure out exactly what that meant. EWWWW. Another friend strolled drunkenly through the room where we were passed out at 5 am dragging his mattress out to the balcony because he pissed himself. Nice. Happened often with that guy. Started drinking at 7, passed out drooling in a corner by 10, and 7 out of 10 times, he ruined a mattress. Good times, man GOOD TIMES. Sorry, I’m digressing like a mother fucker.

Anyway, that all ended for me when I met my wife. She had a taste for Sam Adams and I can thank her for showing me the joys of quality beer, among other things (wink wink). My eyes were opened and there was no turning back. When we were dating we used to go to a bar called The Ark. They had a program called the 40/40 club. The deal was that you had to drink 40 domestic and 40 imported beers over the course of a lifetime and you got a free shirt and a mug to hang on the wall that got you reduced price drafts for life. I know a guy who completed the challenge for a second time in only 3 DAYS.  He MAY have had a drinking problem.  I drank my first Guinness there nervously, but now, if it’s on tap, it’s mine. It just doesn’t get any better than Guinness Extra Stout on draft. I could drink six or seven and skip a meal. What’s a seven course dinner in Ireland? Six pints of Guinness and a baked potato.

A couple of years ago, my cousin gave me the greatest gift, a Mr. Beer. I began brewing my own beer in the kitchen. I fell victim to home brewer’s snobbery myself when I dared go into a homebrew shop to buy bottle caps and mention that I used a Mr. Beer. Hippie guy with dreads reeking of patchouli and weed laughed out loud at me. Prick. He should be kissing my ass because I’m the guy that’s eventually going to upgrade to a fancy system. Die in a fire, douche bag. I MAY have anger issues. Again, I digress. I entered the world of the microbrew and would go to the liquor store to seek out new and interesting brews. Vacations turned into quests for the local brewpub. I made it a point to sample what the local brew masters had to offer. Most of the time, it worked out. But once in a while, you end up with something that tastes like it was filtered through a homeless person’s underwear. Not often, but sometimes.

So do yourself a favor. The next time you are in a bar or liquor store, try a microbrew, order a stout, go for the bottle with the name you’ve never heard of. And don’t just chug it, drink it, smell it, savor it. Who knows, you might surprise yourself and actually enjoy the flavor and not just the buzz. Let me know what you’ve discovered, I’d love to hear about it.