I hate beer. I really, really hate beer. It all started when I was younger. Beer was cheaper, but I couldn’t stand the taste. I remember a lot of people telling me “It’ll grow on you.” But it didn’t, it never did. I would gulp it down trying not to taste any of it, and I quickly gave up and explored my life long love: vodka. I never looked back, until I met Josh.
Josh loves beer, with the passion that I reserve for hating it. He loves all beer. I always try to ask him what his favourite beer is, and he will simply say “Beer. Beer is my favourite kind of beer.” I want to know his favourite for days when he is stressed out and I want to grab him a six pack to surprise him when he gets home from a long day at work. But for Josh, it doesn’t matter what his favourite is. It’s just like how I feel about wine. Even a wine I don’t like I will still drink and not hate. It’s wine — it’s all good!
I know that Josh’s favourite kind of beer is an IPA, but he also loves unfiltered wheat ales, stouts, porters, and the list goes on and on and on. I picked him up a case of Raging Bitch Belgian-style IPA by Flying Dog Brewery awhile ago, I picked it because the artwork was amazing on the case. He later told me it was the same artist that did Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Of course I gravitated towards that. He then said that brand made his favourite beer, but it was not the case I had bought for it. So close! His favourite apparently is in fact the Snake Dog IPA. Next time, I’ll get it.
But there’s so many things I love about beer, even though I don’t like the taste. I love how excited Josh gets when he is served 10 tiny beers in three ounce portions as a tasting flight. He always lowers his head to the level of the table, looks at the bubbles floating up, comments on whether it’s filtered or not and the colour.
After all this looking and a sniff near the foam, he finally tastes. If it’s good, he’ll let out a loud “Ahhhh.” and open his eyes wide. He will then proceed to tell me all about it, and I listen intently every time. I drink beer in spirit with him. Weird right?
I love how relaxed a brewery is compared to a winery. I love that the men making beer have grisled beards and most likely, their love of craft brewing grew out of a basement with a bunch of friends. Josh and I also discovered early on in our relationship that there is no finer pub food than that found at a real brew pub, especially if you can see the beer being produced around you while you eat.
Josh is really into brewing his own beer, and while we haven’t yet invested in the equipment, I hope he can get back to it soon. It’s totally cool that you can make your own beer at home and come up with something really great. Wine doesn’t really work that way. You can certainly vint your own wine, but it sure isn’t going to taste anything like a classic Virginia Viognier, California Zinfandel or Argentinian Malbec. It’s going to taste like you made acidic fruit juice with alcohol in it.
I made a pledge to Josh last night that I would start to take a sip of a few of his beers whenever he gets a good one. Maybe instead of forcing down each gulp, I can find an appreciation for the taste long after I gave up and switched to vodka. I’ll keep you posted.