"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." - Dave Barry
This is my first blog about beer and for anyone that knows me, they will understand just how exciting this is for me. I LOVE beer! Not as much as I love my family, but pretty damn close. My profile picture is actually my basement beer fridge on any given day and that should say something. And I'm not a beer snob. Pretty much anything goes. Ok, maybe not an MGD 64, but then that's not really beer anyway. I'm as ok with a Bud as I am with a big Belgian, and while there are some beers I've tried and haven't liked, those are pretty few and far between. The wonderful thing about beer, is that there are a vast number of styles, interpretations and flavors, and really an endless selection to try. Just go to MarketPlace Liquors in East Brunswick and browse the 50-foot long cold beer fridge, or the hundreds of bottles that span another entire wall and you will see what I mean. There are beers on the shelves from New Jersey microbreweries and from probably almost every state in the country, and loads more from around the world. They come from small independent breweries and from huge international brewing consortium's. Each beer brings something different to the table even if they are the same style. Beer making is chemistry and a reflection of the ingredients, care, time and place of the brewer and brewery. Some are strong, with high alcohol and others are not so strong. Some are brewed with fruit, some with special types of hops and yet others are aged in old Bourbon barrels. Some are dark black and others almost clear. Some are heavy and others are light and some are bitter and some are sweet. The combinations and ingredients and flavors are endless. Some breweries have been around for centuries, others opened this year. Just describing the seemingly infinite ways that beers are different or all the the kinds of beer is almost impossible. But through this blog, I hope to explore many of them. And like any good athlete training for the Olympics, practice is the key and I will do my best to sample as many different beers as I can in order to be the consummate beer blogger.
I plan on spotlighting one beer each time and my first is Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA (The Continually-Hopped India Pale Ale). Although I like a lot of beers, this is my go-to beer and in fact, as I'm writing this, I'm drinking one! This is the beer I would want on a desert island. Although admittedly, if I do get shipwrecked I'd really prefer it to be in the parking lot in front of MarketPlace Liquors.
Dogfish Head is a medium-sized brewery in coastal Delaware that brews really fine beers. I don't like all of them, but they are one of the industry leaders in innovation. Dogfish holds a special place for me too. Each summer when we head to Delaware for our annual beach vacation, our entire family regardless of where they travelled from, converges at the Dogfish brewpub to kick things off as a respite from the awful sinful traffic that plagues Route 1 south each summer weekend. We hug and smile and say its been way too long since we saw each other a year ago and then immediately kickoff beach week with cold beers and filled growlers of fresh beer to go. (Ervin and Jill, this is where you volunteer to write a Guest Blog about Lagunitas!). I'm sure I will profile more of the DogFish Head beers from time to time.
The 60 Minute IPA, at least to me is nirvana in a bottle. It has the perfect level of hops without being overly bitter and enough alcohol (6%) to make you know you are drinking a beer. It is probably a bit too hoppy for a lot of people, but I don't really care. Get your own damn favorite beer, this is my beer blog.
Seriously though, the fun thing about beer is simply the vast number of styles, each with its own taste and qualities. Experiment. Try different ones. Some you will like, some you wont. See how a lager from Norway or Japan or Ohio differ, try a Belgian Abbey beer that's been brewed in the same Monastery for 500 years, or a big bold bitter hoppy California or Oregon beer, or just grab a Corona or a Pabst or a Guinness and kick back and relax. And let me know what you tried and what you thought of it. I'm always open to try a new beer!
Check out RateBeer and read about what you tried or tool around the site and pick out something that looks interesting and track it down and give it a whirl. And read the labels on the bottles. They will often be artistic and filled with interesting tidbits of information. Beer is a lot like travel, something different is always around the next corner just waiting to be explored.