Monday, May 4, 2015

Rant: Hating Beer & Other Drinks

I don't hide the fact that I generally dislike beer, primarily because I don't like the taste of hops. It would be simple for me to write off beer, to never again sample or taste it. I have seen other people do exactly that with other beverages. There are people who state they dislike Chardonnay or Champagne, and won't ever drink it. They refuse to even take a sip, convinced they will hate it, sure of their position. I refuse though to take such a position.

Why? Because I understand the simple fact that beverages are diverse, that they come in a multitude of flavors and styles, types and tastes. I know that even if I dislike 99% of the beers on the market, that still leaves 1% which I may enjoy. I refuse to stop sampling and tasting beers even though I will dislike most of them. For a time, I disliked most Cabernet Franc wines I tasted, as I disliked the green/vegetal taste I found in those wines. However, I persevered, continuing to seek out Cabernet Franc wines and eventually found a good number of them that I did enjoy.

While I was working this weekend at the Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet in Melrose, I noticed a new beer that we were carrying, the Not Your Father's Root Beer, produced by the Small Town Brewery in Illinois. I like root beer so this intrigued me, an Ale with spices that supposedly made it taste like root beer. I decided to take a chance on it, and bought a 6-pack, despite not knowing whether I would like it or not.

Small Town Brewery seems to make three version of this product, varying by their alcohol content, and including 5.9%, 10.7%, and 19.5%. The latter two versions are limited editions and primarily available in Illinois. It is apparently made with ingredients such as vanilla bean and honey from Switzerland, though the brewery website doesn't discuss the ingredients.

I cracked open a bottle that evening and was impressed with its taste, which definitely reminded me of an old style root beer. It was creamy and sweet, with tastes of vanilla, caramel and spices like sassafras. There is a hint of alcohol in the taste, but it doesn't taste like a normal beer. It seems more like a fine soda, with a bit of a kick to it. I drank a few of these that night, and each one went down easily. Its level of sweetness would stop you from drinking too many of these at one time, but on a hot summer day, a couple cold bottles would satisfy. I'm betting this beer will end up on my end of the year Favorite lists.

The point of this story is to illustrate that no one should write off an entire category of drinks. Their diversity means you are likely to find something you will enjoy. By denying an entire category, you shut yourself off to a myriad of possibilities, and life is too short to do that. Be open to sampling everything you can, taking a chance on something new and different. Experience all that life has to offer and I'm sure your life will be richer for it.

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