My wife and I are sitting on our couch right now, both typing away at laptops while listening to Amy Winehouse on our record player (boo ya). We had an amazing dinner of roast chicken, parsnips and veggies with a fantastic cheesy bread. We decided that because it was a special occasion (first time the wife made roast chicken, which she f***** nailed it) we opened our bottle of Witch Creek Malbec we were saving. Malbecs are amazing wines from Argentina that have a sweet but spicy flavor with enough depth to enjoy but not too much to appear pretentious. Basically, they are a Ryan wine and I like them that way. Problem with this wine tonight though was we had so much good beer in our fridge we could not finish the bottle. We sealed it back up and went back to the 12 ouncers.
I know this sounds like the worst First-World problem ever, but it is very true. The wine we have is amazing no doubt, but the beer holds so much truer to our taste buds these days. Personally I have been hitting the IPAs and Amber Ales and Brandi has been dabbling in the Porters and Ciders which I myself am beginning to love. We are learning about the amazing world of craft beer together and are both finding which poisons work for us. We used to do a bottle of wine every couple of nights but beer has truly taken its place in our fridge. You know what? We like it.
Beer is much more than what I used to think it was. Growing up my dad never drank a ton of the suds, but when he did I remember it being cheap adjunct lager like Corona or Miller or Coors. He is much better now, often dabbling in Karl Strauss, Stone and even the delicious Kirkland craft pack (don’t judge, that Amber is perfect). As a child I always saw beer as the smelly liquid I never wanted to touch. I remember my sister and her friends would sneak 40s into my sister’s room and drink those until 2am, occasionally venturing out into the living room to see who was best at Street Fighter 2. Beer was gross to me and I never thought I could grow up to like it.
Things changed a little bit when I turned 21 (oh yes, I had a sober high school life, unlike everyone else in Carlsbad). I started to down the occasional Miller Light with my dad or with Brandi in Vegas. Las Vegas is where I started to actually enjoy the taste of beer and I will never forget going to the Sahara with Brandi and partaking in multitudes of $1 Miller High Lifes at their bar. They tasted like piss, but I enjoyed the piss. We would then take a twelve-er of Corona back to our hotel room and finish all but a few we left as a tip for the maids. Poor…poor maids.
When Brandi and I started to hang out more in Carlsbad and the surrounding areas we started to dabble in what I like to call the gateway beer: Blue Moon. This delicious white beer, not quite a hefeweizen, would become my craft staple for months. I loved feeling so sophisticated with my 20 oz Moon and giant orange wedge. The slightly spicy beer with a hint of orange peel really opened my tastebuds to what beer could be and because of it I started to experiment. IPAs tasted awful and the other bitter beers were out of my range, but I liked the occasional Amber or Pilsner and hefeweizens were always in season. Brandi and I enjoyed many beers together while we dated. Then we got married and s*** got real.
Over the last year of our marriage Brandi and I have been on a beer adventure like you would not believe. We have done tastings, beer of the month clubs, late night Albertsons runs and weekend craft benders and I feel we are better people because of it. I really owe it to my wife for helping me see the beauty of craft beer, and for supporting this delicious habit. Our fridge is always stocked with amazing brews and we love discovering new beers together. I get so happy when she falls in love with a brew, and she loves finding something new she thinks I will love.
For those of you who do not drink it may seem silly to have an appreciation for a bubbly alcoholic beverage, but beer has been a staple of human consumption for thousands of years. Making and consuming beer is as human as baking bread and twice as delicious. These days our brains are bombarded by advertisements for cheap adjunct beers that add nothing to our palates but dependency on the ABV. Craft beer is liquid art. Some of these artists put years into making the perfect brew and their hard work can be tasted in every drop. People put everything that have into their beers and this dedication has lead to amazing brewers like Stone, Green Flash, Port and even BJ’s Brewhouse (their beer is surprisingly awesome and the food is great too).
None of this would matter to me though if I did not have someone to share it with. Brandi is an amazing friend and the best wife I could ever ask for and she supports me every day. What other wife would be alright with her husband playing 300 video games and writing a blog about it? What other wife would support a habit that leads to a beer collection that looks like this:
Beer is diverse and delicious and a wonderful thing. It should never be abused or consumed just for a silly alcoholic high. Beer is meant to be enjoyed with good food, great friends and often with amazing video games. I feel very blessed to be able to do this blog and I am loving every moment of it. And with each game comes an amazing beer and I can thank my wife for that. So please… enjoy the reviews, enjoy the games and grab yourself a cold one. Find someone to enjoy it with too. It’s worth it.