Carpe Diem

I was sitting on the couch tonight, enjoying some stir fry vegetables and brown rice after a hearty workout, and needed a tasty libation to go with my veggie feast. I chose one of the six Bell’s Hopslams I had in the fridge. As you know, IPAs can age, but they lose a lot of their hoppy flavors they are known for after a short period. So it’s best to enjoy immediately, even when you are talking about a $20 six-pack. I love to age beers and enjoy them on a momentous day as much as the next guy. But sometimes you just have to take the advice from Virginia Madsen’s character, Maya, in Sideways in response to Miles stating that there had to be a special occasion to open his rare ’61 Cheval Blanc: “Just opening a ’61 Cheval Blanc is a special occasion.” So, in keeping with the preservation of hoppy flavors and making it a special night, I cracked open the bottle of Hopslam and enjoyed to my ever-loving heart’s content. It was then that I noticed the importance of that quote.

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Sipping Vs. Chugging

When I was younger, my priorities used to be a little different from what they are now, especially with beer. I remember the good old days when we would all go out and buy a bunch of the cheapest beer we could find just to get drunk. The one thing I definitely remember was chugging the beer like there was no tomorrow. The reasons were mixed. We wanted to get drunker…faster. We didn’t want to taste the beer after it reached anywhere above 40 degrees. Blech! Plus, in big groups, you almost had to drink fast to make sure no one else drank your share. Just look at how we have evolved. We are enjoying craft beer at tastings, beer dinners, and in the comfort of our home. We even ask ourselves whether we are going to drink something hoppy, malty, bold, or light.

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Grab ‘Em While You Can

On occasion breweries will put out “limited release” brews. These beers can either be a one-time release, a seasonal release, or a collaboration brew. A one-time release beer, well, is pretty much self-explanatory. That specific beer is only going to be available while supplies last. A seasonal release is a type of beer that is only released during a certain season / holiday (Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving). And collaboration beers are where multiple breweries join forces to create one great brew. When you see these “limited release” beers, I suggest you snatch up a couple for you to drink now and one or two for you to store away for special occasions and cellaring.

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Did You Really Buy a Craft Beer Brand?

Getting into drinking craft beer is something that a lot of people are doing around the world. There are many people who are leaving the big 2 (Budweiser & MillerCoors) on the shelves and picking up a Full Sail LTD or a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. The reason for this is because a lot of people are really starting to give a damn about the taste and quality of their beer. People are starting to take into consideration that a hard working person deserves a beverage made by a person who worked just as hard as they do. This is a very scary concept to the big 2. So they are taking drastic measures to try to bring their sales up.

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Brewing Noobs

No matter what you are trying to get into as a hobby – whether it is gaming, art, photography, even homebrewing – you have to start with the basics. Don’t be ashamed to be labeled a “Noob”. That just helps more experienced people find you so they can provide assistance and mentorship (unless it is HALO, then you are just an easy target). The beautiful thing about homebrewing is the fact that you will be creating something you can call your own. Don’t forget to share your gift with the world. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell strangers! Tell them all that this is how good and fresh beer tastes.

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