Saturday, May 27, 2000

Beer Snob

I'm a beer snob. I admit it. Unlike many of my peers whose introduction to beer was sneaking their dad's Coors Light, I started drinking beer at age 22. After visiting my parents in England, I realized that the only thing I'd get when ordering a soda in a pub was a warm thimbleful of Coke. That wasn't going to do, so I had to learn how to drink beer. Real beer. English beer.

I enlisted the assistance of my friends, some of whom were more helpful than others. Some said that it was best to start with bad beer, since that has less taste, and as you're starting, you don't like the taste of beer. Bah. I didn't get into this to drink bad beer; I wanted to drink good beer. With the help of The Globe, I started to drink Bass. Where my parents lived in Yorkshire, Old Peculier was the local drink. Most outsiders thought it was too dark and too strong, so of course I had to adopt it. It remains a favorite to this date.

Last night, four of us went out to The Brickskeller in DC. They claim to have 800 beers, and I believe them. It was a real beer snob's delight. I had a bottle of Straffe Hendrik to remind me of my recent trip to Belgium. Actually, since the bottle is 750 ml and 8.5% alcohol, my memory was sort of fuzzy at the end. Then a bottle of Keo to remind me of my '94 trip to Cyprus. Then a bottle of Old Peculier, of course, to remind me of England. Then a bottle of Dock Street Illuminator to...well, it's beer and it tastes good, damn it. I won't refuse the occasional Budweiser, but it's nice to go to a place where "we have all kinds of beers" doesn't mean "Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Light, Michelob, Michelob Light..."

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