So when I last left off my friend Collin was turning 22 and my crew of friends were just starting to dip our toes into the alcohol scene. Collin had a brother who lived out in California (one of the great starting points of the craft beer movement) and for his birthday signed him up for a beer-of-the-month club, and this was my first introduction to what would later become my obsession with craft beer. I don’t exactly remember every beer that was in there but I remember there being some Dog Fish Head and a beer called “Hempen’ Ale” made out of hemp seeds. For us the latter was more about the novelty of drinking weed:
I know that I didn’t like most of the beers I drank, and when I think back on it it was probably because they challenged my perception of what beer was, namely it wasn’t the beer my Grandpa drank. To this day I regret not being more into beer, and not seeing past light American Lagers. I held in my hand what was arguably one of the most prolific beers in Craft Beer History (referring to Dog Fish Head), and I didn’t quite appreciate it as much as I would have today. But life must go on, and so it did and I continued in my near ignorance of beer and started dabbling in 7 and 7 and other fruit based shots.
And that was how life was for my early to mid 20s. Now during my high school days I was your classic D&D/Boy Scout/Star Trek nerd. Too this day a lot of those tendencies have not left my spectrum of interests. The only problem was in my workplace, a small ma&pa grocery store called D&K Foods, there were no other nerds to geek out with. So I started taking in interest in their passions. One meat cutter, named Paul, introduced me to professional football, and in specific his team: The Green Bay Packers.
Now I don’t want to start a border war here, because this is about great local craft beer no matter where you are from. I don’t have any issues with the Vikings, they just aren’t my team. I love a good rivalry, but I think fans on both sides of the fence take it WAY too far. So let me enjoy my team.
I started hanging out with a group of Packer fans, and we regularly went out to watch games on Sunday. Now as a Packer fan, I couldn’t just sit their and drink “fruity drinks” without being poked fun at by my fellow Cheeseheads. So I started drinking Leinenkugels’s Honey Weiss, and yes I took it with a wedge of lemon when offered. Now I was officially a beer drinker! So how did I become a “craft beer” drinker. Well that took some cheese, and a doctor….
To Be Continued…