How did your fascination with craft beer begin? Did you grow up around a family that imbibed specialty beers? Did a friend peer pressure you, because you "Just have to try it?” Were you curious to homebrew? Did you read a fun article about the wonders that are the sweet nectar of microbrews?
I grew up around a happy group of German men who loved to sit around our communal table at the camp we had in Bavaria. It was second nature to watch them pass large bottles of German and Belgian beer around the table. I always think fondly of these memories with my family. Every once and a while I was allowed a face puckering sip. You could easily say I was lined up to be a beer nerd and fully appreciate the love put into every drop.
What I don't understand is the beer snob. They tend to put other people's choices down and have a tendency to know absolutely everything there is to know about craft beer. I mean, I get it... I'm excited about white elephants and exotic brews, and I love learning all there is to know about my favorite beverage. But why isolate the new guy? I thought we wanted more people to understand why we think craft beer is so amazing? I've seen many times a mainstream beer consumer go up to a bar, ask about a few styles, hesitate while ordering, and it's obvious that they want to go past their normal beer boundaries. Then they get shot down. Someone makes a rude comment or judges their choice, an opinion that was never asked for is handed out.
C'mon people let our powers combine! We love craft beer - Check! We love expanding our taste buds to new flavors - Check! ALL of us were once the new guy! - Check!
Whether you are brand new to the craft beer world or an old timer, lets team up. If you see someone curious about a beer; help them out. Just remember we were all there once. You might now cringe at the thought of a macrobrew and be too cool for a sports bar, but I can guarantee you weren't drinking micros to begin your beer journey, so give the new drinkers a break. Even better, give them a hand!
Here are some great outlets for beginners:
www.gotbeer.com - Food pairings, beer descriptions and lots of blogs from many points of view.
www.beeradvocate.com - Great resource for ALL things beer! Just ignore the rating system until you actually form your own opinion.
www.allaboutbeer.com - The website has lots of news from beer land and highlights a new brewery every month.
Melissa Hildreth is a German fräulein and loves her beer and bratwurst. Melissa is an advocate for following your passions in life, no matter how ridiculous. She will dance the night away if the moment is right. Some have said she has an unhealthy relationship with chicken wings, but is there even really such a thing?! She also happens to be a Certified Cicerone/Mother of Dragons in case anyone’s asking.