With the New Year approaching, everybody is starting to make resolutions. While they usually include cutting back on things we love, like sweets for example, why not encourage one another to pursue the things we love? I, for one, am on a mission to further my beer knowledge. It starts with trying new beers, reading more books and dabbling in homebrewing. Here are some New Year’s resolutions for other beer lovers.
A great way to learn about beer is to brew it! Splurge on a homebrewer starter kit. It will have everything you need to brew your first batch of beer. I recommend starting with something like an American Pale Ale, known for its crisp, citrusy hop notes and balancing malt character. This way, not only will you be more likely to succeed on your first attempt, but you’ll be less likely to quit the hobby out of frustration.
Visit a new brewery
According to the Brewer’s Association, there are more than 4,000 craft breweries in the United States. Imagine of all that delicious, untapped beer! Even if you only visit one brewery a month, think of how much craft beer you could enjoy. Why not start local? For craft breweries in New York State, visit newyorkcraftbeer.com
Cross another style off your list
I am a huge fan of Gose. However, it’s not for everybody. This year, step out of your comfort zone and try something new, like a Sweet Stout or American Barleywine. I happen to know a couple great examples if you’re interested: Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk
and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
. Be brave! It’s time to expand your horizons and your palate.
Pick up some light reading
Whether you want to open your own brewery or know what to serve with an IPA, there’s a book for that. Seriously. I highly recommend picking up Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer
. It’s one of the most informative and enjoyable beer books I've ever read. Other great craft beer authors include Garett Oliver, Ray Daniels, Joshua Bernstein, and Sam Calagione. Go on, get nerdy with it!
Become an expert at food and beer pairings
When it comes to food and beer pairings, I always refer to the 3 C’s: cut, contrast or complement. Cutting is essentially cleansing the palate. Something high in carbonation, like an American Light Lager, would cleanse your palate after eating greasy chicken wings. Finding contrasting flavors can be extremely satisfying, like pairing a sweet American Brown Ale with a spicy Indian dish. Complementing, which happens to be my favorite, means selecting a beer with a similar profile as the dish. Think Chocolate Stout and chocolate cake.
Hope you find these resolutions enjoyable. Cheers to a great 2018!