I wouldn’t classify myself as a beer nerd.
I can’t tell you the intricate hop palate of the Northwest, the potency of balancing spices with malts, or if either of those two phrases made the slightest bit of sense to a true beer nerd.
What I am is a beer enthusiast. I know enough about the process of beer to appreciate it. I’ve also had enough different beers to have an educated palate. Actually, that is an understatement. I have drank copious amounts of a plethora of beers in my time and my palate is well versed. Now it is a hobby of mine and a preferred means of submersing myself into any local culture, becoming acquainted with a social scene or passing a spare evening.
Recently, I have temporarily moved from Pearl City, HI to East Lansing, MI (Aloha Spartans?). After shopping around and grabbing a pint or two, I realize this is a great place to continue my hobby. Being the writer that I am, the thought then occurred: “Hey! Why not write about it?”
So I said “why the hell not” and thus spawned this blog, with which I will share with you my impressions and thoughts as I experience the local Michigan beer scene. You’ll get reviews and accounts about locally brewed beers and any bar with an open seat for me. I’ll even try to attend some local beer-centric events.
While I will make my suggestions along the way, what I really hope for is to give you an impression of my experiences. I’ll rant, I’ll rave but I won’t rank because the best part of any beer, good or rancid, is sharing it with others and seeing what they think.
So please. Assail the comments sections if you want. Shoot me suggestions of beers to drink or places to go (or avoid). Shoot down my evaluations or bolster them with your own praise. Beer is a conversation, and I am no George Thorogood.
Now, go back to the homepage to get back to my articles or read on to see my brief but boring beer back story. Trust me, though. The articles are much more interesting.
I’m originally from Hawai‘i, but my true appreciation for beer as something besides liquid drunk for a red Solo cup came, like for so many, from Portland, OR. After dabbling in the Sam Adamses and over priced 24 oz bottles from the supermarkets back home, I visited my closest friend who was attending Lewis and Clark College in Portland.
While visiting we attended a “fancy dress and fancy beer” party a group of his friends were hosting. The premise of the party was to dress fancily and bring a fancy beer or two to share. Our contribution was Unibroue’s Maudite: a beer I regarded, and still regard, as one of the best I’ve ever had. I then proceeded to mingle with a myriad of highly experience beer-nerds.
I wasn’t arrogant enough try and participate in these conversations. I just hung out and absorbed, as my liver did the same. These very interesting and enthusiastic people were happy to have a new head and a new glass to fill. We shared various shelf brands, including some Seriously Bad Elf and Stone’s Ruination (a staple in anyone’s craft beer education). We even sampled a couple offerings from their own home brews, including a Stumptown coffee stout that gets me all misty to think about.
The highlight of the night was having a batch of Westvleteren 12 the host of the party brought back from Westvleteren, Belgium. Yes, I had the best beer in the world before I could truly comprehend it.
After that night, I went back to Hawai‘i and tried to delve into the craft brew scene. It was a little frustrating at first, for there weren’t many craft companies that shipped to the islands at the time and the ones that did jacked up the prices. I did what I could, though.
I then spent a four month stint in Oregon as a break from college. I consider this my post-grad in beer education. It’s almost impossible not to get into craft beer in Portland. I even had my obligatory dabble in home brewing for some rather pleasant results. Every week brought a new brew to discover and a new atmosphere to consume it. I apologize to my liver constantly about those four months.
When I returned to Hawai‘i, the craft brew scene conveniently scene exploded. Over the past three-four years more companies have begun to ship to Hawai‘i. More promising still, the local companies started to produce high quality brews I maintain as some of the best I’ve tasted anywhere.
So now I am in Michigan. I’ll wrap it up just like that, but time goes by fast when you measure it by pints.
Will I expand my beer repertoire? Of course. Dabble in home brewing again? If I can afford it. Whatever the case may be, every step of the way will be reflected in this blog and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you don’t, then good. Go out and partake yourself and top my experiences. Then share them, with the world or just your friends on a Friday night.