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A Beer Aisle Epiphany

When it comes to happy hour, I’ve long identified as a wine drinker. I’m not exactly a wine snob — most of my “good” bottles are still well under $20 — but I know what types of wine have the characteristics I like best, and sometimes I can even pick out the notes mentioned in the descriptions. I enjoy trying new wines, and some of my favorite memories involve sitting on the couch with a friend or loved one, sharing stories and a bottle of chardonnay.
So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself standing in the middle of the craft beer aisle at Total Wine and realized that, somewhere along the line, I had become a total beer snob.
beer drinking
Looking back, I guess there were signs. Like having trouble finding anything I hadn’t already tried at our new local pub. Or being able to describe — in detail — the things on tap to one of my fellow runners looking for a new brew to try after our Wednesday night group run from the bar.
I guess it really began a couple of years ago. When we had a World of Beer open near our home, my husband and I were among the first in the door, partly because there was an incredible beer selection, but mostly because it was the only bar on our side of town. They have a loyalty card system there, and for every different beer you drink, you earn a point.
By the time we left Gainesville, I had a lot of points.
But still, if we were going to a party or out for a nice dinner, wine was still very much my drink of choice. Pinot Grigio in the spring, Rosé all summer, Chardonnay and Malbec the rest of the year. You need a recommendation for something to try? I have suggestions. And will be only too happy to assist you as you check them out.
However, in the middle of the beer aisle, it hit me. I had no trouble picking out my wine — if it’s a type I like and within my price range, I just check the description to make sure it includes one or two key adjectives (dry, crisp) and pop it in the cart. But as I scanned the hugely extensive beer aisle, I realized that I was familiar with the majority of the labels. There were very few breweries that I didn’t recognize — I knew where many of them were based, and in some cases, had no trouble bringing to mind which of their beers were my favorites (and which ones I never care to see again). Picking which of my 25 very top all-time favorites to take home? Practically an impossible task.
Between all the group runs I’ve done from craft beer pubs and the number of times my husband has come home with a new beer or two for me to try, maybe this shouldn’t be so shocking, but it definitely feels like an unexpected shift in my identity.
Do I have to turn in my wine drinker card now? Or can I be a beer snob on Friday but a wine drinker on Saturday? I hope the latter is true! Kristen

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1 Comment
  1. Lauren says:

    This is so me! I love my wines, I know what I like on the wine front. I love my beer and I am learning more and more what I love about my beer. And I am even starting to get into new and different liquors both for mixers and straight. It is impressive how the palate changes. And yes the later is true – at least it better be because I am in the same boat!