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How your craft beer experience has changed: Year 1, 5, 10, 15...now?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by AlcahueteJ, Dec 5, 2013.

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  1. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Year one: Focused on high gravity, high abv beers - started reviewing but was not posting or using the forums

    Year two: Actively seeking out top beers in given styles - started posting, but wasn't taking pictures

    Year three: Looking out for any/all the limited release beers - once I missed out on CBS and Better Half, I tried not to let any beers slip past my radar again; I was photographing and posting beers regularly; made my first (and only) trade!

    Current year (enlightenment? :p): I've had most of the top beers in styles that are available in my area, I'm staying on top of new/limited releases, and I have developed an appreciation for beers I didn't enjoy before, like sour/tart beer, light/low abv beer, and really, just about anything that strikes my fancy; I post and photograph incessantly... :rolleyes:

    The future: trading. Once I can afford it, I want to get the beers that have evaded me thus far, and be the guy that can just send beers out without a trade - getting the good beers out to other BAs. But, man, beer is expensive - I don't know how you regular traders out there do it - I see the hauls you ship and receive - seems pretty far off for me right now (what with the money I spend just to stay on top of my local beers/new releases), but I'd love to be in the mix one day... Also, traveling and visiting breweries , tours, events, etc..
    We'll see. Either that or rehab (lol).

    'Til then, see ya on the boards.

    markdrinksbeer and utopiajane like this.
  2. azorie

    azorie Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    I assume you work in the industry and this is your resume?:D

    I cannot remember last year that well, unless I wrote it down. lol.

    Nice read. your hired.:D:D:p You could write beer blog. seriously.

    I tried to think back to 30 years ago and my brain hurt much, so I drank another beer and stop caring.:rolleyes:
    utopiajane likes this.
  3. CassinoNorth

    CassinoNorth Apr 5, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Being only 23 only have 2 years to speak of really but they changed quite quickly

    Year 1: Starting out as a 21 year old going to bars with my friends, the thing to do was to start on your Cloverleaf MBA right away knocked all 45 out in just about 7 months (about as quickly as possible due to seasonals). Remember liking hops just about right away. Ruination was an instant favorite for me. I also started working at a liquour store about 3 months outside of 21 and tried some of the beers the beer manager at the time recommended me. I remember basically hating BCBS and FBS the first time I had those.

    Year 2: The hunt began with KBS and never stopped. Started reading BA around then, posting a ton, visiting Kane a couple times a month, going to Philly, NYC etc. Anywhere there was beer Ive never had before, I wanted it. Started getting into BB stouts, trading, and now starting to dive into sours. I think I'm ahead of the curve.
  4. davemathews68

    davemathews68 Jan 25, 2013 Ohio

    Thanks to this site, it's users and other beer geeks I have met along the way I have gone through the phases a lot of you have in 5+ years over the course of the last year.

    Pre-2013 - I would pick up the sampler packs, the seasonal SA, fat tire and blue moon. IPA's were awful! People actually drink this!?
    January/February - I went on a local kick and this is where I found out about BA. I started rating and reading reviews.
    March - I started trying beers I couldn't get in Ohio while traveling for work. Got into pale ales.
    April - HOPS! Shit hit the fan! Started into IPA's. Sought out KBS because I saw every trade on found it localy on draft but didn't understand the hype. Had Hop Rod, PsycHOPathy, and other IPA's and for the first time enjoyed them. Resin blew my mind!
    May - more hops! First trade just to try it out.
    June - Hops and trying anything new a lot of single 12 oz bottles of "shelf beer".
    July - First time sending a family member to pick stuff up while he was out of town. ...and Hops. I think this is when I actually googled "are hops addicting"
    August - Trading kicked in. Head Heady Topper for the first time. Mind blown!
    September - wow how much did all those beers cost that had shipped all across the country. Drank a RuinTEN and thought "all I taste are the crystal malts" Had my first sour and got into porters and stouts because I was burnt out on hops.
    October - Tried to catch up with everything i had traded for that was just sitting around. looked into what could be kept around vs what i should drink right away. My cellaring started.
    November - I split Utopias with some other local beer geeks. watied in line at 7 am for Bourbon County.
    December - Man, I need to cut back... we will see if this happens!
  5. impetigo

    impetigo Dec 17, 2008 Illinois

    Year One (1995)-Started working at a liquor store in college, didn't make much and didn't drink anything more expensive than Michelob Golden Draft, Killians Red, Corona, and an occasional Bass. Working at the store however, curiousity got the better of me and I started drinking Sam Adams, Guinness, Newcastle (when I could afford it-it used to be super expensive). Favorite beer at the time was Beck's Dark-I used to think this was the absolute best!

    Year Two-started working at the other liquor store in town which had a better selection. Started drinking more Sam Adams, Pete's Wicked Ale (I bought a keg of it for college graduation-and God did I used to love their Christmas Lager!)... Also, really got into ciders. The store had quarts of Woodchuck Amber for $2 which I could afford. Had a flavored beer for the first time-anyone remember Lemon Lager? The Mike's of it's time and they always exploded! Also, tried SN for the first time and thought it sucked! Way to hoppy for me!

    Year Three to Ten-Started working at a liquor store in the Burbs with a much larger selection. New Glarus (when it was still available in IL), Redhook (they used to make a great cappuccino stout), Baderbrau, Goose Island, Two Brothers when they first started brewing (and their beers also used to explode!), also tried Belgian/French ales for the first time-probably Duval and 3 Monts. My parents have a summer home in Michigan so I also tried New Holland, Bell's, Arcadia and Founders well before they were in Illinois. Still have empty bottles of Great Lakes Amber and Solsun! Had Three Floyds for the first time.

    Ten thru Fifteen-Worked at a larger chain as a beer manager. First time having a barrel aged beer (Bourbon County) and thinking "Wow this is great, but it will never sell for $25 a 6 pack". Worked for a while at a store with a larger "ethnic" which sold a lot of great German beers-spent the year on Weinstephaner, Ayinger and Paulaner. Also-first brewery tours-New Holland and Two Brothers.

    Fifteen to present-Beer manager at a huge store. Was heading up to a concert in Grand Rapids with a friend and on a whim contacted Founders for a tour-it ended up being with Dave the owner! Since then I've combined driving to concerts with visiting/touring at breweries-Bell's, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds, Revolution, Dark Horse, Perennial, Four Hands... Send them a email and telling them you're a beer manager opens a lot of doors! Also, started going to more special tap events (a barrel aging seminar with Perennial and New Holland last year with BA Abraxas and BA Night Tripper was a highlight).

    I worked through the mid 90's craft crash and I think something similar could happen again-too many new breweries are popping up. However, customers have a much wider taste range and knowledge than they did back then. I'm happy I still have that curiosity that led me too my first six pack of Sam Adam's Stock Ale!
    azorie likes this.
  6. rorjets

    rorjets Nov 20, 2012 Connecticut

    Year One: 1980 - got an assignment from a PR agency in NYC to assist in the filming & photography of the Furstenberg Brewery, headquartered in Donaueschingen (literally means "Spring of the Danube, as it is the source of the Danube River), which is located the Black Forest region of SW Germany. Furstenberg had signed a deal with Pabst to import the beer into the USA, and they wanted publicity photos and a short film about the brewery, which had been given the right to brew beer since the german beer purity of 1516! What an eye-opener this experience was for me! Up until that point I had thought the coolest beer around was Coors, which at the time had a mystique about it as you couldn't get it on the East Coast. Needless to say, the two weeks I spent working with the Furstenberg Brewery was an almost religious event for me. We filmed everything, from the brewing process right thru following their trucks as they delivered kegs to local biergartens in the Black Forest. And everyday we would have pints of Furstenberg beer for lunch and dinner. When we left they gave each of us a set of 12 goblet-style glasses, and 3 steins, along with a small book about the history of the brewery (in German, unfortunately). Sadly the beer never really made it in the USA, and after about 4 years I couldn't find it anymore (it has since been sold by the Furstenberg family, which owned & operated the brewery from the beginning). But I was hooked on good beer, which at the time meant mostly European beers.

    Year Eight: 1988 - Had a place on Cape Cod, and decided to celebrate my early July birthday with a big Independence Day bash, a party that lasted a week. I spent a month scouring liquor stores on the Cape, and in NYC, finding the most interesting beers I could get my hands on, once again almost all European. My friends who were still use to drinking Bud, Miller, Schlitz, etc were at first taken back by all these strong ales, bitters, lagers & pilseners I had collected, but they soon got into them, and we would sit around the campfire each night discussing the merits of Watneys, Samuel Smiths and Hofbraus. The lone American beer that I remember was Catamount out of Vermont (long gone, I still have one of their beer case boxes).

    Year Nineteen: 1999 - got an assignment that took me to 38 states in the course of a year. Enjoyed some of the fledgling craft breweries that were popping up around the country. Almost all of their beers were still very difficult, if not impossible, to find outside of their immediate area. Having a Moose Drool in Montana, a Pike's Pale Ale in Seattle, a Stone's Pale Ale in San Diego, and a Shipyard Ale up in Maine enhanced my appreciation for American craft beers. Soon thereafter, a small brewery called Hammer & Nail opened in a town a half-hour from my home. The owners came and give a talk in my town about their beers (with plenty of free samples), and I finally had, for a short time unfortunately, a local brewery to support.

    Year Thirty-Three: 2013 - Enjoying the craft beer boom with my son, who is as big a fan as I am (he actually turned me onto this site, and gave me a subscription to the magazine). On his recent visit home we visited two breweries (Big Elm & Hooker), and had a great lunch and a flight of beers at Barrington brewpub, all within an hour's drive. I'll be visiting him in Texas for Christmas, and I'll be driving down with a bunch of interesting local beers he can't get there. And he has a whole itinerary of breweries & brewpubs scheduled for the week I'm there. When it comes to Beer, we are truly living in the Golden Age!
    impetigo, zid and azorie like this.
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