What's your most memorable beer experience?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by rgordon, Aug 26, 2013.

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  1. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (705) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I've read lots of different views on the world of beer on Beer Advocate, but it's been some time since this general query has been posed. In your memory, what moment or event stands out as most beer affirming and/or enlightening? Mine was in the old Yugoslavia (present day Croatia), after attempting to hitchhike for hours, hot and worn out because all of the cars were full of tourists and could spare no room. My friend and I were tired, hungry, and very thirsty. Dark descended and the traffic was sparse. We started walking along a railroad line hoping to hop a train. Off in the distance we spotted a light and what looked like a small settlement. As we approached, we realized that we had stumbled upon an old inn or roadhouse, full of people, food and BEER. We entered, tired, dirty, with our packs, with everyone watching us closely. We sat in a high-backed booth and said beer to the nice old lady who came to our aid. She spoke some English, but mostly we used sign language. Within minutes we had huge mugs of delicious dark beer, a crazy good beef stew and dark bread and butter that I can still taste. Everyone was very happy for us and it cost almost nothing. We slept like babies along the tracks under the stars. How about you?
  2. EddieSlim

    EddieSlim Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2013 California

    I discovered Sierra Nevada's Tumbler in 2010......spent the entire playoffs and WS sipping these down and it tasted like Giants' first Championship in SF!
  3. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,097) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    First time drinking Aventinus Eisbock. Made me feel like a king drinking that goodness
    WassailWilly likes this.
  4. BobConner

    BobConner Initiate (0) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    Firestone Walker's 15th Anniversary. If I close my eyes I can still conjur the memory. In aroma and deep rich malty taste, this beer was fantastic.
  5. solo103

    solo103 Disciple (373) Apr 8, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Damn ! That's a good story to tell dude. I feel that traveling itch.
  6. solo103

    solo103 Disciple (373) Apr 8, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Hunahpu Day 2013. I've never sampled so many great beers at one time in my life. Over 70 plus from what they had on draught that day and what people brought. The one and only time I have had a barrel aged DarkLord and it was the BBVDL soooo good
  7. WelshBrewer

    WelshBrewer Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2013 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    After that story! I've got nothing!
    dcs1548 likes this.
  8. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I was into good beer for a bit after I tried my first Magic Hat #9, but it was a pint of Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball about seven years ago that made beer become an obsession of mine.
    dianimal likes this.
  9. KingBiscuit

    KingBiscuit Disciple (373) May 30, 2005 Illinois

    They are all memorable, son.
  10. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (705) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    They live on in the ether after.
  11. tholm273

    tholm273 Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Febr 2013, Falling Rock Brewhouse in Denver, CO. Standing in line at 11:00 AM for a noon tapping of PtY with buds from all over the place. Someone even gave me their Yellow ticket.

    April 2013 at Sergios in Louisville KY. Was talking with Sergio, I found a sour beer that looked good, and asked him if he'd like me to bring stuff from WI (New Glarus) next time I am down there. Then asked if he had a Westy 12. Guess what happened next.
  12. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,191) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yes, so many for me as well, hard to pick the best ones.

    I remember sipping a local tamarind and guarana ale with a couple of friendly taxi drivers while we fanned ourselves in the heat of a winter's day in an old opera house in Belem, Brasil, and ate Feijoada from Royal Copenhagen dinnerware.

    Five days later I was squeezing a malt beverage we'd fermented into beer ourselves with yeast smuggled aboard Skylab and watched through a view window as space debris lazily drifted by us.

    Ya tell that to kids nowadays, they won't believe it.
  13. Givemebeer

    Givemebeer Zealot (567) Apr 6, 2013 Vermont

    One of the most awesome stories I've ever heard.
  14. muletrane

    muletrane Initiate (0) Oct 26, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Sampling Heady Topper for first time at the brewery. Then having more Heady Topper that night at the Farmhouse.
  15. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,527) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    The bottle share party before the KBS release party. 50+ awesome BA members. Literally hundreds of bombers and lots of beers I thought I would never see.
  16. Jwale73

    Jwale73 Poo-Bah (3,531) Aug 15, 2007 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Sampling a few with a good friend in the Tasting Room at Cantillon back in the Spring.
  17. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Recent: wading into the hop-fog that occupies the Alchemist brewery.

    Retrospect: attending first GABF in 1994. Virtually no lines.
  18. dmwcpa

    dmwcpa Initiate (160) Apr 24, 2008 North Carolina

    It would have to be my first taste of "real" beer. It was at a Slow Food sponsored cheese and beer tasting in Durham NC, back in the 90s, I think. It was a paring of blue cheese and DFH Imort Ale. After that I could not go back to BMC again.
  19. Gotti311

    Gotti311 Crusader (771) Mar 22, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Last day on our Michigan Beercation. We made the 45 minute drive outside of town to Dark Horse with strong recommendations and few expectations. This ended up being the highlight of the whole trip. We arrived to a crowded house full of the some of the nicest people I have ever met. Much to our chagrin, we discovered we had to take a tour to get into the VIP lounge. For $7 a person you get a tour, a pint glass, and a beer sampling. OK, best deal ever. As we were finishing up our pints at the bar, our tour guide, Miles, showed up about 15 minutes late. It was just the three of us, so I prefaced it by telling him we didn’t need the whole “spiel”. He tailored it perfectly for the crowd and got us up to the VIP lounge quickly. We convinced him to pour us all the Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th into snifters. This beer was absolute perfection and everything I love about bourbon barrel aged beers. I immediately knew I was drinking something special and this instantly became one of my all time favorite beers
  20. OptionParalysis

    OptionParalysis Aspirant (258) Jul 12, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I visited Hill Farmstead and The Alchemist last weekend and it was a fantastic trip. I got HF Susan, Society & Solitude #7, Amarillo, Walden, Nelson Sauvin, Vera Mae and their Grassroots Saison collaboration.

    Went to a bar in Waterbury, had super fresh Heady and Double Sunshine on tap!

    'Twas an epic weekend that I'll always remember.
  21. therealcassino

    therealcassino Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2010 Georgia

    The Bruery's Humulus Lager

    I will never forget that beer
  22. vshay

    vshay Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2013 Pennsylvania

    First time I had Chimay grand reserve
  23. lovethebelgians

    lovethebelgians Initiate (176) Apr 25, 2013 Illinois

    I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to get in line for tickets to The Great Taste of the Midwest for my first year going. I sat there in a lawn chair all by myself unprepared with no beer to drink to pass the time which is what all vets did. It was a beautiful sunny morning, but I couldn't enjoy it as I looke on at all the Great Taste veterans enjoyed their homebrew and seasonal releases. Then without warning the group of at least ten next to me starts talking to me and before I know it I am trying beer with people who were till ten minutes ago perfect strangers. I thought to myself "if I had all my beer here I don't if I would be sharing so willingly." I mentioned that I only had maybe a bottle of something pretty hum drum to share as my brother brought some contraband earlier, because all in all I was feeling guilty for drinking their beer and not having anything to share myself. One of the guys said "it's ok man don't feel guilty that's what beer is all about, sharing it together with people and enjoying it with people," I then knew that this hobby I had gotten into was going to be one of the most fulfilling not just because of the enjoyment of the beer but because of the majority of people who make up this crowd. People who enjoy beer tend to enjoy people and that's who I like to be around.

    TastyIsBeer and therealcassino like this.
  24. hnandez

    hnandez Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2013 California

    The first time I had Supplication.

    It was with an awesome steak dinner on my birthday. It was my first Sour and at the time I had no idea that flavor like that was possible in beer.
    jahbulon likes this.
  25. jahbulon

    jahbulon Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2013 New York

    This past 4th of July my friends father passed away. The day later a group of us including him and his girlfriend followed through with plans to drive from Buffalo to Saratoga Springs, NY to see Phish for the weekend. It just seemed so right for him to still go because that music means a lot to us and we knew that it would probably be the best thing for him. Anyways we get to the parking lot on saturday and I see one crushed heady topper can on the ground and I mention it to everyone. "Look guys! This is the best east coast ipa on the planet! I'M ON A MISSION." The stars had aligned and my buddy found a cold four pack for $20 and it was flippin' awesome! Comin' up on one of the most meaningful lsd trips with my best friends, tryin' the best ipa I can get my paws on, and goin' to see my favorite live music in such a gorgeous town. Thank you to the powers that be.
  26. ironchefmiyagi13

    ironchefmiyagi13 Defender (642) Jan 9, 2013 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Definitely have to say going to Fruehlingsfest (Spring Beer Fest) in Munich 2 years ago. Arrived at 12pm, had my fancy tickled by the fact they sold whole roasted chickens, bicycle-sized pretzels and liters of some of the most delicious Wheat beers ever. Then, to top it all off, after drinking for over 7 hours straight, my friends and I emerged from the tents to find an amusement park had risen from the dirt since we entered the tent. Roller coasters, Ferris wheels, bumper cars as well as drunken go-carting highlighted the greatest weekend of my life. I WILL GO BACK! I have made a promise to myself.
  27. LAD

    LAD Initiate (0) Apr 16, 2008 Texas

    My most memorable beer experience happened in college. We stole a half barrell from the back porch of a fraternity and rolled it back to the dorm. We tapped the keg as best we could in the basement laundry room and had an exceedingly good time. The next day after we sobered up we hid the still partially filled keg in the dorm's attic where it might still reside to this day.
    Other memorable beer stories mostly involve throwing up and quitting drinking forever until the next time.
  28. Ysgard

    Ysgard Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2008 Virginia

    Beer Memories...Being 18 and choking down a Budweiser offered to me by parents. 22 Going to a work party and trying Yuengling for the first time, and actually drinking more than one beer for the first time. Being 23 sipping Guinness from a stainless steel mug, feeling cool for drinking dark beer. Being 24 at a cousin's wedding trying IPA for the first time and hating it. Later, another cousin brought me a Blue Moon, and I enjoyed it. Being 25 and telling the beer guy at The Andersons in Columbus, OH that I liked Yuengling as a place to start for recommendations, getting my first Hefe, a Paulaner there. My friend getting the last of the 2006 Stone RIS at the same time. Coming home that year and discovering Ayinger Brauweiss at the grocery store, then shortly thereafter finding Allagash Dubbel Reserve there. My first trip to the Homebrew Store looking to emulate Ayinger Brauweiss. My first homebrew, a hefe that, while not Ayinger, was incredibly good. Geeking out, reading BA, finding the bottle shop. Getting solicited to work the homebrew shop, becoming friends of the Owners. Joining the Homebrew club, becoming an officer, planning events, competitions, pub crawls. Making friends, meeting the BN Army guys when they came with Chris White, pub crawling with them. Seeing our first, second, third, fourth etc brewery's open, each friendly with the club, owned or ran or worked by members and friends.

    Drunkeness is not the goal, just a happy accident of good beer. Just so, beer is not the goal, but a happy accident of a good life.
  29. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,260) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    We stole our keg from the frat when were still in high school. The college boys pissed off the drummer in the band, so along with the instruments and amps, in went the half barrel into the van...

    Yeah, that became our problem - how to tap the Hoff-Stevens/Peerless type keg? We settled on going down to the local hardware store, bought a new garbage can, knocked out the side bung and "decanted" into the 32 gallon galvanized serving vessel. Needed to invite most of the senior class to consume it all (well, it was supposedly the smallest high school in NJ) with a "BYOM" (bring your own mug) qualification.
  30. gkingus

    gkingus Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2013 Rhode Island

    Being served a large mug of Rugenbrau beer at a restaurant/cafe while on vacation in Interlaken Switzerland during the summer of '95. I was 17 years old at the time.
  31. Beefytits4

    Beefytits4 Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2011 Illinois

    A bomber of '09 BCBCS at my wedding reception was pretty cool. Guess I need to get out more...
  32. MikeWard

    MikeWard Meyvn (1,065) Sep 14, 2011 Pennsylvania

    After my only daughter moved away from home to the twin cities, I remember sitting in The Happy Gnome and having my first ever pint of Surly Furious. "Yeah, I thought. "I can visit often".
    bumchilly25 likes this.
  33. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (705) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    A revelation!
  34. HookerBrews

    HookerBrews Initiate (0) Sep 24, 2013 Oregon

    I'm new to beer advocate, so I wanted to make a post and inquire about best experiences in a beer bar or a microbrew to date. I recall most (not all, of course) of the details of my best one and I have yet to top it:

    I was on a trip two summers ago with my family in the Baltic countries. We landed in Copenhagen a day before our cruise to various European destinations, which left us with a little time to explore a really beautiful city. This was my first time in Europe, so despite my jet lag I was aching to run around and see as much of the city as I could. Long after the rest of my family had passed out at the hotel my stepbrother and I decided to take full advantage of our adrenaline. We explored around and then decided to hunt down a bar. We had no clue where we were going and walked for at least an hour and a half passing many an expensive tourist bar with no real local flare. After taking a quick turn out of the Red Light District and about ready to settle for the next place we saw that served alcohol, I spotted a bluish building with many local people standing outside chatting. Upon closer inspection these people were holding glassware that indicated a craft brewery before us. We both knew this was the one. We walked down the wooden stairs into a small, darkly lit, semi-basement bar with chic decor. Then we saw a beautiful sight: a chalkboard with the names and percentages of their various microbrews, indicating that they sold enough of them in a night to have to erase them and tap different kegs. We were, as it turned out, in none other than the famous Mikkeller Bar of Copenhagen! At the time we had no idea how much notoriety the brand actually had, but we pulled up two bar stools and ordered. We spent hours drinking glass after glass of some of the finest beer I have ever tasted and chatting up local Danes, travellers, and one friendly Norwegian software developer who bought us a glass or two. We stayed long after all the patrons had left, conversing with and listening to metal with the young bartender. It was a euphoric first night in Europe and remains the best bar experience I have ever had. Even after all the amazing sights we saw on our subsequent cruise, that first blurry night was probably the most memorable of the whole trip.

    What was your most amazing bar experience?
  35. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Disciple (386) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    You can't have a better accidental stumble than that. It's not even an obvious street to go down and probably walk-past-able if not for a crowd... My fondest memory is of stopping in with a friend at Brasserie à Vapeur in Papaix, Belgium, to hit the shop and hopefully poke our heads into the brewhouse. It was actually a couple minutes past closing time and there was no one else around but Jean-Louis cheerfully showed us around and then, with a 'what the heck' air, opened the tasting room, poured and chatted for an hour. What a very microbrewer thing to do.
  36. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Lagunitas. Best drinking atmosphere I've encountered for a brewery.
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  37. azorie

    azorie Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2006 Florida

    As an old beer nut who always read books about beer, I been lucky to know where the places are to stumble into.
    Still my favorite is of course Westvleteren, but one cannot stumble into it.

    I do not really have a great "story" as that one, but I do remember my first good beer in Portsmouth England(1971), that a fellow beer lover dragged me to on top of the hill overlooking the Harbor. One never forgets one first true cask ale, at room temp. Served well.
  38. Marshall_ofmcap

    Marshall_ofmcap Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2013 Colorado

    Rogue brewing in Portland, and later San Fran., Very "portlandy" vibe. as much as that means. The food was great as was the beer. I was with my roommate at the time. I had the "blue balls sandwich" that was great. I forget the beer I had, probably double dead guy, that has never let me down.

    Or the "Cheeky Monk" in Denver. a wall of Belgians on tap and food to match. Its a little more expensive but great food and beer. Again I don't remember what I had, just that it was great. I would go back there any time someone else wants to pay for me.
  39. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I too have a European bar story. When I was studying abroad in Rome, my friends and I stopped in at a local place in Trastevere for a drink one night. The bartender, as it turns out, was Australian (married to an Italian) and was the nicest guy. We popped many bottles of Chimay over the course of the next few weeks, going to the bar for at least one drink at least four nights a week. Many happy memories were created there, including the bartender, Chris, chasing out some Spaniards with a broom and closing down early one night to all potential patrons except us, who he let stay and drink for free. Free food and grappa abounded. I absolutely loved the place, the service, and the experience of sitting outside people watching in Rome while sipping a Belgian Dark.
  40. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (705) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Elgin, Scotland 1970. Two scruffy Americans hitchhiking and just having finished a round of golf with rented clubs. Local heatwave declared in newspaper, 70%F in July- would be a beautiful New England day. We stumbled into a pub the name I wish I remembered. We were welcomed, fed, bought numerous beers- I remember several Belhavens in there- and given a place to stay. We were treated like brothers and sons and I'll never forget.
    Givemebeer likes this.
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