Would You Rather (a conundrum or dilemma)?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by TheIPAHunter, Feb 28, 2023.

  1. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Grand Pooh-Bah (5,160) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Would you rather have your favorite beer(s) of all-time readily accessible to you w/o any effort, or would you rather reset your palate so you can experience beers again for the first time? I realize this post is geared towards advocates that have been drinking longer, but I'll throw it out there regardless, to see the results. Bonus: You can ignore either possibility and choose Anna Kendrick pouring your beers for the rest of your life while she sings this song. Haha. Peace...
    Side note: My answer is that I'd rather RESET MY PALATE.
  2. JrGtr

    JrGtr Pooh-Bah (1,639) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Why can;'t it be both? I do have some "old favorite" go tos while still trying new stuff coming down the pike.
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  3. mmmbeerNY

    mmmbeerNY Maven (1,333) Mar 5, 2014 New York

    You didn't say how many favorite beers I could have
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  4. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Grand Pooh-Bah (5,160) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Don't over-analyze. If you've been drinking for awhile, you're well-aware of the effects it has on your palate. It literally changes the way you perceive beers, especially the ones you enjoyed in the beginning. Knowing this, apply it to my question. I really believe it's an interesting thing to ponder.
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  5. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,891) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I’m still relatively knew to drinking mostly craft (2015-2015), but for the few dozen beers I tried 1980s-2014, my preferences / then are pretty much consistent with what I enjoy / purchase most now. What I loved about SNPA and BCBS is still true today. Ditto normally backing off buying malty or sweeter beer styles.

    @TheIPAHunter - Are you getting at the fact your OG versions are in many cases no longer available / the same, and you’d like a reset so that you can appreciate what’s available now?

    Or rather you’d like to start from scratch and see what beers you’d enjoy in the current beer environment?

    In the end, I believe we all adjust the best we can based on what is available. I’m fortunate to live in Chicago, where my favorite styles beyond top WCIPAs are available, and a few WCIPA seasonals and year rounds offerings are “solid enough”.

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  6. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Grand Pooh-Bah (5,160) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    What I'm saying, in my case, is that many of the beers (mostly IPA) that I enjoyed in the beginning are not the same for me. They seem muted, and that is a real thing. Palate fatigue, lupulin threshold, etc. I would love to go back in time to experience that "wow" factor just once more.
  7. mickyge

    mickyge Grand Pooh-Bah (3,871) Nov 1, 2014 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I like the idea of resetting my palate, not having a certain beer(s) available all the time makes them taste brighter
  8. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,891) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Got it. I don’t experience that very often, but typically switch styles for my at home beers during the week, or within an outing drinking multiple beers.

    My appreciation decreases once I get to 3-4 of the same beer or style in a row, even for beers I love. I’m grateful there are many styles I enjoy to keep things fresh short and long term.
  9. cambabeer

    cambabeer Pooh-Bah (2,594) Dec 29, 2010 New York
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I think I chose palate refresh? Maybe? But it’s close
  10. LeRose

    LeRose Grand Pooh-Bah (3,427) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Absolutely in the reset camp. Even among my favorites, I will rotate between them and I find I actually drink the real favorites pretty rarely. Maybe subconsciously trying to recapture that wow factor.

    I keep track of my beer on a spreadsheet and while I like a lot of beers and will drink them again, only about 4% make the favorites list.

    I completely agree that the experience changes over time. Either the taste buds change or the beer itself could indeed be slightly different. I also think the "occassion" matters in the subjective aspect, and food, mood, setting all contribute to the drinking experience.
  11. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,210) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Give me the ones I love.
  12. flagmantho

    flagmantho Grand Pooh-Bah (5,378) Feb 19, 2009 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    There is a certain allure to the "palate refresh". It'd be interesting to refresh on a case-by-case basis, to conduct comparisons. Like ... is Pliny different these days or did my palate shift?

    For that matter, actually ... I might be scared a palate refresh would make me hate the kinds of beers I now enjoy so much :grinning: So, I think I'll go with: favorite few beers readily available.
  13. puck1225

    puck1225 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,243) Dec 22, 2013 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I will go with the ones I love. Most of them still give me a Wow!
  14. LSMroz

    LSMroz Zealot (600) Jan 25, 2013 Illinois

    Fav beers easily accessable hands down. Nothing like having a warm friend all the time.
  15. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Pooh-Bah (2,655) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I'm with you...I'd like to start over as I rarely have that "Wow!" factor anymore..while I would love to have a few of my favorites all the time, the thrill of getting to experience it all over again appeals to be more....
  16. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Refresh, that’s if I can keep all my knowledge of beer when my taste resets. I would really love to know if these beers changed or it really is me.

    I have to say after a dry January I had a SNPA and it was pretty good, not that holy shit moment from 1988 but I enjoyed it. I have not been a fan for a long time and I now think I can enjoy a few now and then. I also drink mess hoppy beers now so that will also help out.

    So yes, reset please

  17. NorsemanOne

    NorsemanOne Maven (1,447) Sep 17, 2021 Utah
    Society Trader

    Can't I have both on demand?? You definitely posed a good question!

    I have ones now that I love 100% and know they won't last. Which is why I kept buying them over the last few months. But to experience it for the first time again would be pretty great as well.
  18. cryptichead

    cryptichead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,541) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Data Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Pilsner Urquell is already readily available. So I guess I'll reset my palate. Anna Kendrick doesn't do anything for me.

    OP should turn this into a poll
  19. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Pundit (824) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    My favorite beer of all time is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which is easy to get so I would go for the reset.
  20. Providence

    Providence Pooh-Bah (2,376) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Definitely would prefer to have one of my favorites readily accessible. I’m still impressed by many beers and regularly enjoy the taste of old favorites with much appreciation (ie the smuttynose robust porter I had the other night that blew my mind). But it’d be amazing if I had fresh Timothy Taylor landlord on the regular. Wouldn’t say that’s my all time favorite, but it’s up there and I can’t get it any longer.
  21. bbtkd

    bbtkd Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,304) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    While I have a long list of BBA/RBA dark beers I favor and cellar, 90% of the time I drink new-to-me singles, and I really don't need to reset my palate because I already drink any/all styles. I'll take door number 3, unlimited access to any beer regardless of distribution area and beer shipping restrictions.
  22. BigIronH

    BigIronH Grand Pooh-Bah (3,526) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Reset. I want to grab a 2H from the gas station tonight and be blown away again.
  23. keithmurray

    keithmurray Pooh-Bah (2,721) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Give me my favorites as all readily available
  24. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (3,896) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I'd take the ones I love. Several of them are nigh impossible to get without traveling across the pond. A couple (the lambics) are expensive and usually require trades in the US. A few are shelfies, but I can deal with that if I were to get the others. I don't really care about a palate reset based on where beers have gone over the last few years. I honestly don't think the fun of discovery would be even close to the same.
  25. BJB13

    BJB13 Pooh-Bah (2,052) Feb 18, 2017 Maryland
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I’m going with favorite beers on demand.

    Having fresh cans of my favorite APA the handful of days every summer I spend poolside would be priceless to me, as would having any of the Munich O’fests available at the Maryland Renfest. I have a number of occasions that having a specific favorite to drink would enhance the experience.

    The palate reset sounds like a classic “careful what you wish for” situation with potentially horrific unintended consequences….I’ve read too many horror short stories to fall into that trap. :wink:
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  26. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,550) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Of the choices you provide, I would chose to reset my palate but I find I suffer from less fatigue than some folks as I really try to vary the styles I drink pretty regularly rather than staying in the same family of styles.
  27. ramseye4

    ramseye4 Savant (1,066) May 14, 2010 Virginia

    Definitely having favorites on demand. Some of the best stuff I have had is not distributed anywhere near me
  28. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,826) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I'm not sure I see the downside of favorites on demand. I tend to mix up styles quite a bit, so there's really no need for a palate reset because I'm not getting overly acclimated to any one style.
  29. adrock314

    adrock314 Pooh-Bah (1,929) Apr 14, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    100% I would reset my palate. I'd love nothing more than to be able to taste Pliny or Nugget Nectar again for the first time, as well as many other beers.
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  30. crazyspicychef

    crazyspicychef Savant (1,215) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I quit drinking for 3 years and still enjoy the beers I drank before that & dislike the same beers.
    A palate reset did nothing to my taste in beers.
    Budweiser still tastes like crap & I love variety in styles.
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  31. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,826) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    It seems that the kind of reset they are looking for is more of a feeling than a physical reset.

    The funny thing is those long past taste (and smell) memories are pretty powerful stuff, and can actually be re-triggered. I literally just had that kind of experience this past weekend drinking a Czech beer that was new to me; it had pungent, nearly skunky hops and was scathingly bitter. All of a sudden I was 17 again with a Dinkel Acker in my hand wanting more of this stuff. :wink::sunglasses:
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  32. jageraholic

    jageraholic Maven (1,366) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    So does utilizing new brewing techniques according to Sam Adams.
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  33. meanmutt

    meanmutt Grand Pooh-Bah (3,377) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio
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    I'll go with reset my palate.
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  34. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,584) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    If I could only have access to my favorite top rated beers (let’s say top 5%), that would leave me with 207 different beers…I’m good with that. Top 1% = 41 different beers…considering I probably have many different styles in my highest ranked beers I could do ok with that variety I think. If it were my top couple of beers only available from same style, no thanks I’d need the reset
    #34 bubseymour, Feb 28, 2023
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2023
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  35. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Pooh-Bah (1,877) Mar 19, 2012 California
    Pooh-Bah Society

    No need to reset. I get that feeling with new beers and brewery experiences, but I love my SN, FW, Alesmith, Founders, Fremont, Cigar City, and many more...
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  36. Roguer

    Roguer Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,245) Mar 25, 2013 Connecticut
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I'd go with favorite beers readily available - assuming that they are at a reasonable price, as well, otherwise I'd quickly have to sell my house, car, and a kidney.

    As for resetting my palate, I wouldn't go that route. My experience with beer over the past 10 years has dramatically improved my tasting in food and wine. Really, they all kind of influence each other: the more flavors, textures, and combinations to which my palate has been exposed, the more I can pick out of, and appreciate, any other experience.

    So while there's a certain nostalgia to the idea of getting to experience Heady or Jai Alai or Pliny or Bomb! for the very first time again, I wouldn't trade my palate and my experiences to restore that naivete. Plus, part of what made beers so special on first taste was that, at the time, they were often the only beers you could find like that; they seemed special because they were special. That's not entirely the case anymore. Tree House makes perhaps the best juicy haze bombs in the business, but they're hardly the only brewery who makes damn good juicy haze bombs, which you can now get coast-to-coast, North or South, and anywhere in between.

    TL;DR version: accessibility. I want to keep my palate. :slight_smile:

    Bonus: I wouldn't go with Anna Kendrick. I'd probably lose my wife to her. :stuck_out_tongue:
  37. tacosandbeer

    tacosandbeer Maven (1,414) Sep 24, 2010 Nebraska

    I choose Anna Kendrick.

    I often take a few weeks off from beer, resetting the palate. That first beer is always amazing. I love that feeling. I wouldn't want any of my fave beer all the time/without any effort. Tasting beers with a fresh palate > my fave beer readily available without effort.
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  38. jhavs

    jhavs Grand Pooh-Bah (3,481) Apr 16, 2015 New York
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    I feel like I have access to most of my favorite beers with little effort. There are a couple of wildly rare beers that would be nice to have access to but if I had easy access they would lose their allure. (e.g. Ann).

    The palate reset is interesting but I’m more of a try new things guy. I’d choose this option because I’d love to try Heady Topper for the first time again.
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  39. The_Kriek_Freak

    The_Kriek_Freak Grand Pooh-Bah (4,421) Aug 18, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    I would pick having my all time favs available. Heady, Pliny, Elevated, Green, Trösten, Deth's Tar, Ghost In The Machine, pFriem Pils, Cantillon Gueuze, and so much more. Yes sir.
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  40. GoldenWort

    GoldenWort Aspirant (298) Apr 17, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I'm deeply entrenched in the both camp...
    But Anna Kendrick is a bonus!
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