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I tip my glass to you

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So this time last year, I talked about how I had started drinking more craft beers.

When I wrote that last post, I had only begun keeping track of what I was drinking on Untappd. Even though I had drank several beers before that, I only had started tracking and therefore only had 5 beers listed.

A year later? I’ve tried 260 unique beers.

Before I go into more detail let me add a few disclaimers/clarifications.

  1. I am a Christian and am strong in my faith. But I do not believe drinking to be a sin unless you are constantly abusing it. You can completely disagree with me but that is my personal stance.
  2. While I may have tried a large number of beers that does not necessarily mean I am drinking full pints every single time. A large amount of these are samples, tasters, or flights…which ties into….
  3. Even though it is a large number, many of these have come from sampling with friends or at tastings where the price is FREE to try many varieties of beers from different breweries.
  4. One does not want a beer belly so I work out and run to stay healthy.

That being said…

One year later, I’ve learned A LOT more about beer. This time last year I had 5 beers on my Untappd profile including TWO Blue Moons. Last year, I would have told you I liked Blue Moon and beers that taste like that. Now I can’t even drink a Blue Moon anymore just for the taste of it. I don’t mind trying out their seasonals but why drink the regular stuff when there’s so many other delicious beers to try out?

It’s funny that growing up I thought that if you drank any amount of beer, you’d instantly get drunk. But I’ve learned that it’s completely possible to drink and try out several different types of beers and not get wasted. While there are people who will abuse alcohol (just like you can abuse anything), it’s not something I’m looking to do. I don’t get drunk and I know my limits.

My favorite thing to do now is going to Total Wine or Wegmans and create my own 6 pack. That way I can try out different beers and never have to get the same one twice. It can also be a lot cheaper to do this than going out and getting a flight of beers. Of course, some beers may only be available on tap and taste better that way. So it’s really your call. Also, creating a 6 pack for someone is a great present idea. I have given these as Christmas presents and received one as a birthday present. It’s fun for the person picking out the beers and exciting for the one receiving the.

I’ve also been to four beer tasting classes at Total Wine and they were a ton of fun.

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I went on my own because I couldn’t find anyone else to do it with me and even though I was out of my comfort zone, I had a blast. There’s food and the atmosphere is really fun. I got to try all these different types of beer AND learn more about them. Two were brewery based where we got to try beers specific to that brewery and learn from the brewmaster about the history of the brewery and the process of making the beers. The other two were themed: fall beers (ie pumpkins, Oktoberfests, etc) and then stronger beers (beers over 8% ABV). This is perfect for someone like me who wants to know more about beer without having to commit to buying a whole bottle or pint. I assume this is like a wine tasting but since we all know I don’t drink wine, I’m so glad that this exists as well.

I’ve been doing things like researching breweries around the area (and there A LOT) and taking tours when I can. There’s a lot of local beers I liked to try as well as many just in our state alone. I like going out with my friends and just sampling beers with everyone. It’s a ton of fun for everyone to get their own flight and everyone have a taste of them. flights

And like I said previously, I’m using Untappd A LOT. I will admit that I’ve started to become a badge fanatic. I like using the app because it helps me keep track of what beers I’ve drank and what kinds of beers I like. Also if I’m going to drink, I might as well get something for it, right? So yeah badges are slightly addictive. I like tasting different beers and don’t really like trying the same thing more than once. Even though there are badges for doing that, I still cannot bring myself to get a six pack or continuously order the same beer. (Again feel free to friend me on there!)

I really like drinking different types of beer and I’m totally enjoying learning more about what I like and don’t like. Types of beers I really enjoy now are witbiers, Belgian Blonde/Goldens, saisons, hefeweizens, fruit beers, meads, radlers, hard ciders, and pumpkin beers. This doesn’t mean I like EVERY single beer in these categories but at least now I know what to look for when I go out.

That being said, for whatever reason, I get a lot of flack and teasing whenever I order beers. I mentioned this last week but again maybe it’s just the group of friends I have or maybe I’m just weird in general but every time I get a flight of beers, it happens. My beers tend to be lighter in color, usually on the lower ABV level, and generally more fruity or less bitter. I’m not a heavy hops fan so I tend to stay away from the bitter IPAs and I don’t really like the flavor of most stouts or porters. However, I don’t mind trying them because sometimes I do find surprises and end up discovering beers that I thought I’d hate but ended up enjoying very much.

I never judge anyone else on what they order (though if you refuse to try new things and have only drank the same old domestic beers, I might give you a look) and I never would make fun of someone for what they like or don’t like. And yet…I cannot figure out why people keep doing this to me. I could spend a long time trying to figure this out. Is there something wrong with me because I don’t like specific kinds of beer and like others? Am I doing something wrong?

It’s hilarious because I got called a beer snob because I like (and know) all different types of beer now. Please. I am the furthest thing from a beer snob. I have actively and frequently seen people who judge people’s tastes in beer. I’m not one of those people at all. Again, if you want to drink only Miller Lite, it’s your choice. I’m just sad because you won’t try something new but I am like that about all things in life when you get stuck in your comfort zone.

There are many things I still don’t know yet about beer. I am FAR from being knowledgeable about this topic. There’s so much to learn and to be honest, I don’t have enough time to spend really teaching myself about this subject. But I’m learning as I go and picking up what I can. There’s still SO MANY beers for me to try out that basically it’s never going to end. I know for me, I’m proud of myself for learning something new and seeing my growth in a year.

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Grape Juice That Burns!

Yay it’s confession time here again on A Girl Who is a Geek!

I’ve talked before on here about how I’ve gotten into drinking craft beer and how it’s been a fun experience. Actually it’s been even more fun since that post because I’ve discovered a lot more about beers and trying new things. It’s not necessarily become a hobby but I really like learning more about it and it’s fun to try out different flights with friends (and get more badges on Untappd). Also I get called a beer snob now. Whatevs.

But….I can’t however say the same thing about wine.

Confession: I don’t like wine.

It makes me feel weird because I feel like anyone that drinks likes wine. Even if you’re a beer drinker or a liquor drinker, you seem to also like wine.  If any of my girlfriends drink alcohol, they tend to be a wine drinker. I could go to any one of their houses right now and find at least one bottle of wine and lots of wine glasses.

Come to my house and you’ll find 1 beer, some liquor, and no wine.

I’m weird, I know.

I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the smell. To quote Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory: “Grape juice that burns!” Red wine smells strongly of yeast to me and it is not appealing to me at all. I went to a bridal shower once and everyone there was huge wine drinkers and I was poured a huge glass of red wine before I could decline. It went untouched the entire time.

I know it’s an acquired taste but after several years of trying both good and bad wines, it’s just not happening for me. I don’t think I’ll ever be a wine drinker.

There ARE some white wines that I can handle, but usually only in small amounts and I think it’s only been at weddings when I’ve had them. I’m never going to be one of those people who is going to order a bottle of wine at dinner. If you give me a wine as a present for any occasion, you obviously don’t know me very well. While I don’t mind visiting wineries for the atmosphere, that’s not the type of alcohol tasting I’d really enjoy. I will probably be the weird girl who if/when I ever have a bachelorette party weekend, I’ll get shot down by everyone because I’ll want to go to a brewery for a beer tasting vs a winery for a wine tasting.

I realize it’s perfectly fine to not enjoy the taste of wine. There are plenty of people who don’t like the taste of beer at all, even the really delicious ones that I’ve found. Heck there’s some folks out there who don’t like the taste of sweet tea. (Heathens!)

I think it just makes me feel weird that I’ve found yet another thing that sets me apart from the majority of the people I hang around with. I mean even Jesus make water turn into wine!

Beer seems to be a guy thing, wine seems to be girl thing at least in my community and at least how the media seems to portray it. Every time there’s a girl night, wine always seems to get brought out and either you drink that or you don’t drink at all. And yes, I know that there are many women who DO enjoy beers the way I do. They just don’t happen to be in my circle which probably means I have to get out of my circle in order to find folks that do.

All this to say, I won’t ever object to you drinking wine in front of me. And neither will I give you this whole spiel of how much I hate wine because I really don’t hate it. I just don’t have the taste for it. It’s more of a feeling of being different from everyone else but that’s something I’ll have to deal with on my own. My likes are perfectly fine and they are what make me unique (and awesome).

So next time you see me, you can raise your glass of wine to me and I’ll raise my pint of beer (or cup of sweet tea) back at ya. Cheers!

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It comes in pints?!

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Disclaimer: I am neither a beer critic or a heavy drinker. I am simply a beer fan.

Alcohol was never considered the devil’s drink in my house growing up but my parents didn’t drink. Due to my own personal religious convictions in high school, I had no desire to drink and may or may not have judged people my age who did back then. I went to college and actually resisted for a few months. Then because of a boy, I had my first two drinks, a Diet 7-Up mixed with gin and a Diet Sunkist mixed with rum.  After that, my next move would be to start trying out beer.

My first beer sadly was a Natural Light. I remember thinking how god-awful it tasted. My friend and I would alternate eating chips between sips. And so began a few years of drinking cheap beer because, well when you’re underage and can’t buy your own beer, beggars can’t be choosers. I went through a stage where I actually proclaimed that drinking 40s of Miller High Life was my favorite beer. All I knew of beer during those years was Coronas, Bud Lights, and the like. Drinking was mainly done not with the purpose of actually enjoying the taste of the beer. Ironically, a month before I turned 21 I stopped drinking. Yep, right before I was legal enough to actually buy beer, I decided to quit completely. For the next 7 years I was sober and became everyone’s designated driver.

Then I got older and I decided I wanted to get back into the tasting alcohol again but this time I wanted to do it right. I didn’t want to drink to get drunk, make myself pass out, or get sick. I knew that I did not want to drink any of that crap I used to drink again. My memories of beer was tasting something that akin to drinking cold/warm piss/vomit. And yet I knew that there must be good beer out there. Surely people did not spend all that money drinking stuff that tasted horrible.

My first beer to get me started again was a Blue Moon. Now I know what all you beer snobs and enthusiasts think about that. But I found it delicious and refreshing. I was like “Wow! This is actually good! I like this!” So since then, I’ve been trying to discover new beers. I now know what I like (mostly wheat beers) and I’ve basically learned that if I just tell the bartender or whoever that I like Blue Moon and can you recommend me something like that, usually I can find a new beer that I like. Other than Blue Moons, I mostly drink craft beers and have found almost all of them extremely tasty and delicious. It’s fun trying out new beers, and I’m getting better at finishing a whole entire pint without passing out now!

The biggest thing I’m learning is that beer is so much better when you enjoy the taste. I don’t drink to get drunk. It’s more about enjoying the flavor of the beer. I have had tastes of beer that I don’t like. Apparently I’m not a big IPA fan and I tend to stay away from darker beers. I haven’t had a mainstream beer since I started redrinking. To me those beers were mainly chugged fast, because they tasted so awful and thus one gets drunk faster.  Whereas now, I savor my beer. I don’t nurse the thing though. I do also like cocktails as well though I am not a wine drinker at all. (But those are topics for another day)

My only problem with any sort of drinking is that I get that dreaded Asian glow where I turn bright red and I get really warm after drinking just a bit. It’s only annoying because you can definitely tell what I’ve been doing. But I’ve gotten used it and it’s now just a running joke. Just if you ever go drinking with me, expect to see a bright red face after just a few sips.

So what do I want from you, dear readers? Recommend me some good beers! To start you off, I like Blue Moon. Pretend to be a bartender and go from there! I’m counting on you! Also if you’re on Untappd, feel free to friend me @beatccr. Sadly I only just started using the app so I don’t have too many beers up yet but SOON.