Something happened about a year ago. We had been back on meat for a while, and I started craving bratwurst. Then, schnitzel. Then, I started to think, my tastes have changed a lot in the last few years. What about trying some kind of...beer, just for kicks? I thought that given my German heritage, I owed it to myself and my ancestors before me, to try....beer. Before long, I had developed a taste for what I liked and didn't like, and then one day, I finished a full bottle. I believe it was a Dos Equis. Since then, I've moved on. Enough so that I can even recommend my top ten brews, perhaps even give a quick run-down of what they taste like to me. In no particular order...
1. Pyramid -- Apricot Ale. Fruity, crisp, sweet without being too malty. One of the first beers I ever tried, and really turned me on to the fact that there are ALL kinds of beer out there.
2. Lindemans-- Cassis (Black currant) Belgian Lambic. We also like their cherry lambic. They also brew a peach, but it's a bit too sweet for my taste. Lambics are pretty much the champagne of beers. So bubbly and punchy that I'm not even sure they belong in the same category.
3. Real Ale - Full Moon Pale Rye. Nice and hoppy without being bitter. Real Ale is a brewery in Blanco, Texas, which is about an hour away.
4. New Belgium Brewing Co. -- 1554 (Brussels Style Black Ale) We just found this one a couple weeks ago. The label says it has a "clean, chocolately finish" and surprisingly, it does.
5. Spaten - Oktoberfest. Bold, bitey. Those Germans know what they are doing.
6. Dogfishhead -- 30 min. IPA. Despite the off-putting name, this brew is nice. A bit on the stout side.
7. Fireman's #4. Every time I've had this one, it has accompanied steaming slices of pizza from the Parlor. Pretty light, just a little hoppy. Another one of my gateway beers.
8. Full Sail -- Session Lager. This one is smooth and well-balanced. Not a usual you'd find in the regular grocery store, but don't let that stop you from looking.
9. Pyramid -- Curve Ball (seasonal) I picked this one on a whim, and I'm glad I did. Has a little kick.
10. Bass Pale Ale. This beer was originally brewed in 1777, and I read that it was a favorite of Napoleon, Edgar Allan Poe, and Buffalo Bill. Oh yeah, it's also great. Big, hoppy, I like it.