Somewhere around the summer of 1998 I became a beer snob.
I mostly blame my friend Malchus and the three months we spent doing summer stock in New Jersey. The scene shop boys drank Natural Ice, but Malchus made sure his scenic painters drank with style. That summer was the first time I had an oatmeal stout, the first time I had a fruit beer (and a fruit in a beer) and the first time I drank beer for the taste and not the intended effects.
When I moved out to Portland, Oregon the summer of 2000, my beer snobbery was treated to McMenamins and Rogue Ales and Widmer Brothers. Man, do I ever miss Portland sometimes. Two words: Kennedy School. Sigh.
This past week was full of enough beer to make 1998 me totally freaking jealous. 2000 me, too, but in a different way. Beer School. Penn Brewery’s first Weizen of the season. And my dad. Brewed. His. Own. Beer.
Epic, right? Well for 2010 mom-me, it was pretty nifty.
So Tuesday, my friend Mike co-hosted Beer School at the Cabaret Theater. He wrote about it far more eloquently than I can – after all, I was the one drinking (a lot) and he was the one schoolin’. I will say that the Kulmbacher we tried that night was pretty fun, though it seems likely we may have to work hard to find some more locally that was as freshly imported as what they had for us to taste.
Then on Friday, several of us met up at Penn Brewery for the first taste of their award-winning Weizen. I was possibly a tad over-excited about this, but hefeweizen is one of my favorite styles of beer and I’d heard such amazing things about the Penn Weizen.
Jeez, is that a great beer. Killed the growler by Saturday evening, with very little assistance.Will be going back as soon as possible for a refill, and possibly purchasing more than one. Maybe. Okay, likely.
As has become our normal Sunday morning routine, we rose early and headed to hockey. But in a deviation from the norm, instead of hitting up Eat n’ Park afterwards, we headed out to my parents’ house to celebrate my brother’s and my dad’s respective birthdays. (I took my dad a growler of the Penn Weizen in my best imitation of a Homer present. And how much do I love that there’s an Urban Dictionary entry for Homer present?!) My dad surprised us all with the debut of his first batch of home brewed beer.
Here he is, pouring the first glass:
It was good! For real! The carbonation was very present, and I happen to find that enjoyable. It was fruity and light and tingly and totally solid for a first go. Proof that I am not just saying that lies in the fact that a) Ahem. I’m a beer snob and b) I’m pretty sure my dad doesn’t read this blog, so I can totally say that it was quite tasty without it being taking as sucking up. I had several glasses and honestly regret not asking to take some home. Especially since we’re out of Weizen.
Happy birthday, dad! You make good beer. Oh, and here’s the other birthday boy with his daughter and Avi, also known as a picture of MOAR BEERZ.
Seriously, it is a wonder I didn’t gain seventeen pounds, all from the beer.
It was a good week.