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Bitter Beer Face? Hardly!

Bitter Beer Face? Hardly!

Beer and I met like most people—being peer pressured into swallowing liquid I didn’t understand, but knew the results of its consumption were blissful (in moderation, of course). I’ve drunk my fair share of fizzy yellow water, even worked for many of their manufacturers before I landed with Sixpoint Brewery back in June of 2010. During my college days at Saint Joseph’s University, I tasted a few “microbrews,” Pete’s Wicked Ale via my Uncle Barry Urbanick, Magic Hat #9 via a few college friends who would bring 9-packs down from New England, Anchor Steam via a California girl who will never know how great a husband I would have been to her, Samuel Smith Nut Brown & Oatmeal Stout from my hippie friends in Phish show parking lots…

There was one moment, one taste that changed it all. I spent the summer of ‘99 interning at Wetlands Preserve Nightclub in NYC. The Wetlands was equal parts rock club and forum for social awareness and environmental advocacy. In a world that was still many years from the Green Generation, Wetlands used organic and natural products throughout the club whenever possible. The bar did not serve any Bud/Miller/Coors products. I routinely spent my post-shift drink tickets on a certain Irish stout that was the only nitro offering around back then. One night, my favorite bartender, spirit animal and author of The Bartender Diaries…A Life Fantastic, Chris Lento, made a suggestion. He noticed I always drank my iced coffee black, and suggested that if I did so because I enjoyed bitterness, then I should try a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. That night, the club was slammed, and by 3 a.m., all I could think about was this beer Lento suggested. I bellied up to the bar as the crowd cleared out and ordered 16 ounces of the liquid that would change my life. Malty, hoppy, refreshing, BITTER! Since then, beer has been a part of my everyday life; one part flavor, one part palate challenger, one part party favor…all delicious!

My tastes have changed over the years, like most of us. Nowadays, I gravitate more to malty offerings, or some of the classics our friends in England and Germany have perfected over the last few hundred years. Whatever fermented beverage passes my lips that day is the best beer I ever had, all thanks to a keen observation, an open mind, and an unquenchable thirst for the unknown.

About Mat Falco

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