Readers describes their discovery of craft beer. If you have an interesting story about discovering craft beer, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My story may be special or it may not, but it was one where I learned two new art forms of creation—one is craft beer and one is Italian craft beer.
I am from a family who is Italian and focused on wine; I had no idea what beer could be or where to even start. Thankfully, I had some friends who helped me in my journey and I discovered a whole new world of possibilities!
I had gone with a friend to PJ’s Pour House in Westmont for the first time.
It was there that I ordered my first beer—Birrificio Del Ducato’s Verdi Imperial Stout. I was hooked! I knew I had to learn more about the history of beer and all of the many styles that I could enjoy. After this experience, I began noticing what my friends were drinking and why they loved craft beer. The many suggestions by them were amazing.
It was when I went to The Bottle Shop on East Passyunk to have a few brews and pick up some new finds that I saw this magazine. In the magazine was an article with Matthias Neidhart of B. United International! Upon reading the article I had to contact the fellows of B. United International in reference to procuring the Verdi Imperial Stout. What followed next was one of the greatest moments of customer satisfaction ever. Matthias even called me personally in an effort to find my new favorite beer.
Enter WineWorks in Marlton, New Jersey. Seeking Italian craft was a challenge, but thanks to the selection at WineWorks, I found so many treasures. At one point I even ordered a case of Verdi Imperial Stout to share with my friends who love beer and to open their eyes.
My love for Italian craft has elevated to the point where I have to share with others that there is really something special that the Italian brewers are doing. When a person who knew a mutual friend of mine was hanging out at our local coffee shop enjoying live music, I brought him a Verdi. He was hooked! It was then that a new friendship blossomed. I had mentioned to them that I wanted to do an Italian beer tasting and after that night, it was left in the dark.
Out of the blue, this said friend asked me whether or not I still wanted to do the tasting. I responded, “Yes, very much so.” It was then he offered to host and fundraise the event! I was taken aback and honored that my passion could touch someone in such a way. Along with the beers, we also offered food that complemented the brews, which was a point we made in expressing what Italian beers are all about.
On November 22nd, 2013, we hosted the 1st Annual Collingswood Italian Craft Beer Tasting! The event was a smash hit and made the three years that I spent learning about the craft extra special. Everyone was delighted to learn that Italy has more then just wine. I even had people from Beer Advocate, a couple home brewers, and a Cicerone from Hawthorne’s Beer Garden enjoy in the delightful and educational evening.
I have learned so much since the first day I took a sip of a magic concoction to sooth the soul!