by Pat Myers
My love for craft beer started when I was in college. I drank a lot of wine at first and didn’t really enjoy the taste of beer. Granted, I was drinking very cheap beer and didn’t really understand how good “craft” beer was. However, once my dad found out that I started drinking “bad” beer, he visited me and brought some Sierra Nevada Pale Ales for us to drink. (My dad is an avid beer drinker to this day and is still showing me new brews.)
I was amazed at how much flavor and aroma could come out of a beer. I was used to Schaefer and Natty Light, this was a very different change. It made me realize that beer, just like food, could be made to a higher standard. With the right ingredients and knowledge, something could be made that surpassed what I thought beer was (Budweiser, Miller, Coors). It made a drink that was unlike any alcohol I had before, turning beer into this vast spectrum of beverages. Not only were there pale ales and IPAs, but stouts, porters, saisons, sours, lagers, and session beers. It blew my mind that one type of alcohol called “beer” could be so many different things.
It was then that I started to keep my eye out for craft beers and breweries. I’ve recently been going to all of Philadelphia’s breweries and bottle shops in search of new tastes. I have been to Philadelphia Brewing Co. and Yards, I also have made it to Tired Hands, which is now one of my all-time favorite breweries. Not to put down PBC or Yards, because I truly like their beers, but I really enjoy what they are doing over at Tired Hands. Not only is the beer delicious every time I go, but it changes constantly. Each time I’ve been there, I try at least four new beers.
As a beer connoisseur now, I love places like that. It makes me love what craft beer has turned into. It shows that craft beer will never stop progressing because people like the folks at Tired Hands (and other breweries) will continue to push the limits of beer to achieve something new. Personally, I mostly drink IPAs and stouts because that is what was shown to me as a starting point, but I really enjoy sours and anything else I can get my hands on. I now travel with beer in mind and try to visit as many breweries and different pubs as possible. My ultimate dream would be to open a brewpub. I’ve been cooking since an early age and I’d love to be able to make food that I can pair with my own beer. In the next month, I will start homebrewing my own beer and that will be a whole other adventure. There are so many new beers to try and make that I think this will be a great hobby for the rest of my life. All I can really say is, thanks dad for showing me my first.