A Cheer For Beer

In June 2015, two months into my blogging career, I composed a paean to beer, and I’ve returned to the subject several times since then. I have my friend Cindy to thank for setting the present story in motion. Here’s why: I mentioned to her recently that, for quite a while, I’d been taking photos at home of beers, alongside their frequently snazzy cans and bottles. And that I’d been sending some of the photos (via email with a subject line reading Tonight’s beer) to a rotating selection of relatives and friends. Those folks included Cindy’s husband Gene. Cindy didn’t say that she thought this was a pretty ridiculous thing to do, as well it might be. Nope, her immediate response was, “You should write a story about that.”

Well, I mulled over her idea for a number of days, finally deciding to wax rhapsodic about beer once again. And so, I headed to my smart phone’s photo archives. There I discovered that my first documentation of a beer purchase occurred in November 2020, and that approximately 80 more beers/cans/bottles subsequently have posed for me. None of the pictures are wonderful examples of the art of photography, that’s for damn sure, nearly all of them having been snapped clumsily in my kitchen or dining room. But what the hell. They are what they are.

Despite their pedestrianism, one thing for certain is that they make me want to down a cold brew right now. I won’t, however, because it’s mid-afternoon as I type these opening paragraphs, and I drink (almost) only at night. And only five beers per week, to boot. Shit, you better believe that I’d like to be able to drink a whole lot more than that, but I’m a geezer with a sensitive system. I know my limits. Maybe that’s why I truly savor just about every quaff that goes down my aged hatch.

In the USA, where I live, the beer world started to turn into a wonderland in the early 1990s. That’s when small breweries began popping up like mad all over the States, producing styles of beer commonly known to some parts of the world, but unfamiliar to the vast majority of American beer drinkers (including me), who downed only Budweiser, Miller and other mild lagers. Around that time, also, beers from other countries began finding their way into my nation more plentifully than before. Lo and behold, I gradually learned about stouts, porters, pale ales, wheat beers and Oktoberfests, to name a few, plus lagers that put Bud and Miller to shame. With hundreds upon hundreds of American breweries each producing their takes on assorted beer varieties and sometimes developing new styles, and with varied beers arriving from overseas, a beer renaissance was under way on my side of the pond.

Over time I’ve become a beer geek. A devotee of most types of beer, I’m amazed by the deliciousness almost always awaiting me at taverns, restaurants and beer stores. And I enjoy few things better than seeking out beers that I’ve never had before, in bottles and cans and on tap. I think of this ongoing quest as a treasure hunt. It thrills and delights me. I’m not kidding when I say that the beer revolution, still going very strong in the USA, has been one of my favorite developments of the last several decades. It has made my life better.

And I can’t seem to restrain my excitement. Thus, since starting the photography project innocently over two years ago, I grab a picture of nearly every store-bought beer that’s new to me when I open its can or bottle (for instance, Iron Hill Brewery’s version of Oktoberfest, which I discovered recently). I also immortalize beers that have held, and continue to hold, a special place in my heart and mouth. Anchor Steam Beer, proudly brewed in San Francisco since 1896, though I didn’t find out about it till almost 100 years later, is a prime example of that.

What’s more, I feel compelled to share my enthusiasm. The dozens and dozens of my beer pix that have landed in a bunch of individuals’ inboxes attest to that. Do any of these people want my pictures? Do they think I’m batty to send them? Who knows? Who cares? The bottom line is that delicious beers deserve to be acknowledged and saluted. To which I add . . . olé!

150 thoughts on “A Cheer For Beer

  1. estricsek January 28, 2023 / 9:43 am

    Great story Neil! Cheers! There are some excellent local craft beers on Cape Cod too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. marianallen January 28, 2023 / 1:58 pm

    Dragon’s Milk is my beer of choice. I also like Quaff On!’s Busted Knuckle and … oh, too many to name! Old Rasputin, but only on tap.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. eden baylee January 30, 2023 / 9:20 am

    Nice, you have a wide selection of craft beers to choose from. Taking pics and sending to friends is a great idea, good touchpoint to let friends know … “Hey, I’m alive and I’m here drinking beer!” Why not? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave January 30, 2023 / 1:34 pm

    Nice “paean” there Neil (and cool word). I enjoy a beer now and then (especially after hard work in the yard), but never more than through personal recommendations by the waitstaff at a brew pub. At the least, I’m game when a pub thinks to pair its beers with the entrees on its menu. Beats wine-pairing (and the price) any day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 30, 2023 / 4:14 pm

      Hey there, Dave. Right, wine is costlier than beer. But beer prices have gone up a lot. In my region, a pint on draft is usually anywhere from $6.50 to $8.00, which isn’t all that much less than some glasses of wine. It seems like only yesterday (to me) when a pint was fifty cents or seventy-five cents.

      Like

      • Dave January 30, 2023 / 4:40 pm

        Meant to add, congrats to your Eagles! A solid season, and now the chance to win the big one. Talk about the perfect excuse to have another beer!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. andrewcferguson January 30, 2023 / 2:07 pm

    Although I’m principally a wine drinker, I do enjoy the occasional beer – I must ask for recommendations from you when I finally make it over to the States, because I’m sure one can do better than Bud or Miller (we have our equivalents for them over here of course).

    One myth that I’ve found to be true: Guinness tastes best on the Emerald Isle itself. Even the short hop across to Scotland takes something away from it. Something to bear in mind when you’re next in this direction!

    If you can get your hands on the Spanish beer Estrella Galicia over there, give it a go – it’s a great thirst quencher on a hot day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 30, 2023 / 4:17 pm

      I’m not sure if I ever saw a Spanish beer sold in my region. I’m going to keep my eyes open for that, especially for the one you recommend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous January 30, 2023 / 2:59 pm

    The way I like beer is on a hot summer day, mixed with lemon or lime soda, which my French husband called a ‘panachez’. (pronounced like this, I can’t type in French on my computer.) Cheers, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam Lazos January 31, 2023 / 11:00 am

    All those beers look delish, Neil! I don’t drink much beer, but when I do, I want a nice crafty, colorful one and all of the ones you showcased need to go on my list. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos January 31, 2023 / 2:58 pm

        I know. I remember as a kid swiping a sip of my dad’s Budweiser and thinking “how do adults drink this crap?”

        Liked by 1 person

  8. D. Wallace Peach January 31, 2023 / 5:41 pm

    I grew up on Bud, Miller Lite, and if I was lucky… wait for it… Coors. 🙂 The variety out there now is astonishing! Even the cans are fun. I don’t drink much anymore, but my husband still sighs with pleasure when we go out and he indulges in a good IPA. Thanks for sharing your enjoyment, Neil. It is a good thing to come out of the past couple of decades. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2023 / 7:43 pm

      Evening! A member of the Coors family was in my class at Middlebury College. I think her first name is Wendy. I never knew her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach January 31, 2023 / 7:51 pm

        I went to Middlebury too, Neil. So did about 25 of my relatives. Lol. If you met any Peach’s there, I was probably related.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. stargazer January 31, 2023 / 6:43 pm

    I am not a beer drinker myself, but I really enjoyed reading your post and it’s great to have a hobby like that to keep you occupied!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Pearce Griffin January 31, 2023 / 9:19 pm

    North Carolina has quite a few microbreweries and I have enjoyed sampling from them. I’m not much into IPAs but I like wheats and other goodies. My favorite is Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh. My particular favorite is their Bloom Dry Cardamom Tripel. YUM! If you make it to Raleigh, I’ll buy you a beer. 🙂 Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2023 / 11:39 pm

      Thanks for the offer. You know, Tripel is a style of beer I’ve never had. I’ll have to try it one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 100 Country Trek February 2, 2023 / 9:28 am

    I enjoy drinking beer. My friend across the street is making beer . 🍺 let’s follow our blogs. Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Array February 3, 2023 / 7:38 am

    Hi…I’m re-finding my way here from Ally’s blogroll. Congrats on 15 years of blogging, by the way! And cheers to beers! I live in a small town where the scents of beer being produced fill the air around our downtown area! A tour of the brewery is very fascinating. Have you tried a Leinenkugel’s beer before? They’re owned by Miller Coors now, but growing up in the neighboring town to Leinies, it was the destiny of every person who could handle drinking the heavy-lager beers to be a fan of beer forever. I was never a fan of the hangover produced. 😉 Cheers to many more years of blogging and a tasty beer to accompany your efforts!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jeff the Chef February 3, 2023 / 10:04 am

    I love the beer pics! Had the beer revolution never happened, I would not beer a beer drinker. Or I would’ve moved to Munich.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 3, 2023 / 11:52 am

      A few days ago I had a wheat beer from Tucher, a German brewery that started in the 1600s. I’d never heard of Tucher before. The beer was real good.

      Like

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