About Me & This Blog

I would like to tell you about myself and why I created this blog. I feel the best way to do that is to explain my journey through the sudsy universe of beer. My life with beer (at least as far as drinking it is concerned) started around my thirteenth birthday when my father told me that, “the beer was in the fridge.” This was less of a suggestion and more of an overture to the deep lines of alcoholism that run through both sides of my family. I suspiciously cracked the door to fridge not knowing what I would find despite knowing all too well what was in there. I pulled forth the unfriendly countenance of Red Dog. I can’t remember how I felt at that time, but I do remember wondering why the hell I was doing it. I cracked open the can and beheld the horror of cheap beer for the first time.

Over the course of my teenage years I drank in the woods which is what you do as a teenager growing up in West Virginia. My friends and I weren’t concerned with what we were drinking just with getting drunk and having fun. This was a time filled with cheap spirits and labels boasting the bastard children of Bud, Miller, and Coors. I knew some guys who would espouse loyalty to a certain brand, but I never understood this. I found all the beer to be similar in the essence that it was gross, but at least it got you drunk. This isn’t to say that I found beers like Schlitz to taste good (I actually thought it was even grosser) just that it seemed all beer tasted remarkably similar.

As my teenage years progressed in time I found myself attending West Virginia University which in case you haven’t heard is known  for partying. I bought a fake New Jersey id from a kid down the hall for ten dollars and was able to buy beer at the store and most of the bars in town. It was during college that I first had a chance to experience beers other than the horror of BMC. It started with Guinness, Bass, Harp, Smithwicks, New Castle, and Yuengling. I didn’t drink these beers often as they cost more, but it did help to expand my horizons and pique my curiosity.

Eventually my friends and I would go to “the Brew Pub”, officially know at the Morgantown Brewing Company, for their cheaper beer nights on Wednesday. This was before beer laws were more recently changed in WV allowing for higher alcohol percentage beers to be brewed and sold so most of the offerings were less advanced than most craft beers floating around the US today. This helped me gravitate more towards beers with something to offer besides a good night and a bad morning (although I have to admit the Brew Pub did have a reputation for beer that insured digestive distress in the morning). I started to find other interesting beers offered at bars around town like a wheat beer from Widmer. Also around this time Saranac variety packs became available at some stores further allowing me access to new and interesting beer. I was becoming constantly more impressed with beer, but at this time I still didn’t know of the term craft beer in its current buzz word form.

After college I transplanted to the east coast first winding up in Newark, Delaware. All of a sudden I was in a different world of beer. The variety in liquor stores was vast compared to anything I’d seen before and there were several strange offerings at bars. Shortly after moving I found State Line Liquors a short drive away in Elkton, Maryland and discovered a place that is still to this day is one of my favorite places to shop for beer. Later I would move to New Jersey just over the bridge from Philadelphia and there I gained access to more and more beer. During this whole time I was often limited due to generally having to drive if I wanted to go out which translated to drinking much less than I did before. Eventually I moved back to Newark for a job and the added benefit of being closer to more people I know. Despite drinking less I was still becoming firmly entrenched in the delicious pallet of craft beer at this point.

Due to some changes in my life a year later I found myself living in Hamburg, Germany where I lived until July 2015. I was shocked to discover that northern Germany was like a beer desert (compared to the US), a land where the bland and uninspiring pilsener reigns supreme. I’ve been fortunate to travel to many countries while in Europe and discover craft beer culture in the UK, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Czech Republic to name just a few. I’ve also been pleased to find more craft beer become available in Hamburg over the time I’ve lived there.

I started this blog to document the beer I drink, and the places I drink it in, for several reasons. It helps me to keep track of the beers I love and the beers I tolerated all while sharing my thoughts with the beer community. I dubbed this blog Average Guy’s Guide to Beer because I do not feel I have an exacting palate, or that I am only pleased by the most extreme of beers. I love a good hoppy IPA but do not share many beer geeks obsession with pushing beer beyond experienceable bitterness thresholds. I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel, or a nostalgic beer from my past. I may not have an average level of curiosity when it comes to new experiences, but I do have a working class approach to my love of beer.


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