Reader Kevin Dragone describes his discovery of craft beer. If you have an interesting story about discovering craft beer, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is my story of how I found true love with a great set of cans. My friends, I’m talking about craft beer.
Once upon a time, I was a bachelor in my early twenties, scouring Philly bars, hoping to find love. Fridays, I’d find myself bar hopping in Manayunk, drinking either mixed cocktails or light beer. Little did I know, I’d find true love in my own backyard.
I was asked by my buddy to attend his sister’s softball fundraiser. When I got there, I was handed raffle tickets as part of my contribution. Thank goodness there was a bar there. I found myself passing the time with the light and fizzy. During that time, I heard my number was drawn and I had won a prize! But what could it possibly be? When I went to claim it, they handed me a Sly Fox gift card.
At the time, my goal, being of the drinking age, was to drink cheap and find a gal. Places like Sly Fox just didn’t offer the atmosphere for a bachelor. But hey, I had a gift card, I figured, what the heck? I’m not paying for it. So I left the house thinking I’d be back in a couple hours with a slight buzz.
I arrived there and looked at the chalkboard. I had no idea what I should order. For starters, I knew the Sly Fox in Phoenixville didn’t have a full service bar, so no cranberry and vodkas for me. And their selection of beer was their own, so no light beer either. That’s when a Sly Fox regular, sitting a couple of stools next to me, started to break down the proper way to enjoy a REAL beer.
It was the holiday season then and I noticed selections like Oatmeal Stout and the Christmas Ale. Odd. I never saw these at the nightclubs. My newfound friend began to explain how to enjoy a true beer experience. I didn’t know there was a proper way to drink anything, let alone beer. I figured sip it or chug it to get the job done. With these beers, that wasn’t the case and it had me very intrigued.
I went through the gift card that evening; I covered my tab, my new friend’s tab and became a regular there. I would look for Sly Fox everywhere I went and started to broaden my horizons, trying IPAs and pilsners wherever I could find them. Then, I started going online and researching for bars that strictly served craft ales and had a solid selection. Shortly thereafter, I began catching on to pub crawls and other beer events. I was sold.
Years later, I started dating a girl who I converted into craft beer. Even a few of her friends broadened their horizons. We all would frequent Sly Fox, Bistro on Bridge and The Pickering Creek Inn. All bars notorious for craft beer and in our hometown.
Passion for craft beer led me to become involved with Phoenixville’s drinking scene. I’ve even helped organize a pub crawl of my own and recently launched a blog, beer-snobs.com, an outlet to make new friends and share the experience of craft beer. I wouldn’t say I’m the most knowledgeable when it comes to beer, but I want to learn as much as I can.
In the end, I didn’t just discover craft beer, but this whole new world. To think, it all began at a middle school softball fundraiser. I’m currently single again, but hey, craft beer and I live happily ever after. Cheers!