My discovery of craft beer came to me the same way I assume it did for most South Jersey natives, and that is, by way of Philadelphia. Growing up, I was always a fan of beer. I enjoyed trying different beers when all of my friends would stick to the same old thing (mostly being Coors Light). I would try to mix it up, but mixing it up back then meant grabbing some Yuengling or Blue Moon. That was about the extent of my diversity when it came to drinking and trying other beers, but that all changed in 2008.
Discovering Craft Beer
I’ve read about college students who brought a case of National Bohemian to a party on a Friday night and were drinking with the brewers of Selin’s Grove on Sunday. And, of people who took a critical taste of their bland lager and purchased home brewing books and equipment the next day and became part of the revolution. My joining the beer subculture was far more gradual and sporadic than most of the readers.
I’d love to say that my discovery of craft beer came about through recommendations from beer swilling friends/family or through extensive research after being disenchanted with macro brews, but I’d be lying. My discovery was that of complete and utter blind luck.
I am a reformed wine collector of over 15 years. I took myself and the wine way too seriously, collecting and storing well over 200 bottles at a time. I would buy Bordeaux and Napa Cabernets and sometimes spend hundreds of dollars on a bottle. I would even buy wine futures and wait years for the bottles to arrive at my door.
A Beer Revelation
Reader Jeff Dodd 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.
I used to hate beer, but there was a good reason why. As I look back on my earlier drinking years and reminisce about Keystone and Natural Light being the main beers of choice, it is no wonder that I despised the beverage. But then, something happened. In September of 2009 I turned 21 and in January of 2010, I went away to college at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. This marked the incarnation for my love of brew.
Reader Matt Cicalese describes his discovery of craft beer. If you have an interesting story about discovering craft beer, send it to us at email@example.com
When it comes to trends, I tend to be very late to the game. I didn’t have a Myspace page until after it was the cool thing to have. I was rocking a Discman well into the iPod years. I still don’t have a smartphone (soon to change). But one thing that I like to think I caught onto earlier than most anyone I know personally is craft beer, circa 1996.
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.
Reader Tyler Flynn describes his discovery of craft beer. If you have an interesting story about discovering craft beer, send it to us at email@example.com.
One hot summer Friday afternoon in the late 1990s, while visiting my uncle in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, he asked me if I wanted to go to “the brewery” to meet some friends of his for pizza and happy hour. This brewery turned out to be the Brooklyn Brewery and I soon had my first encounter with craft brew, beginning a journey that would lead to some unforeseen places. Read more…
Reader John Doherty 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.
About 11 years ago, a co-worker of mine, Bill, and I got into a conversation about beer. He asked me if I had ever visited what he described as a “bar in Philly that had all these beers.” I responded that I hadn’t. Up until that time I had tried all the beers that 99% of people were drinking. With rare exceptions, I did not think much of these beers, nor did I care about trying a few more. Two months later, Bill walked into my office and asked me if I checked that same place out. I told him, “No!” Bill walked closer to me as I was sitting at my desk, his eyes lit up and and he said, “You’ve got to go.” “OK,” I replied. I said to myself, “Let’s get this guy off my back and go.” I asked Bill the name of the establishment. He said, “MONK’S!” Read more…
Reader Derek Vizzi describes his discovery of craft beer. If you have an interesting story about discovering craft beer, send it to us at email@example.com
Back in the day, Molson and Heineken were fancy, “imported” beers, and Bud Ice was acquired only for special occasions because of its lofty 5.5% ABV. But even back then, I was never satisfied with this yellow, fizzy ambrosia. To me, there was something that just didn’t seem right. Namely- everything. I soon discovered Yuengling. This was more like it: it had color, flavor, a name that some people didn’t know how to pronounce… I was finally able to distinguish myself from the naive pale-lager chugging masses. But soon, even the fine Yuengling just wasn’t cutting it. Beer was boring, it lost its appeal, and I decided to go on hiatus. Read more…