Once was blind…but now I see
“…Beer is like that person you’ve met a couple of times, who seems cool but it takes the discovery of a mutual love of the movie Slap Shot or the sound of vinyl records to realize how compatible you really are.” (Andy Crouch: Fighting Taste Blindness, Beer Advocate, Issue #40).
I was hooked when I read that line. It’s true. I didn’t L-O-V-E beer the first time I drank it.
I thought about my own beer history…
I sneaked a taste of my dad’s beer (Coors) when I was young. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to drink that stuff (my dad, in his early 20’s, was quite enamored).
During high school, at “keggers”, in the mountains near my home, I drank whatever beer was available. I enjoyed it, not because it tasted particularly good, it didn’t, but at this point it was all about the experience.
In college, I drank beer not for taste, but as a way to create something akin to Animal House – on a weekly basis.
I didn’t actually learn to REALLY taste beer until recently – and I credit the Craft Beer Revolution for awakening me to my beer senses.
So it was with great interest that I read Crouch’s take on learning to taste beer:
“…most people remain taste-blind because they have never been taught to look for different flavors … When I try to welcome new friends to the world of craft beer, I start by talking about coffee, bananas, chocolate, oranges and cotton candy…because when it comes down to it people know which flavors they enjoy; they just don’t realize they can be found in beer” (Crouch, pg. 8).
They just don’t realize it can be found in beer – it makes total sense.
You may already have well-developed beer taste buds – a sophisticated beer palate – but if you are still working on it, and aren’t sure exactly where to start, check out this handy dandy Beer Aroma/Taste Wheel.
“The Wheel” helped me think about what I tasted and helped me to describe that taste. As Crouch points out, “While many people don’t understand beer styles, they clearly know whether they enjoy roasted coffee or orange citrus” and can then figure out why they might prefer an IPA to a Porter.
So…here’s to you Andy Crouch for making it simple and here’s to you Craft Beer Revolution for helping me get over my taste blindness. Thank you Craft Beer!
Have Hoppy Day!