Beer for women!

Put down your pink mixed drink, and pick up that pink beer!

Why do You Drink?

Because when clarity happens, so does the punching

brewfus’ definitive food pairing guide

The only food pairing guide you will ever need forever

A Happy Place:

A trip inside Millstone Cellars

Breaking into Jailbreak Brewing

Delicious beer and Queen lyrics

Beer Review:

DC brau “The Corruption” is certainly corrupted

Latest Articles

Lets Do Some Good In This World

So, we are on the heels of 3 years of Hipster Brewfus, and it's pretty exciting. I appreciate you all sticking with me as I've evolved from thinking people cared about my beer reviews, to more important social commentary, and to my own thoughts as I evolved as a dude in the beer game.

It has indeed been a great 3 years, and I hope to continue being here for another 3 more. Once we hit that, we will re-evaluate just what the hell I am doing.

And that brings us to today. Today I want to do something good for the world, and we have been given a great opportunity. You see, when I decided to start this whole bloggy thing, there were two people instrumental in my decision to start writing. The first was my wife, and the second is someone none of you know. His name is RC, and he opened my eyes to a lot of different things that beer had to offer. he has supported me both vocally, and with sending me countless bottles of amazing stuff, including a wedding present that kind of blew my mind.

A photo posted by @hipsterbrewfus on

So today I ask you for help, readers and friends. RC is running in his second Chicago Marathon because he is a glutton for punishment, but also wants to help families in need. He is a representative of Team RHMC (Ronald McDonald House Charities), and is looking to raise $1,500, and I think we can help him.

So here is where you come in. Donate. Please. As little or as much as you can afford. For every donation, your name goes into a hat, and at the end of it all, there will be a drawing for some really great bottles of beer.

The link for donations is here: http://support.rmhc.org/site/TR/TeamRMHC-ChicagoMarathon/General?px=1010646&pg=personal&fr_id=1110

You will be helping family in need, and potentially win some beer that I bet your ass can't get anywhere else.

So how does this all work?

You click the link and fill out the information. On that screen there is an option to fill out your name and leave a note. Do that. if you are anonymous, we have no way of knowing it's you, and unfortunately you can not be considered.

Simple, right?

Once you've made your donation, just let me know with a comment on this blog post WITH A WAY TO CONTACT YOU, or if you prefer it to be a little private, you can e-mail me personally: Jake@HipsterBrewfus.com

In October, we will do the drawing, and BAM, you get beer AND the feeling that you did some good for strangers.

Prepare to see this a lot on my social media as well, because I will be sharing it frequently. This is important to me, and I look forward to your support!

Love,
Hipster Brewfus.

LOOK AT ME!

Someone once told me that I was going to ruin my "cred" because I love buying beer based purely on label art. As if "marketing" isn't a goddamned bajillion dollar industry.

In another life, I fancied myself an artist of sorts. And like most good artists, I've succumbed to a life of being drunk, intolerable, and hung up on one particular aspect of life.. Lately, I've become kind of obsessed about label art. I have become totally aware of how it directly affects my purchasing, and find myself attempting to pick out similarities or differences between the cacophony of colors and pictures.

This fascination of palettes lead me to share this idea with one award winning, and now Thrillist contributor Sir Bryan D. Roth from "This Is Why I'm Drunk." He became excited about the idea, and I became excited about the excitement, and then we danced. Then worked together to craft 2 different, but cohesive posts about label art. Mine will be more of a personal take, and his, I'm nearly 100% positive, will be more facts and numbers loaded.

EDIT: His own take on all of this is quite fascinating, and you can read it here.

I'm going to try to keep it simple, because I'm not necessarily looking for facts, I want to look at popular beers, and I want to look at beers I like, and see where the paths converge in terms of artwork, if they even do at all  Seems simple enough, right? Keep in mind, I have a habit of going in over my head, so I may lose you.

This is how we're doing this: Top 10 Beer Advocate, Rate Beer, and Untappd beers as of today (5/7/2015). Then MY Top 10 highest rated beers, and my top 10 most checked in beers over all. Then I'm going to stare at the labels for a few moments like a slack-jawed idiot, then scribble down my thoughts, and proceed on to the next one. Sounds simple, right?

We're playing real fast and loose on this one!

EDIT: As I go in on this, I'm going to add caveats. Like right now, I'm adding that for any of the beers on the rating sights, it must have over 2,000 ratings to be considered, and a brewer must have more than 10,000 ratings.

EDIT 2: For my personal stats, home brews do not count. Even if they have awesome labels.

Beer Advocate Top 10 Beers

1. "Heady Topper" - The Alchemist
2. "Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout" - Goose Island
3. "CBS Imperial Stout" - Founders
4. "Pliny the Younger" - Russian River
5. "Pliny the Elder" - Russian River
6. "Fou' Foune" - Brasserie Cantillion
7. "Abner" - Hills Farmstead
8. "KBS" - Founders
9. "Zombie Dust" - Three Floyds
10. "Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)" - Brouwerij Westvleteren




Takeaway: It's hard not to notice a couple things with this group. The first is the comic/cartoon styling of Zombie Dust and Heady. Now look at the bottom left corner, occupied by Cantillion, Abner, KBS, and Westy. You'll notice that they are heavily steeped in earth tones. Moving on, Bourbon County Coffee goes with a subtle, classy approach, and on the other extreme of classy, CBS offers up a beautiful painting of a Canadian Mountie. Russian River, however, seem to want to go with a "Less is More" approach, while simultaneously laughing at you as they plaster their world renowned beer with Comic Sans. You know, the font that sends half the internet into a ridiculously stupid fit of rage? That one. Is it purposely Ironic? I haven't the foggiest.

Personally: Heady, and Zombie are all examples of things that reach out and touch me. I'm a sucker for lavish comic book art work, and artist Tim Seeley really nailed it. The goofiness of Heady, kind of reminds me to a throw back of artists like Harvey Pekar and his "American Splendor" series. Both of these labels jump off the figurative shelf and encourage me to buy them.

Rate Beer Top 10

1. "Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)" - Brouwerij Westvleteren
2. "Trappistes 10" - Brasserie Rochefort
3. "Speedway Stout" - AleSmith
4. KBS - Founders
5. "Expedition Stout" - Bell's
6. "Pliny the Elder" - Russian River
7. "Bourbon County Brand Stout" - Goose Island
8. Dreadnaught - Three Floyds
9. Hopslam - Bell's
10. Imperial Russian Stout - Stone




Takeaway: Nothing...really jumps out at me. The biggest thing I notice immediately is the lack of variety in colors. The second is the realm of earth tones we are stuck in again, with a smattering of black, blues, and greens. Other than Dreadnaught and Hopslam, everything else is pretty much shrouded in simplicity.

Personally: Eh. I appreciate the painted glass bottles Stone has, but hate the quality of their stupid attempts to emasculate you. Their diatribes of faux-badassery are annoying, at best. The rest just...don't seem to make any attempt at anything. Kind of disappointed with the RateBeer selections. I mean, are they nice? Yeah, of course. Well, some of them at least. But do they say "HEY LOOK AT ME AMONG ALL THESE OTHER BEERS?" Nope.

Untappd Top 10:

1. "Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout" - Goose Island
2. "Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout" - Goose Island
3. "Double Barrel Hunapu's" - Cigar City
4. "Pliny the Younger" - Russian River
5. "Barrel Aged Abraxas"  - Perrenial Artisian
6. "Heady Topper" - The Alchemist
7. "King Henry" - Goose Island
8. "CBS" - Founders
9. "Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout" - Goose Island
10. "Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)" - Brouwerij Westvleteren


Takeaway: HOLY GOOSE ISLAND! 40% of this list is ONE brewery with 3 variations of one beer. You know, those Bourbon County labels are really quite handsome. Abraxas and King Henry both also get points for the intricacy displayed. And again, yellows and browns dominate my focus.

Personally: I don't know if its some degree of Stockholm syndrome going on, but I am really starting to love those Bourbon County labels. The rest? Eh. I'm digging King Henry and Abraxas though.

BREAK TIME!

Alright, so at this point we've looked at 30 beers, with a lot of overlap, and not a whole lot of excitement. I've had a lot of these beers, but really, none of them are on shelves. And I know, I know, the bottle that Westy comes in doesn't even have a label. It Is pretty though, that gold painted "XII."

For the most part, I believe that the majority of the labels on these lists are pretty straightforward and simple. Zombie Dust is really the only one out of the 30 that really makes you take notice. The examples of Rochefort and Westy kind of remind me why I don't buy more imported Belgian beers and the like. I mean, I certainly buy my fair share, but usually that's because I know what I'm looking to get. Far less of a spontaneous purchase.

Back to it!

My Untappd Top 10 Highest Rated:

1. "Sculpin" - Ballast Point
2. "Raging Bitch" - Flying Dog
3. "Balt Altbier" -Union Craft Brewing
4. "Resurrection" - Brewers Art
5. "Watermelon Ale" - Thomas Hooker Brewing
6. "Wisconsin Belgian Red" - New Glarus
7. "Fruet" - The Bruery
8. "Gandhi Bot" - New England Brewing Co.
9. "Heady Topper" - The Alchemist
10. "Shipwright" - Relic Brewing


Takeaway: Immediately I have to say this, I hate Ballast Point labels for the most part. I think they're ugly as sin. But the beer is good, so whatever. Flying Dog I think is a shoe in when the conversation swirls around label art. Why wouldn't it? Steadman is a legend. Brewers Art, Union, New Glarus, and Bruery also have very simple, but tasteful labels. And now there are three Connecticut labels here, go figure, and comparing them would never be fair. Bot is in line with most of NEBCO labels, in its fun, outlandish cartoon style. Hookers labels have always kind of sucked. They look like something made with Microsoft Clip Art. The real winner here to me is Relic. Maybe I'm biased, I don't know. I just love it. And again, like a broken fucking record, LOOK AT THE HUES MAN, THE HUES! Six of these 10 labels are again, browns and yellows and dirty looking.

Personally: I have always loved the labels Bruery uses. Not just the super elegant look, but they are distinctive in both the shapes AND, something you might not hear about too often, but the material that they use for said labels. They are super slick. not just your basic paper sticker. They really demand your attention when they're sitting there on the shelf. If I'm in a store, its labels like Flying Dog, Relic, and Heady that are grabbing my attention. Unions cans like Balt, Duckpin, and Gold are nice, but I much prefer their newest generation of cans (See: Double Duckpin and Old Pro).


My Top 10 Most Checked In:

1. "Summer Ale" - Sam Adams
2. "The Fear" - Flying Dog
3. "Lager" - Naragansett Beer
4. "Creme Brulee" - Southern Tier
5. " Chessie" - Union Craft Brewing
6. "Sculpin" - Ballast Point
7. "Sweet Baby Jesus" - DuClaw Brewing
8. "Natty Boh" - Pabst Brewing
9. "Dales Pale Ale" - Oskar Blues
10. "Transatlantic" - Relic Brewing



Takeaway: As far as "art" goes, this selection is really lacking in it, save for a repeat of the last list, Relic and Flying Dog. DuClaw certainly isn't breaking any barriers in their labels department, but I'll give them this, you know their beer when you see it. Unions Chessie is a nice letterpress inspired design with a minimalist artwork look to it. I dig it. The majority of the rest are your typical font heavy designs. YAWN! And then there is Boh. Unless you're from Baltimore, you just won't get it, man.

Personally: Again, I'm reaching for Relic and Flying Dog. I mean, obviously I like the other beers, but I can't say much for their labels, other than they are obviously NOT the reasons I buy them.

Lessons Learned

One thing I just noticed while wrapping this up is the juxtaposition between the 30 "top" beers versus my 20 "top" beers. For the first 30, look how dark the general labels are in terms of color schemes. Then look at how much lighter mine are in overall tone. If I was a scientist of some sorts, I would follow this down the rabbit hole even further.

So, I don't think there is any real correlation between the top beers and their labels. I just don't. None of them are anything outstanding, you know? Besides a large quantity of those beers never see the light of a store shelf, and instead are shipped back and forth across the country BECAUSE WHAELZ!

But me? I love artwork. I love breweries that use the label opportunity to put forth something special. I have also learned that a beautiful label ≠ an equally quality product.

All of this stemmed from a few tweets and Instagram pictures that I linked together in my brain and thought there might be something there.




With all this writing and pondering done with now, what did I learn? Nothing, really, but expect to be disappointed in life. I've bought beautiful labels, and have had bad products, and I've had incredible products with a lackluster sheen to them. There is a reason though, that people put work into their labels. You need to stand out in an increasing growing market. You have to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. I  would like to think that a string of recent purchases on my end are proof that this works. I'm willing to sacrifice my "cred" in order to try new things, regardless of whether I'm disappointed in the final outcome or not. It's part of the game, baby.

Sorry to have wasted your time, I'm going to go float in the void of nothingness.

Where Do We Go From Here?




I make no secret of the breweries I have some sort of allegiance to. Otter Creek is one of those breweries. Long before they were gracious enough to donate beer to my wedding, Stovepipe Porter (RIP) was, to me, a perfect example of a porter. It was loaded with complex flavors, and really won me over to the dark styles of beers. I was just a drunk dude in Connecticut with Slayer playing in the background, getting excited with each sip I took.

The thing with Otter Creek though, was they...just existed. To many of the people in this “scene,” Otter Creek was just “whatever.” When this whole "craft" beer thing really began to explode, people wanted more hops, bigger flavors, and extremes of all kinds. OC didn't have that. They brewed simple, but well-made beers. Unfortunately those kind of beers weren’t and unfortunately STILL aren’t what people want. And that is really too bad, you know? But that's not what this post is about.

A couple of years ago there were excited murmurings about their new Brewmaster Mike Gerhart, and how they we're going to be doing some really exciting things...and then they DID! I was lucky enough to have had the chance to meet him and chat with him briefly as he poured at a speed blogging event at Beer Bloggers Conference 2013 in Boston. He was humble, friendly, and clearly loved what he was doing. Before I knew it, the exciting turn OC was taking, happened. First came Double Dose, which was just...incredible. That beer blew my fucking mind. But every single beer since then has been a goddamned home run. Citra Mantra, Kind Ryed, Overgrown, Fresh Slice, and Backseat Berner are all fantastic and I can’t urge you enough to get out there and buy some and try for yourself. They nail each style they attempt. Granted, for the most part, they are all “hop-forward,” but still. Don’t just write them off as “Oh more IPAs” because fuck you, Fresh Slice is the best Belgian IPA I have ever had.

The thing is, these guys adapted, they changed, and as far as this lowly blogger can see, they have succeeded in a market that continues to grow and bring in people from a lot of different walks of life. From styles, to recipes, to label art, they revamped, and changed what people thought of this once "ho-hum" brewery. They became nearly unrecognizable, like when I squeeze my fat ass into a good looking suit. Seriously though, how many breweries can you name that have so drastically changed tactics and came out on top? Now, how many can you think of that could seriously use a new look, and a relatively new product?

That’s what I thought. And these guys fucking did it.

All of these thoughts floated into my mushy brain thing while at The Wine Source the other day, picking up ANOTHER 6 pack of “Backseat Berner.” Otter Creek is my go-to, repeat buy, brewery. For someone like me, and a lot of you, that’s kind of a big deal. We are inundated with choices when we peruse the shelves at our local stores. I know I get terribly overwhelmed sometimes. With so many choices it is a rare feat when I exercise my purchasing power by purchasing the same beer twice. But alas, I find myself doing it quite often now with Otter Creek. And it’s weird. But a good weird. Like if you’re out in public and you feel someone touch your butt and you have that half second of panic, and then turn around to confront the butt toucher, and it’s a good friend. I know, weird, right?

So that brewery that you or I talk shit on for not being exciting? Well sooner or later we might end up looking like complete asshats, because they might be pumping out some of the best beer available on your shelf in a couple years.

Brewfus' Ultimate Guide To getting Drunk In Hot Weather



A couple of days ago, I got a message on my Facebook page saying something along the lines of "Hey, idiot, what do you drink when it's warm outside? TELL ME NOW!" So here I am, busting out this quick piece that has no basis in fact, and is purely subjective.

My warm weather drinking falls into 4 categories; Gose, Berliner Weisse, Fruit Beers, and Everything Else

Gose:

Union Brewing "Old Pro"*
Anderson Valley "The Kimmie, The Yink, and the Holy Gose"
Anderson Valley "Blood Orange"
Victory Brewing "Kirsch Gose"


Berliner Weisse:

Dogfish Head "Festina Peche"
Bruery "Hottenroth"

Fruit Beers:

DuClaw Brewing "Morgazm"
DuClaw Brewing "Funk"
Boulevard Brewing "Entwined"
21st Amendment Brewing "Hell or High Watermelon"
Sixpoint "Rad"
Saranac "Shandy"
Narragansett Beer "Del's Shandy"

Everything Else:

Jailbreak Brewing "Made Wit Basil"
Victory Brewing "Summer Love"**
Sixpoint "Sweet Action"
Narragansett Beer "Summer Ale"
Kona Brewing "Longboard Lager"
Peak Organic "Fresh Cut"
Dogfish Head "Sixty-one"
Flying Dog "Bloodline"
Evolution Brewing "Summer Session"

BAM! This originally started off with about 12 beers scribbled down on a post-it on my desk at work, but turned into this. And i could have kept going, to be completely honest. But there you have it, without going into ANY detail, because then this would be a 58,237 word post. All of these beers are awesome, and at one point or another this summer, will all be drank by me. In my underwear. Outside.

*COMING IN CANS THIS MAY!

** A personal favorite of mine

Hipster Bistros and the Burritos of Doom

When we last left you...



"DOUG, GET THE BURRITO!"

"I CAN'T! THE BOMB IS GOING TO EXPLODE!"

"THEN GET ME THE PRESIDENT!"

"WHAT?!"

"DOUG JUST GET THE DAMN BURRITO AND BITE IT! TRUST ME!"

"OK-HERE GOES!"



...And now, this months installment of



Before I get into my day spent amongst friends and burritos, let me introduce myself to those of you unfamiliar with my digital presence. Hello! My name is Doug, and when I’m not hunting down burritos and beer with Brewfus, I’m hunting down burritos (and other fine foodstuffs) and beer with my wife and writing about it over at Baltimore Bistros and Beer.

A little time has passed since we made the maiden voyage of the Bald, Beerded, and Burrito’d tour, so you can understand why my heart was atingle with anticipation knowing that it was time to put my eau de cilantro cologne on and hunt down another incredible burrito.

We had originally planned a visit to an establishment in Harbor East, but I was more than happy to oblige Jake’s request to audible when he requested a trip to Holy Frijoles instead. Afterall, it was on these hallowed grounds where we first dined on burritos together and discovered that our love for the folded vessel of meat was beyond the norm and needed to be shared via blog.

Holy Frijoles does the burrito right. Instead of listing three or four specific burritos on the menu (which they have if you’re not confident with your skills in the burritorial arts), they basically give you a list of options and let you create your all-star burrito. On this day I selected a steak burrito with black beans served drunken; and by drunken I mean smothered in melted cheese and enchilada sauce.


I loved that burrito. Size-wise, it was just right. It was big enough to send me home stuffed, but small enough that I only had to wait until 10PM to eat dinner after our 1PM burrito luncheon. Nine hour hang time for a burrito is pretty impressive. On the inside I really appreciated the fact that they prepared the steak by cutting the meat in thin slices instead of cubes. Cubes tend to have a rubbery texture, but the thin slices of meat were exceptionally tender. Mixed in with the meat were happy globs of melted cheese, onion, pablano peppers, and the aforementioned black beans.


Assuming we've convinced you to make a trip to Holy Frijoles, please remember two things when making your visit. First, make sure you order the black beans. I have no problem with refried beans, in fact I love them, but the black beans are fantastic and really add some nice moisture to the program. Second, but most important of all, by no means should you opt out of the pablano peppers. In my estimation, they are what make the Holy Frijoles burrito unique, adding a sweet/spicy factor you don’t find on every burrito.

Overall, the trip to Holy Frijoles was nothing but good times. The food was great, the company was better, and the beer selection (Jake will give you the details) was more than satisfactory.




Jake here! Holy Frijoles is a cornerstone of the Hampden neighborhood. It embodies the...alternative culture. You would be hard-pressed to not see at least one person with a handlebar mustache. Yeah, that kind of place. It's handy being just a couple blocks from my front door for when the missus and I are craving some warm tortillas with meat, cheese, and beans. The service is generally good, with the exception of a few missteps here and there in the past, I've always left pretty happy. 

Food wise, its your standard kind of Mexican joint type of menu, but obviously, the focus is burritos.





On this trip, I got me a chorizo burrito, with black beans and grilled veggies. I too, got it drunken, like my good friend Douglas, because you know, great minds think alike and all that jazz. There isn't much I'm going to say about it that Douglas hasn't already covered. Except in the veggies, there is zucchini, and that really, REALLY threw me off. Not that I don't enjoy zucchini, because for the most part I don't...But they don't have a place in burritos, you fucking hipsters. So there is that.







The real focus though, is the beer. I don't think we will find another place that has such a good beer selection. Both of us again, mirrored our beer orders, which were a Union Brewing "Duckpin" and a Monument Brewing "51 Rye," both of which were excellent. Last time I was there I ordered a pitcher of Dos Equis Amber, and had a goddamned blast. Judge me, I dare you.









Turn That Brown Upside Down



When I started this back in December, it stemmed from a day of me going bar to bar. It wasn't my first mission, but it soon became clear that I was going to be drinking as many brown ales as I could find. It had nothing to do with an extreme love of Brown Ales. Quite the opposite, actually. Browns have never actually been I care about. Like at all. Never. I have never left work thinking "YEAH! GIMMIE A BROWN ALE! IT'S GO TIME! At the end of the day, I had drank about three brown ales. That is probably two more brown ales than I have ever previously consumed in one day I could not have been more frustrated with my palate.

For as long as I have been drinking, I have always tried to make it a point to try as many new beers as possible. Not so much that I feel I need to like everything, but in a market where are choices seem limitless, I want to experience as much as I can. And yes, I absolutely want to like everything I drink, but I know I can't. The math is against me. I hate math.

This bugs me more than it should. The whole uncomfortable feeling in me that stemmed this whole piece: There are entire styles that I just plain do not care for. More specifically, Brown Ales (and until last year, Barleywines). When I started this beer journey, it was on the heels of pale ales and wittes, from there I jumped into IPAs, then porters came along and lulled me into a sense of warmth and security. Stouts eventually joined the party, as did sours, lagers, pilsners, and practically everything in-between. but I was under that dumb assumption that if I was going to get into this beer thing, I WAS GOING ALL IN, BRO! I felt (stupidly) disingenuous about whatever status I had achieved, because there were two entire styles I could not commit to.

When it came to barleywines, I tried as many as I could get my hands on. I knew it was a style that I wanted to enjoy, partly because I had already given my love and adoration to DIPAs. On paper, I should have loved barleywines. But this attempt at courtship quickly became an exercise of punishment I was finding myself more and more put off with each bottle opened, each bottle sipped, and each bottle left unfinished. There were countless moments of being heckled “zomg how can you not like that, that is an amazing beer. You have shitty taste blah blah blah.”

I caught much less shit with my stance on browns, but that's because..I mean, who really cares about brown ales?

It is perfectly acceptable to not like a beer, and I'm not sitting here telling you “do what I do, try everything, something will eventually stick.” That kind of masochistic approach certainly isn't for everyone, but for me it was kind of what I needed. In 2013, barleywines became a style I absolutely adore. It started with Union Brewing's "Chessie." I was intoxicated with how easy it was to drink, how good it tasted, and how much I liked it! It was an unforgettable moment for me, finally finding a barleywine that I liked. It opened up a previously stubbornly closed door for me. I finally got it. Are there still ones I don’t like as much? Sure, but I'm going to run into that with any style, I suppose. But I tell you what, I definitely enjoy far more now than I ever had. because of this new found inspiration I'm excited to re-visit some of the more off-putting ones I drank in the past, mainly Sierra Nevada's "Big Foot," and Weyerbacher's "Blithering Idiot." So you know, we’ll see how that goes.

The underlying point of all this nostalgia has brought me back to what spurred this little post initially. Brown Ales. That deplorable little ale. I have tried countless browns (actually, about 15 according to Untappd), and still have yet to find one that I could hold up as a beacon and say "Yes! This is what a brown ale is, this is what I want a brown ale to be, and this is what a brown ale should be!" Because in so many of the ones I've tried, there is no real cohesiveness. I can take any 2, put them side by side, and have 2 completely beers. And that’s frustrating.

Have I found some that aren't terrible? Absolutely. Looking at my Untapped scores, I don’t rate them unfairly like some jerks do (the highest rating being a 4, and the lowest was a 3). Just because I don’t like a particular style, doesn't mean I cant appreciate a good beer.

I find when I talk about a particular brown ale with someone, more often than not I get the “that’s not what a real brown tastes like,” which is doubly frustrating, because AT THIS POINT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A “REAL”BROWN ALE IS SUPPOSED TO TASTE LIKE! Ugh. But am I going to give up? Fuck no, my stubbornness is to blame for my new-found love of barleywines, a style that has given me so much drunken happiness.

So, with no real purpose to this post, I'm here to tell you, that just because you like beer, doesn't mean you have to like every beer, or even every style.

Just, you know, drink what you like.

Cheers.

Love,
Hipster Brewfus

P.S. I <3 bruins="" oud="" p="">

Verbose Validation of Verbage



I am a beer blogger.

I have the trip to the Beer Bloggers Conference to prove it. I have the phone calls, texts, e-mails, tweets, Facebook messages and smoke signals from people asking me for thoughts, and recommendations. I have the URL, and the alter-ego. I have the late nights, staying up to finish a post. I have the days at work, where something is just too important and I have to write it right away (in a blank e-mail format). I’ve had the internal struggle between this blog feeling like a job, and reminding myself it’s not, and then proceeding to fuck off for weeks at a time to reset my brain. But then there have been the times when I WANT this to be my job. I even have business cards.

I have a full on relationship with beer

I have given this blogging thing so much of myself, and have a much closer relationship to beer than most folks. Like any type of relationship, it has been wrought with Adoration and abhorrence.  Id say my relationship right now with beer and blogging is at the most healthiest it has ever been, even given the recent public “ugh, beer” stance I seem to have taken, but there is far more to it.

With all of this, myself and a slew of other bloggers have decided to tackle the topic: “How has blogging verbed your relationship with beer?” And like with most topics, I don’t have a clear answer. Blogging has verbed my relationship with beers in more ways than I’m probably aware of, I’m sure. It’s been this weird cyclical adventure that has no end in sight. You are stuck with me forever.

Like most people, when this all started for me, I was absolutely enthralled by it all. I was 100% captivated by the small, loyal, and growing community that craft beer had. I had never been a part of anything, really. I love comic books, but with the Internet, fanboys really ruined it for me. Never been much of a sports fan, no religion, none of those things people can come together on and celebrate together. Needing something in my life I could attach to and become a part of, the beer scene was it. People sending beer to each other, helping hunt down hard to find stuff to trade for other hard to find stuff, extras, beer it forwards, all of those things. I signed up for a Beer Advocate account (my first mistake), and dove in head first.

The next spoke on this drunken wheel has to be submerged. Looking back, I can find the first time I took the proverbial plunge. This little bar in Colchester, CT had put out a Facebook update about them getting one of the 3 kegs of Ballast Point Sculpin. I scheduled my whole day around it, went there with a pen and paper, and got busy. I ordered my beer, and hurried off to a quiet corner. I sat down with my pint glass of this “rare” beer, sniffing it, writing, sipping it, writing, sniffing it again, and writing more. I looked like a weirdo, and I didn't care. I ended up writing a pretty bad post about it. And I couldn't have been more excited. But that’s really the first time I can pinpoint hunting down stuff, and really going for it. A few weeks after that, I left work early to get to the beer store to pick up the newly released Chocolate Truffle Stout from Hooker Brewing.  Before I knew it, I was looking for Heady Topper, Pliney, and Hills Farmstead, the holy trinity of beers that bros need to hunt down. Because mad raer whaelz, bro.

I bought anything I could get my hands on, spending way too money and time on this. I was in deep. I was part of this craft beer revolution that was taking place in our county. I spouted off at length (ignorantly at that) about lawsuits between breweries about how the brewery suing another one was a total jerk. I slammed BMC products, I did all the beer snobby stuff that beer snobs do. I was the proverbial cheerleader.

Remember how I said this was a cyclical adventure? Well, this wheel has rolled over vexed. To many on the Internet, I am just some cussing, stomping, whining mouth breather.  And uh…that’s not too far from the truth. But really, I just couldn't sit idly by while I watched this thing that I love kill itself from the inside out. Between my blog, my social media spots, and even a guest post, I complained vocally about the constant cheerleading of beer, and how it can prove to be detrimental. I complained about beer bloggers not doing their part to be influential and a guiding voice. I complained about all this Kickstarter nonsense, be it from large breweries, to un-established breweries. Even attacked Bloggers using it to fund their beercation (read: conference). I complained about all the crappy beer that is being held in such high regard because it is local. I complained about most of the same things that earlier in this relationship, I lauded. I was confused. Where did the purity of this thing I love so much, go?

I have since come to appreciate that beer is first and foremost, a business, and it should be treated as such. I realize that we are not a part of some revolution, we are consumers. There is nothing wrong with loving the product, nothing wrong with that at all. But these happy shiny blinders that people seem to have on, are silly.

Beer evangelism is dangerous. It makes people think that this is a movement. We are not Woody Guthrie or Joe Strummer. We are not Cesar Chavez or Mahatma Gandhi. We're a bunch of slightly drunk middle class people who wear a little too much plaid and don't like shaving and we like good beer. To pretend that you're a rebel because of a purchasing decision is the kind of thing that Apple would love for you to continue to believe, but Steve Jobs wasn't the messiah and neither are the boys at 10 Barrel
– Comment on Beervana

And when this eventual wheel comes near its full circle, I’m at a point where I've reach zen of sorts. I’m in a place where I am completely contented with my relationship with beer, both as a drink, and as a hobby. I’m at ease with where I am in any role to be someone to come to with information. I don’t sit and sniff my beers and swirl and sip and take notes. I open my beer, and drink it. I don’t care what small brewery is bought by a bigger one, as long as the beer is good. I don’t care about whatever super rare release is on the other side of the country, and what bottles I need to line up to try and trade for it. I don’t care about any of that. I just want to drink my beer, be surrounded by people I love, in a place that I like.

I’m still not sure where this relationship is going. Like most, it has had it's ups and downs, and the future is always unclear. But right now, I feel safe where I am.



This post is part of multiple essays from Mid-Atlantic beer bloggers focusing on how we feel blogging has impacted our relationship with beer. Make sure to check out these posts, too:


Douglas from Baltimore Bistros & Beer: Beer Blogging and My Relationship With Beer

Bryan from This Is Why I'm Drunk: It’s My Relationship and I Can Cry if I Want To

Oliver from Literature & Libation: Why Blog?

Liz from Naptown Pint: Which Came First? The Beer or the Blogging?