I’ll admit it, and I bet there’s a bunch of others that will say the same thing, that my first beer was Budweiser. The “King of Beers” wasn’t one sip and it was instant love, it was an acquired taste over a period of time. I can say the same thing for coffee. I would load coffee up with sugar and cream to hide the flavor but still get the caffeine. Over time my palate matured and it was time to move on. Way back then, “moving on” meant going for the European beers. You were drinking sophistication when you had a Lowenbrau or a Heineken and you snubbed your nose at the American beers. There was a period of “self-prohibition” for beer until I discovered Icehouse. That was my after-softball thirst quencher for a few years. When I went to New York, a friend took me to a sport bar and I ordered an Icehouse. “What’s that?”. The place didn’t have it and never heard of it. The beer had commercials on TV, how could you have not heard of it? That was my first lesson in beer distribution.
A new thing called a brew pub opened by a nearby mall. I don’t recall the name and it wasn’t opened for long and I can see why. You could see the place easy enough from the highway but getting to it was ridiculous. Going in to a mall parking lot and then finding the entrance to their own parking lot probably turned off a lot of people. The place advertised their own beers and and they proudly displayed the brass tanks in a glassed-in room. I never saw anything like it and was instantly fascinated. That started the quest for craft beer.
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