June 1st, 2008

me with cats

Ok, so I'm 31 and I don't know beers

I skipped the whole college drinking phase. Later, I worked my way into club-life with simple mixed drinks. Within the last few years, I've discovered good wine and port and am having fun experimenting with that.

Now, I'm curious about beer. I mean, I would go into a bar and just pick something randomly, and then was surprised when it was or wasn't what I liked. But after some co-workers introduced me to Toronado's happy hour, and one had picked a beer that he didn't like, but I did... suddenly, I said, "OK, what kind of beer *is* this, and how do I learn more about the difference?"

And so, a few wikipedia hours and some inspiration from the Washington Post's March Madness idea, I have set up some categories on a spreadsheet with two beers in each and will decide the winner. I won't be continuing the fight between brackets, like the Post's version, but I might continue king-of-the-mountain style within a category if I like it, and will have a "best in show" overall winner once I'm all done. I'm more just interested in "is this a category of beer that I like" and then "which is the better beer in this category"?

I have two battles ready to go: Belgians (Chimay vs. Duvel) and Amber Ales (Fat Tire vs. Drakes Expedition)... The ambers should be fun, since I already know I like Fat Tire, so now the question is: are ambers generically that tasty, and are there better ones out there?

Other categories planned so far are Brown Ales, IPAs, Wheats, Fruits (I'm a girl, I'm allowed), Lagers (not sure how much I want to delve into this one yet, because it includes the pilsners), and Light beers. Also, I'm going to have a lot of 6-pack orphans leftover, so uhm, come on over sometime.

I am also interested in doing as much as I can before September, so that I may compare my results with the regional Wisconsin beers on my annual visit. Oh yes, the fight is on.