It’s been a boring day, no work, so I was looking for something to occupy my websurfing. What better topic than beer? That, combined with my morning job search, led to a posting on Craigslist for a “Beer Guru.” I love beer, but I’m partial to what I like – and don’t have the time & money that I’d love to put to use drinking (learning) more about it. But if I could parlay what I know into a job; well, fuck it, why not?
Turns out the job is up in Green Bay, and they mention a couple of certification programs as a plus for getting this job. Specifically, Cicerone and BJCP. For shits & giggles, I searched out to see what the fuck they were talking about. Turns out:
THEY HAVE “BEER COLLEGE”!
Those two websites are certification programs to becoming a beer judge, taking beer snobdom to a whole new level. There are actual courses, a syllabus, and levels of certification which will get you probably one of the most cool fucking jobs out there. Another less expensive, less intense option I found that may be an option in the future is Craftbeeru.com.
Wish I knew this stuff 10 years ago. All that time I wasted in my current job, when I could be drinking for a living. Son of a bitch!
Have a beer. I don’t care which one. I guess that’s the easy part.
Where should I drink said beer? Ok, everyone’s got their favorite. Maybe it’s a dive bar. Maybe it’s a place right around the corner. Maybe even a beer-snob bar. Or perhaps it’s the dreaded sports bar. Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue states, “People who have no idea how to run a bar open sports bars.” And for the most part, it’s true. Clueless owners, shitty service, bar managers who become attention whores by using a microphone, sirens, bells, yeah, you get the picture. That’s why sports bars fail more often than any other type of bar. They go out to attract one type of crowd, fail at keeping them, then go after another. Usually what they end up with are frat-boys and similar douchebags. The regulars that supported them stop going.
Notice I didn’t mention the “club.” Clubs are the lowest of the low. Sometimes a bar starts out as a club, some just end up that way. While I am not a fan of hip-hop, I understand why these places have to exist. If they didn’t, these people would make their way into other bars. It’s kind of like knocking down a building infested with roaches – all they do is scatter. Sports bars in their dying days usually become clubs. They’re easy to spot; if you see a DJ more than one night a week, if you see mostly mixed drinks in the hands of the patrons, if the prices spike because they need to hire security… yeah, it’s time to find a new place to hang out.
All of this typing has made me thirsty. I need a beer.
Grab a beer; I just did.
So, where should I begin? Since I’m going to post about beer, and hopefully better beer, I may as well do some research. I began with the “Top 250 beers in the world” from Beer Advocate, as well as the 50 best from RateBeer. Turns out, they agree on most of their choices. Still, many of these beer either require a trip to Europe or to other parts of the country. Great idea for a bucket list, but not in my state of finances. Besides, 74 of them are IPA’s – fuck that shit. So I’ll keep the list in mind, but there’s so much more to explore.
I’ve got quite a collection of local stuff that I enjoy. I like to keep my business local whenever possible anyway. That said, I’m out to explore, and there’s a lot of things to try right in my own backyard. A simple check on a craft beer website shows over 40 places within a comfortable drive of home. I will share things from time to time on places around here that are worth a visit. Inevitably, I’ll come across one that is absolutely terrible as well. I think either way you should know this shit. Saves a bunch of time, money, and hassle. Bartenders, too, good or bad. I may need a designated driver for this part. Yeah, ok, let’s try someone who can drive with a little less buzz than mine. Any takers?
On to the next beer. Just opened one off the list; Southern Tier Choklat. It only comes in bomber bottles and runs $7.49 at Woodman’s. It’s also 10% alcohol, so it shouldn’t take long to get a buzz. So far it’s pretty damn tasty. Speaking of which, I will mention my best & worst so far.
Best: Brew Dog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin. An 11 on my scale. Yes, mine goes to 11. It’s also 32% alcohol, and it’ll fuck you up quick.
Worst: I said I hate IPA’s. But I was given a beer a couple weeks ago because this clueless bartender (yeah, it was a sports bar – go figure) said, “Hey, you like exotic beer, try this.” In his mind, anything beyond the realm of Bud, Miller, and Coors was exotic. I was kind of surprised that he knew the word exotic. Anyway, it was Black Top from New Glarus. The best way I can describe it is take a Budweiser, pour it into a really dirty ashtray, let it sit overnight, then drink it. Yeah, I just gagged a bit thinking about it.
All for now. Next time, fun with alcohol and explosives.