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Posted February 27, 2014 by ry in blog

The Go-To Beers

I just wanted to address the notion of the go-to beer. We all have one dating back to our earliest drinking days to something we have discovered along the way.

I think most beer drinkers along the way have started out with something cheap and domestic like Budweiser, Miller, or Coors. Now these are not the most appealing beers but they are what our fathers and grandfathers drank. Looking back I think Bud Light was probably the first beer I snuck a sip of as a kid. Later in the teen years you get what you can get so the whole “beggars cannot be choosers” comes in to play and you drank whatever.

I had the benefit of going abroad for Uni to Australia when I was only 18 which lead me down an interesting path. In Australia you only have to be 18 to drink legally, where as we all know in the States you must be 21. This posed an interesting scenario for me since I was able to go out side of the box of most my pears and drink whatever my heart desired.

The godly glow of Guinness

This is where my story starts with my love of beer, Guinness. You heard me right.. that delicious thick creamy stout that never fails to satisfy your lips and tastebuds. My mate Tim (who was 17 at the time) introduced me to this ‘Nectar of the Gods’ shortly after my arrival. I remember us being in a small market type area with a pub when he asked “Ry, have you ever tried Guinness Mate?”. I sadly had not with my limited access to beer back home. So we went forth into this pub (who’s name escapes me) and I proceeded to try my first pint of Guinness. Now I will add one thing, a lot of pints served there are Imperial Pints which equals just slightly over 19 US ounces. Nineteen ounces… WOW.. a US pint is only 16 ounces. Now that last part really is neither here nor there but I just wanted to point out the amount of Guinness I was/ would be drinking.

My first sip of Guinness I recall thinking “this is fantastic, it is so smooth and delicious ” and this stuck with me through out my time in Oz. I will say at this point in my drinking history a solid imperial pint did me well. Over the next few months I drank more and more Guinness, never able to get enough. On St. Patricks day that year we spent most of the day at a local Irish Pub in Adelaide located in South Australia. I remember early in the day we spent hours drinking Guinness and playing pool, 15 games in a row I believe we won over about 15 Guinness each (this may be embellished slightly). At this point there was no arguing that Guinness was my beer of choice. Now I had many other beers while I was there (fosters was not one) including Coopers and their many styles. Coopers ESB and Best Extra Stout are still some of my go-to beers to this day in fact.

After coming back to the the States and waiting a few years before turning 21 I was able to get some Guinness now again when I was able. Soon after I stumbled upon Samuel Adams Boston Lager (my second go-to beer)  which lead  to my introduction into the craft beer world. Soon after that I came upon another craft beer Sierra Nevada Pale which with Boston Lager became my third go-to beer. From here on the rest is history honestly, those last two were my introduction to craft beer and the hoppier side of beer which I loved from the first sip. Now a days I still go to those beers as well as Bell’s Two Hearted Ale whenever in doubt. I found these beers to be very important in my craft beer endeavours over the years because no matter how far I go or how crazy the beer gets I can always come home to them.

My question to you is, what are your go-to beers? What do you tend to navigate towards when there is nothing new or exciting at a bar or pub?