When you live in a city with one of the most robust craft beer scenes in the country, it’s easy to get complacent. A new brewery opened up a couple of weeks ago and my wife wanted to go, but I didn’t. Because it was on the other side of town. Roughly 2.7 miles away.
Why try new things when there are so many great things that you know you already love right in front of your face, right? Can I get an “amen”?
Of course, I’m wrong. Forget the fact that women are usually right and men are usually wrong when they’re squaring off in an argument like this (listen to your lady; that mustache does make you look like a pervert). I was wrong because it’s a great big beer world out there, getting bigger every day, and if you sit back and stop seeking out new boozy experiences that test your taste receptors, you’re gonna miss a whole lot of incredible beer.
Look at it this way: there haven’t always been 5,000 craft breweries in this country. For a long time, there were only a dozen or so decent beers out there in the wild. And, if history is any indication, this craft beer boom won’t last forever. There will come a time when you drive into a random small town, with a population of 878, and there aren’t two brewpubs occupying dueling ends of main street. It’s a scary thought, I know, but it’s true.
We’re living in the time of Peak Beer right now. It’s never going to be this good again. We owe it to ourselves to drink as much of it as we can. Forget about your liver and diabetes and your kid’s baseball game, the beer is practically vanishing beneath our noses. Carpe the day. Carpe the hell out of it.
At least, that’s what I’m telling myself now when I see a new beer on the shelf that I’m not quite sure about. Should I get the new beer? Or should I play it safe and go with the pale ale I always get? It’s a question that plagues my every trip to the store, but now, because of Peak Beer, and an ever-growing sense of mortality in general, I’m getting frisky and risky and opting for the new beer. This week, it paid off. I picked up a six pack of this IPA from Currahee Brewing, out of tiny Franklin, deep in the mountains of North Cackalacky.
I didn’t know what to expect, but I liked the can and the name, so I bought it. And the beer is, as the kids say, “sick.” It’s creamy in a way that most IPAs are not, and it has some of that classic, West Coast style bitterness that you don’t find too much of anymore. Everyone’s going for fruit juice with their IPAs these days, but this thing has as much pine as it does citrus. The old school take is refreshing, but I also dig that creamy mouthfeel—makes me wonder if they added wheat or oats to the malt bill.
Anyway, needless to say, I carped the hell out of that six pack.