Well it has been some time since I have been able to get a hold of a decent selection of American beers. Well, decent in the sense that they are somewhat fresh and are reasonably priced. Europe, specifically Belgium and the Netherlands have great selections of beer, including American craft beers, but the prices are reflective on the actual availability. For example; I could have bought a Dark Lord off the shelf in Europe – at HopDuvel in Ghent. It would have cost me 85€ though. Quite a bit more than what I could get it for in America after standing in line for hours with a bunch of drunken frat boys. But I could still have bought it off the shelf. Granted I did buy a few American craft beers over there. But they were beers I would never have been able to buy in the states. Let alone find.
All of this is why I am excited, albeit in a bittersweet tone, to be back to the land of the craft beer explosion. There is no end in sight for hoppy beers. Over the top experimentation is also an exciting aspect for craft brewers in the states. And for the people who enjoy drinking them. But I am most excited about the hops. It’s hard to find a hoppy beer in Germany. Save for Fritz Ale! and Hopfenstopfer. But those are anomalies. Hopefully, and I’m hearing it is actually in motion, young Germans begin to embrace craft made beer and start to appreciate flavor.
I’ve taken my enthusiasm a bit overboard the last month that I’ve been in the states. I’ve had over 120 different beers in the last four weeks. Some of them not so good, some of them my wife’s – which I taste and promptly hand back to her. I’ve rated each of them as I have been doing the past four years. Not to accumulate a tally of the most beers drunk in the world – I’ll never reach that apex. But more for the benefit of me knowing, via written confirmation, which beers I actually enjoy and would drink again.
One of those beers that I have actually enjoyed, via a trade whilst in Germany, is Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Hoppy, smooth, some malt in the back. An all-around good IPA. I’m actually on my fourth one right now. Might sneak another one in before I start eating this Chicken Tagine. If not, I’ll definitely enjoy it with the Moroccan dish. As much as I miss, and will miss, Europe it’s good to be back in the land of great beer. Catch up world, don’t let us cultural inepts leave you behind in what you created.
Sorry for the crappy picture. My mono-, and tripod are in transit from Europe. Also, sorry for being late to the party Brian. Won’t happen again. And prepare for hyperdrive on the articles- I hope. (still in the process of closing on a house)
Bonus: If you can tell me what’s on the paper beside the beer, there will be a surprise. *cough*Westvleteren 12*cough*