People always ask me the same question; “how did you get into craft beer.” Really it’s the same question most of us have been asked time and time again. People can’t fathom why we wait on lines for hours, go on road trips simply for the purpose of bringing home “the haul,” meet for bottles shares, write reviews, or package boxes to trade across the country all while complaining about problems with shipping companies while covering our apts/homes in bubble wrap and empty boxes. To be honest, even when I think about the right answer, I can’t tap into one specific thing myself. Maybe this is our modern day “baseball card collection,” just this collection is a little more social, and gets you a little bit drunk.
I was the same as most college kids, my beer choices included a steady rotation of Molson, Keystone light, Natty, PBR, and Silver Bullets, however in my junior year that began to change. I went to college in Michigan, one of the bigger beer states in the country, and in Ann Arbor there were several options to grab a pint of something non-macro.
For everyone whose been in this group of craft beer enthusiasts, we have all had that one “gateway beer.” For me, that was Bell’s Hopslam. I can remember to this day that first time I stepped inside of Ashley’s on State Street in Ann Arbor and ordered my first Hopslam. I was there with my buddies Berman and Matt, as we all gave Hopslam a go, and it was nothing but magical. The beer was the perfect balance of bitter and sweetness with a rush of honey and that hoppy bite on the back-end. It was my wake-up to the craft beer world.
Fast forward seven years and beer has become one of the bigger parts of my life. Don’t be quick to judge, there are obviously more important things in my life, but beer has really played an integral role. Through attending events such as bottle shares, I have been able to forge relationships with new friends that I would have never had, had it not been for our common interest in beer.
As I continue to pursue this interest, I am constantly meeting more people every week through forums such as Beer Advocate, Instagram, Bottle Shares, Untappd, and Talk Beer. What starts as a simple trade or sharing a beer at an event, has led to countless discussions between new friends not only about beer, but about other common interests.
As I continue to further develop my interest in the craft beer world, I look forward to the many experiences I know I will have and all the amazing people I will meet along the way!