First off, big thanks to Daddy Porter (who I met out in San Diego in February at the Dad 2.0 Summit) for giving me the opportunity to put out a post or two on his website.
I’m an at-home dad and just finished putting my three boys (6, 3, 1) to sleep, the wife is out at a surprise sleepover party one of her co-workers and I planned, an MLB whiparound is on since the local game is in a delay because of the torrential rains here in New England, and I just cracked open a crispy can of Black Hog Brewing Co. Granola Brown Ale, one of my favorite beers.
Despite the rapidly expanding craft beer scene here in Connecticut and despite the fact that I’ve worked a few nights a week at a package store (liquor store) for the past several months (with an immense craft beer selection might I add), I still consider myself a beer philistine. I try to drink local when I can, but just because a beer is brewed close to home doesn’t mean it’s good. I don’t know who is owned by who and don’t get into the politics or evil-doings of the beer industry. I was primarily an Amstel Light drinker in college since a few of my baseball teammates/friends were bartenders at the local dive bar. But at this point, I try to drink my beer from independently owned breweries.
I like what I like and hate, hate, HATE when beer geeks (?) tell me I “need to try” this or that beer. I’ll try what I want, when I want, if I want – I’m a 36-year-old, grown-ass man, so don’t tell me what to do. While I do creep out of my comfort zone to try beer styles I’m not necessarily fond of, it’s on my terms. The breakage at the store lends a hand as well.
I’ve worked at this store for a few months and literally three days ago found out what the hell IBU meant, so it all makes sense now why I’m not a fan of beers with IBUs of 60+. I know IBUs aren’t the be-all end-all for how hoppy or bitter a beer will taste, but it’s a pretty good measure. This Granola Brown Ale, for example, has an IBU of 18 and ABV of 5.7% – and it’s like $10 for a 6-pack.
We’re a modest, single-income family – it’s not in the budget to spend a lot on beer. $16 for a 4-pack of Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine? Pass. $6 for a can of Singlecut’s *insert name*? Nope. A 6-pack of Black Hog Granola Brown for $10? You bet. What about a 12-pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Sam Adams Summer Ale? Absolutely.
So, what does this beer nitwit enjoy?
Sours. I likely would’ve never tried this style had I not picked up this job. Fortunately, there are two CT breweries (Two Roads Brewing Co. and Kent Falls Brewing Co.) that out some bomb ass sours and goses that I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve got Kent Falls’ Prickly Pear gose, Alternate World dry-hopped gose, Rogue’s Paradise Pucker, and my favorite sour of the summer despite catching flack from plenty, most with a higher beer IQ than me, Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale.
Fruit beers. Two Roads makes a Road Jam Raspberry Wheat that’s pretty solid, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is a staple, Wachusett Brewing Co.’s Blueberry Ale is great as far as I’m concerned.
Summer Ale/Wheat Ale. Not sure if they’re somehow intertwined of now, but that’s irrelevant. Black Hog does a SWAG that served as my initiation into their cult and it’s a go-to on the hot days at my parents’ lake house. Sam Adams’ Summer Ale is great, 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon, Brooklyn Summer Ale, Allagash White. The list is long on this one.
Session IPAs. Connecticut’s Thimble Island Brewing Co. makes a Session 45 IPA that I enjoy and you can never go wrong with Founders’ All Day IPA.
New England IPAs. I enjoy New England IPAs a bit more than their West Coast counterparts. They’re way juicier (?) and just easier on my palate.
Stouts. Particularly coffee stouts, because what’s better than coffee and beer?! Plus, with three kids running wild, it’s still drinkable after an hour of forgetting about it because of a million other things going on.
Cheap beer. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Narragansett are the two cheap beers I’m not ashamed to admit I drink.
Enough about me – What’s your favorite style of beer? What’s your favorite cheap-ish beer?
(Sorry, I think I went off on a tangent and have plenty of other opinions on beer-related stuff – judging people who look like they’re a beer geek as they walk in the door of the package store, appeasing people who go goo-goo over certain breweries, how I learn about different/new beers.)
You can also find Ryan talking fatherhood on his blog: Home-Field Dad