After a few unsuccessful attempts at cracking the beer code, I was feeling a little frustrated. Maybe there isn’t a beer out there for me, I thought. This was a strange musing to have, since I had been so seemingly hellbent on proving that I was not and would never be a beer drinker. After all, I had always despised the phrase “Beer is an acquired taste.” To me, if you tried something several times and it didn’t appeal to you, why keep it up until you developed Stockholm Syndrome?
I was aware I was being a little juvenile about the whole experience but the entire idea of a “beer culture” baffled me. I came from a background of non-drinkers. If I saw anyone drinking so much as a beer during my formative years, it was a Budweiser at a get-together or, in my later adolescent years, it was associated with others around me getting wasted and making bad judgment calls. I had never even heard of craft beer at that point or understood the complexities surrounding it. So bear with me. I may still not be crazy about domestics, but *SPOILER ALERT* I did come around to the craft beer world eventually.
So, with that in mind, it may be easier to understand why this meager thought was, in its own right, jarring. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone- he had long ago accepted my stance on beer and only asked that I accept his (which I did). I had nothing to prove to anyone, so why did it matter?
Upon mentioning this, he just laughed. I have always taken everything a little too seriously, and perhaps this was no exception. But I was also a very curious person by nature and the combination was driving me mad.
“Well, why do you like it so much?” I challenged.
The question threw him a little.
“I just do, I don’t know,” he stammered.
“That’s what everyone says. I want to know- that doesn’t make sense to me.”
It didn’t. It still doesn’t. Of every craft beer drinker I have ever spoken with, only a few have been able to give me a clear cut, thought out answer as to why beer is their craft and their passion. If you asked me, I’m not even sure I could tell you why I enjoy it now. And there’s something so wonderful about that. Passion can be like that- one day, something just sparks within you. Something clicks- something you identify with for no real reason. Sometimes, the best things are those you can’t put into words.
That’s where the challenge began to melt into a strange chase after an illusive answer-The beginning of my journey into the world of craft beer.