Andrew Fox follows up:
I’m curious what else you drink (beerwise) and enjoy, and what your favorite breweries are.
I actually don’t drink much — usually just a half-glass of beer or wine once or twice a week with dinner, and an occasional night out (often a Tumblr meetup).
When I go out, I usually follow a simple process when selecting a beer:
- Drafts always get priority.
- Find the ones I’ve never heard of, especially local microbrews.
- Prefer stouts and ales. Lagers are frequently cheap and awful (like cheap college beer), so they get low priority. IPAs get lowest priority because I usually don’t like them.
- For beers with novelty ingredients: Sweet fruits are usually bad. Pumpkin can go either way, but usually isn’t good. Chocolate and espresso are usually good in stouts, and I enjoy milk/cream stouts.
But since I rarely drink beer at home, and I like trying new beer when I’m out, I hardly ever buy any for here. Chimay Blue is a newly discovered exception: it’s so good that I don’t mind having it as the only beer on hand, I haven’t gotten tired of it, and it’s made to stay good for a long time. I bought my 8 bottles before Thanksgiving, gave 2 away, and still have 3.
Whenever I buy any other beer for home, even just a six-pack, it just sits in my fridge for months. The Chimay ages well, almost like wine — most beers don’t.
And given my “never heard of it” criteria for ordering beer when I’m out, I really never develop much preference or recognition for specific breweries. I actually know almost nothing about beer: I hardly even know the difference between ales, lagers, stouts, IPAs, and the other types that I’m sure I’m forgetting. I just know what words are somewhat likely to lead to something I’ll like.