Photo-staring isn’t a pastime I make a habit of but I’ve been looking at this photo more than usual. I keep going back to it. It’s not an out of the ordinary picture, it was taken by my husband, whilst sitting in the bar above the Bruges Beer Museum. That’s me and my brother in the foreground, my parents at the back. Why do I like this photo? Because that’s me and my brother chatting about beer. Drinking beer. Discussing Untappd check-ins. All after strolling around a museum dedicated to the stuff.
We grew up sharing similar interests over the years; yo-yo’s and Pokemon when we were kids, alt rock and heavy metal when we hit our teens, and just recently beer has become a new shared hobby. I’ve been drinking beer for the past ten years or so, a keen yet casual imbiber of trad real ales for many of those years but latterly, within the past two years or so, my tastes have changed, the beer world has opened up and I’ve been lost down the rabbit hole of all things craft and artisan that the world beer scene has to offer. I’m dancing on the threshold of full on beer geekery. Maybe I’ve already crossed it.
But how did my brother get to this point where he’s exploring new beers, making a conscious effort to pick out the flavours described by the brews, check in on Untappd and take pictures of said beers? He’s crossed that line from casual to keen beer drinker. Is he on the path to outright beer geek too? If someone had asked me a few questions 2-3 years ago about my tastes in beer and my approach to drinking, my answers would be completely different to those I’d give today. For one, I used to think Dark Star beers were too hoppy but now I consider the likes of APA and Hophead as go-to beers. So I want to get a snapshot of the new, keen beer drinker, at the start of their journey of beer exploration, and what better way to start than with the guy that inspired this series? My brother:
Hey Jack, what’s been in your glass lately?
A wide variety at the moment! Mainly Porters due to my Flavourly subscription.
Have you got a favourite beer at the moment?
Favourite beer has to be Siren’s Soundwave IPA, could drink it all night, every night!
Would you say your approach to beer has changed recently?
For sure. Until fairly recently I used to stick to IPAs and Golden Ales. Now I’m more into Porters and other darker styles. I am definitely exploring a lot more what with the Flavourly box and trying not to buy the same beers from stores.
Is there a beer you’d say helped as a gateway to discovering new breweries/styles?
Hurst Brewery’s Winter Watchtower made me want to explore darker beers more.
Favourite beer moment?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific moment but definitely going to festivals and checking out new beers from Flavourly every month are highlights. And of course Bruges, throw that in for just trying beers I’d never have got to try like Gouden Carolus. Oh, and the Troubadour Westkust Black Imperial IPA, I need to find if there’s a way to get it over here.
Favourite beer destination?
Bison Beer in Brighton!
What’s next for you on this beer exploration?
I would like to try some Japanese beers next, I would like to see what they bring to the table.