It’s easy to geek out about beers, or to go chasing the latest releases, the limited editions, the super fresh, the newly imported, the hyped up. It’s easy to get distracted too, to feel like you’re missing out if you don’t get those beers; it’s the collector mentality that’s in many of us, I’m sure, but some of my most satisfying beers haven’t been any of those things, they haven’t even been ‘craft’, they were just beers. Beers that fit a moment, like the smell of freshly cut grass, the prickly heat of a midsummer’s evening and the refreshment of a little, cold, stubby French beer with Dad.
The family order at pubs when growing up; a pint of bitter for Dad, colas for me and my brother and half a bitter shandy for Mum.
The smooth bitterness of a can of Boddington’s not so stealthily pinched by my school friend from her dad’s stash at a family party.
The cans of warm Carling and pints of Tuborg at Reading festival, tainted by the waft from chemical toilets but washed down with a soundtrack second to none.
The bottle of Hobgoblin, a part of my first foray into ale, on an easy Saturday afternoon, sun streaming in and Belleville Rendezvous on the telly.
The cheap yet cold cans of San Miguel and Estrella countering the heat bouncing throughout the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca.
The beers that have lived with me. The unassuming beers, the day-to-day beers, the beers that have stealthily snuck up on me. I wasn’t expecting these beers to wind themselves into my nostalgia trips and yet here they are as some of my most memorable beer moments, just ordinary beers on ordinary days. These beers aren’t ‘celebrities’, they weren’t events, they won’t get social media in a hype spin anytime soon but that’s kind of the point. Don’t get me wrong, I love a ‘fancy’ beer, I love the artisan/craft/small batch stuff, especially the quality beers coming out of the UK right now, better yet the brews happening across Sussex right now, but it’s good to remember from time to time that sometimes beer needn’t be anything more than just a beer, with or without friends, over time it’s the little moments that count.