What is your best/favourite beer? This is a question that I am often asked.
I’ve had over 650 different beers, 230 + of them from Australia, and the rest from many many countries around the world. If you’re really interested a fairly complete list can be found here.
My beer journey started like many others. I was young, I didn’t know any better, and I drank that tripe that pours out of CUB.
Not only did I drink that shit, I was also one of those people that would bag anything that wasn’t my “beloved” VB. That other “premium” crap like Boags, just didn’t cut it…
Anyway a good mate of mine got me to try something different. I believe it may have been a James Squire Amber Ale and from there my journey started.
So what has all of this got to do with my favourite beer?
Well? I don’t have one. I would struggle to name a top 10.
Why is that? Well I believe that beer really is a journey, what was once your “favourite” soon gets replaced by something newer and exciting.
Anyone that reads any of the crap I sprout on twitter, facebook or anywhere else knows that I rate Mornington Peninsula’s IPA the best Australian IPA. And that I would happily drown in a vat full of of their Imperial IPA. And if I had to absolutely name one. That would be my current favourite.
But tastes change so rapidly.
I remember my first visit to Red Hill Brewery. The girlfriend and I showed up, and the lovely bar staff asked us if we had been there before. We hadn’t, so they gave us a sample of all the current beers they had on tap. One of those beers was Temptation. At the time I was going through my Belgian Phase, and ballsy Golden Ales were my drink of choice.
My god! It was a sensational drop. Possibly felt the same way I did about that as I do now about the imperial! Loved it!
I had it again recently, thought it was pretty ho hum. Is this any indication that Red Hill have gone bad? Hell no. The more you move through your beer journey, the more your tastes change. I love their Christmas Ale still, its a great drop and I cant wait to bung my bottle of the Hop Harvest in the fridge. And I am reaaaaaaly looking forward to trying their new Dark IPA.. Yum!
The same can be said for a lot of beers from many of the microbreweries in Australia, I didnt mean to point out Red Hill in particular, but their lovelly beers did play a part of my early beer journey and I must admit the first visit is a treasured beer memory.
Grandridge is another good example of a Brewery I loved earlier, but have moved on from.
Mountain Goat. Not a huge fan of their standard range anymore, Absolutely loved Thorny Goat and the Double Hightail. Had my first Goat when on holidays at Lorne. Was the hightail from memory. Loved it back then.
If I had to summarise the rough styles and progression through my journey it would be something like:
Mass Produced Shite –> English style Ales & Pilsners –> Belgians, Bocks and Dopple bocks –> Big malty beers –> Big IPA’s –>BIG BEER
Big, falvoursome interesting and different beers is where I am up to. I blame some of the big IPA’s that come out of the US, beers like Southern Tiers Hoppe and Unearthly.. And a lot of the Rogue Range… I blame Brewdog in particular, your beers are sensational. Big big flavours. Mikkeller etc…
But most of all, the people to blame are The Local Taphouse in StKilda. That Hop SpecTAPular sent me down the slippery slope of hop love, and there is just no going back.
How does this fit in with your personal beer journey? Do you still feel the same way about beers you had earlier? Have your tastes developed and changed over time?
Feel free to comment below, its great to know peoples impression on the Beer Journey :)