My first encounter with beer was in high school, I hated it. I didn’t understand the concept behind it or why in the freaking world would anyone want to sit down and have a cold one with dinner. High school parties consisted of the cheap stuff, Natty Light and PBR. Don’t get me wrong… I have found a love and appreciation for both but at the time sippin’ on one of those was the death of me.
I got my first job at a pizza place and even though I wasn’t necessarily of age they allowed me to serve alcohol. We would get the softball leaguers and teams of parents needing drinks after stressful games.I learned how to pour the perfect beer with the perfect head. Some regulars liked their beer with a lot of foam and some not at all. This is where my love for beer came along. I specifically remember trying a Shock Top with orange slices and deciding, “okay, yep I like this.” Then I became some beer connoisseur preaching to the heavens about how good beer was.
College came along and there were times I would be drinking beer like water. Often we would get off of school, drive over to our local grocery store and to our delight 40’s would on sale for two dollars. We went through a phase of playing Edward Forty Hands while we studied. As I think about it now, what the hell were we doing?
Then Bud Light Platinums hit the scene. We realized we could all get pretty buzzed off just two or three of these. They were our go to for a long time but eventually they began to taste like watered down beer. Our palates were becoming more sophisticated…or at least I like to think so.
Again we went through phase after phase of different beers swearing up and down reasons why they were the best. Blue Moon, Stella, Kona Longboard and etc. Our house refrigerator consisted of coconut milk, spinach, a bunch of healthy stuff and always stocked up with beers. But my love and appreciation for beer wasn’t even close to peaking.
While living and working in Florida for the Walt Disney Company something miraculous happened. It happens every year and brings back thousands of guests for reunions and to get a little taste of the world without having to leave the States; The Food and Wine Festival. I knew this was something that I had always wanted to experience being a Disney fanatic but when it came time my expectations were far surpassed.
Picture a booth every 20 feet, each with varied countries and friendly cast members pouring out beer after beer paired up with delicious food. Even better are the flights of beers from different countries. It really is a sight to see. I found a new love for a grapefruit beer from Germany called Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. Go look it up, find it and try it!
I have made new friends, shared memories with old friends, and discovered new tastes from around the world. So grab a brew and a friend and enjoy today!