Before we get into that, I need to tell you that this is part of the August blog chain. What's a blog chain? Well, I'm glad you asked. It's when a bunch of bloggers get together and write about the same topic, that's all; just a little something to mix things up.
The topic for this month's chain is "My first time." To see what other About.com bloggers have to say about their first time, check out the links at the bottom of this post.
Now, on to the beer. The first time I drank beer was in Germany. I spent a few months living near Frankfurt when I was nineteen and I drank a whole lot of Henninger Pilsner and Paulaner wheat. When I came back to the US, I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what the world of beer had to offer. There were the fizzy German lagers, their weaker cousins, the US pale lagers, the murky Hefeweizens and dark, mysterious Guinness. That was about it, right?
Since I'd returned in '93, I'd been searching for Henninger because I'd let myself believe that it was the best beer in the world. (Years later I found a can of it at a Vietnamese restaurant in St. Louis and wondered how I ever thought that.) So, in '96 or so, when a specialty wine and beer shop opened up in the town where I was attending college, I dashed in to see if they carried Henninger. No luck. But they did have an impressive selection of beer for the time and they sold it by the bottle.
I tried some other Pilsners but none measured up to my memory of the elusive Henninger. I also picked up a bottle of Fuller's ESB. This beer was a revelation. Nothing I'd tasted before prepared me for the breadth and depth of flavor I found in that bottle. I can still remember that first glass. Suddenly, I understood that there was so much more to beer than I'd ever imagined.
I headed back to the shop and said, more like that, please. You might remember this was a great time for the growing craft beer industry in the US, although we were calling them microbrews back then. I tried everything made by Samuel Smith. Fat Tire had just arrived in Missouri and I had great fun getting lost in a six pack of that. Pete's Wicked Ale had also just arrived and that was another great beer to get to know.
These days, all of those brands seem kind of tame to me but they'll always have a place in my heart as the beers that showed me what beer could be.
More "My First Time" blog posts:
- The First Time I Had Bulgarian Rakia - Barbara Rolek, Guide to Eastern European Food
- My First Time...Taking a Class as an Adult - Deb Peterson, Guide to Continuing Education
- My First Time in a Pub - Ferne Arfin, Guide to GoUK
- My First Day of Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis - Marcia Purse, Guide to Bipolar Disorder
- My First Time - Jennifer Kyrnin, Guide to Web Design / HTML
- My First Time Recalling a Past Life - Phylameana lila Desy, Guide to Holistic Healing
- My First Time - How About Yours? - Wendy Bumgardner, Guide to Walking
- My First Date - Bonny Albo, Guide to Dating
- My First Time . . . Attending a Christmas Convention - Barbara Crews, Guide to Collectibles
- Memorable Firsts in HR - Susan M. Heathfield, Guide to Human Resources
- My First Time Visiting an Ancient Asian Historical Site - Kallie Szczepanski, Guide to Asian History
- My First Visit to Mexico - Suzanne Barbezat, Guide to Mexico Travel