This month the Session, the monthly beer blog where beer bloggers around the world blog on the same topic on the first Friday of the month, is hosted by Boak and Bailey. The topic is when did you see the light and become a beer lover?
For me I can date it to Early April 1999, which would be just after my 41st birthday. It was my first Cubs opener (being a White Sox fan I usually avoided Cubs games unless it was deep in the Summer). Now the light didn't come to me at the game, at that time beer still sucked at Cubs games, even today it's hard to find a decent micro there, but back then 'twas impossible. No, the light came to me because this was a group outing organized by my new friend Ed McDevitt (discussed his background with him during the April Session here). It was hosted at Goose Island Clybourn, this month celebrating their 20th anniversary, and sad to say maybe it's last.
The Goose group included about 30 men (maybe a gal or two, more recently there have been many more, nice to see), with a lunch and as many beers as you wanted before the bus took us to the game, plus growlers on the bus! Now I tried several of their brews I had never had before, and realized how crappy the stuff I'd been drinking was. The Honkers Ale with beautiful English malt and a nice hoppiness was very new and exciting to me. I knew my favorite Black & Tan would now be my bottom feeder. It also hit me that I had spent 41 years drinking crappy beer, had turned to wine as a result, and now had to make up time with my new favorites, and formed my new moto, "There is too little time left to drink anything but great beer!". By little, I was surely hoping for another 40+ or so.
Anyway this gives me additional sadness about the Goose possibly closing, but thankfully I have discovered in the meantime that many good makers now exist, if only in the immediate Great Lakes area, not to mention else where in the US, and whoa don't forget the whole world discovery that awaits you in Belgian! Gotta love it. And I hope to become a home brewer soon....