How do you not get overloaded about beer. Where do you start? There’s nothing worse than having paid €6 or more for a pint of craft beer in a pub, only to know you can’t stand it after one taste and then you’re stuck with 468ml of a reminder of how you just wasted your money.
That’s the first place to start at, don’t buy a pint. They’re outdated and unnecessary: only work for bland beers which you can slug back without too much thought. Beer, like food, should make you ponder: reflect and discover. It should evoke emotion, feelings, memories, allow you crystalise a moment. You’re flavour receptors have great memory. Can you top off a special evening: a dinner with your family, at a concert or on top of a mountain that you just climbed with a taste that will allow you be transported back to that moment with just a smell and a sip 6 years later when on the couch at home.
Get a glass of beer and sip it slowly. In Finland (where else says you!, sometimes I wonder is Finland a real place or is it just another Narnia. All I hear: well in Finland they do this, in Finland they do that. There is no reason why Ireland should not hold that status. We have the potential to be THE greatest producers of food and drink. By great: I mean quality, pioneering and not quantity!) Anyhow, as I was saying. In Finland they make school kids taste ingredients one by one. Fruits, vegetables, oils, etc etc. One by one. You take out each of these ingredients and understand them: then when you taste a meal you are more likely to go looking or reflect on those flavours. And so… you eat more slowly. And so obesity levels go down.
Then, how is this any different in Ireland. People think I’m mad that we should do beer tasting courses with our school students. Get them tasting beers and understanding them. When they appreciate the flavours within they won’t have the appetite to drink 8 cans of tasteless (and faceless) lager. It makes simple sense and works. Drink your beer slowly and engage with it. Fuck the publican who wants you to drink 8 pints in three hours. They can make money with the better margins, a bit of food to pair with and a million other ideas. Just be inventive.
On that note: I wouldn’t drink single hop beers too often but I would recommend them to newer drinkers. It’s a fantastic way to learn which hops you like. Cascasde, citra, mosaic etc. Then you recognise what each hop offers. So after this training you then see an IPA with three hops and you know that you like two of them. You go have fun looking for those flavours in the beer and have a better chance of knowing that this beer is going to work for you. Simply put: when you see a single hop beer, if you don’t know what that hop tastes like. Then get one bottle of it and learn from it.
Try getting three single hop beers and then fourth beer that has those three hops in it. Now you’re sucking diesel and having fun from a 33cl glass.