Last night, we went to a holiday beer tasting at my favorite local brewpub, Mad Fox. I had the opportunity to taste beers and meet brewers from local breweries like DuClaw, Devil’s Backbone, Port City, and Hardywood.
Yes, I did tell the DuClaw brewer about my Sweet Baby Jesus cupcakes. And if you can get your hands on Hardywood’s Christmas Morning, take.it. It’s a combination of their Ginberbread Stout (which is yummy) and coffee. As the brewer said, “We named it that because it tastes like Christmas Morning.” (We also learned the story behind the name “Sweet Baby Jesus”. Apparently that’s what one of the brewers exclaimed after his first taste LOL)
Anyways, anyone who has been reading here a while knows of my love for beer. I drink it regularly. Every Friday night and most Saturday nights, I drink a beer. If I’m feeling wild and crazy, I might just have a second one. (I don’t feel wild and crazy often. Last night was an exception.)
But I’m very particular about my beer:
- It has to be craft brewed
- it must be dark and sweet (there are a few exceptions to that)
- I have to like it. (I’d rather drink water than drink a beer I don’t like. And you will never catch me with one of those light colored beers brewed by one of the big guys. Ever.)
I believe that most foods and drinks are good in moderation. And if you drink craft beer, you are pretty much guaranteed high quality ingredients. Not to mention, it’s good for you. Studies have shown that a beer or two a day can help with everything from osteoporosis to stroke reduction to providing extra vitamin B (from the hops, so hoppy beers are extra good for you LOL).
1. Run races (or do other active events) that end with a beer. I ran a super fun race at the Harpoon Brewery that ended with a beer festival. I also run the annual local St. Patrick’s Day race that ends at an Irish pub (and a Guinness). And, of course, there’s the infamous 1K Beer Walk.
2. Make it a treat. Some people like a dessert on the weekends or maybe a decadent meal. I choose beer. OK, sometimes I choose beer and chocolate. Or beer and Halloween candy. Or like last night, beer and a huge soft pretzel to soak up the beer. But you get my point.
3. Make it social. We go to a fair number of beer events, most of our friends like craft beer, and our favorite restaurant is a brew pub. (And I’ll let you in on a secret: most brew pubs have really good food. After all, not everyone is there for the beer.) This allows me to have a beer I’ll enjoy without it being the focus.
4. Make it an adventure. Try a sampler tray. With the incredible growth of the craft beer industry, there is always something new to try. With the exception of those who have an allergy to an ingredient, I’d be willing to bet there’s a beer out there for everyone. Don’t like beer? You just haven’t met *the one.*
5. Make it fun. I’ve gotten to brew beer at a local brewpub. I’ve shared a beer with the owners/headbrewers of Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium. I’ve visited more than 200 breweries/brew pubs around the US. And everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve encountered amazing people. I’ve found that craft beer lovers and runners are some of the nicest, friendliest people out there. I’ve also found that the overlap between those communities is huge (at a recent brewery meeting, one guy was wearing a Boston Marathon jacket, another had run a crazy number of Marine Corps Marathons, the wife of the owner just ran Marine Corps… )
And as a bonus: Drinking craft beer is good for the local economy. Most small breweries and brewpubs get their ingredients from local sources. They turn around and give their spent grain to local farmers for their animals. They hire local staff. They promote tourism. (You think runners like to travel? You should see how far craft beer drinkers will go.)
I will never tell anyone that they *should* drink alcohol. Everyone needs to make their own choices and some would rather indulge in a glass of wine or a really decadent dessert. I just believe that being healthy and fit does not mean you have to give up all of life’s pleasures.
I choose to drink craft beer. And I’m totally ok with that choice. Beer makes me happy and I believe in being happy. All things in moderation.