I like to project a clean cut image. Don’t we all? I have worked on myself by cutting my hair, engaging in personal development and taking on some responsibilities where the goals I wish to achieve and projects are plausible. To use the phrase from the Bing Cosby / Andrew Sisters song, “You have to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch onto the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.” In other words, play up the positive and play down the negative. A vice, though not necessarily a bad thing, can have the perception of not being good. And, I am not referring to an addiction. The difference is that an addiction is all-consuming and has a physical dependency, while a vice, sometimes categorized as immoral (value judgment), is something we can enjoy.
I like beer. There, I said it. I do not mean give me a 12-pack of ice cold Bud and I am tickled pink. I mean tasting and trying different beers. About 27 years ago, I was happy with Bud. Then I changed jobs and was introduced to a beer-tasting club by a guy the club referred to as Ace. Not the name I called him, but his nickname serves my story and protects the innocent. We would meet every other month and different distributors would bring in the beers they were handling, discuss the flavors, processes and, yes, sample the beverages. During this time, I was introduced to Anchor Steam, Corsendonk (one of my all time favorites), Rogue (I won a gift set in a raffle), Thomas Hardy’s Ale (I have an anniversary gift pack) and Samichlaus (brewed once a year and at the time the strongest beer). I never looked back. I was into Microbrews before craft beers became the rage. Moreover, I paid it forward. I had a beer tasting at my parents house the night before my wedding. I brought my Dad to a beer-tasting event and my brothers. I have introduced people to “better” beers, who have in turn introduced others. Wine tastings were always a thing. I am happy to see beer finally reaching that status.
“Wayne, why would you share this now?” This is a fun part of me that I felt like sharing (like everything else in my life), a hobby that I have enjoyed for years. You do not have to drink beer only to get drunk, my friends. Like wine, beer can compliment food; lighter beer for seafood, heavier (i.e., stout) for meat. Some beers taste better where it is closer to the breweries, like Guinness – much tastier in Ireland. For those of you who now think that I am nuts, next time you go out and are looking for the same old beer, try a beer flight, which is a fancy name for a sampler. You might find out that there are some tasty beverages out there.