On the Joys of Beerhunting

Written by Tom Becham for Professor Goodales

Courtesy pencilandspoon.com

There is really no definition of the word “beerhunting” (other than a truly lame one on Urban Dictionary).  Nor is there one of “beerhunter”, though renowned beer author Michael Jackson was known by that name.

I choose to define beerhunting as the pursuit of new, different, unique and tasty fermented grain beverages.
Simply ticking names off of a list is hardly the point of beerhunting, and misses a lot of the allure of it for me.  To me, it is about the pursuit of knowledge and hedonistic enjoyment.
This includes seeking and purchasing many different kinds of bottled offerings, to be sure.  But the best and most enjoyable feature of beerhunting, is going to brewery tasting rooms and brewpubs.
I have a couple of reasons for feeling this way. First, it is an old aphorism that beer is best when consumed fresh and near the brewery.  Setting aside for a moment the exceptions like bottle-conditioned and deliberately aged offerings, that statement is largely true.

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From the Bottle Collection: 5 Days Before Christmas Beer

One Bottle Collection beer for every day before Christmas. Rating system: not actually meant as a “tense” comment. All these beers either don’t exist anymore, or I tasted in the past. Hopefully, if not so hot before, they’re better now. If they do still exist. Or hopefully, if not better they’re as dead as the… Dickens.

Note: the ghosts have varied a bit over the various versions, but even Mr. Magoo’s version the Future was bleak. In the pictures chosen for this series the most visually pleasing ghost was Present.

Ghost of Christmas Present… remember him? Jolly, fun: the kind of guy you’d invite to a party for the season, and the kind of beer you could bring to a festive affair and not be totally laughed out of the room by festive beer geeks. That’s the best a beer gets in this series. Now Ghost of Christmas Past isn’t a great award. You can see from the picture he can be a bit of a grump. Probably from mediocre’ beer. And best not bring a Ghost of Christmas Past Beer to a beer geek festive affair. You’ll be the limp wet noodle of the party. A Ghost of Christmas Future beer? You remember that guy, right? If you want to be laughed at, have to bring most of your offering home and feel like you’ve just attended your own funeral instead of a party, bring a Ghost of Christmas Future beer. Some Ghost of Future Beer might best serve as embalming fluid.

Written by Ken Carman

Anderson Valley Seasonal Solstice

I hate to slightly disappoint those who might expect me to be more positive regarding a craft beer early in the rise of craft to counter the even bigger dominance of AB and Miller back then, especially one trying to do a Winter seasonals few did, but I don’t remember this one in the slightest. If I hated it; I’d remember. If I loved it; I’d remember. Solution: a rather bland, unremarkable, past attempt by one of the early craft brewers.

Yes, you have to give them just an ounce of credit for doing so, but that early in craft beer I would have gone nuts over this. I didn’t. I haven’t seen this bugger for a while. Of course I haven’t looked for it. Maybe they still make it. I have read that the brewery has installed all kinds of solar array stuff and they recycle labels. The owners have changed too. One hopes the beer has gotten more impressive than this was.

So one rather bland Ghost of Christmas Past award it tis..

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.