Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Fridge Full of Beer

"Beer that is not drunk has missed it's vocation."--Meyer Breslau, 1880

I have a drinking problem. Alright, it is not so much a drinking problem as it is a collection problem. I am addicted to buying beer. I cannot go into a beer store without leaving with a variety of beer. Sadly, the beer doesn't even have to be new to me or my taste buds, I can walk out with just as many "old friends" as new ones. That is my problem.

What is even worse is that I do not even get to drink these beers. They are becoming stockpiled in my spare fridge. This is the fridge that cannot fit food due to the beer bottles lined up throughout. The very same fridge I talked my wife into purchasing because it would be great to have extra food space, especially around the holidays.

My problem was not really a problem until a year or two ago. I used to go to the beer store, find the beer I wanted and then bring it home and drink it. No problem. My problem started to surface when my home pub was built and three beers were placed on tap (Guinness, a home brew and a micro-seasonal). Now, I lean towards drinking beer from my taps. Prior to installing the pub, I had told my wife we would save money once the kegs were set-up because we would not have to purchase "bottles" of beer anymore. That is when I realized I was addicted to buying beer. I rationalized in my mind purchasing bottles of beer for the times when my wife and I would go out to eat. I figured we would only go to BYOB places, this way I was guaranteed good beer. I also knew that I needed a constant variety of beers to review and critique for my "Beer Hobby." Well, it turns out, since we had our baby girl, we don't actually get out a lot. We are home so much, the other day, my 2 year old daughter asked me if I wanted to have a beer with our dinner. Sad, but true.

The other part of my problem is that when I see a beer I like, I just don't buy one bottle, I buy two. So, even if I drink one, the other is becoming part of the stockpile. At this point and time I have a veritable smorgasbored of beer, not only in my spare fridge, but also in the area of my house I use as a "celler" to age my high alcohol beers. What can I do?

Each year I have a beer party at my house where all the guests are required to bring a different style of beer. We then taste all the different styles and drink our favorites. This year, I am telling the guests not to bring beer. We are going to have an intervention. We will drink all of my beer. I will not be guilty of contributing to the beer that has missed it's vocation.

The Beers

90 Minute IPA: Dogfish head outdid itself and thanks to Wayne at my Beer store, I have a keg of it in my home pub. This is an incredible beer. Buy it in the bottle, have it on tap. Just drink it. Doc's Place in Somers Point, NJ has it coming out of the faucet. This is a sipping beer. To be enjoyed and relished.

Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A: He'Brew the Chosen Beer, from New York. The label is enough to make you purchase this beer. Hilarious. A double IPA that clocks in at 10% alcohol. A hop lovers delight. Great beer.

Below Decks: Heavy Sea's Beer from Clipper City Brewery in Baltimore produced a fine Barleywine Style ale. This is a drinkable barleywine. A session barleywine if there could be such a thing. Great taste and moderate alcohol content allows you to enjoy more than a few of these beers.

15th Anniversary India Pale Ale from Otter Creek: Talk about a beer that you can enjoy more than one of. It is a shame this is an anniverary beer. Stock up now, so that you will have a few to last until their 20th anniversary. Sweet, malty smell let's you know that alcohol is an ingrediant. Nice hop bite, even better hop kickback. A delicious beer worthy of celebrating anyone's anniversary.