My husband is a bit of a beer connoisseur - a sommelier of beers if you will.
Yes, he likes beer (as do most men) but he also knows a lot about it. He understands the brewing process, he knows what hops are and he can guide you through IPA's, pilsners and ales like no one else I know. He's tasted hundreds (I'm not exaggerating) of beers from all around the world and if you've ever spent time with him in a beer store, you know he'll spend hours perusing the shelves.
Joe will always forgo the run of the mill beers for a craft brewer and he generally believes that Budweiser, Coors, Kokanee, Canadian, Heineken and other's alike have misguided the general public into thinking that they brew good beer. I appreciate this as I feel the same about music, books, movies and generally most things in life. (Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good!) Unfortunately, we didn't get a lot of option in Gabon and while we certainly had our fair share of Castel, Heineken & Corona, we always look forward to getting out and tasting something different.
Joe's lifelong dream is to become a brewmaster - to start his own brewery à la "Steamwhistle" or "Dogfish Head." In the meantime, he perfects his knowledge by visiting breweries and sampling beer.
This week, while in Aberdeen, we visited the Brewdog Pub and I'm pretty sure Joe fell in love. They had him from the minute he read the 'Beer School' pamphlet on the table and he was fairly certain that they must have stolen his entire beer philosophy.
"For how much beer we actually drink it is condemningly ironic how little we actually know about it. Constrained by lack of choice. Seduced by industrial brewers' huge advertising budgets. Brain washed by vindictive lies perpetrated with the veracity of pseudo propaganda. You can't help but be sucked down the fizzy yellow tasteless industrial lager rabbit hole.
There are plenty of bland beers made for people who don't care; dispassionate beer drinkers with no understanding, affinity or respect for what is in their glass. It could really be anything, made my anyone, anywhere. In fact, it probably is.
Maybe you want to define yourself with the lowest common denominator beer. We won't have any part of it."
Yes, Joe was smitten. And when he went to order and realised they had 6 IPA's on tap, the deal was sealed and I was pushed aside for an afternoon of sampling. In addition to the myriad of beers on tap, there were their own bottled beers and dozens of imports of all different varieties. I wondered if I'd ever get the man out of there.
It's safe to say that we will be visiting Brewdog every single time we come to Aberdeen all in the name of Joe's next profession.