This is probably a poor excuse for a post and a poor excuse for a story. But it might work as private therapy in amusing recollection.
The First Beer
I did not grow up drinking beer. In fact even after getting married I was privy to more wine and rum based drinks then I was beer.
I didn't have my "first beer" until I turned 21. In recollection I now it was a brown ale. My mind is probably playing tricks on me though. I'm fairly confident it wasn't a Newcastle.
I am also not convinced it was Sierra Nevada simply because the label doesn't strike a cord. Either way, I've come to the conclusion that I'll keep saying it was Newcastle and I'll move right along.
Brown Ale was not a good introduction for a first time beer drinker. The stuff was disgusting. Funny enough, after a solid 9-10 months of not drinking during two semesters of seminary, my first drink "back" was a large Newcastle. It was delicious. Apparently somewhere my taste buds evolved.
You can't travel without taking in local food. And local food includes local drink. Early in my married life we traveled to Spain, I think we consumed wine more than anything else. But then we went to England. Despite drinking beer almost never, I was hardly going to pass up the Pubs in England.
I was introduced to Guinness, Bass, Sam Smith and Strongbow (not really beer). And that was only the first pub trip! Needless to say, of that original experience Guinness and Strongbow won out.
Coming back home to Texas began the introduction to Mexican beers. Having family with many ties to Mexico made drinking Dos Equis, Corona and Tecate a regular affair. Wine drinking during American Idol was the standard but beer for family dinners was expected. Though not as enjoyable, this was important in my learning to try different beers.
Then was our impromptu trip to Scotland. There had been a significant amount of liquor in my cabinet by this time. Multiple flavors of vodka, different types of rum and a couple good whiskies. Scotland changed a lot of things.
On the flight over we had planned layover in Amsterdam. Knowing the local beer to be Heineken I had two on the plane. They were okay out of the can but the local drafts were outstanding. It still is a guilty pleasure of mine. But in Scotland the competition was on. My taste buds were being fought over by Scotch, Strongbow and Scotland's own Belhaven (still a top 5 for me).
A Continuing Experience
Though hard ciders and Guinness had ruled the day for quite awhile, it was now nearing the end of that period. More and more my trips to places like the Flying Saucer included trying out new beers. More and more my trips to the store included picking up a six-pack that I had not had before.
Samuel Adams (in all varieties) became my favorite brewery pretty quickly. This period of time once again stunted my growth. The differing brews for differing seasons took hold and I was perfectly satisfied with drinking Samuel Adams 9 times out of 10. But things changed.
Pub experiences with Blue Moon and New Castle spread my tastes out. Slow introduction to other craft beers (at the time for me "pricey") made it impossible for me to be dedicated to one single brewery. But one brewery did in fact get very close.
Right now it is consistent that any beer from Deschutes will do. I'm slowly getting past this stunt in my growth. Now its on to more consistent consumption of local brews. Even that I'm sure will have to come to an end for my taste buds to evolve.