Session # 46

by Sean on December 3, 2010

Mike Lynch of Burgers and Brews has announced the topic for The Session #46: “An Unexpected Discovery.” He writes:

I recently drove out to Colorado for a concert, and realized this was a perfect opportunity to stop at as many “beer destinations” as I could. I researched, plotted routes, looked at maps, and generally planned the entire trip around beer. What I was surprised to find was that despite all the amazing stops I planned, one of the best beer experiences of the trip was completely accidental. I found great beer in the last place I thought to look for it.

Has this happened to you? Maybe you stumbled upon a no-name brewpub somewhere and found the perfect pale ale. Maybe, buried in the back of your local beer store, you found a dusty bottle of rare barleywine. Perhaps a friend turned you on to a beer that changed your mind about a brewery or a style. Write about a beer experience that took you by surprise.

Well, there was the time in 1995 when we stopped at the Cat’s Paw Casino in Bozeman, Montana. Maybe I’ll write about that Dec. 3.

You would think that with a blog called Beer Search Party that I would be discovering all kinds of craft beer surprises or accidentally finding that stunning brewery that only the locals know about.

I would pose two reasons why that doesn’t happen to me. One is that I check out a lot of different beer blogs, I subscribe to (at last count) three beer magazines and I attend my share of beery events. So, breaking news rarely gets by me for too long before I hear about it. Second, like our gracious session host, I enjoy the planning stage. Especially when craft beer is on the agenda. I will plot out vacations based on beer destinations and I rarely stray from my targets. When I visited Boulder, Colorado for the Beer Bloggers conference, I knew I wanted to visit Twisted Pine and Oskar Blues and taste beer from Upslope Brewing and Odell’s. All four goals, accomplished!
Now, having explained how I am never taken off guard, here is my “unexpected” story. It involves sitting in the right place at the right time, twice!

During this year’s LA Beer Week, I was helping out at the Beer Float Showdown at the Verdugo. (If you visit Los Angeles, this is one of “must” the beer stops). After my shift was done, I took a seat with a friend of mine and a fellow beer geek to enjoy the imaginative beer float creations. Beer talk was flowing as I finished my last sample and our tablemate brought out a new beer from Green Flash Brewing, Silva’s Stout. Before I could say anything, my glass was filled! It seemed that Lady Luck was smiling upon me as it was a tremendous beer and a special limited release to boot. I figured this type of good fortune wouldn’t happen again soon but….

Lo and behold it did!

A couple of months later, sitting at the Blue Palms in Hollywood (another “must” for beer geeks in LA); I was tasting the 14th anniversary beer from Firestone-Walker. The place was packed. But in the crowded space of the bar sat another generous soul with a growler from Kern River Brewing. Because I and my friend were in the seats near some acquaintances of his, we also got samples of the famed Citra IPA. On aroma alone, that beer is one of the best that I have had all year. Another surprise based solely on where I was sitting.

I certainly hope I get surprised again.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: