Beer and Pavement

Session #63: The Beer Moment

Posted in The Session by SM on May 4, 2012

Pete Brown charged the beer blogosphere with this month’s session. We have been asked to write about our beer moments, whatever that is. Mr. Brown left it up for interpretation, but it’s not that easy.

Just as there are many kinds of beers and contexts in which we drink beer, there are many different moments for which one finds a love for beer. To only write about one moment would ignore the many others that make beer so enjoyable. There are moments when the anticipation of a rare beer comes to a head, a discovery or epiphany is reached, or a moment in context with something else, only circumstantially connected to beer. All of these moments are valuable to the beer enthusiast.

So, I’ve opted to describe a few of my favorite beer moments. There are more than I can include in this one post, but I’ll pick a few favorites that keep me coming back to beer, particularly of the craft variety. And since I do the whole beer/music thing here, I may even give a musical metaphor for what I’m describing.

Beer Moment #1: Pshh… A bottle opening is maybe the greatest sound I know. It’s akin to dropping the needle on a record. What’s being released is more than some CO2. That single “pshh” is unleashing the anticipation for what’s inside. Especially when a beer has been bottle conditioned, that sound represents magic. The only thing left is to pour the contents once contained by that now-slightly-mangled cap into your glass.

Beer Moment #2: The smell of whole hops or even those wafting from an IPA or DIPA is all the intoxication most hop-heads need. In that moment when we hover our noses just above the glass, we discover citrus fruits, pine needles, even cat pee (and we like it!). This is the smell that turns most beer drinkers into beer thinkers. Who knew that beer could taste or smell this way? It’s the same as that moment the B3 organ enters a song or the silence is broken with the pounding of drums. It cuts the air, destined to destroy your tongue. Even those who don’t care for hops acknowledge its power.

Beer Moment #3: This is one for the beer hunter. There’s that moment when we enter a store, hoping to find what they’ve come so far to obtain. Sometimes, it’s a Tweet or Facebook post that prompts us to drop everything and run to the store. On several occasions, I’ve hit the store in a narrow window in order to score my Hopslam, CBS, or some other rarity only known to a few of us (or so we think). We nervously cradle our bottles to the check-out, pay, and dash to the store, only to stop once securely in our cars to admire our booty. I feel the same rush when I find a record that has long eluded me only to finally become mine when I least expect it.

Beer Moment #4: Sometimes I go to a rock show expecting almost nothing. It may occur during an unknown opener or while a band I came to see but am not so sure about starts to play.Then, it happens. What they’re playing is good, brilliant even. What have I stumbled upon? Does anyone else know about this? The same goes for that one beer I bought on a whim while on vacation or at the local watering hole. That moment of discovery is hard to top.

Beer Moment #5: While released anticipation, hop bombs, the hunt, and discoveries make beer enthusiasm a fun and worthy hobby, it’s hard to beat the moment when we reach pure satisfaction. I’m talking about the cold Oberan chilling your throat on the first hot day of the spring; the time you drank your beer while floating down the river straight from the can, despite beer snobbish pretensions; the warmth of an unholy imperial stout filling your being with booze and sweetness; or the first beer you’re served at happy hour after a long week of work. These are the times when a beer makes you smile. It satisfies like no other indulgence. It’s perfect for every situation, but especially the one you’re in at that moment the beer touches your lips. For me, this also happens when my favorite band hits their stride playing that song or I barely realize I’ve been driving for an hour until one of my prized albums comes to an end, requiring me to search the iPod for another long-player.

Beer fills many moments, but these are five moments I think of often. It reminds us we have souls and feelings. These are moments we feel alive. One doesn’t have to have a beer to have his/her own moments, but I’ve found that it helps. What is your beer moment? Are any of yours like these? Is there something else to fills these moments for you that isn’t beer?

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12 Responses

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  1. broadfordbrewer said, on May 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Beer moments #2 and #3 are so true for me, yet for some reason I didn’t consider them for my post. Good stuff!

    • Zac said, on May 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

      The possibilities are endless. It would be easy to miss a few of these.

  2. Phil said, on May 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    An interesting take on the topic, I like it, cheers fella

    • Zac said, on May 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks. I need to make the rounds and check the other posts today, yours included.

  3. Jorge - Brew Beer And Drink It said, on May 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    IPAs did turn me into a thinker… and I remember, when I first saw a Black IPA while on a hiking trip in Moab, UT… I had read all the rants about why the words Black and Pale contradicted and therefore the beer style should be called something else, but never tried the beer itself…

    When I finally did, I did think it was like an IPA with a little roastiness added… not sure I would recommend the style, but it sure is creative…

    • Zac said, on May 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      I was worried someone would challenge that one, but it’s the hops that have turned more beer enthusiasts than any other style from what I’ve seen. I suspect it’s true for beer enthusiasts in the states at the very least.

  4. Barleywhiner said, on May 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I love being surprised by a beer that you know nothing about. I picked up a bottle of Yazoo Sue in Memphis last summer without even really reading the label and knowing what kind of beer it was. I drank it out of a hotel room plastic glass, and it was one of my most satisfying beer experiences.

    • Zac said, on May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Agreed. I find this happens more often these days with local or regional brews that haven’t built up a following or hype train yet.

  5. beerbecue said, on May 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Nice post. I really like #1. That is a fine sound. I hadn’t thought about #4…but you’re right. I still remember stumbling across Two-Hearted in MI a while back before Bell’s started distributing to the DC-area. I was all, “Wha!?”

    I see you have been posting. Looks like I have some catch-up reading to do.

    • Zac said, on May 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Yeah. I figured out how to post more regularly: have other people write for you.

  6. […] Beer Moment is also when you encounter a beer for the first time, and you love it.  These are the moments you feel alive.  And it’s very similar with cider too.   Or it may simply be, like […]

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