New beer release days feel like a blind date set up by a benevolent married friend.
The brand new ginger saison is poured into the cleanest, newest glassware; cleverly named with the inevitable subtle sci fi reference, photographed from seventeen angles, posted on all ten social media accounts where it awaits the ultimate judgement. Will the patrons react with a smirk, a shrug, a polite "no, thank you", “hmm, not what I expected”, “sorry, this is not my type”? Or better yet, honor the new brew with a Pulitzer Prize worthy public review with such clever narrative that if the editors were paying closer attention, they would absolutely catapult the author to fame.
The patrons’ tastes vary immensely. An occasional customer swoons at a mere mention of the bourbon barrel aged imperial Russian stout “you can chew” while another delicately inquiries about the beer "closest to Miller Lite". I applaud both.
Trends swoop the beer nation and then slowly slide into the abyss. Brewers salivate over their favorite Belgian quadruple dreams but if the customer is swayed by the hazy northeast IPA trend wave, the dream lingers, dwindles and the menu gets saturated with “hazies” or the latest trend: the Brut IPA. If you figured out how to match bills and dreams, please call me. We must talk.
By the way, the beer photography game is a science in itself and deserves a paragraph if not more. Let’s chat about foam. If you have ever come within a mile radius of beer in general, you know that foam is as beautiful and delicious as it is flighty. The clock starts ticking when I fill the pint glass. I then proceed to dash like a mad woman around the taproom to find the best lighting. I am no photographer but I dig into my creative wannabe artist to gauge if a certain angle will relay all the love, time and passion poured into this vessel. By the time I find the right angle, the foam dissipates. I have a fantastic photo of a flat beer. Winning.
One can’t win a basketball game by dribbling alone and it’s tough to meet the love of your life without putting yourself on the line. So we keep taking risks in hopes that if you don’t love this new beer, perhaps the next new beer will make your day. And that makes it all worth it.