Craft beer has enjoyed an explosion in popularity – especially here in the Pacific Northwest. But for the uninitiated, it can be tricky knowing what to order. If you’re interested in exploring what the craft beer world has to offer, here’s three great ways to get started enjoying it:
1. Tour a Brewery
If you want to learn about a subject, go straight to the source! Taking a tour of a brewery is a great way to learn about the process of brewing beer, learn common terminology, and ask questions. Just as a sommelier can educate you about wine, a brewmaster can help you learn your IPA from your stout. Not only is touring a brewery a fun – and delicious! – activity, but it will give you a good foundation for understanding what goes into the flavor profiles of different beer types, which will make it easier to order beers that you know you’ll enjoy. Plus, you’ll probably have already tasted a few new beers during the tour that you like! Which brings us to:
2. Attend a Beer Festival
Beer festivals are the perfect opportunity to sample a wide variety of beers from different breweries. Every year, the Pacific Northwest Brew Cup takes place in my area right around my birthday – talk about great timing! It’s so much fun – I really love to try new beers and flavors, and I’m the adventurous type who will try a beer simply because I like the name. Beer festivals are a great way to explore without having to commit to a full glass of something. I’ve tasted all kinds of different beers at these type of festivals, including the time I tried a bubblegum flavored beer! It’s great fun, and a perfect place for craft beer newbies to learn more about what they do and don’t like – you’re sure to be introduced to a few new favorites, so make sure you write down the specific breweries and beers that you liked for later! Plus, beer festivals usually have food, music or other activities going on, so you can make a day of it – date night, anyone?
3. Taste While You Travel
One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to experience local food and drink. When I’m visiting a restaurant in a new location, I’ll look for local beers on tap and ask the staff for recommendations. This is a really fun way to try new things and get a taste for the area! And if time allows, you can explore even further by building in a visit to a local brewery during your trip. This is a fun way to make memories and a learn a lot about a place while enjoying beer at the same time! During my first-ever press trip to Wyoming for MomStart, I visited a local brewery in Cody and had so much fun. The next time I’m in the state, I want to head down to Alpine and visit Melvin Brewing to try some of their ExperiMENTAL Series brews. I definitely recommend adding a brewery to your itinerary when planning a vacation!
Are you a craft beer fan, dear reader?