When I was younger I hated the taste of beer. There was just something about that bitterness lingering on my tongue that I couldn’t deal with. Maybe this is why I so often chose to devour spirits over that of a good brew. At present day I now gawk at my once former adolescence and the benign idea of ‘not loving beer.’
I am now in mid latter half of my mid 20s and I must confess I have a love affair with beer. Before anyone jump to conclusion I am not an alcoholic, but I do like to think of myself as a connoisseur of this delectable brew. I used fancy myself a Heineken or a Corona, the occasion Bud Light when nothing else is of avail but once again this was my former naive self that didn’t know better.
Turning to craft beers has been one of the best experiences as a beer lover that I can remember. ‘Why is this so delicious?’ ‘Is that a hint of lemon already in the beer?!’ ‘Do I sense a lingering appeal of pumpkin?’ were all the questions I asked myself when I finally saw the light. It was magnificent, truly beautiful to taste such different concoctions swirling around in a 12 ounce bottle.
With having a new fixation and not being very knowledgeable in the matter a beer tour is a very great way to learn about things you don’t already know. This was the second time I had appointed myself the task of waking up early to attend a tour of the Samuel Adams brewing facility in Jamaica Plain but I looked forward to it with giddy.
The tours are always free but for weekends you need to reserve your tickets, in which we did for this occasion, our friend’s birthday. The workers at the brewing facility are also the guides. They’re young, hip and into the job they have been tasked with, even if it was 9:45 in the morning on a beautiful Boston Saturday. Surrounded by silos filled with test beer and an archaic looking pipe system, you really feel the magic that goes on when they create new crafts.
They teach you about each and every ingredient that goes into the process of making the beer, hops, barley, yeast & water. Simple and easy but the way you introduce each ingredient, at any given process and time of the brewing can drastically change the outcome of the brew. Think one part science, one part art and a whole lot of passion.
We were told to grab a handful and run them through and through to get a good whiff of it. He didn’t tell us it would be sticky and leaves a residue!
If you skipped breakfast like I did then you surely would have munched a lot on these. Taste just like burnt chocolate!
After each tour there comes the best part of why you woke up so early and dragged yourself all the way there: the FREE BEER TASTING. Yes, free, you heard me right, or rather heard the guides right when they hype you up for the free beer. Regardless of the time it is always 5 o’clock somewhere!
Preferably in the back because once the pitchers make it back there they are all yours!
You sit in a nice bar area room, with your 8 ounce glass and await the guides to divulge information on the beer you are about to consume. Fun, factual and a buzz, what more can you ask on a summer morning? This part alone should get you up and about!
Bottoms up for everyone!
The tour ends with a round to the gift shop something that I haven’t experienced before. You can purchase their beer that you normally cannot find in stores, along with other trinkets such as sunglasses with bottle openers at the ends, something I found quite nifty!
A good walk around should allow the buzz to come off and let you appreciate the time it takes for these brew masters to do what they do. It is why I appreciate craft beer as much as I do, wherever it is brewed, in however many quantities, it’s always good to taste something different from the masses of generics.