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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!


#38. I am the pickiest beer snob I know.

so there are probably — only probably, mind you — bigger beer snobs out there. But I don’t know them, so if you find one, let me know. I’d like to know that I’m not the absolute pinnacle of high hops expectations.

So, just to let you know where I stand, I put beers in five categories:

  1. Well-made Pale Ales and India Pale Ales (IPAs): Examples: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Magic Hat Blind Faith, North Coast’s Red Seal Ale
  2. Really good Stouts and Porters: Examples: Guinness Draught, Geary’s Porter, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
  3. Interesting beers that I haven’t tried yet Examples: Well, if I knew, I’d have tried them, now, wouldn’t I?
  4. Local ‘in a pinch’ beers / oddball brews: Examples: Sam Adams Lager, Harpoon IPA, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Xingu Black Beer
  5. Undrinkable pisswater passed off as ‘beer’: Examples: Bud, Coors, MGD, Miller, Michelob, just about anything else

(Just as an aside, the absolute best beer in the world is an IPA, IMO. It’s the Victory Hop Devil IPA, and if you’re a fan of rich, complex, hoppy beers, you have to try it. Really. Right now. Stop reading this crap and go find yourself a bottle, or better yet, a case. It’s brewed in the Philly area and distibuted throughout the Northeast. If you live there, run — don’t walk! — out and get some today. If not, then fly — don’t drive! — to the East Coast and do the same. Your life is simply incomplete until you’ve done so. Don’t be a weiner.)

Now, beer snobbery — snobbery of any kind, really — is a relatively new phenomenon for me. For one thing, I’m not a picky eater. Throw it on my plate, and I’ll definitely try it, and probably like it. For another, I’m not allergic to any kinds of foods. So I’m not really used to being the person who makes a fuss in restaurants or bars. (And there’s always one, isn’t there?) Also, I wasn’t always a beer snob. I drank Old Milwaukee in college (hey, eight bucks a case, with a dollar back for returning the bottles — we couldn’t afford not to drink it), and chugged Rolling Rock for a few years afterward. So it’s not like I’m particular about what I put inside my body or anything.

That said, I just can’t bring myself to drink crappy swill any more. Life is too short, and a good beer is too tasty, to waste time on nasty, stinky near-beer substitutes. But it just feels weird to be so damned picky. I can only shop at certain liquor stores. I’m constantly suggesting brewpubs and places with huge beer selections for dinner, so I can get what I really want. If I ever lose my taste for Sam Adams — very big around Boston, of course — I’ll be shutting myself off from dozens of dives and sports bars that don’t serve anything else I can stomach. It’s really rather inconvenient!

It makes me wonder how some people can live their whole lives this way. I mean, I’m only picky about one thing. Really. Come over sometime — check out my wardrobe, and my messy desk, and my lack of complicated hair products. I’m really not a pick-pick-picky person. But some people are, and frankly, I don’t see where they get the time or the energy. How can you afford to live your life predicated on whether the salad dressing is on the side, or the steak is medium — not medium well, or medium rare, but exactly, perfectly medium — or every single strand of your hair is set into place, double-checked for position, and then frozen in its tracks with a gallon of aerosol glue? I mean, who has the time? Not me. It’s all I can do to keep track of where I can get a good brew. My life would frickin’ fall apart if I were that picky about everything. Please!

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