LuceScrew’s Brew Buzz is a segment on The 40cast covering beer enthusiast topics…think of it as Geeky Beer Facts.
This segment can be found in Episode 73 Of The 40cast released on Nov. 21, 2011.
So the other day I went into one of my local stores looking for something new. I was presented with a lot of choices, and most of them were very expensive. So now I had to make a choice on which ones I wanted to spend my money on, and how much I really wanted to spend. So I asked myself the following questions…
1) What style or beer was I looking for (or at least in the mood for)? It is important to pick a beer you are craving or in the mood to drink. Craft beer is not cheap, so it does not make sense to force yourself to drink something you are not going to be predisposed to enjoy.
2) Which beers had I never tried? And are any of them ones I have been wanting to try? Sometimes we get into rutts where we drink the stuff we like…over and over again. I do this all the time when I really like a beer (like my Widmer Brothers Brrr). But as you grow your craft beer tastes, you will want to go out and try new things. I often look for beers that I have never tried, or that are a one-time brew for a special occasion. This way I am able to discover new breweries and even new beer styles.
3) Which ones have the best flavor or will give me the most enjoyment? My craft beer enthusiasm is all about the enjoyment I get out of drinking these flavorful brews. It also helps when the beer has a higher alcohol content and gives me a bit of a buzz. So I tend to stay away from the brews that typically have low flavor and low ABV, or ones that have flavors I just don’t like (for me its the spiced, smoked, pumpkin and all around strange flavors). I know I prefer Pale Ales, IPAs, Wheat, Winter Warmers, Stouts and Porters, but is not to say I will not occasionally go out of my comfort level and try other varieties.
4) How much does it cost? Is the value worth the cost? This is a tough one, especially if you have no experience with a brewery or the beer in question. So how do you add value to a beer you have never tried before? You can seek out advice from friends who have tried the beer and know your taste preferences. You can also ask a beer master (if the store has one) or the bar tender if out at the pub. You can use a website like Beer Advocate. There are a lot of beer rating websites, so find one you like and use it to find brews you might enjoy. Then weigh the rating with the cost and the volume and make a decision for yourself if the value is high enough to justify the cost.
So how did I make my decision? I examined all the beers and picked out the five I really wanted to buy. Most of them were about $15 for a 22oz bottle. I then decided I wanted to stick with a winter warmer or stout. I took out my iPhone and opened www.beeradvocate.com and searched for each beer and compared the ratings. I decided to pick the two A rated brews, one a $16 25oz Bourbon Barrel Stout and the other a $10 4-pack of Russian Imperial Stout (one I have been wanting to try for years). I left the store $28 lighter in the wallet, but I am sure I will not be left unsatisfied.
Listen to the audio segment of the Brew Buzz below: