But it’s those days where I have more than one beer I usually institute an informal rule – I have a “starter” beer. Technically, I suppose I’m following the similar methods one might use when enjoying a flight of beers. If I’m having something heavy in flavorful grains, hops or alcohol, I don’t want to shock my palate right away, I want to ease into enjoying a higher-end brew. Much like I stretch before exercise, I’m prepping my nose and tongue for a workout.
For example: I recently enjoyed/loved a bottle of Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout. At 18 percent ABV, it’s crazy boozy so I didn’t want to just dive in. To prepare my taste buds, I first had a bottle of my Poor Richard’s Ale homebrew I had sitting in my fridge. I don’t think I’m the only one who might recommend this:
Typically, I’m not selecting a “starter” beer with any method other than I want it to be fairly neutral and ease me into the second beer I’m more excited to drink. If I’m having a stout, I may pour a glass of Cigar City’s Maduro brown ale or a bottle of my own chocolate-vanilla porter. If I’m having an overly hoppy IPA, just about any of my homebrews might do, including a honey-basil ale or my blueberry wheat.
The goal of this is not to get drunk. I do it because I …
- Enjoy beer and like drinking a variety of brews.
- Believe that it has some sort of impact on my ability to enjoy my beer even more.
Or, this could just be some weird, quirky beer-drinking habit I’ve formed. Everyone’s got one, right?