We all love beer. Well, a good number of us do. If you don’t, that’s fine (but you’re missing out … unless you have medical reasons, then don’t drink beer!). Saturday is National Beer Lover’s Day, and there are so many reasons to love this magical elixir prepared by human hands and transformed into beer by microscopic single-celled creature.
I love the science, the history, and the engineering behind beer brewing and flavor evaluation. But there was a point when this was not the case. My moment of enlightenment was back in 2005. After watching so many ads, I finally ordered this copper-colored beer called Sam Adams Boston Lager. The aroma was something I never knew could be found in beer. The flavors that followed nearly knocked me out of my bar seat. “Wow!” I said after my first sip. After my third pint, I was hooked. My love for beer was solidified from there.
Beer also brought my father and me back together in a father and son relationship. That’s a story for another time. I began to seek out more styles, learned as much as I could, and (the best part of all) became part of the community. I’ve made many friends in this amazing community, whether in the industry or an integral part of the beer scene. I still consider myself a simple enthusiast or beer-lover, but one with too much knowledge and thirsty for more.
I decided to ask many in the beer community a simple, very open-ended question: Why do you love beer? Here is what they had to say.
Greg Nagel, OC’s famous beer and booze writer, photographer and videographer, and so much more:
“I started loving beer at a very young age, and one day I was skateboarding in 95-degree heat and was super exhausted. My friend’s dad gave us a couple of St. Pauli Girl’s out of a cooler. I can still go back to that moment of something so delicious and refreshing hitting my palate. It was shocking how rejuvenative it was. I fell in love with beer at that moment. I was in my teens!”
Louie Lopez, active supporter of the beer scene:
“When I was young, I use to grab a beer for my grandpa, and he would give me a sip. This is my earliest memory of falling for beer.”
Anchaya Piamprasatporn, OC beer community supporter:
“It was the Bootlegger’s second anniversary. They had all sorts of weird stuff, and I was just fascinated by the variety and the options. And the community, I can’t say enough about! I have met the most wonderful people through the shared appreciation of craft beer; strangers have become best friends I couldn’t live without. I’m in awe of the trust and camaraderie I’ve found.”
Robert Morison, award-winning OC homebrewer:
“When I was younger, my dad would have poker parties and the one in charge of taking beers to the guys was me. They didn’t drink the yellow stuff. There were lots of Belgian and other imported beers. Of course, I would taste some. Fast-forward, I love homebrewing and the beer community. I also love how welcoming some professional brewers have been while I have a brew day with them. They appreciate the help, and I get to learn more about beer.”
Michael Swanson, beer judge and beer community supporter:
“I used to think all beer was like Bud/Miller/Coors. Then I was at an Irish pub and had my first Guinness. That started me down the rabbit hole.”
Spencer Colman, California Homebrews Association senior member and recognizable member of the community:
“Beer has versatility. There’s something for everyone. I love how approachable it can be, as long as the snobs don’t get in the way. The community has plenty knowledgeable, friendly people.”
Ralph Turner, experienced homebrew judge involved in OC beer for a couple of decades:
“I love the community. I started off going to Hollingshead in Orange, and I’ve met so many great friends there. The community has evolved, but the heart is still there. All the younger guys that understand it, like yourself, we need to pass the torch down to them. Keep the love of the community in good hands.”
Our little beer community is a vocal one, sometimes to a fault. But most of us are friendly, welcoming, and ready to talk beer. From there, who knows where the conversation will go The people I’ve met because of beer are now some of my dearest friends. Whether you were quoted here this time or will surely be quoted in the future, I love you all!
Cheers and have a great National Beer Lovers Day!
Editor’s note: Charlie Perez is an Advanced Cicerone® who covers the Orange County beer scene for the Booze Blog.