beertulipSince March of 2011 I have sampled somewhere in the neighborhood of 950 different beers from a variety of breweries, most of which are here in the United States. I am in search of something that doesn’t exist:

The perfect beer.

Don’t get me wrong. I have imbibed some absolutely beautiful beers in a variety of styles, some local, some not so local. The issue with perfection is that it’s ephemeral. Fleeting, even. My mood, the food I have eaten, the temperature of the beer? All of that can change my perception of the flavors in even my favorite beers.

It’s the search for the Lost Ark, the Holy (Gr)Ale, and Beervana, all wrapped into one.

Yes, I have my regulars. Anyone who is on my Untappd feed knows that I have my go to beers. But they also know that I have been sampling beer after beer in an effort to expose myself to as many of the beers as I can that are out there. And while I prefer the hoppy beers, I can enjoy a well made beer in just about any style.

Even so, like everyone else, my preferences can limit me. For example, I have never been fond of schwarzbiers. And, while sours aren’t necessarily my thing, one of the best beers I have had in the last six months was a sour. It was truly a thing of beauty.

Of course, what I think is a beautiful beer, someone else might think is mediocre, or even vile. Taste buds can be a funky thing.

And that’s just from the drinker’s side of things.

For the brewers, most of the ones I know, making beer is a labor of love, not just a job. People who get into the industry do it because of a passion for the drink. Every time a brewer is making beer, that person is striving for perfection.

Sure, like in any profession, you get lazy or unskilled individuals out there; brewers who make bad beer. But most of the brewers out there bust their asses to provide the best beer possible. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

On a separate note. In spite of all the beer festivals that pepper the landscape in autumn, I think there’s an opening to have one in the western part of the county. Specifically, I think an October beer festival should be organized in Burkittsville called The Beer Witch Festival. Of course, if I recall, that movie left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouths of the locals, so there might be some work to do in convincing the residents to let it happen there.

Tapped and Uncapped

This week I’m telling you to go out and find the Peeper Ale from the Maine Beer Company. Very nicely crafted, this beer is subtle and complex with fruity and hoppy notes. The floral hops impart a bit of a grassy character along with a hint of citrus.

None of the flavors overwhelm – definitely a mellow beer in regards to how all the flavors come together.

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.