post on 'favourite beers' the other day got me thinking about my own favourite beers too.
If I had to really think about it, I'd say it would be pretty impossible for me to pin down a list of even ten of my favourites. Instead, I like to steal a well used quote (although I can't quite remember who it came from right now) and when asked what my favourite beers are, I'll respond;
"The ones I'm drinking."
One way I like to think about beer favourites is to imagine it this way:
If you visit a new specialist beer shop, your most likely to go for the beers you've never seen or heard of before - the NEW beers. (that is if you're a beer geek like most of the people who will read this) But what if you knew it was the last time you'd ever go to that shop, what would your choices be like then?
I had this unfortunate decision to make just over a year ago. You may all well remember this time last year Beer Ritz closed it's doors for just over a week. It has to be said that it was a bit of a miracle ( - extreme hard work by Zak and Karen) that it reopened, because we were pretty confident that we had about a 25% chance of it ever opening again.
When the doors closed on the Monday, it immediately dawned on me that this was going to be the last time I could ever shop here and get a great selection of beer right on my doorstep. It was a saddening and sobering feeling, but also a confusing one, because I had to make my final decisions - which would I choose?!?
While I may have gone away with over 100 quids worth of beer, the choices I made were quite interesting.
I went for the classics. I also went for beers which I knew could sit in my room for at least a year or two without having to worry about them going off. I went for Belgian beers like; Orval, Saison Dupont, St Bernardus ABT, Cantillon Gueuze and Boon Gueuze. German beers like; Weihenstephan Hefewiesse, Aventinus Eisbock and Schneider Hopfenweisse. American beers like; Anchor Old Foghorn and Goose Island Bourbon Count Stout. (just to note that's a pretty good list of ten beers...)
While I may have gone for the odd Harveistoun Ola Dubh, and Sam Smiths Imperial Stout, I didn't really take much British beer. There was a reason behind this. I can still get British beers pretty easily, because I live here. I went for about 90% European and International beer because I knew I might never see them again, and I didn't want to forget some timeless classics that beer has to offer.
Now of course, beers like mentioned before are readily available now in the country, thanks to specialist importers, online beer shops and specialists like Beer Ritz. I think if all that were to go, I reckon our thoughts of some beers from overseas would radically change, and maybe so would our ideas of our favourite beers.
I'm so thankful we have the choice though. I really don't approve when people say we have far too much choice these days. The alternative sucks far so much more.
The magnitude of the choice available these days might make it a little harder to pin down your favourite beer, but don't put beer down because of that, it just means you've got that many more favourites!