Monday, June 4, 2012

“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.”

Avid supporter and lover of Newport Storm, I am thrilled to be a part of this crazy energetic crew. Each day is a new adventure; watching Derek and Pete attempt to maintain their sanity on canning day, or squeezing my way through the refrigerator to get a keg of Summer Hefeweizen that can only be accessed by playing a shuffle game with all the other kegs in there. Nevertheless, I have quickly realized how this job completely changed my perspective on beer. Yes, I'll admit it; I used to be a light beer drinker! But hey, I'm still fairly new to the drinking world and have begun to open my horizons to the ever growing world of craft beers. Some I will carefully select and sample through my own will, others will get shoved in my face by an eager family member or friend saying, "Try it, it's delicious!” I smile and accept the pint because after all, it's a free drink. Now, however, I am beginning to appreciate the ingredients and TLC that constitute a well rounded craft beer; esters that denote aroma or hops that give off aroma and generally a bitter, even nut-like flavor. I guess you could say this job has turned me into a “sophisticated” beer drinker. I can still remember the times when had no regard for what I chose at the bar and would go for the lightest, cheapest beer. Now I am intrigued not only by the styles of beer like India pale ale or hefeweizen, I have a new found appreciation for its presentation and decoration.

I know people say never judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a beer by its tap handle? To be honest this has become another determining factor in my beer selection (after I order a Newport Storm beer...or two). What appeals to me is the design and craftsmanship behind the handle and how it reflects the brewery's brand and creativity, a way to aesthetically enjoy a well crafted beer. It definitely comes in handy when trying to yell across a crowded bar to the bartender to let him know what draft you want, “I’ll have the mohawk orange!!” I'm sure many of you are familiar with our easily recognizable cyclone handles at bars and restaurants throughout Newport and beyond that reflect our storm themed company. Now when I go out in downtown Newport I am constantly scoping out the bar counter to see where our tap handles are and what can be purchased in bottle form. Some are proudly and prominently displayed (i.e. Pour Judgment where just last night I spotted Cyclone Tim and Rhode Island Blueberry on tap, even bottles of Cyclone Quinn and Sabrina!). Then again, some tap handles and bottles are hidden in a corner or refrigerator under the bar. In my experience though, it never hurts to ask (and trust me I do!) If this new job has taught me anything so far it is don’t be afraid to branch out and try something outside your comfort level, especially when it comes to beer.