Recently, I shared an occasion that had me considering the emotional connection one can have with a beer-drinking experience when I wrote “The best beer I’ve ever had.” I put the call out to other beer folks and asked them to detail their “best beer” experiences for me for a series aptly titled, The best beer I’ve ever had.
For this entry, Jeff Broeders, Niagara College Brewmaster and Brewery Management Program graduate and head brewer at The Indie Alehouse, talks about his best beer experience.
(A few things should probably be noted here: First, Jeff was hesitant to nail down a best beer and emphasized repeatedly this was a best beer “experience,” second, the post below is the result of a conversation that was transcribed from a shitty recorder and recalled from an evening of more than one beverage at Jeff’s place of employment.)
I don’t really have a “best beer I’ve ever had,” I have a lot of great experiences. For me, really any time that I can go to a brewery and chat with a brewer, that’s a great beer experience.
I mean you can’t beat that. When you go taste a beer and talk about the process, that’s the best possible beer experience, you know? Chatting with the brewmaster who made the beer, drinking it out of the tank, having them explain where it is in the process, what it really is that you’re drinking and what they plan on doing with it. That for me is the ultimate beer experience.
Honestly, that’s why I like to think I made the best decision of my life three years ago getting into this business. For me, being able to sit and talk about a beer is priceless. When you sit with someone who knows beer, the beer’s always going to taste better.
But if I had to pick a single moment, I definitely had a moment with the Monk’s Cafe Sour Ale.
That small bottle was my introduction to sours, and I love sour beer.
It was just around the time I got into craft beer, and I was in Buffalo at Premier Gourmet and I just happened to buy it. It was one of the few microbrews I bought while was there and when I drank it, I was like, “Holy shit.”
Sour beer just doesn’t taste like normal beer and it opened my eyes in terms of how complex a beer can be.
That beer cost me $400–because I went back about a month later and bought every single sour beer that Premier Gourmet had.
I love sour beer.