Friday, January 25, 2019

Turning Of The IPAge

When Jamie and I first met, I knew that she was a beer drinker. And she drank beer for flavor and not quantity. We would visit “the mothership”, the original Natty Greene’s, in downtown Greensboro before a date. I was just developing a taste for IPAs thanks to Weather Dave Aiken and his guidance wherever he held court. But Jamie just couldn’t handle them. And that was fine with me. IPAs can take some time to win over your taste buds. Since I like to chew up aspirin tablets for the flavor, it didn’t take the bitterness of IPAs long to cross the river to my happy side.

Over the years, we have discovered a few IPAs that Jamie has dug. It has always been a hit or miss proposition. I found that the higher gravity IPAs won her over quickly because the booziness can sometimes drown out the bitterness. But those IPAs under 8% just produced the Mr. Yuk face on Jamie.

And sour beers? I wouldn’t even THINK about having her try one or purchase a four pack.

When we took an anniversary trip to Asheville to immerse ourselves in the beer produced there, I purposely skipped visiting the Wicked Weed Funkatorium. I knew that she would find nothing there enjoyable. So yeah, I took the personal hit because I wanted to try any and all of their sour beers. But the trip was for us and not just me. We walked by it more than a few times on our brewery hops. I told her that she probably wouldn’t find a thing inside the Funkatorium enjoyable. She didn’t fight me. I figured that eventually some of their sours would come my way and they have. I’ve had quite a few of them at the Beer Den at Lowes Foods and at City Beverage.

But a few months ago, something miraculous happened at the Harper’s. She tried an IPA less than 8% and LIKED IT! And here within the last month, she’s wanting to try just about any IPA that she can get her hands on.

I kind of got IPA’ed out during the last few years. I’ve been on a discovery of more browns, stouts, porters, pilsners, and lagers. Oh sure, there would be the occasional IPA at a brewery to try. Or if I hadn’t had a particular offering, I tried it to add one more on the heap so that I can score that elusive 2,500 mark on Untappd for a badge. Yeah, I’m a badge whore. But unlike my Foursquare days, I want to earn the Untappd badges as purely as possible.

I just wouldn’t purchase any of my “tried and true” IPAs unless it was a high gravity brew to share with my wife. We have a rule in our home and I have always lived by it since we started cohabitating years before we got married. And that rule is… “The last beer of it’s kind is reserved for Jamie. It shall not be touched unless she expresses otherwise.”

And the rule is for me, really. Because I will drink the hell out of some beer. Jamie doesn’t want me to drink it all up before she gets a taste. So yeah, it’s a sensible rule.

Now I’m getting growlers of IPAs and revisiting some of my favorites for her to try. She has REALLY taking a liken to every single one of them without the Mr. Yuk face. Right now, we have Sierra Nevada’s Hop Bullet, Victory DirtWolf Imperial, and Terrapin Hopsecutioner in our beer fridge. She has been enjoying all but the Hopsecutioner. She hasn’t tried that joker yet.

She has been warming my dark little heart. And when summer hits, I have a feeling that she’ll be floating around in the pool with various IPAs whenever she gets a chance.

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