Oh the power of yeast. A fungus, so mighty and important, deserves more respect. It truly is the unsung hero of food. Without it, we wouldn’t have many of life’s great pleasures such as bread and beer …
O Beer! O Beer! What an amazing and diverse drink. Forget yeast for a moment, let’s talk about the fizzy, sometimes creamy, bold, golden, smooth elixir known as beer. I can think of few cultures that don’t indulge in the tradition of ale and those that do, revel in it (quite literally). Simply put, beer brings the good times.
The varieties are endless and the brewing techniques all yield a vast, diverse swath of flavors. Crave something on the lighter side for nights by the pool? Try a PBR, Natty Light, or Coors. Looking for something full and dark for dingy nights at a dive bar? Drink a Guinness or Negra Modelo. There’s a beer for every occasion, whether that’s enjoying one with dinner, lunch, or a good TV show. Hell, it’s even the best sidekick at parties and social affairs.
Take a walk down the beer aisle at a package store and descend down the rabbit hole. No one could possibly know where to start without guidance or experience. These days, every brewery, even the tiniest garage brew can boast stellar branding. Play it safe and pull one of the well known brands. Anything from New Belgium or Terrapin will be a solid choice. But then what? Well, follow the rabbit hole.
Shoot for something smaller, yet still pretty huge in the craft brew territory. Try a Victory brew, something from Bell’s, or perhaps a Founder’s. Alas the rabbit hole trails much deeper. There are hundreds, if not thousands of craft breweries around the world. Enough to make one think the industry bubble may burst, so to speak.
Of the obscure, I know only those from Atlanta and the surrounding area like Monday Night, Creature Comforts, and Orpheus. But why does it matter? I find myself enjoying many beers all the same and finding the most joy in whatever fantasy the branding on the can or bottle cooks up in my head. Am I drinking a brew in a black and white bar straight out of a noir flick that takes place in a steamy, stark city? Maybe I’m gulping down a pint in a dingy pub in the jungles of peru. Perhaps I’m a viking chugging a cask of pitch-black ale.
Beer is good. Thank you, yeast, for making it possible.
Cheers (literally this time),