Desperados, Discovery and Divine Intervention
My name’s Sarah, and I’m a craft beer convert. But it has to be said, I’m a relatively recent convert. When I first started working with BrewDog just over 2 years ago, James asked me what my favourite beer was. I was put on the spot here as I was a pretty dedicated white wine spritzer girl who liked the occasional Jim Beam and coke on a Saturday night. It pains me now to tell you what I replied with, but here it goes. Desperados. That’s right. I told James Watt, captain of the craft beer revolution, that my favourite beer was a 99.99% water, best-served-ice-cold-with-a-slice-of-lime, mainstream monstrosity. I saw the colour drain from my boss at the time’s face but didn’t really understand what I’d done wrong. My, how times change. This is the story of my craft beer journey.
My first ever beer was a Berliner Weisse, sipped in the very place it should be sipped, Berlin. I was on a school trip and it is the first beer I remember drinking. It was green and sour and fruity and scrummy! I had a Raspberry one too, and I enjoyed them. I was off to a good start, but things went downhill after that. I came home, and for the next 7 years all the beer I encountered was either pumped full of all types of horrible stuff or poured warm with almost no discernable taste and more often than not served with a side of huge hangover. I worked in a number of bars but none of them served craft beer. This is probably at least partially to blame for my late education. The south of England has a lot of work to do! Or rather, we have a lot of work to do.
Once I started working with BrewDog and was introduced to the intensely hoppy, super flavourful, exciting beers we and other craft brewers produced, my entire palette seemed to awake from a 7-year slumber. When I attended a beer school and listened to James present the beers and describe the intense mango and lychee and caramel and pineapple in Punk IPA, it was like being shown the light. All of these claims to flavours in beer that I’d always seen as pretty much wanky bullshit were suddenly dancing across my tongue! I could taste it! I could taste the mango and smell the caramel! I understood! It’s incredibly difficult to describe, but the sudden realisation that I could taste more than I knew was stunning, eye-opening and shocking. In a very, very good way.
I have been working for BrewDog full time for about 6 weeks now, and in that time I have been the envy of all my friends as I’ve been sampling the delights of many a brew. And I get paid for it. But more importantly, in that time I have discovered a hidden MENSA-level intellect located in my tongue that I never knew was there. I am hooked on our Jackhammer and am totally obsessed with sours and porters (well, I am from London). Once I realised that there was more I could learn, I made it my personal life quest to learn about every style of beer I can get my paws on.
This opportunity for discovery is intensely exciting and I would recommend it to everyone.
I know what it’s like to be the girl who says “I don’t drink beer”, but whenever someone says that to me now, I respond with “…yet.”.
- That looks like a Spiegelau IPA glass! dennis22.03.2013
- I'm a very recent beer convert. I'd tried every Carling, Stella and Desperado that came my way and they were so disgusting that I just wrote off all beers. Brewdog has shown me the light! lilac22.03.2013
- That's the new IPA glass! arequejo22.03.2013
- I'm so glad somebody else mentioned Scroobius Pip because that's EXACTLY what I was thinking yesterday! Lupuloony22.03.2013
- Loved this post!
Yuengling lager was my gateway into the better beer world (and I still carry a soft spot for the bev). I used to HATE beer during my early college years bc all that was around was the horrible crap used to binge drink at parties, but when I discovered that I thought, "ooooh what else is there?" From there I progressed to Guinness, then onto the IPA that changed my life: Dogfish Head's 90 Min. It's been a wonderful journey ever since. :DKrissieJ22.03.2013
- I work for one of those "mainstream beer" companies and get loads free, yet end up giving it away and spend my money on brewdog beers and other local microbrewery brews.
Mainstream companies try to cater to all pallets with one beer and it is just not possible.
It ends up being generic. Not bad, but not good either.
Distinctive and hoppy all the way.Identity hidden for obvious reasons22.03.2013
- Splendid, honest piece Sarah. So many of us at last seeing through the pish of mainstream beers and bars: that insane, inane chuffedness when you found a pub that sold Kronenbourg alongside McEwans and Guinness. Wanky bullshit that. twistedmouth22.03.2013
- So jealous, my school never took me to Germany to drink beer! Yorky Bloke22.03.2013
- was good to meet you in Leeds the other night. Cheers for the invite. Was a cool and weird night!!! osedave22.03.2013
- When did Scroobius Pip get a job at a Brew Dog Bar? :P Goatie22.03.2013
- Hey John, I'm in digital marketing and events at BrewDog. It rocks! BrewDogSarah22.03.2013
- So what does Sarah do at BrewDog? Article mentions a number of times that she works at BrewDog but it doesn't actually say what she does? :) johncolemanuk21.03.2013
- "...pretty much wanky bullshit..."
I loved that :)
You should team up with Marverine Cole and inject some of that terminology into mainstream beer journalism.Lupuloony21.03.2013