As I journey into the next stage of my life, I’ve decided that it’s time to actually use the college degree that I overpaid for several years ago. So, I’ve decided to create this blog to talk about one of my passions: dark beer. While my wife is a huge fan of IPA’s, as most craft beer enthusiasts seem to be, I seem to lean more to the dark side. And now, Luke, I am not your father (shameless Star Wars reference!).
Here’s my story…I discovered craft beer in December of 2013. My wife and I were Christmas shopping in the St. Louis area, and it was cold and rainy the weekend before Christmas. The temperatures were dropping to near freezing, and for some reason, we decided to get a beer. I don’t know if it was the stress of Christmas shopping or the fact we were just over it. But I did a Google search for breweries in the area, and we found a small little brewery called 4 Hands Brewing. I had never heard of them, but they were close to where we were at the time so we charted our route.
It was a Saturday and we thought we’d get a beer and then drive home before the rain turned to sleet. We walked in and were immediately met by a friendly bartender who proclaimed that they had Bona Fide on tap. I had recently been drinking Newcastle during the fall that year because it was the only beer at the local liquor store that I hadn’t drank. So, I had been grilling a lot and thinking I was really hip drinking a “foreign” beer…what a noob!
So, when we walked up to the bar at 4 Hands, I ordered a Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown, and my wife ordered a Bona Fide, at the suggestion of the bartender. We sat down, and Staci immediately said, “This beer isn’t very cold!” Hmm, I thought…weird. I really enjoyed my beer and then took a sip of her’s. The flavors exploded on my tongue. I’d never drank a beer so thick and luxurious before. The coffee and chocolate contrasted so well together.
Jordan, the bartender, announced that they were doing a brewery tour and asked if anyone was interested to lineup at the door. Well, I was sold. So we did the tour. At the time, the brewery was relatively new and brewed only 8,000 barrels per year. We learned some interesting facts on the tour, and we got to drink while learning, so for us, that was a new experience.
Over the next few years, 4 Hands would become our favorite watering hole, and while that has changed over time that first experience at this small St. Louis brewery paved the way for us to enjoy the wonders of craft beer. I’ve used Rate Beer and Untappd and there are so many beers I’ve forgotten that I’ve tasted over the years, but this blog is my way of giving back to craft beer. I enjoy it so much, and I’ve learned a lot, not only about beer but about myself, in the last few years I figured it was time to share my thoughts on the subject matter. So, I haven’t met a dark beer that I wouldn’t drink. However, what follows is my take on anything I’ve tried. Trust me when I say I’ve had a lot more that I’m rating here, but I’m sure they’ll all come back around at some point. So, strap in and enjoy the wonders of dark beer where every season is stout seaon.
- Me on Untappd (EyeAmBaldman)
- Me on RateBeer (EyeAmBaldman) To be honest I don’t use this much anymore.
- 4 Hands Brewery