Well, wouldja look at that

The new version of thebeertrials.com has launched. Looks lovely, in my opinion. Take a peek!

There’s been less than normal amounts of beer in my life the last few weeks, but plenty of The Beer Trials. I was in Puerto Rico for a week, and failed to try a local mango-flavored beer that I heard some positive comments about. I did try one local pale lager that was too cold to taste. Mostly I enjoyed rum, which is not something I drink much.

I did have one noteworthy beer experience, though: Just before I left on that trip, I attended the last garage-wine tasting that Vincent over at Elevage will be hosting for the foreseeable future (he’s moved from garage wine to commercial facilities). Recalling that last year, other guests brought generous supplementary tasting materials, I looked in the basement for a bottle to bring. None of the wine down there seemed suitable, but there was a spare bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru, which seemed like it might be relatively at home in the company of some fine wines.

Long story short, the bottle didn’t get much love for the first hour or so I was there. People were perplexed why there was a bottle of beer, but didn’t seem particularly curious to find out. It looked like I was going to be the only person enjoying the wonderful sour ale. I began to wish that I’d just told Vincent to save it for later.

However, as the other bottles emptied out, a few people finally gave it a shot. And at least some of them got it. I saw several doubletakes and heard more than a few exclamations of “Woah, you’ve got to try this…”

I don’t have any burning need to convince the world that everyone should be drinking Flanders reds—or any particular beer, for that matter—but it’s wonderful to be able to challenge people’s expectations and open their eyes to the near-radical diversity of the beer world. If you’ve never tried a sour ale, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.

I’ll be heading to California in a couple weeks to join Robin for the American Association of Wine Economists’ annual conference. When I return in July, I expect we’ll have some more announcements about The Beer Trials and where it’s headed that will be even more exciting than the website launch.

It’s a good time to be a beer drinker. Especially in Portland, where spring appears to be almost here…


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