Why I started Beer Treks Brewery Tours
When I first started drinking beer, there were pretty much only pale lagers available…the typical main big beer companies like Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Stroh’s, and a few small others. Beers from those companies were predominantly what was available. I remember not really enjoying beer at all at first. The flavors were mild and bland. There was nothing special about drinking these beers. I would look for something like the band new wine coolers that were hitting the market or something along those lines. However, those were very sweet and not much to my liking also. It was pretty sad to say the least.
Trying to and wanting to enjoy beer, my friends and I looked to the “import” beers that could be found in some places. Beers like Heineken, St. Pauli Girl, Molson, Carlsberg, Killians Red. When we had the money, these were the six packs we would buy. When beers like Michelob Dark came out or when we could find St. Pauli Girl Dark things started to change a little. Beers started having more flavor and character. These were still all lagers and mostly pale lagers but at least they had good taste. I remember having my first Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest at a local German tavern and fell in love with it immediately. All of these beers were so much more exciting and pleasurable with so much more flavor. I started to realize that beers could provide much more of an experience.
Fast forward about 20 years with the American craft beer movement fully underway, the choices and opportunities available to us beer drinkers became adventurous and epic. Today, when I go to my local grocery store in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the choices from local, state, regional, national craft breweries is huge. The import section is there also with great choices from Europe. It’s almost come to the point that you stand in the beer section of the store and don’t know where to start. Who’s complaining, not me, this is a great problem to have. I’m sure in other larger cities, the beer selections are even greater. To think what little beer choices were available even in 1990 to what is now available in 2021 is astonishing, but how great it is!
As the craft beer movement expanded, so did my pallet. Beer slowly became more and more exciting. The flavors and aromas became intoxicating and over all these years beer has become my drink of choice. I really like a good beer! Ale or lager, it doesn’t matter. A good beer today can still mean a great lager! I love the pilsner style, and I love a good Munich Helles or Munich Dunkel. Ales like a good amber or brown ale, American Pale Ales, Belgian Quad, Tripel or Dubbel, English Bitters…wow there are so many! To me, beer is an experience. It’s not just something you consume with your meal or at your buddy’s party.
That experience grows with the more knowledge I have about the beer style, the history of the style, ingredients used in brewing it, how it pairs with certain foods. That is why I started down the Cicerone certification path. The courses, the training, and the certifications they offer are the best in the beer business. I also read books about beer…they’re a bunch out there. The more knowledge I have, the more I can appreciate the beer even if it’s not a beer I would order again. I think most everyone can attest to having a better appreciation for something that they know more about. I recently gave my mom a Gose style beer to taste. It was called a Margarita Gose. She likes margaritas, so I said let’s try this beer because I’ve never in my entire life seen her drink a beer. She took one taste of it and said, “I never knew beer could taste like this.” That one experience changed her appreciation for beer. That’s what it’s all about.
The experience I seek when I pop open a beer or get one poured from a tap is what I want for everyone out there who likes to drink beer. Hell, even for those who aren’t sure about beer yet but want to try it. That is why I started Beer Treks Brewery Tours. The breweries, the beer, the knowledge you gain on a tour is an experience and I promise you, it will change your appreciation for beer even if you’re a wine drinker.
I love the concept of microbreweries and what they stand for in the beer world and in their local communities. I love that they’re challenging the big beer companies in ways those big companies never thought possible. I love that they take beer so seriously that their brew masters are considered artists and beer chefs. I love that you can pop into a local brewery and never know what new and exciting beer awaits you. I love that these brewery owners have the tenacity, drive, and passion to sink a lifetimes savings into their business out of true love for fine beer.
My goal with Beer Treks Brewery Tours is for each person who takes one of my tours to walk away having a greater appreciation, understanding, and love for beer. I tell them this right at the beginning of the tour. I want to expose everyone I can to great tasting beer and help them learn about beer, how beer is made, the ingredients in beer, how to properly taste beer, how to pour a beer, and so much more. I want them to understand why they like certain beers over others, so when they leave the tour and go to their local brewery, they have the knowledge, courage, and excitement to order a beer they would have never tried before and then sit down and have a really great experience.
That is why I started Beer Treks.