by Jason Shrum
There was a time, not too long ago, when I would drink just about any kind of beer that you placed in front of me. I didnʼt know the difference between lagers and ales, porters and stouts, or even bottles and cans. Okay, I went a little far on that last one, but you get the idea, I am driving home a point here. Beer, was simply, beer. In my mind it all fell into the same category. I would have never imagined the world that I live in now.
I now think of myself as a bit of a beer connoisseur. My wife, only half jokingly, refers to me as a “beer snob”. Either way, I now know my beer. I can easily talk to people in length about exactly what they are tasting as they sip on their libations. Although, I am sure most would prefer I shut up and let them drink. I can tell you about the IBUʼs (International Bittering Units), the OG (Original Gravity), the ABV (Alcohol by Volume). I can use terms like “gristing”, “sparging”, and “pitching” when referring to the beer making process. I can do all of this for one reason and one reason only...I went on the Road Dog Seattle Brewery Tour.
I only moved to the Pacific Northwest just recently (5 months ago to be exact). I was unaware of the vast beer culture that I was about to be immersed into. My aunt had sent me a gift certificate to Road Dog for my birthday which was right around the time of my move. I figured Iʼd go drink some beer with my wife, and see some breweries, but I never expected the overall impact that this experience was going to have on my life. I absolutely fell in love with the entire process of beer making. The hard work, the persistency, the dedication, and most importantly the passion that these brewerʼs possessed.
I also loved the idea that there was a company that took me to three different breweries and gave me a BEER 101 at each. Explaining the differences in style and technique. And of course, there were tons of samples.
I called Dustin Boast (Founder/CEO) a couple of days later, set up an interview and eventually I became part of the Road Dog Team. Long gone are the days of drinking cheap beer with no taste. My palette has changed, and so have I. I am very proud of the fact that my wife, and inner circle of friends, call me “The Beer Snob”.