Monday, November 26, 2018

Beer of the Week: Introduction

Yes, that's me drinking a beer.
Who woulda thunk it?
For the longest time this blog has only focused upon whatever books or e-books I've been reading, but it used to be more than that. Frankly, the drive of social media over the last decade has allowed me to post my ramblings and interests elsewhere, but I still keep this blog going for myself if no one else.

However, I've been kicking around ideas to freshen this blog a little, to give it a little more content, and eventually I decided to come up with "Beer of the Week" posts. Twenty years ago I started a website about beer, and later on I ran a blog about beer, but eventually I gave them up because the Internet had changed, making it more difficult to make money through blogging (don't worry, this blog that you're reading isn't really about making money, but is more just for me to get stuff out of my system). I also quit blogging about beer because I could no longer drink it for health reasons. Fortunately, my doctors have told me I can drink beer again, but in moderation. So, a beer a week can't hurt me, thus is born my "Beer of the Week" posts.

Look for them here on this blog. I'm not sure if I'll have a set day and time each week for these posts, but maybe that'll come. For now, I'll play it by ear.

More about me and beer: Prior to the mid-90s I was your typical American beer drinker. Budweiser was pretty much it for me. But I made friends in the mid-90s who introduced me to good beer. I mean really good beer. From then on, my tastes in beer have bordered on snobbery. Then, for Christmas 1997 some friends gave me a present of one of those large boxes of different types of Saranac beer. So, on December 20, 1997, I started “Ty’s pages for Beer Snobs” on the Geocities Web sites. The site wasn’t for brewing experts, but was meant to be more of a laid-back list of beers I had tasted and my brief thoughts about them. Again, this wasn’t for the experts, but I did try to toss in a little education here and there, things I had learned about beer over the years. In 2009 Geocities decided to shut down. That meant after 12 years of writing about beer, I had to find a new venue. That's where my new blog came in. It was meant to be a very casual blog, without getting into all the science and yaddy yaddy about beer. It was meant to be a blog for people who want to taste good beer, but who don't really care about all the hops and yeast and recipes that go into beer. Also, I came up with the idea to self-publish an e-book titled “An Amateur Beer Snob’s Guide to Beer,” which reprinted much of what was to be found on my old Web site. However, I did eventually unpublish that e-book because I felt the information had become outdated (beers often change over time, after all, the actual beers and the people or companies who make them).

About the beer rankings

Yes, I rank my beers, but I won't say it's done overly scientifically.

My beer posts will include a link to the brewer's website (if there is one), my numerical ranking based upon my own scale of 0.1 to 10.0, and a little of my personal thoughts about each beer. Here and there I might also throw in a few funny or interesting quotes about beer as well as any other information I think would be of interest. And if you’re curious about my ranking systems, let’s just say that a 5.0 is a decent beer, a 1.0 is an awful beer and a 10.0 is a fantastic beer. It's simple and meant to be.

Where readily available, I will also try to include to following information about each beer:

ABV: This stands for alcohol by volume. It is a percentage of alcohol in the drink. Most beers are usually somewhere around five percent in the U.S. As I'm in the U.S., I'm mostly familiar with the trends and laws and such for my own country, and those things might be different elsewhere, so I apologize if my information doesn't match that of another nation.

IBU: This stands for International Bitterness Units. It's a scale for measuring the basic bitterness of a beer, though that's truly oversimplifying things. Some beers might have a higher IBU but not taste quite so bitter because of the amount of malt added. I suppose a more accurate way to gauge this would be to say the IBU reflects the amount of hops in a beer. Truly heavy beers will have an IBU of 30 to 50, while lighter brews will be 10 or even less. The IBU isn't always readily available, but I'll add it whenever I can find it.

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