Saturday, February 18, 2012
It's early February and for me the beer scene in stores has been slow. The feverish pace at which new releases come out between August and December has been over for some time. And any leftovers of your favorite holiday beer has been bought up. Some early spring releases will start making their way onto shelves but it's still early for me to begin drinking anything with spring in the name. So aside from discovering beers I've never had before, or a possible beer dinner event, this is the time of year I refer to as the dead zone for beer.
February is just a miserable month. We are all antsy for warm weathers arrival, and if you're like me, are yearning for a new round of seasonal brews. In this time period there are some things you can do to ensure you don't go haywire and plan a trip to Belgium in order to cure your beer craziness. Most of them are easy to accomplish, others take some planning to ensure they keep you fulfilled.
Right off the bat, brewing your own beer is the obvious hobby that will keep you entertained and also keep new beers rolling in. But if you don't have a kit yet, or are just not a position to do so then I suggest starting a little collection of beers throughout the year and experiment with aging. Even with limited space, aging is easy and will keep your palate entertained. Another task that doesn't require any time like aging is mixing 6 packs at your local liquor store. Don't go in and pick up your regular favorite every time you run to the store. Grab an empty 6 pack container and deliberately pick beers you've never tried before. This is a sure way to spread your interests and discovery a new favorite. Store you go to doesn't sell singles? Find somewhere that does, or suggest to your store that they start.
One of the best ways to keep your beer-thusiasm at a high level is visit local breweries and or brew pubs. One trip to a new place each month with get the dog days of winter over quickly and you'll soon have a summer ale in your hand and cooking on the grill. Lastly, after a solid year of picking up beer to age, the next task is to deplete your beer cellar! This is a great way to entertain your taste buds and it's also a reason to have a small get together with beer tasting being the theme. Every week or two open a bottle of limited or one time releases and share with friends.
It's only 6 weeks until April! Spring and Summer aren't as far away as we think.