One of the most interesting parts of exploring beer is starting to enjoy things that you didn’t like before. Our friends recently popped some bottles of lambic to share at their house, and my wife Ali couldn’t help but recounting the time that I’d tried my first sour beer. We’d been living in DC, it was around 2005—and I was on a mission to try said “sour beer.” Such beers were a lot more scarce back then, and after assembling a target list of four or five of the well-rated sour examples over on RateBeer.com (where I’d been tasting through the various style categories), I managed to find my first sour beer: a $26 bottle of Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek.
I only recently learned Cantillon’s Lou Pepe lineup of extra-impactful lambics took its name from a region of southwest France, where grandfathers are called Lou Pepe. Needless to say, I was not ready for grandpa lambic. I slowly drank it all because it was a $26 bottle of beer.
It’s harder for me to get to that same degree of unfamiliar flavor turf now, fifteen years on, a lot of it spent as a professional beer writer and reviewer. But it’s still fun to try and find that unexplored terrain… I recently picked up a Kölsch-style ale with Ceylon cinnamon and, uh, guava (from our local go-to HenHouse Brewing), which turned out shockingly good despite the disparate parts. And a friend shared an actually decent hard seltzer recently, from a local place called Ficks (made with real fruit juice). Who knew. What about you? What new drinks are you exploring? Working on any acquired tastes? Hit us up on Twitter @RareBeerClub.