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Blues and Brews 2017

Blues and Brews

Last month, I ran for beer and Public Television (not necessarily in that order).

As a fairly new, and introverted resident of Cookeville TN, I am always excited to find events for grown-ups that will keep me involved in the community while helping me avoid my natural inclination to hide at home under the covers and plot how to collect more cats.

The WCTE Haunted Half Marathon and The Blues and Brews Craft Beer Festival were such occasions. An added bonus (or perhaps the selling point for each), was that WCTE provided a package deal in which race participants could also purchase a discounted VIP ticket to The Blues and Brews Craft Beer Festival, both events benefiting WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS. I run sometimes for health (mostly mental), and I am a craft beer enthusiast (which is arguably also for mental health), so it seemed like a good combination of events for me. I could spend the morning running, then spend all afternoon recovering from the run by filling and refilling my 3oz commemorative taster glass with delicious, guilt-free beer. Continue reading

Quite Some Time Ago

Shortly after I reached the age of 21, (quite some time ago) I moved to CO – a state known for skiing, mountains and beer. Until that point, Budweiser, Coors and Miller High Life (the proverbial Champaign of beers) was all I knew of beer. I didn’t much care what it was when I was 21; I was just excited to drink anything legally. But, after I moved Fort Collins, CO, home to New Belgium and O’Dell’s, I experienced the complexity and adventure of craft beer and the Champaign of Beers kind of lost its celebratory appeal.

Since then, I’ve moved a few more times. Each time, I worried that I may not be able to get the beer I had grown so fond of in CO. Fortunately, the craft beer scene has been rapidly expanding, and so I was able to get New Belgium beers as well as a variety of other microbrew delights in my new respective cities.

A year ago, we moved to a relatively small city of 30,000 in central TN for my husband’s job. Having spent most of my life in the West and in relatively large cities, I was completely ignorant to what living in Cookeville, TN (part of the Bible belt) would be like. I worried, again, that the only beer that would be available would be the High Life.
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Is It me?

Recently, I was browsing the beer forums and blogs for the show and came across the an article, and like most good articles it made me question myself. Let me explain. In the article in question the author was at a bar and overheard a group of guys talking about the beer they were ordering. He agreed with most of the acronyms they were throwing around and I’m guessing most of the major descriptors as well. The only thing that really irked him was that they were saying how the IBU’s were low on the amber ales, the stouts, and even the IPA’s for christ’s sake!

Now the question I asked myself was “Am I one of those guys?” really? “Do I dislike a beer based on its relative IBU count?” And if I dig down deep and am truly honest with myself the answer is NO! Ok maybe I do. However, in most situations when I am at a new bar I look at the menu and choose a beer that they describe as one I might like. This is an IPA more than anything. If they have more than one of the same style and nothing between them is that different, than yes I might use IBU’s as a deciding factor. But. that is not the defacto reason I choose to drink a beer. Most of the time it is more of an after thought more that anything. I drink the craft beer (probably an IPA) and think to myself or out loud “What’s the IBU’s on this beast?” But, even if its below what in my amateur taste buds might assume that it should be I still do not feel it affects my overall assessment of the beer. Continue reading

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