Per my last post, I believe St. Patrick’s Day falls within tax time for a reason, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. First off, I want to say Happy Anniversary to my Grandpa and Grandma Schwind, who are celebrating sixty-five years together today! WOO! Secondly, and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to trace my beer evolution for you and how I ended up at a Girls’ Pint Out event last night.
It began in high school, when I dated a guy whose dad was a Miller Lite salesman, so in high school, I drank Miller Lite. What am I talking about? In high school, we drank whatever we could get our hands on. In college, I was cheap. We all were, so we drank Natural Light, by the case. I still have memories of watching my pal, Nicole (who was about five-foot-two), carrying cases of Nattie up the four flights to my apartment. In a way, carrying one case in each hand kept her balanced, even under the influence.
Post-college, I got better about beer. I worked as a bartender first, but the beer was still mostly light and domestic. I moved on to work in a wine and specialty beer shop in Ohio. This is where the trouble started. I began to learn about wheat beers, IPAs, porters … beers that cost eight dollars for a six pack (whereas Nattie was once ten dollars for a case). And despite my cheapness, I bought these beers, and I loved them.
In Charleston, South Carolina, I reverted to crappy light beer, because we spent our days at the beach, and you can’t drink an IPA at the beach. You seriously can’t, unless you want to make a trip to the hospital. Then, when Jake and I moved to Phoenix, my expensive taste in beer exploded, due to the proximity of Total Wine and the build-your-own-six-pack. Now, I drink tons of home brew (thanks to Jake’s buddies, Brandon and Wyatt). I love places like The Yardhouse, where they have close to a hundred beers on tap. Generally, I stick to IPAs and wheat beer for my home consumption.
I first heard about AZ Girls’ Pint Out at Ignite Phoenix, where the founder of the Arizona chapter spoke. At the time, Jake elbowed me and said, “You should do that.” A bunch of chicks hanging out, talking about beer in cool local venues; sure, I could do that. I attended my first event last night, at Sun Devil Cellar in Mesa. It’s not in the prettiest part of town, but once inside, I was blinded by the wide array of beer and friendly customer service guys.
The idea of Girls’ Pint Out is excellent. Quote from their website: “We’re gals into grolsch. Ladies into lagers. Princesses into pilsners. Angels of ale. You get the idea.” It’s proof that smart, beautiful, creative women do enjoy a cold one, as much as any dude. We like talking about it, too, and most of the women I met last night even create their own home brew!
We focused on Irish beer. We tried Smithwick’s, Murphy’s Red, O’Hara’s Irish Red, Porterhouse Oyster Stout, Porterhouse Wrasslers Full Stout, Guinness Stout, and Guinness Foreign Extra. Some items of note: I don’t like red ales. The Oyster Stout was made with REAL oysters (which you know I love). And Guinness Stout can’t stand up to the Foreign Extra. The Foreign Extra has more alcohol, more flavor, and more general yum. A factoid that I found to be most excellent: When Arthur Guinness started making beer in 1759, he signed a lease for an unused brewery in Dublin. He signed a lease set to last for 9,000 years. Talk about long-term planning …
I met some super cool chicks at the Girls’ Pint Out event. I learned some super cool info, and I gave a toast to Irish beer and good old St. Pat. You gotta love beer tastings, where you can wade through the bad beer and find your way to the good, aka Guinness Foreign Extra.
Yes, I’ve come a long way since my days of drinking Natural Light by the case. My tastes have changed drastically, but I’m still the same girl who enjoys a cold beer at the end of the day—which is why I look forward to my next AZ Girls’ Pint Out event. For more about the group (and more about their March 31st trip to Sleepy Dog Brewery in Tempe), check out http://az.girlspintout.com/. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Be SAFE tonight!