Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bottle Collecting

In the next couple of weeks, I hope to be working on my Mr. Beer Irish Stout -- that being the second of the two cans of prepared wort extract my wife bought me for my birthday.  In the meantime, I'm working on collecting brown bottles for the end game.

The Mr. Beer kit bottles are useful, particularly for
carbonating. The plastic does provide for an easier test
for carbonation. But there are drawbacks, too.
The kit my wife bought came with several bottles -- 1-liter plastic -- which are excellent for home use.  But if you want to share, well... let's just say I don't like to let finite resources out of the house, when I can help it.  Plus, while anytime I open a standard bottle, I know I'm going to finish it, the same cannot be said for the liter. Sometimes, I'm just not in the mood for that much (this is what happens when you drink for taste rather than drunkenness) at a time, which means the liter has to be recapped and stored in the fridge for later.  In theory, there's no problem with this, I just don't like having less than a single glass left over... which happens a lot.

So all of that's a roundabout way to say that, simply for the sake of convenience, I'm switching to glass 12-oz bottles.

Of course, as with anything worth doing, there's more than one way to go about it.  In this case, I do have the option of buying a case of bottles from the supplier.  On the other hand, I could go to a local beer store (like CJ's in Potsdam) and buy the bottles there.  Either way they need to be recapped.  This second method is a bit more expensive per bottle, but then, as these more expensive bottles also come with beer inside them, there are definitely compensations.

I didn't take this picture.
Yesterday's supply of bottles came with Lake Placid Brewing's India Pale Ale in them, a slightly darker brew, with a very hoppy taste and citric aftertaste.  A couple years ago, I'd have scoffed at the very idea of India Pale Ale, but this was from ignorance rather than experience.  A friend of mine (also, coincidentally, named Randy) was the first to suggest that I may find the style enjoyable.  Actually, this same friend is the one with whom I discovered one of my favorite craft brews.  That's a good story -- remind me to tell it some time.

The point being that, in beer -- as in life (or anything else worth pursuing) -- it never hurts to open your mind.  You may well find that your prejudices and predilections have more to do with your own misinformed perceptions than anything resembling reality.    Case in point, my beer horizons have expanded pretty dramatically since my days in college, when I enjoyed my Killians and Sam Adams and Guinness.  I no longer go straight for the red ales and stouts when I'm looking for a good beer -- I now find I'm always on the lookout for a good IPA.

And on that note, the Lake Placid India Pale Ale is one that will always find a home in my refrigerator.  It's strong enough to make its point, and smooth (and flavorful) enough to make me get a second.  As a matter of fact, I do believe it may go very well with this evening's fireworks...

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