The question I get asked most often-mostly by non-craft beer drinking friends-is, “what is your favorite beer?” Generally when this happens, I freeze and my brain starts whirring like one of those NASA computers from the 1970s, compiling a million different calculations: what season is it? Am I pairing this with something or have I just eaten, am I home or out with friends and needing a session beer? The thought process that goes into choosing a favorite craft beer is an endless array of shifting variables that often ends in a categorical answer: “My top 10 or favorite brewers or favorite styles, etc”.
When I am asked, I am always reminded of the Monty Python skit in which a knight wishing to cross the bridge of death is stopped by a guardian who refuses to let him pass until he answers the question, “what is your favorite color” The knight ponders, then blurts out “blue?…..no! yellow!” and immediately is plunged off the bridge into the foggy abyss “aaaaagggghhhhhhh”.
Such is the way of craft beer. My palate is always evolving and working its way up from the primordial ooze of cheap canned yellow beer; so when asked, I now tell people “choosing a favorite beer is like choosing a favorite child. I love them all, but some are my honor students and some are red headed stepchildren”.