I didn't like ales 'period'.. until one day many years ago, I was at my local vons in redondo beach, and they had just started carrying a brand new microbrew called 'stone' pale ale, and sonte IPA.. (stone can thank vons for their success, somebody there liked them.. and when a major chain picks you up.. well)
The bottle intrigued me... I had been a BMC drinker for many years, then quit drinking entirely for 15 years because of health reasons, and one day had decided I missed it too much... So shortly after deciding to start again, I bought a kegerator and a keg of heineken.. Wow, that sure tasted better than the bottled stuff.. Tried some fosters.. Wow.. that was better too... What's going on here..
So now I'm intrigued about what else is out there.. And curious about the label of those stone beers, I bought a sixer of each of the pale ale and the IPA...
The moment I opened that first beer and caught a whiff of that floral hops aroma, I think was the moment that my beer tastes changed forever... I started educating myself a little about beer, and next thing you know I was intrigued by the idea of brewing my own... I had been under the mis-impression that home brewing was Mr.Beer kits and that's it..
So about three years ago I bought a B3 starter kit and an American IPA extract kit, and a carboy for my kegerator..
Some day, I will try my hand at lagers, and even my own versions of heineken or fosters or whatever, but truth is, I'd be totally happy to just drink IPA's for the rest of my life...
Whenever I open a bottle of pale ale or IPA, the first thing I do is stick my nose to the opening and just smell it for a bit... once I've fully gotten the aroma of that, then I pour the beer...love that smell!
My favorite thing I look forward to when brewing, is to stick my nose into the pellet bag immediately after I open the bag of hops and inhale deeply... The next favorite is doing the same thing when I drop the pellets into the boiling wort.. I fan the fumes toward my nose with my hands and breathe it in..
..and smile from ear to ear....
Hops are a gift from God to man for this very purpose..
Rejoice in the blessing!