Beer (Food Memories of 2011, No. 30)

Every day in December, I'm writing a short post about some food memory from 2011, mostly to be more thankful for all the great food and drink I've been lucky enough to have this year. 

2011 was the year that I came to the following conclusion: Drinking wine is equivalent to me giving myself a rophy. I love wine, sparkling wine and red wine in particular, but if I try to drink it, more than a glass with dinner, I basically knock myself out. My eyes won't stay open. My body feels heavy. I slump into slumber wherever I am.

Not so with beer.

Beer and I have been good friends since at least 2003. I liked beer earlier than that, but my understanding of beer only started then, when Boyfriend and I first traveled to Belgium. 

We're veritable beer snobs now, going out of our way to try new craft beers from microbreweries in the U.S. and Canada, or far-flung European ales, porters, and bocks, usually of German and Belgian origin.

This year, I didn't obsess over beer, as I did to some degree in 2009 and 2010, but I did manage to eke out my taste a bit more, learning what I like and most important of all, figuring out which glasses to use. If you don't think stemware makes a difference with beer, open a Leffe Blonde and take a swig from the bottle. Then pour it into a glass -- it doesn't really matter what kind, although a goblet is what I would choose -- and taste it again. Leffe needs to open up and breathe. You don't have to have refined taste buds to get that.

My favorite beer this year has been the Founder's Red Rye, which I wrote about earlier this month.