Life After PBR [Repost]

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PREMISE: I was asked to write an article for Passion8 Magazine about broadening your beer tastes upon graduation once you don’t have to worry about only drinking what’s cheap. It’s not quite a full travel post, but I talk about some local breweries and – of course – some German ones. A quick, fun read, maybe it’ll make you think of broadening your beer horizons!

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Most Canadian or American post-secondary students are well aware of the tough decision we come to face from time to time. We’re getting ready for a night on the town or some drinks at a friend’s place, but since we’re students we often opt for the cheap options – especially when it comes to beer. We get used to the familiar faces of Molson Canadian, Bud Light, or Pabst Blue Ribbon so they become our go to. After graduation, some of us take on the real world, some of us opt for more schooling, some travel the world, but we all come to the realization that maybe there’s more to this world than Canadian, Bud, or PBR. This can be scary, especially if money is still a little tight. However, I guarantee that once you take a step outside your comfort zone, you’ll never want to go back.

The big question you’re first faced with is a tricky one: what will I like? If you prefer lighter, more refreshing drinks then I’d start with a light beer or a pale ale, possibly something with a hint of fruit. If you’re a fan of interesting concoctions that tickle your tastebuds, then I’d suggest picking out an IPA. Or maybe you’re a fan of deeper, more hearty flavours. Then I’d say take a walk on the wild side and opt for a stout or dark beer.

Just one small preview of the Craft Beer section at my local LCBO!

Just one small preview of the Craft Beer section at my local LCBO!

As I’m sure you’ve seen, the variety of imported and craft beers has increased in the past 5 years, meaning so many opportunities for your tastebuds! If you’re not sure where to start, I’d suggest supporting your local businesses and try something from a microbrewery. In Ontario you’ll find plenty of these at the LCBO and the Beer Store, or take a trip with a few buddies and visit a microbrewery yourself! Some great Ontario picks are Muskoka and Hop City, or branch out and try some from other provinces like Granville Island from British Columbia or Propeller from Nova Scotia.

If this course of action seems a little on the safe side to you, then try something a bit more… international! Anyone who has travelled outside of North America will know that 9.9 times out of 10 there will be no sign of Canadian, Bud, or PBR. So why not pretend – or not – to get away and try something new. Beer is pretty much synonymous with Germany, and they’re very serious about their beer. They even have purity laws for it saying a true beer only consists of three ingredients! No, I’m not kidding. Anyone who has been to Munich will know how seriously they take their beer. Try something from Paulaner or Hacker Pschorr, two of their six local breweries. You can also mix either lemonade or cola into your beers to get a delicious variation the Germans refer to as Radlers and Diesels. A plus for those who are looking to have a few without getting too tipsy!

The 7th barrel represents the purity act, meaning beer could only have 3 ingredients!

The barrels represent the 6 original Munich breweries while the last one represents the purity act!

However, sometimes being faced with so many choices can be overwhelming. When this is the case, there’s always random selection by closing your eyes and pointing or by picking whatever can is prettiest/most exciting/looks weird. Friends can help with this situation by their power of suggestion, but if you don’t trust their judgement you can always ask the staff to see what their choices are.

Or if you’re anything like me… skip all this fuss and grab a cider.

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