So let's continue the discussion from my last post on the subject of picking a beer to drink. Personally, I think every serious beer drinker needs to have a "go-to" beer. What's a "go-to" beer? It's a little like the go-to guy at work. You know, the one who can be counted on to get the job done, even when you're not quite sure what the job is. It's a steady, reliable choice, one you can depend on, day in and day out.
It's not to be confused with your "favorite" beer. I think it was Miyamoto Mushashi, the greatest of all the Samurai, who said: "A true master has no favorite weapon." Or to put it another way, when I'm asked what my favorite beer is, I usually say: "The one I'm drinking right now." Beer is too broad a subject, too massive an undertaking, to be constrained within the bounds of a single "favorite". I'll leave that to the congenital Bud drinkers out there.
Still, it's good have a "go-to" beer. It lets your non-beer drinking wife know what to pick up for you at the store, in the absence of more specific guidance. It lets your friends know what beer they can stock for a party which won't result in you giving them a lecture on the evils of macro-brewed swill. Such a beer should be widely available in your area, reasonably priced, locally produced, and come in bottles. (Stuff from your local micro or brewpub is great, but unless it's located right next door, bottled beer is damned convenient as compared to going out for a growler refill. Especially during an Alaskan winter...)
So what's my "go-to" beer? Midnight Sun's Sockeye Red IPA. Brewed not too far away, I can almost always count of finding nice, fresh draft kegs or bottles of it here in my little corner of The Last Frontier. With an ABV of 5.7%, it's not too strong to enjoy a couple of with dinner. It's got the big, hoppy bite you'd expect from a West Coast India Pale Ale, which can be too rough for some folks, who may be used to the more refined British or East Coast-style IPAs. You know who you are...
So now that you know what my "go-to" beer is, I should never have to suffer through a bottle of MGD when I come over to your house, right? Remember, friends don't let friends drink crappy beer!