Greetings.  My name is Mark, and I like beer.  I’ve always liked beer, but only recently have I begun to really plumb the depths of the beer world.  Sure, I had some craft brews here and there over the years, but living in PA means I have to deal with PLCB, which means the only places I can really experiment at are bars, and most bars around here have crappy selection (especially out here in the suburbs – it would be nice to live near a Monk’s or a Eulogy, but I have to make do with what I’ve got).  Otherwise, experimentation means buying a ridiculously expensive case of beer that I’m not even sure I’ll like.

In any case, I’ve recently become acquainted with the joys of violating the US Constitution (Amendment XXI, Section 2) by purchasing beer across state lines and bringing it back to PA (thank you, Delaware, for having awesome liquor stores with great beer selections).  I started my little interstate crimewave earlier this year and have burned through a pretty large selection of beers. I’ve even discovered a place relatively close in PA that has a great beer selection, but I kinda like being a scofflaw in this respect.

Of course, I’m having trouble keeping track of what I’m drinking and how well I like it. I’ve kinda been spamming my forum with posts on the subject, just in an attempt to keep up, but I don’t want to bore my friends with it if they’re not too interested. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years at this point, but it’s always been something of a generalist endeavor, so I figured I could give a niche blog a chance. I’m not that familiar with the rest of the beer blogs, but I’m starting to read around and I figure a niche blog will have a better chance fitting in than if I rolled the occasional beer post out on my other blog.

At this point, I should inform you that I’m pretty unsophisticated about my beer consumption. I like to think that I have pretty good taste, but my palate is nowhere near as attuned as some others seem to be. I read the reviews on Beer Advocate and wonder where on earth these people are getting these smells/tastes from. Speaking of which, I hope this blog never gets that dry and boring. BA is a wonderful resource, but it also kinda sucks (a topic for another post) and a lot of the stuff there seems to take the joy out of drinking beer. It’s like they think I should drink a beer whilst sitting in a dark isolation chamber, cleansing my palate after every sip, and writing pages of notes in some sort of formal code.

So look, I’m going to drink beer in less than ideal conditions. Sometimes I’m going to be out at a bar and in no condition (read: drunk) to accurately convey my thoughts. Sometimes I’ll smoke a cigar whilst imbibing. Most of the time I’m going to be drinking while consuming salty snacks and watching bad horror movies. I’m almost always going to compare a beer to others of a similar style. I don’t know why, but I almost never see that in reviews anywhere – comparative reviews should be more common. Context matters, but that’s a problem easily solved through acknowledgement (and it’s another big reason why the reviews at BA kinda suck).

All of which is to say that I’m most likely going to make an ass of myself on this blog, but that’s kinda why I blog in the first place. I blog to learn, and a big part of that will be making mistakes. I’m not pretending to be an expert here, I just want to gain a better understanding of the subject by describing what I’m drinking and how it’s making me feel. Writing has always been a good way to accomplish this sort of thing, so here we are. At some point, I’ll probably be trying my hand at homebrewing, which I’ll most likely be documenting here as well.

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