Let’s get this straight: I don’t like beer. As a kid, my dad would offer me a few sips of his hellacious, hoppy, bubbly brew, and within seconds I’d realize precisely why I promised myself that beer would never disgrace my taste buds again. Flash forward 11 years and I still strongly hold this sentiment. There is just something about drinking fermented yeast that does not speak to me. As such, I am probably not the best person to ask for advice when it comes to picking out the best beer.
Now I know considering that I am putting together a guide to State Street’s best beers, I should probably be more credible. I could give you a long list of all of the beer I have tried in my lifetime, but that would be limited to pumpkin ales and Sam Adams. In essence, I am a beer virgin; any beer I have tried has been extremely unpleasant, so I refuse to drink anything else.
When I decided to put this article together, I knew I was taking a risk. What if I hated everything I drank? What if I got drunk and had to Uber home? Well, I can tell you that only one of two of those things happened.
Two of my friends and I decided we would go downtown over the weekend and have a “treat yo’self” day. We took the bus and got kicked out of our seats a few times to accommodate elderly passengers, but we made it. We stepped out onto the asphalt of State Street and knew it was going to be a great day. Within about 20 minutes, we realized how hungry we were, so we decided to sniff out a good place to get dinner. This was when things turned for the worse.
We ended up walking over to Eureka! Burger (which, keep in mind, happens to be a block away from State Street) because I figured they would have a pretty wide beer selection. We were seated upon arrival and our friendly server approached us to take our drink orders.
I asked him if he were to order something off of their beer menu, what he would get, and his response was, “Well, what do you like?” I laughed out loud — literally — and told him that I do not like beer and that the only reason I was ordering some was for this assignment. He recommended their “Hoppy Poppy IPA.”
The first thing I did with that beer was sniff it, and may I say it was very hoppy, but not very poppy at all. All I could taste was what I thought was plant juice. I downed the whole thing (because $8 for a pint is a lot for a college student balling on a budget) and was buzzed within a few minutes. Nauseous and slightly inebriated, I decided I would not be able to continue on.
Though my Fresno Fig burger was fantastic and being buzzed while eating it helped, the taste of the Hoppy Poppy IPA was nothing short of a traumatic experience. I stumbled back to State Street, took the bus back home and wallowed in the fact that I would never be able to write a guide to anything beer-related so long as I live. This beer virgin will probably continue to be a beer virgin for the rest of his life, solely because of this experience.
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