Last time I talked about my first ever craft beer when I was in college. What I failed to mention was some things that occurred in college regarding craft beer that have led me to who I am today. This is the story of the truest beginning of my life in craft beer.
Junior and Senior year I lived in a house with four other guys, my good friends. Like any college guy with little money, a ton of free time, and utility bills to pay, we resorted to hosting some parties. You all know the drill. Buy a keg of something cheap, sell cups for $5, flip a profit, beer runs out quick, if you have a heart you feel bad kind of, but then you look at your cash and forget. Yeah those. In our case, the beer was Natty Light and it was $90 for a keg and you got $30 back when you returned it. So essentially it was $60, or $12 a roomie. So we each needed to invite 3 people to turn a very small profit. Parties are parties and more came every damn time. Our house was so much fun if I’m being humble and honest at the same time. But what I forgot to mention was that I was in a special program where I was taking semesters off and working full time making some pretty good money for a college kid at $14/hour for 40 hours/week. Needless to say I had some extra cash left over.
What I did with that extra cash you ask? I spent it on beer. I always hated the taste of cheap beer. Always struggled to drink it honestly. So I would ask my roomie or go with and grab a case of “nicer” beer. My definition of nicer back then is something that we can all laugh out loud at now. I was slugging away at the likes of Heineken, Stella Artois, Landshark, Dos Equis, and maybe even a Red Stripe. I had a mini fridge in my room, so during the party, I wouldn’t fight for a “house cup”, I would drink from the well with the peasants in my house. I would run up to my room grab a beer and enjoy it. I was in heaven, even if with Philly tax those cases cost me numbers I am no longer proud of.
I grew accustomed to these nicer quality light beers. I enjoyed drinking them way more. I got a custom Stella Artois glass with my name on it. I was living life. Then we started hitting up bars with more frequency my senior year. We would go to a place no longer open in Manayunk named Flat Rock, where they would have live music and cheap craft beer and a bunch of options. This is where I really started dabbling. By dabbling, I mean my buddy bought me a Perpetual IPA one time because it was a higher percentage and we would get “fucked up quicker”. I also would get the $7, 36 oz. glass of Stella to slug. No wonder that place isn’t around. This was when I knew that when I graduated and started making good money, I would explore nicer beers, but my definition of nicer beers and what was different than the Natty/Bud Light/Miller Lite was flawed because I was uneducated on different types of beers. I was thinking just on colored bottles and drinkability. My palette was so unrefined. But it got my started on this path, and for that I am thankful for those jobs. I am thankful for those experiences. But what was next really set me on this path, and that is the most interesting story of all!
This is Part 2 of a 3-part series of TBT’s to take place over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!