Monday Random Topic Post

Oh! Oh. ohhh - Matthew Carruth

On beer, changing tastes, and trying to recapture the past.

This is not a baseball post. I am going to try something a little different here. This winter has been bereft of topics to stimulate interest, there's little left to analyze about last season and projecting forward to next season is still a bit premature. I think forcing content causes a noticeable drop in quality. So instead I'm going to experiment with writing on entirely different subjects. Sure, this is a baseball blog, but a community has sprung up here and we don't need to be 100% about our original siren.

Although I mostly grew up in, and consider home to be, the Seattle area, I didn't attend college here. Instead, I spent those influential years on the east coast, mostly in Philadelphia. Over my time there my beer drinking tastes would evolve from hating it (thanks, frat parties and your terrible, terrible beer) to loving it (thanks, microbrews).

My beer drinking got fancier and, consequently more expensive, but I remained a relatively poor college student. So in between trips to The Foodery, Monk's Café, and road trips across to New Jersey to load up on bulk purchases, drinking cheap beer was still a frequent occurrence.

The go to beer of choice in that category was Yuengling. Located about 100 miles away in Pottsville, PA, Yuengling claims to be America's oldest still running brewery and permeates the Philly tri-state area with a fervent amount of local pride. It was definitely always an acceptable choice at local bars and parties, seen as a step up from the Miller/Bud/Coors pale lagers while being around the same price point. In fact, in the pale lager category, it's considered among the best.

At least, that's how I recalled it. I hadn't had a drop of Yuengling since I exuberantly fled the east coast in 2007. This past weekend I found myself in the DC area and staying in one night to avoid some of their expensive bar costs (seriously east coast, you suck), my group was wandering the beer aisle at the only open store when I came back across Yuengling, deliciously priced at only $10 for a 12-pack.

It didn't taste delicious. It was still tolerable but due to whatever reasons, possibly drinking from cans instead of bottles — later on when I had some on tap, it tasted a lot better — it wasn't nearly as lovable as I had held it in my nostalgic memory.

Even though I may have just suffered a temporary displacement due to drinking from cans, it touched off some introspection. As I thought about it, I concluded that I had been a bit foolish to expect a beer to be able to transport me back to my college days. Especially to the rose-colored version of those days where I spent all my time socializing instead of hours upon hours of studying and/or working like what actually transpired.

I'm a different person now than I was then. I've experienced new things and my tastes have changed. It's no wonder that I wouldn't perceive something from the past the same way. The catalyst here was about beer and if you want to stick to that subject, by all means. Lookout Landing loves its beer. But more generally, have you had any jarring returns to a past that couldn't be recaptured?

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