Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bartender, Two Beers Please

[For beer posts I have decided to enlist the help of a man who has literally traveled the world in search of a good pint, I present to you my dear friend and trusted drinking companion (when we find ourselves in the same area of the globe) Mr. Aaron Brown]

Ladies and Gentlemen, how are you? I hope you are well.

My name is Aaron Brown and Josh has asked me to contribute to his blog. Josh loves wine, as you know. But dare I say his first love was beer. These are two subjects that are often held in contrast. Each has their diehard adherents, each has its charms, quirks, traditions and insanities. However you feel, whichever was your first love, no matter. Disagree where they do, one thing that is for sure is that writing about both of these ancient drinks is too large a task for one man. Somebody trying to write with the same quality as Josh does about both beer and wine is bound to do both a disservice.

You already know Josh but here is a little about how Josh and I know each other. We originally met in high school. We hung out in the same circles and have dozens of mutual friends. I finished high school, left Ontario and went to Halifax for university. One day during my third year in Halifax, Josh and I spied each other behind the King’s College rez buildings. This was an absolutely mindblowing chance meeting and we immediately reconnected.

The following year we were roommates. Josh’s knowledge of homebrewing and winemaking were fascinating to me. The fact that he worked for The Noble Grape (an excellent supply shop for wine and beer equipment) was an even bigger boost to my newfound hobby. It had a location behind our house and this made it especially easy to brew up batches.

Josh is to blame, directly or indirectly, for most of the dollars I’ve spent spent on beer since somtime in 2007. Once you get a taste for the good stuff there is no going back. One thing I loved about Josh was that he was willing to teach and debate but he never nominated himself as the final authority. He was happy to hear my thoughts and opinions as I learned and my interests developed. Almost immediately the brewing was a joint responsibility. He was not going to pull the load on his own to brew for 4 thirsty university students(and their friends).

He was willing to give pointers but once he got me comfortable brewing it was all on me to develop recipes and do the dirty work. Partly, this was a case of fairness. Why should he do all he work? But I suspect that this was his way of letting me learn on my own and become my own beer geek. It’s no fun unless you can argue sometimes. Josh and I both enjoy a good argument, though I prefer having them face-to-face rather than online. Call me old fashioned.

So there is my relationship with Josh in a nutshell. I’m sure some more stories will come out of the nutshell as the blog goes on ;)

Now, here is a little about what to expect in the beer posts:

• Tasting notes – I will be digging out some old notebooks from my travels & adding pictures where possible. It will be fun to see what I think now, looking back on those beers.
• Travel notes and stories related to beer. I have been lucky to travel. And as a beer lover you are lucky that beer offers you so many excuses to travel and drink good stuff while you do so. I love to drink amazing things and to see amazing things and I will be sharing some of my adventures with you.
• Beer history, beer stories, tall tales etc. I am not the be-all end-all authority on beer styles and beer history but I like to cut through the crap where it exists and celebrate the mysteries of
beer’s history where it ought to be.
• I won’t be writing about beer news so much unless it is truly significant and I have access to the relevant product. What the US micros are up to is really cool but I don’t keep my finger on that pulse so much because many of the beers are unavailable to me. I will try to talk about beer I have actually drank. Lots of Canadian beer and whatever decent foreign stuff I can get hold of. I am lucky to live 4 blocks from the best beer bar in over an hour's drive. So that helps.
• Occasionally I will do some interviews or coverage of beer events (ie. Tasting events). In fact, I am going to one tomorrow from Muskoka Cottage Brewery

If you’d like, follow me on Twitter where I say whatever I feel like with no guiding theme or control >> @aaron_j_brown

Or visit my *ahem* ‘personal brand’ website if you want to hear me write like you might want to hire me. It's actually kinda cool. Come on now!

ok, i'm done. Cheers, people :)


  1. Looking forward to the blog, Aaron!

  2. Thanks, Anna! i am very excited. i have been pooling together some cool stuff and i even scored an interview or two.