Since my 100 Pubs Project is on hold indefinitely until I return back to London, I am launching another project to keep me occupied while I am in the New World: The 50 American Beers Project.
It’s simple enough: I’m going to try 50 different American beers, with preference towards offerings from regional and micro-breweries, and talk about them on this here blog. Although I cannot promise that the 50 beers will come from each of the 50 states, for reasons that I will go into further later in this posting, I can promise you that I will do my best to select beers from at least each region of the United States, as well as different styles: porters, stouts, wheat ales, pilsners, brown ales and all the rest will be featured, along with some beer that may be unfamiliar to those of you in Londontown.
I’ve decided to do this project because we have some pretty damn good beer in America, and although I LOOOOOVE my English ales (and Scottish whisky… and Scottish gin…), I wanted to reacquaint myself with the microbreweries of the USA. Plus, for those of you in the UK or in other places outside of the US, I think this would be a nice introduction of the diverse beer scene that’s thriving here in Yankeeland, especially for readers who are only familiar with Pabst, Budweiser and Miller High Life. “No, really, we do have good beer here, honest!”
To accomodate this new project, there’ll be a bit of site restructuring in the next few days or so, but I’ve already started the project with one beer down (ooh, exciting!), and hope to make posting new updates to the project pretty regularly. Unlike during most of my work on the 100 Pubs Project, I’m not working on an MA at the moment, so I have much more free time to putter around, drink beer, and write about it. Also, since I work at Stardust, I have access to a wide variety of different beers. Have you seen their beer cooler? It’s beautiful.
Of course, not all of those beers are American–if you look closely you should be able to spot some lovely brews from St Peter’s Brewery of Suffolk, and maybe some Brazilian Xingu. But Orlando is home to not only places like Stardust with outstanding beer selections, but also home to Redlight Redlight, an establishment that can only be described as the haunt for a true beer connoisseur. I won’t have a problem finding 50 beers of American origin between Stardust and Redlight by any means.
But I am anticipating problems in finding beers from each 50 states. Many regional beers don’t make it outside of their region. Even beers with fairly sizeable names, like Yuengling, are restricted to certain markets. What’s commonplace in upstate New York can be a rare if not impossible find in central Florida or on the coast of California. Barring some sponsorship from the publishing or media worlds (holla!), I’m restricted to my ample environs of Orlando, so my selections are going to be restricted by what’s available in my state and regional market. We do get beers from other states here, of course, but not every state from what I’ve seen. I don’t think I’ve seen any beer from Alaska in Orlando, for example, and it’s not like they don’t have any breweries. Hawaiian beer? Although there are places on line where people can do beer swaps (seriously) via mail, in many cases, I’ll only be having one bottle or pint of a particular beer, so it seems like a lot of fuss just to get one bottle sent over from, say, Nevada.
So, unless someone decides to pay me some cash to rent an ol’ convertible that runs on vegetable oil to drive around the continental 48 and fly to the other two (*ahem!*), I’ll be blogging from a regional standpoint of the Southeast, particularly Florida. It would be interesting if anyone else in the United States in a different region would do a project like this, so that we could see how regional differences play into the available choices for a beer consumer. Plus, it would be lovely to read about someone else’s beer adventures in a different city. If anyone would like to do a similar project, feel free to contact me so we can swap links and LET OUR POWERS COMBINE.
Right then, stay tuned. The first entry shall appear soon.