So for my exclusive first ever blog post, I thought I should start at the beginning. I am a beer-loving half-Persian from North Yorkshire and guess what? I love beer (haha I just said that didn’t I?). I also love cooking, mountain biking, clothes, make-up, dancing, NFL, shopping, yoga…not really the stereotypical beer-drinker of yesteryear so how did it start?
My first memories of beer are, of course, under-age. Of course, I believed then that my parents didn’t know. Whether or not they did, who knows. They were never the types to condone my drinking and the only alcohol to pass my lips were stolen drops of M&S Pina Colada from the bottom of tins my mother had finished and left on the side. It was, of course, at the homes of friends with more liberal parents that I had my first proper taste of ‘beer.’ The beer of choice for parents to procure for us youngsters was always Tesco Biere d’Or or Biere d’Belgique which I still remember fondly. It came in stubby little bottles and it wasn’t very strong. It probably wasn’t even very tasty, but it became synonymous with the good times between the ages of 16 and 17 and featured prominently at every house party. I think it was back then that beer firmly established itself as the drink of choice for me.
Throughout university, supermarket value brand vodka, alcopops, lots of Snakebite & Black and the occasional shots were the drinks of choice. Like most students, alcohol strength and price were the key factors. The only beer was easy-to-drink lager bought in bulk at the local supermarket. A bit of a shame since I now know how many amazing breweries are up in the North East. The first years after graduation, too, were lean times but it was during these years I remember my first taste of ‘Real Ale’ and after years of swill like Fosters and Carling, it was good!
It started with a trip to a little ‘old man’ pub which is what I affectionately call those yellowed, dark little places with sticky tables and mismatched chairs. My brother had told me if I ever went in there, I had to try a beer which tasted like Lychees. I was intrigued, so off I went to the pub and found myself with a golden pint of Rooster’s Yankee. It was delicious. It was bitter, aromatic, fruity, floral…how was this in any way related to the pale, tasteless stuff I’d been chugging from cans? So, from that day, I decided that the time for bland was over. From that day, I renounced the silver beer taps and tins of Stella in favour of beer brewed with passion, love, flavour and imagination. And I haven’t looked back.