Beer nerd and editor of {vurb} Megan Cole shares her love for beer after a visit to Nelson Brewing Company.

Embracing nerdism

From comic books to beer, {vurb} editor Megan Cole embraces her nerdism.

This week as I was visiting Nelson Brewing Company for an update on their new machine and the exciting new beers they will be releasing in the coming months, Chad Hansen called me a “beer nerd.”

It’s true, I am a nerd. I am a food nerd and yes, a beer nerd.

For a long time being a nerd has been associated with people like the characters on The Big Bang Theory, comic book junkies and video game addicts.

But what about us food blog, cookbook and kitchen appliance addicts — aren’t we nerds too?

In reality, I think being a nerd means having an overwhelming passion for a particular subject.

Like Hansen mentioned on Wednesday, I am a beer nerd. I’m not entirely sure how it happened. I can’t really map my trajectory, but I am glad I got here.

I will admit I didn’t like beer when I started drinking it in university but then I quickly realized beer was often on special in the bar or pub, and I could save money by choking it down.

What I also discovered was that the terrible beer is terrible because of how it tastes.

Until I was about 24 I had never tasted Canadian, and bought my first Kokanee two years ago living in Fernie.

My staple in my early years was Sleeman’s Honey Brown. But then while living at home my dad started offering me what he had, which opened me up to the world of IPAs, pale ales and other lagers.

He introduced me to Kilkenny, and then to Guinness. But as my interest in food expanded, so did my curiosity about beer.

I found myself wandering into the local section of the liquor store and just started trying different beers.

As my beer nerdism developed so did the craft beer scene, meaning more and more options for beers became available.

There were raspberry, pumpkin, chocolate and more.

But that seems to have just been the beginning. These days it seems every craft brewery makes a pumpkin beer. Obviously some are better than others, and some breweries are taking the mold, breaking and completely rebuilding it.

While down in Portland in September, my boyfriend, a friend and I visited Rogue Ales.

Rogue is probably one of the most popular American craft breweries.

From their distinct bottles to completely unique flavours they are truly offering something to beer nerds everywhere.

Clearly, like with all nerd cultures, there are purists. And when it comes to breweries like Rogue, the purists are likely horrified by what they are putting in their tanks.

One of Rogue’s most out-there beers is their Voodoo Maple Bacon.

Inspired by a favourite Portland doughnut shop, Rogue has put both maple syrup and bacon into this beer.

A far cry from the Kilkenny and Guinness that opened me up to new beers, I have to applaud any brewer, baker, or cook who is taking what they have learned to push the boundaries of their chosen craft.

A maple bacon beer may be a bit out there, but how boring would the beer world be if all bars and liquor stores offered only Kokanee, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Budweiser and Busch?

Thank you to those who are pushing the envelop and sorry to those who like boring beers.

 

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