Ah Beer. If you love it, you know what I'm talking about. I have a friend who I've learned quite a bit about wine from, and his favorite thing is hearing about that one wine that gave you your "aha!" moment, when you knew you would love wine forever. Well, I love wine. A lot. But I honestly can't remember that one wine. I can, however, remember that one beer.
It was a pretty excellent night, with two other pretty excellent people in Bruges. Truthfully, I already really liked beer, but this night changed all my previous notions about what beer could be. We were in a cave like bar called 't Poatersgat (the monk's hole) and staring down an unbelievably large beer list- none of which any of us had heard of. We quickly made friends with the bartender and he started serving us up his favorite brews- which were outstanding- but only the warm up. Towards the end of the evening he poured us what he proclaimed his all time favorite- Vichtenaar. The best was saved for last. It was unlike any other beverage I had ever tasted. Not quite beer, not quite wine- honestly it mostly tasted like vinegar, which I know sounds horrible, but it wasn't. It was magical. Our eyes opened a little wider. The bartender laughed. We happily ordered another. And returned every night after, cheerfully ducking into the front door for something our American palettes couldn't get enough of.
So here's to beer, and to your beer loving friends. May all their Christmas beer dreams come true.