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.