"Is there a beer that reminds you of a specific memory?
If you’re thinking, “Huh?” then you might want to craft your response along the lines of “Whenever I drink [insert brew here] it reminds me of that day …” Or perhaps it’s the reverse. Oooooh."
This is a fun topic, and a challenging one... Many a good times were had over a pint of beer in my past. I suppose I could hearken back to the time period in my life when my courtship with beer began...
College Days and Bass Ale
Unfortunately my college days were sometimes more about quantity than quality. I didn't always drink for flavor, and I didn't always practice what I now 'preach' when it comes to responsibility and moderation. That being said, in a sea of low end beer drinkers, I was still an island of quality, at least when compared to my friends that would feast on Natural Ice from the can. BLECH! As I neared the end of my days living in the dorms at UCONN, I started to transition from what I could afford, to what I could enjoy.
(Note: The photo on the right happens to be younger version of me, at a wedding, enjoying a Bass Ale, just a year or so after college... Just happened to stumble upon this old photo, had to scan it in and post it... Too funny!)
I look back now and laugh when I remember my friends mocking me for enjoying Bass Ale while they guzzled some flavorless swill from a funnel. Granted, Bass Ale is not exactly the best beer in the world, but it's still leaps and bounds above the likes of Bud Lite and Red Dog. BLECH! I guess Bass Ale was the "gate way" beer for me, that eventually led me to better beer in the years that would follow.
Bass has had, and probably always will have, a special place in my heart. Despite its current place within beer-dom, Bass still garners respect in the craft beer world, often imitated with home brew recipes and at local brewpubs, Bass must still be doing *something* right...
It's still a good old standby for those times I find myself in a bar or eatery with a limited selection. And it's also in my subconscious, always serving as a benchmark of, or a baseline for, quality. If I try a true craft beer and say, this is OK, but honestly its no better than a Bass, then I know it's just an OK beer.
When I think about Bass, I remember my youthful follies and my gradual ride to maturity and responsibility. I guess you could say I "grew up on Bass" if you think about it in that context. I now associate Bass with cozy local pubs, good friends, and great conversation. I also fondly remember my own home brew being compared to Bass, all good memories, and over all, a respectable beer.