One thing about drinking a lot of beer is that occasionally you’re going to have a bad one. Perhaps it was infected or spoiled by light. Perhaps the brewer or brewery was new and still working out the kinks on a particular style. Regardless, you couldn’t finish the beer in your glass and moved onto the next one.
Unfortunately, the one brand that stuck out in my mind in the decade since the first package was opened was Smuttynose Brewing Co. The drawing of a harbor seal on top of each cap was seared in my mind, and like Pavlov’s Dog each time I would see a beer from that New Hampshire brewery on a shelf or on tap, I would pass it over for another beer.
In that moment I realized the foolishness of youth and how many earlier chances I passed up to properly taste this beer. These days it is not uncommon to find Smuttynose of various styles in my refridgerator. I haven’t actually visited the brewery yet, but they are now high on my list.
So, what has been your beer redemption?
Honestly I can’t think of any redemption experiences I’ve had with beer; I’m pretty open-minded and I’m happy to taste any new beer—and barring a beer that’s infected or otherwise “ruined” in some way (for which I will give the benefit of the doubt and try again if possible), there’s really not many beers I would actively say I dislike.
The closest may be Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale: I tried a bottle of this three years ago and didn’t really like it, as (by my reckoning) the bottle wasn’t good, though it’s possible that the bottle was fine and I just didn’t like the beer itself. However, I haven’t since had a chance at Beer Redemption for Pumpkinhead, because I haven’t had a chance to get it out here on the west side of the country since then.
Though I have had Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin, which was essentially an Imperial Pumpkin and I really like that one. So perhaps I did get my Beer Redemption after all!