Since March of 2015, thanks to the good graces of EveryJoe.com it has been my privilege to report to you on the stylings and special releases from some of America’s best breweries and distilleries. On top of this, thanks to the interest generated by you dear readers, I have been lucky enough to travel the country and explore and report upon everything from Tennessee distilleries such as George Dickel, up to the high mountains of Northern California’s Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. Working as your beer and booze writer has been one of the chief joys of this decade and was instrumental not only to growing as a writer, but as a beer and spirits enthusiast and I cannot thank you enough.
So for the purposes of this farewell, I thought it might be nice to regard some of what I’ve learned over these past two years and leave you with some final thoughts.
For one, unless one is themselves a teetotaler (which to each their own, I suppose) it has become my opinion that those who claim to “not like beer,” just haven’t found the style to open them up to it. For wine drinkers, a lambic or fruit beer will very often offer the sorts of textures and sweeter sorts of flavors that will satiate the palates and open them up to the joys of beer that so many millions have come to love. Likewise in terms of those perhaps who prefer their scotches, whiskies, vodkas or tequilas, it falls to things such as imperial stouts, barleywines, scotch ales and of course, barrel aged beauties to meet their expectations of higher ABV and richer, slow sipping joys. Regardless of one’s taste, it has been my experience as both journalist and merchant that there is a beer suited for nearly preference and palate, just waiting to be discovered.
For a second point, even within the ranks of those who enjoy beer but perhaps swear that IPAs, stouts, porters, ales or any other varieties are just not their cups of…well, not tea, there exists still within such styles almost always at least one subset which will serve to open up the tastes to new and interesting things, allowing all sorts of new pleasures to be found in their drinking habits. In the world of IPA, for those who’ve found either grassy or piney flavors not to their likings, citrusy and zesty flavors await their sample, just begging to become a new go-to favorite as the expansive world of hop strains provides ample elbow room for experimentation and appreciation. Flipping this notion on its head, within the worlds of strong and black beers, here we find also a range of textures, malts and flavor combinations, from barrel aging and chocolate or coffee, up through oysters, mints and oatmeals, all offering their own unique touches and twists for what can be a diverse set of styles. All in all, whenever I’ve come to hear of a definitive distaste for a particular style, I almost always come back to the notion that one simply hasn’t yet found the right one for them.
Thirdly, I would say that beyond styles and preferences and even ranging beyond beer alone, the enjoyment of fine fermentations, be they beer, wine or spirits, proves as it has throughout the ages, to be a wonderful meeting place for friends and strangers alike. As with any other enthusiasm or enjoyment, sharing a drink has since the days of original meads, been one of the most effective ways to break down barriers and begin conversations, be they social and jovial, or weighty and serious. As the ancient Persians would often debate serious matters of state first drunk and then sober, the old adage of “en vino et veritas” (in wine there is truth) is as true today as it ever has been.
But the final and most pressing point I wish to observe is that, in spite of what many may come to believe given the grinding nature of life in a rat-race world, one can in fact carve out often brilliant niches for themselves if they follow their passions earnestly and above all else, simply take the shots even when they’re sure they’ll fail. In the beginning of this my ambition was simply to be a film critic and upon querying (writers term for applying for a job) a publisher in pursuit of such, I was summarily turned down. However it was in the same breath that in observing my personal interest in beer that I was offered the position I have held here at EveryJoe for these past two brilliant years. In some ways one might regard it as an accident or surprise that this came about, but in retrospect all happened exactly as it did simply by virtue of taking the shot and going after something I desired.
I encourage you in your future endeavors to take every shot not only that you can see, but also that you can imagine – including of course, the sorts that your bartender has to offer. If nothing else, those can follow the failures which inevitably precede eventual victory.
So going forward, I encourage those who’ve enjoyed my reviews over these past years to join me in my next review venture, The Horn and Tankard, a YouTube channel where I plan to continue my work, only in a different, slightly more lively format. Additionally I would also encourage you to continue enjoying the work done here at EveryJoe, as well as their partner sites Mademan.com and Break.com to find the best in lifestyle, commentary and even comedy that the web has to offer. It has been a privilege to serve you as your beer and spirits review thus far and I hope to continue to do so. But, in the meantime…
It is to EveryJoe.com, to Kori Ellis, to Alex Macris, to the countless breweries and distilleries who’ve submitted delicious samples and invited me on wonderful adventures, to Bert’s Better Beers who’ve provided me with so much education on the topic of beer, to my friends and family who’ve supported me along the way and of course, and as always and as will always be the case, to you, the reader and lifeblood of my work, that I say now as I’ve always said and will continue to say as I raise my glass to you all…
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.