Beer is one of my out-of-everything-that-has-ever-existed-ever-greatest-most-favoritest-of-all-time things. Ever. The malts that smooth out the flavor. The hops that can bring about bitter, floral, or fruity tastes. Every stage of the brewing process affects the outcome and overall flavor in some way. The way that oats and barley and hops and water and yeast and sugar all come together to make a beverage that can bring a nice fuzziness to an evening perplexes me.

It is a miracle.

In regards to what kind of beer I love, I am indiscriminate. In Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one of the characters makes the claim that his favorite book is whichever one he last read. This is exactly my feelings for beer. There are a few beers that I do not enjoy, but even those, I will drink in a pinch, and in most, I can find some redeeming quality.

Right now, my three favorite breweries are Hopworks Urban Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing, and Laurelwood Brewery. But if you were to ask me what favorite beer was, I would say either Bridgeport’s Hop Czar or Terminal Gravity’s IPA. You may notice a couple of things here. Number One: neither of my favorite beers are made by my favorite breweries. I do not know why that is. Maybe if I were to make a top five list, these breweries would be on it. Maybe. The second thing you may have noticed is these are both IPAs. That is because I love IPAs.

However, I do not only drink IPAs. I also love Porters, Red Ales, Lagers, Pale Ales, ESBs, Doppel Bocks, you name it. I love it all in the name of beer. I love these beers because they have been handcrafted over thousands of years. Brewing is an art that is ever evolving.

Beer brings people together. I work at a restaurant that is near a college campus, and nearly every evening, I watch students and professors gather over pints of beer to discuss a wide array of topics. With every pint, the conversation becomes more involved. The table erupts with laughter more frequently. The debate becomes heated. All of this because of beer.

I am proud to live in a city that embraces such a wonderful beverage. The breweries are more abundant here than any other city in the country. We understand the importance of relaxing in order to enjoy a well-crafted beer.

God I love beer.