I’m writing because I have a problem: I love beer.
That’s not actually the problem of course, the problem is I’ve run out of new beers. I have sampled everything brewed within driving distance and a good fraction of those beers made more than a day’s drive from Yakima, and I have begun feeling lost. What do you do when your life goal of drinking ALL the beer has been met to your satisfaction? I’m not wealthy enough to start flying around looking for beer, so I need advice.
What do you do when your beer passion goes flat?
I get that you’re annoyed about not having a brand new beer to try every day. Still, I don’t believe the underlying premise of your complaint.
There are a couple of reasons. First, people don’t suddenly get tired of beer. Even aside from the fact that it’s literally an addictive drug, beer is the sort of thing serious fans stick with through thick and thin. It’s like “Star Trek” or the New York Mets or anything else that inspires crazy devoted fans: Once you’re in, you stay a fan for life, even through “The Final Frontier” and Bobby Bonilla.
Second, there’s no way you’ve tried every beer within a day’s drive. The Beer Shoppe on Yakima Avenue has 21 frequently rotating taps plus hundreds of craft beers in cans and bottles. And joints like Bill’s Place, the Yakima Sports Center and Cowiche Canyon Kitchen’s Icehouse Bar make it a point to keep interesting things on tap. Then you have the ever-increasing number of local breweries and the seasonal and experimental beers they produce. There are new beers in the Yakima marketplace all the time.
This is the golden age of beer choices. Every gas station has a couple of IPAs. Every supermarket has a craft beer section. The Walgreens where I get prescriptions filled sells Founders All Day IPA in 24-ounce cans. We’re living in beer heaven. (Though it does sometimes feel weird when I ask the pharmacist, “Can I pay for these five 24-ounce beers at the same time I pay for my medicine? I don’t want to wait in line up front.”)
And finally, I don’t believe you because since when do beer drinkers need new beer? Beer is more like a favorite song than a favorite movie or book. You can enjoy it over and over, day after day without it getting old. Our parents and grandparents picked a brand and stuck with it. We have infinitely more variety than they did, and they never got sick of beer. If you’ve run out of beer you want to drink in Yakima in 2018, you’d have run out any time anywhere.
So, yeah, I think perhaps you’re overstating the problem. That said, if you really do need a break from beer, there are a lot of great cocktails out there. I write a weekly cocktail column called On the Bar. You can find it in the SCENE section on Thursdays. Or at www.yakimaherald.com/onthebar. Or wwww.instagram.com/sceneonthebar.
Hope that helps.