By: Joe Gunn
Sour beers. Ugh. I used to love them so much. What I used to call “sour beers” were why I fell in love with beer. Belgian ales in general were the first to make an impression on me, mostly Trappist kinda of stuff. I drank my share of garbage before discovering craft beer, which admittedly, took me longer to figure out than it should have. See, I was more into wine at the time. It seemed more artistic to me. It was delicate and made eating food a thousand times better. I thought it had a level of artistry that beer not only couldn’t achieve, but had no desire to do so. Beer was for football, BBQs, and the shower. Too rough to be taken seriously.
My opinion changed when I got a job at a small Belgian Beer Emporium on 15thSt. in Philadelphia called Monk’s Café. I believe it’s still there today. Strong Belgian ales became the most exciting thing I came across in years, but they just let me know that there were better options out there. Nothing was life-changing until I had my first lambic.
Cantillon Gueze. It was the most amazing thing I had ever had. It’s been 15 years and it’s still my favorite. There is nothing like it on Earth. I was instantly hooked on the style and from that moment on, I considered myself a beer guy, at least to the point to where I found it interesting for the first time. I knew nothing about it, but it opened my eyes. It wasn’t just the ridiculously-complex, beautiful taste, but the feeling that there was something special behind it. Not sure if it was effort, tradition, or soul, but it certainly deserved a better fate than beer pong.