This past Sunday Giancarlo and I braved the crappy weather and spent the day in Manhattan. Because I hadn’t been there yet, one of our stops was Good Beer NYC, where we ducked in from the rain to browse the selection of beers and have a pint.
Giancarlo enjoyed the recently released Dogfish Head Aprihop. Harpoon UFO was among the beers on tap and I couldn’t resist, which may surprise readers who know me as someone who pretty much exclusively drinks stouts and porters. My reasons for this were twofold. First and foremost, BeerUnion’s own Mike G. just got a job at Harpoon Brewery and I thought I would raise a glass in his honor.
My second reason for choosing Harpoon UFO is that I experienced my first craft beer epiphany* with this beer one fateful night during my senior year of college, when I went out for drinks with my friends Hanna and Charles to the Beacon Street Tavern in Brookline.
At that point in my life, my drink of choice was a vodka soda with lemon, which was what I got. My beer experience up until then was limited to big three brands — Stella and Spaten being the ones I gravitated toward. So when Charles asked for a UFO, Hanna and I were mystified. A UFO? What in the world was a UFO? And when it came to the table in a weird, tall glass (I was not well-versed in beer terminology) we were skeptical.
But then I tried it. And it was delicious. Crisp and citrusy with a hint of clove. For a while after that, whenever I saw UFO on tap I got it, and if I was buying beer it was always UFO.
So as I drank my UFO at Good Beer on Sunday I thought of this memory, this realization that beer can taste good, really good. We left the store with a six pack, two of which were UFOs.
*The Beer Wench, of drinkwiththewench.com defines a “craft beer epiphany” as a mind-blowing, pinnacle craft beer experience in every craft beer enthusiast’s life that completely changes one’s perspective