In many ways I associate beer with my father. He worked in a brewery for more than 30 years, and its branding was ubiquitous at home and in our city. Beer was a social accessory for parties and holidays, and to pack a cooler with your friend’s favorite beer is to show you care – without having to say you care. Every event (weddings, funerals, baptisms, and graduations) called for beer. From my father I learned to use a bottle opener, to pour correctly, to pack an organized cooler, and a hundred other little things about drinking beer, and the way it connects us to our friends and neighbors.
But my mother taught me to drink it.
My first IPA (and foray into the world of craft beer) was one from O’Fallon Brewery (45 Progress Parkway, Maryland Heights, Mo.). The summer after I turned 21, my mother was drinking their 5 Day IPA and offered me a sip. I don’t remember an adjustment period to the bitterness of the hops. I remember loving it. And asking for my own.
My tastes have changed and expanded since that first IPA, but the revelation that beer could be complex, challenging, and flavorful has sent my life in a new direction. Another thing to thank my mom for.
On Mother’s Day, champagne is often our default – Mother’s Day means brunch, and brunch means mimosas. But if your mother is a beer lover like mine, try something a little more unique.
I recommend Guava King, a wheat ale by 4Hands Brewing Company (1220 S 8th St, St. Louis, Mo.) fermented with guava. Guava is a sweet, tart tropical fruit and the beer’s aroma is quite sour. But under that fruity bouquet is a crisp, refreshing beer. The color is a beautiful, opaque lemon yellow. Pair with waffles and strawberries.