I don’t know much about beer, except that the beer I like I tend to like a lot – I like it very much, and I like to drink much of it. I’d like to have a better sense of what I do and don’t like and a better vocabulary to talk about it. I really, really like Newcastle brown ale, and Goose Island’s brown ale. I bought two other brown ales recently, thinking that “brown ale” meant more than it does, apparently. One of the two was okay, not as good as either Newcastle or Goose Island. I can’t remember what it was called. The other, Bell’s Best Brown Ale, didn’t taste good to me. So much so that I gave the other 5 bottles in the 6 pack away. My friend Matt works in a brewery, he tells me that I probably don’t like hops much. Hoppy beers make me unhoppy… ! Ha!

After I gave the beers to my neighbor I started thinking, when would I drink that beer? I’d definitely would drink it if I had kept it around the house but I wouldn’t have liked it. It’d be a first beer that I’d endure, not enjoy. I think it might be an okay second beer, or third beer. Then I got to thinking, what makes for a good second beer? To be clear here, “second beer” doesn’t mean “the second drink you have”, it’s the second type of beer you drink while drinking. So, if you have a pint of Guiness then a pint of Stella, the Stella is both the second drink and the second beer. If you have three pints of Guiness then a pint of Stella, your second drink and third drinks are Guiness, the Stella is your fourth drink and your second beer. I know I have tastes about what I like better in a second beer, but I’m not sure what they are, because I don’t drink very often anymore. I’d say this brown ale that I didn’t like would be a lousy first beer for me (because I don’t like how it tastes). It’d be an okay second beer, because by the time the second beer rolls around I’m in a more charitable mood. I think it’d totally work for a third beer, because the third beer mostly just has to be wet and beer-ish in flavor. Ideally it should be lighter too. Hmm.

Inconclusive. Clearly further inquiry is needed.