Susan and I had relatively little experience with alcohol when we met eachother. She turned me on to making cocktails, since it was a way to show affection and that I was interested in her. We both enjoyed wine of all kinds and Guinness, but didn’t enjoy many beers or spirits. We certainly had no experience with cider or mead.
On our first trip to Oz, we did our Waterfalls and Wineries tour, the start of Alcohol Tourism. On that same trip, we tried all the local beer offerings and found one quite to our liking- Cascade. Cascade was made locally in Hobart, from water coming from Mount Wellington. It was a clear, light-ish lager, but with much more flavour and depth than one experiences in American light lager (Bud, Coors, etc.). We drank a lot of Cascade on that trip. When we visited the Cascade visitors center, they offered beer brewing kits. They didn’t even sell Cascade off the island, much less overseas. I thought, “Aha! A way to enjoy awesome Cascade back home?! Sold!” I bought the beer making kit and brought it home.
The local brewing store, Blockader Homebrew, had all the equipment I needed ready to go. The proprietor suggested I try another kit before the Cascade kit, just to get the process down a bit. I took his suggestion and brewed my first batch, splattering bleach all over the kitchen in my process of sanitation. The beer turned out pretty well, all told, so I fired up the Cascade.
This turned out less well. I suspect that the can was quite old, and I’m sure shipping it hadn’t helped its temperament. I dumped most of the batch as undrinkable, but by now I was hooked. The process was fun. I got to clean stuff. I like cleaning. For the next few years I did a lot of homebrewing and Susan and I did a lot of beer tasting. Our evolving knowledge encouraged us to do our first real Alcohol Tour- a trip to Colorado where we hit dozens of brewpubs and tried more than 130 different beers! Since then we’ve continued to expand our palate and explore more types of alcohol and visit more locales than ever before.