Getting out to Goat Ridge was one heck of a hike, to say the least. After fighting through the fog and chills, the 800 square foot taproom welcomed me in like an old friend. A beautiful bar top, unique decor and accents, and groups of families with kids all created an atmosphere of slow, easy calm.
This touwery proved to be quite the IPA marathon. I started here with a Rocket, Man IPA (ABV 6%, IBU 69). It was a solid brew, and it paired well with the pizza I ordered from a restaurant around the corner–not that it should come as a surprise that beer and pizza are easily enjoyed in tandem.
My beertender, a Danish-born kid named Jais, offered me advice ranging from facetious to insightful. He started by telling me to not worry about making too much money, a sentiment that evolved into a great story about his days living in Chicago. To make rent, he’d participate in (very legal) drug studies for money. One project involved a morphine antidote of sorts, which sounded entirely shady and unenjoyable. Jais ended with, “Get paid to take drugs.” He quickly followed up with, “I’m afraid if I give people advice, they’ll take it. Also, don’t take agent orange.”
On a less comical note, Jais told me, “Don’t try to see everything. Don’t feel obligated to see everything that people tell you to; trying to have the same experience as other people is overrated.”
While I am on a quest to see everything (well, taprooms), I try to take Jais’ perspective at every opportunity. There is no world in which I will be the most knowledgeable beer geek, or one where I’ll be able to identify–much less remember–the exact hop profile of each beer I’ve tried. But, I’m not trying to impress anybody my mirroring their beer knowledge back at them. It’s not where I’m at, and I’m not going to try to be there. I’ll drink to that.