The Go To’s

Choice is the burden that plagues many of us these days when confronted with the decision. What am I drinking tonight? We all have our tried and true, always warm and fuzzy feeling choices that when all else fails will never disappoint, your “Go To”. The brew that is sometimes the first and only one on your mind or the last resort when the tap handles aren’t singing your particular song, like a good neighbor, it’s always there. 
No other consumption category is more dominated by region than this one. The go to brew is highly dependent on where on the map you fall if your are a craft brew enthusiast. The Bay Area in California is no doubt dominated by Lagunitas’s flagship IPA, while Southern California it may be one of the many offerings from Stone or Ballast Point. Head up to Oregon and you can’t go far without seeing a Ninkasi Total Domination or Tricerahops in hand. Texas, you can’t throw a Cowboys fan without hitting an empty bottle from Shiner, or is that the other way around? Very proximity based, you get the point. 
Hawaii has been slowly climbing out of the green bottle stranglehold with the craft beer insurgence over the last few years but without a doubt the go to on these islands has been Heineken. To each his own of course but a palate that enjoys Heiny is probably rotten. And I don’t mean that ironically or figuratively, or any other way than how it sounds. I believe that one day their mouth will fall off. What was I saying? Ah! The insurgence! The go to these days for this self proclaimed aficionado of craft brew has been, and don’t think any less of me, the Kona Brewing Company Big Wave Golden Ale. It’s an any time, any place kind of beer that doesn’t lean too far out of anyone’s comfort zone. Mildly sweet, just enough hop presence, refreshing, and not too heavy which makes it a perfect beach day beer. This “Go To” as well all the others typically fall in to the 6.25/10 range on the UrD scale. 
Thankfully, Sierra Nevada has started producing Torpedo year round so that has rapidly been gaining ground in the fall back realm of the go to. Deschutes also puts out some regularly available brews worthy of an anytime with their Mirror Pond Pale Ale or the Black Butte Porter. Both have a welcome and abundant presence at every barbecue ever if it was requested of them. With the island craft scene expanding and local breweries popping up, I see some real variety coming with silver linings galore. Maui Brewing keeps pumping out the ever present Big Swell IPA which is probably the best IPA to come out of ANY Hawaii brewery and is a beach, BBQ, home on the couch, great with eggs, any kine, go to brew. 
So while I tend to focus on the search, the all consuming hunt for my perfect beer, I have to remember that these go to’s are the ones that get us there. These are our reminders that while not every beer is a 120 Minute IPA or a Vertical Epic (any year really) they are still damn good ways to pass the time with like minded beer geeks. And that’s really what it’s all about in the end, so “go to” it…


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