Love and Hops: Beer and Brew with Marc Wisdom

January 7, 2011 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A short introduction is in order: I am Marc Wisdom, founder and Fearful Leader of the Springfield Brew Crew. We host monthly beer tasting events in and around the Springfield Historic District. If you have not had the opportunity to attend, we would love to have you! I come from hardy, Austrian stock and have been a fan of beer in its many splendid forms since I was old enough to fill my grandfather?s stein. I grew up in the shadow of Anheuser-Busch in the predominantly Bavarian, southern neighborhoods of St. Louis, Missouri. All of this is prelude to my announcement of being the new, Metro Jacksonville Beer Reporter. Yes, adoring public, you may now look forward to reports on local breweries, new beers coming to the area, local beer havens, beer travel reports, beer events, local beer brewing clubs, and more.

As the famous opening lines sung by Joel Grey in the movie Cabaret go: “Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome! Fremde, etranger, stranger. Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante, Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.”

Welcome to the first of many articles focusing on beer and beer culture.

Beer is a common thread that many of us share. You can hardly miss the ever-present beer commercials during sporting events. Try it; see if you can watch a sporting event, any sporting event, without seeing a beer commercial at least every ten minutes. It simply cannot be done! The brewers of Bud, Miller, and Coors are omnipresent.

That is why I will not be covering them much. You already know pretty much all you need to know about the major, mass-produced brands. They are fine for a thirst-quencher at a Jaguars or Suns game, but they are far from the only beers out there. No, my dear reader, I will not shill for the big boys (unless a rather substantial paycheck comes along with it, and then we can talk!). Instead this column will focus on craft brews, micro-brews, and imports. Sure, there may be an occasional departure to talk about one of the majors, but that will be the exception rather than the rule.

This column will attempt to educate you on the many, many styles of beer out there from ales to wit, lambic to Trappist. We will discuss flavors to expect, temperatures for serving, and glassware to serve it in. But, while beer is the major focus here, I would be remiss if I left out the fine establishments where you can find superior brews. So, on a regular basis I will make a pilgrimage to these outstanding institutions and report back my findings. Yes, I will make the supreme sacrifice; because that’s the kind of love I have for you.

So, dear readers, I look forward to bringing the news on my favorite brewed beverage. Our adventure is just beginning. Long live the brewers!