We all remember our first love. I met mine not long after I arrived at a fancy-schmancy college out east. I was too young, but that wasn't the sort of thing a college kid worried about back then. More than a thousand miles separated me from the only home I had ever known, and distance wasn't the only veil between me and the Ozarks just then. I was open to a new experience, and did I ever get one.
Few of us stick with our first loves exclusively. Other loves come along soon enough--at least they did for me. After that first time, my eyes were opened to exotic possibilities I'd never dreamed existed. Some were just flings, really, brief dalliances that left me the better for the experience even if the relationship had no chance to last. I regret none of them.
Tonight I am returning to my first love, at least as far as beer is concerned. I had no idea how good beer could be until I had my first bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The beer my high school friends had worked so hard to lay hands on never seemed worth the effort to me. I would drink one or two to get along with my pals who had put so much effort into acquiring it, but I was never tempted to drink enough of that pale, tasteless stuff to get drunk. Sam Adams was different. It had flavor and smelled oh so good that I wanted to keep drinking it at a rate I soon learned was higher than advisable.
I was in love with beer, for the very first time. I've tried a lot of different beers since then, and I've even brewed my own. Truth be told, I've drank beers better than Boston Lager, but none of those other beers will ever replace my first beer love.
I picked up a six pack on the way home tonight. For old times' sake.