50 beers challenge pushes the boundaries of beer taste and palate for two guys
Welcome to the 50 Beers from 50 States in 50 Weeks Challenge! Israel (Is for short) and his friend Justin came up with the 50 Beers Challenge in January and we asked them to do monthly updates on their adventures on Drinkable Reno. Is starts off the story.
I got an idea that eventually became the 50 beers challenge while having a few beers at Great Basin Brewing Company’s Taps and Tanks. At Taps and Tanks, there are bottles displayed on the walls from different states. I recall hearing that these bottles were collected from beers the owner drank. I thought it was a brilliant idea to drink beers from different states. Why not every state? Together we came up with the idea of making it a challenge. We decided on 50 beers, 50 states, 50 weeks; it just seemed right.
We both considered ourselves beer lovers before the challenge. I loved Heineken and only Heineken. For Justin it was Pabst Blue Ribbon. We both found the strong flavors of some of the earlier beers in the challenge to be almost unbearable, but after a few weeks we found our tastes changing. The hoppiness and the bitterness of different brew styles we once found to be “yucky” are now tasty and refreshing. Dark and thick styles of beers we thought to be “too much” are now delicious and very much enjoyable. With the change in our tastes, we found ourselves looking for flavorful beers outside the challenge, visiting local breweries as well as breweries out of town, going to beer festivals, taking tons of beer pictures, meeting other great beer lovers and now writing about beer. Crazy how that happened!
The 50 Beers from 50 States in 50 Weeks Challenge is a year-long weekly beer tasting “tour” for the palate through the United States. The goal of this challenge is to drink a beer from one state per week in a year’s time. Those couple extra weeks allow a little time for hard-to-get states or any other bump in the road that may occur.
Rules for the challenge:
- Only one state per week counts for the challenge.
- The beer must be a beer we have never had before.
- The entire beer must be finished. If the beer can’t be finished, that state can be tried again with a different beer within that week.
We started our challenge on Jan. 1, 2014 around 12:15am. As the Silver Legacy fireworks show came to a close, I held a Kona Brewing Company Fire Rock Pale Ale and Justin held a Stillwater Artisanal Ales Why Can’t IBU. We tapped our bottles and took the glugs that would forever change our beer drinking.
When we started, the plan was for me to start with a beer from Hawaii and to finish with a beer from a state on the east coast and vice versa for Justin. Unfortunately, it’s proving to be harder than we expected. Brews from the western states and some of the northeastern states were pretty easy to get, but beer from the Midwest and Southeast are almost impossible to get here in Reno.
That’s where the awesome beer lovers we’ve met come in. The craft beer movement has produced beer lovers who not only want to try great beers, but want to share those great beers with others. Trading beers is a great way to support craft beers and still be able to share and enjoy brews that are usually unattainable. So although we may not be able to go in the order we originally wanted, with the help of our fellow beer lovers we will be able to do what would be impossible without them: successfully finish this 50 Beers from 50 States in 50 Weeks Challenge.
We look forward to sharing our challenge progress, including states and beers we have completed, beer travels and more with you all soon. So until next time, cheers!
Follow the challenge!
Latest posts by Is & Justin (see all)
- Our Beer Travels Take Us to Beer Camp - August 22, 2014
- A memorial route and beer detours end with Hittin’ Bitches - July 14, 2014
- Beer detours take Is to 3 breweries in 1 day - June 18, 2014
- 50 Beers from 50 States in 50 Weeks challenge - May 27, 2014