We popped open a Southern Tier Pumking last night and the temp was below 70F while I drove to work this morning. Fall is on its way and I can't wait. So here I am already thinking about giving thanks to what we have...
My brother and his girlfriend-of-12-years recently came to visit for a week and I think I'm still hung over. We tapped into the Wort Hog Stockpile and my brother brought some beers from Portland (note: Deschutes Jubel 2010 is awesome - worth trading). While we drank our fill of beer we can't get here in KC, I briefly lamented over not being able to get HUB, Russian River, Port Brewing, Smuttynose, Deschutes, Great Lakes, and so on.
However, as we reveled over our piles of empty bottles, Mr Wort Hog and I were both struck by how many great breweries have gained distribution to the KC metro just in the past few years. Hoppin Frog, Ballast Point, Lagunitas, Founders, New Holland, Anderson Valley, Dieu du Ciel, Ska, Moylan's, and others. Of course, even regional breweries like Tin Mill and soon Free State are (or will be) distributed here. There are several breweries we can get here that those on the west coast cannot. Brother Wort Hog was able to try a bunch of Founders while visiting - Devil Dancer, Double Trouble, Red's Rye, Breakfast Stout, and KBS. (Man, I love that brewery.) He also enjoyed some Schlafly, Bells, Left Hand, Breckenridge, New Holland, Odell, and O'Fallon - all breweries whose beers we can easily find at our local liquor stores but aren't available in "beervana."
I often go back & forth between picking up some regular favorites and hunting around the liquor store trying to find the Next Best Thing. After his visit, I was reminded of all of the great beers we can get here and not to take them for granted. (On that note, we also ate our fill of awesome KC BBQ and commiserated with Brother Wort Hog's inability to get good BBQ in the northwest.)
All the more reason to stay inside and drink more beer.