About Me, The Craft Beer Geek!

You’ve found it! The blog for all Craft Beer Geeks and those who would like to be.  Ok, maybe I am getting way ahead of myself and being a bit much too bold as well.  The truth is I’m just an ordinary guy who likes good beer.

Photo of Wes the Craft Beer Geek Himself at his favorite bar Stubbies
Myself at Stubbies in Gainesville Florida

Wait, scratch that, I’m not ordinary at all. Friends call me Wes, short for Wesley, I am a 39 year old Computer Programmer who lives in northern Florida. I’m also a mechanically inclined, geeky guy who likes to listen to hardcore rap. Other things I enjoy are mountain biking, modifying computers, collecting things, amateur auto racing, distance running, food and oh yeah, Craft Beer too! I’m into lots of things but I won’t bore you with any more, Tolstoy just called and said to cut it out already.

For a not so brief beer history, I first discovered beer with flavor in 1999 while visiting Vermont for a wedding. I had recently turned of age and took a risk and tried one of the local brews while having lunch at an eatery in Rutland.  The beer was a Magic Hat #9, I was instantly in love, it was a hot day and the nice summery flavors of this beer blew me away.

Magic Hat #9
Magic Hat #9 My First Craft Beer

Once back home I was disappointed to find out that not only was Magic Hat not distributed in Florida, but alas there was not much good beer to be had in this small college town.  You could buy cheaper than water Natural Light all day long though, but I had already consumed my life’s allotment of that before I was 21. What I wanted was flavor, not drunk. At the time I mostly existed on Guinness and other occasional imports, it would be a few more years before things really started happening for me in the world of craft beer.

Jump forward a few years. Another friend of mine was graduating from college and wanted to celebrate at a new bar in town called Stubbies.  I was told the place was cool, over 200 beers, with not a single macro lager with the exception of PBR.

Upon arriving at this “Stubbies” I instantly could see that this was a different kind of place. First off there was no smoking allowed, this was not normal for bars at the time, but a welcomed change, the bar was small and packed.  The theme was Australian, folk art littered the walls, a rich tan color, painted motif’s and natural materials made up the rest of the decor. Even the high ceiling was decorated with stars and constellations. No TV’s, no flashing lights or a DJ, just a lot of people socializing and drinking beer. This was either going to be really good or really bad. Upon stepping up to the bar I made my first mistake.  I ordered a Guinness, It was what I knew and a safe bet.  Buzzz!!!, wrong!!!, “we don’t have Guinness” was the reply.  “We do have several other Irish Stouts, would you like to try a Murphys, Beamish or Youngs Double Chocolate?”

Outside Stubbies
Outside Subbies Gainesville FL
The On Tap List at Stubbies
The On Tap List at Stubbies
The Original "Australia" side of Stubbies
The Original “Australia” side of Stubbies

“Ok, I’ll have that first one” I replied.  I was greeted with a can that looked like a Guinness can and once poured, a beer that looked like a Guinness too.  But upon first taste I instantly knew this was no Guinness, this thing was on another level, it was richer, more roasty, everything I wanted to taste.  By the end of the night I had sampled flavors I never even knew existed, Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout, Stiegel Radler (Lemonade beer), Fullers ESB, and many others.  Needless to say I was in heaven, at last the flavor I so desired!

Over the next year I spent many nights at Stubbies touring the great world of beer.  You see, Stubbies great trick is the wall of fame, or “offenders” as they call them. A challenge to try 100 different beers in 1 year or less. Some fierce competitors have finished in only a matter of weeks. Complete this task and your reward is your name on the wall and a t-shirt.  So, I got my name on the wall, the t-shirt, and about 20 extra pounds added to my already obese frame. But by the end of the year I had tried beers of just about every style, from far away lands that I never even knew existed, and by tiny American breweries that were doing their part to stick it to the man and brew something worth celebrating!

"My offender" plaque on the wall at Stubbies for trying 100 different beers in a year
“My offender” plaque on the wall at Stubbies for trying 100 different beers in a year

After that year, I did cut back some on my visits to Stubbies. But not on my journey of exploring craft beer. I learned the “secret” locations that sold the good stuff here in town and sought to bring back a loot of good beer any time I traveled away from home.  Over the next few years I finally did loose that 20 lbs I had to show for being an “Offender” as well as the other extra 70 lbs I had been carrying since High School. I began filming video reviews of craft beer for my YouTube channel in hopes I could learn more about beer myself, as well as share with anyone interested my enthusiasm for good beer.

Today Stubbies is still going strong, better than ever in fact, over the past few years it has expanded to nearly 3 times its original size thanks to the “Germany” expansion.  They now offer nearly 500 different bottles and 24 rotating taps. Also a full German themed dinner menu is available before 10pm, with snacks served until close.

Stubbies "Germany" side
Stubbies “Germany” side

And now we are back to this blog.  I not only want this blog to be a place to find and navigate all of my video beer reviews, but a place I can share beer news, events, and other things I experience as I continue on this ever expanding journey.  I also want to interact with all of you readers and viewers whether you are new to craft beer or a longtime expert brewer. On the right of the page you will see Categories where you can narrow down posts based on specific Breweries or Styles to help you easily find what you are looking for. My recent Twitter feed @SupraWes, and also a Blog Roll of other beer blogs I like, if you would like yours to be considered just drop me a line. I have already populated the blog with all of my past video reviews and a few extra bonus items so there is already a good start if you are new to my reviews.  In the future I will be posting many more video reviews as well as text reviews.

If you have made it this far in my journey, I sincerely thank you! Pour yourself a good beer if you haven’t already and take a break. If you think you might like what I have to say about beer go ahead and add me to your RSS reader, subscribe to me on YouTube or just bookmark the blog here and don’t forget to participate, ask questions, and drink good beer!

Cheers!

Wes, Offender #2251

2 Responses to About Me, The Craft Beer Geek!

  1. Gary says:

    Real nice website Wes!

  2. I’ve really enjoyed reading through your posts and have nominated your blog for the Versatile Bloggers Award. You can accept your nomination and learn more on my post below:
    https://seekopenskies.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/versatile-blogger-award/

    Congratulations and Happy Blogging,
    Kent

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