Birthdays only come once a year (unless you were born on February 29th, then only once every four years, which must be really weird), so it is important to take some time and celebrate. If you are a beer geek that celebration needs to involve some of your favorite brews, ideally shared with some of your closest friends and family. The question is, how should you celebrate? Between beer bars, beer dinners, brewery visits or just enjoying a few treats at home there are so many options available. Here is a definitive ranking of the best ways for a beer geek to celebrate their birthday!
N/R: Not drinking any beer: Come on, it’s your birthday. I don’t care what day of the week it is, you deserve a delicious beer. In the words of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford:
11: Not drinking beer because you partied a little too hard the night before: As you get older these things can happen, you are having a fun night out and the next thing you know it’s a very rough morning. Please remember to pace yourself, nobody likes a birthday hangover.
10: Drinking beers alone at home: Well, at least you have the beer, plus there is usually good stuff to watch on Netflix.
9: Drinking beers at home with your significant other/friend: This is what my wife and I are doing tonight, we have young kids so heading out on a Thursday isn’t happening. Fortunately we have other beer-related plans for later this weekend.
8: Big bottle shop run: Your birthday is a great time to hit your local bottle shop and splurge a little. Grab a few things that you love but rarely buy because of the cost. Grandma sends you that check every year for a reason, she wants you to buy something nice for yourself!
7: Solo brewery visit: Hitting the bottle shop is great for variety, but nothing beats getting the beer straight from the source. Your birthday is a good excuse to visit that out of the way place you’ve been meaning to try and haven’t. Have a pint of two, grab something to go and start a toast to you!
6: Dinner and drinks out: Good when you have a mixed group of beer/non-beer fans, although you should really be able to set the agenda for your birthday. I suppose eating is also important, and a good meal can be the perfect pairing for some quality brews.
5: Brewery tours with a group: A couple years ago my wife drove my cousin and I to a number of local breweries for my birthday (she was pregnant at the time and didn’t mind being the DD). We had a blast and tasted a ton of great beer. There are also a number of Beer Bus/Beer Tour companies that will take you and your group to a select set of breweries for tastings and purchases.
4. A bottle share with friends at your house: Quality people, exceptional beer, you don’t have to leave home. What could be better!
3. A bottle share where all of your friends provide the beer: Maybe this; having friends who are also beer geeks is great, especially when they drop by ready to share.
2. Plan a beercation: What is better than visiting your favorite local bars and breweries? Visiting some of the best in the country as part of a vacation. I highly recommend local travel in Portland, ME and Burlington, VT, but I’ve had fun hitting breweries in nearly every city I’ve been to, from Denver to New Orleans!
1: Most of the above: Your birthday only comes once a year, why limit yourself to one event, or even one day? I am planning on celebrating my birthday this whole weekend, trip to Maine, brewery stops, getting together with friends and family, and lots of world class beer. Happy birthday to me!