I ordered the Atlas Amber Ale. (For some reason, I think my brother would like this beer. Someone must have said something about it sometime.) I wish I could remember the Atlas better, but all I have is what’s in my notes: “Amber’s good, fruiter than most. Weak fruit smell, relatively weak taste – but not necessarily a bad thing.”
It did make me realize that there was some underlying similarity among all the Seattle beers. No matter what I drank – stout or hefeweisen, there was some characteristic that unified all the beers. Justy suggested it was the water and he could very well be right. All I know is, there was something that connected all these beers together, some sort of underlying taste, and thinking about it further, I would say the same is true of Colorado craft beer.
As we discussed this, our conversation turned to beer culture. Justy (cautiously) asserted that Seattle has a stronger beer culture than Colorado. To his surprise (and relief), I agreed with him, but considered Seattle to be more of a beer community. Seattle, as a city, has the feeling of community running through it. Coloradans, while certainly friendly, are too independent to have a cohesive community. Even Denver is too sprawling too diverse to feel completely unified. And that applies to the beer culture as well. Picking up one of the beer newspapers available around Seattle left me feeling like I had tapped into (no pun intended) the Seattle beer community. There’s no equivalent to that back home – The Westword and 5280 are great publications and offer endless amounts of Colorado based information, but they don’t leave you feeling like you are necessarily a part of Colorado culture. Leaving Seattle I felt like I had experienced their beer community. And while there was still plenty of this beer culture for me to explore, I felt connected to it.
Someday I’ll be back for more.