A Beer Primer

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

My earliest awareness of beer was my Grandfather Bert Frohnapfel slowly, carefully pouring a longneck bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon into a pilsner glass. I remember thinking, "If Grandpa likes this stuff, it must be REALLY good!" Grandpa was also fond of boilermakers, a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser. Old Overholt, a rye whiskey, was the usual shot. No pretense there!Mad Magazine once said that it should have been called "Old Overcoat" because of it's less than top-shelf taste. A carpenter by trade with the Krumroy Construction Company in Akron, Ohio, he always spoke with pride of working on the mansions on Merriman Rd. and Portage Path on the near West side of Akron.


Most nights after work,

Grandpa visited his favorite watering hole, The Italian Center on Tallmadge Ave., just East of N. Main St. For Forty years.


I don't remember any shame in drinking beer, it was the Frohnapfel family beverage of choice. I imagine the Frohnapfels were bathtub batch beer makers during prohibition. My mom often had a beer in the evening, but only one. I just never had that kind of discipline.


Another significant beer moment for me was being given a can of PBR by a member of the SSYC on Turkeyfoot Lake, South of Akron. I was probably 17 at the time, so it was not terribly legal. It was pretty cool tohave a beer by the lake, that day.


Dad never drank beer. I don't think he was opposed to it for any reason, he just didn't care about it. My sister the sister still gives me the occsional six-pack from the Brew Kettle on the West side of Cleveland. Maybe a mile from her apartment. The Brew Kettle has unique and tasty beers, and is also a fine eatery, if you're in the area.


My niece and nephews are carrying on the family suds tradition, having introduced Uncle Mark to their 12 Dogs of Christmas ale that rivals Great Lakes Brewing Christmas Ale.


These are some of my familial connections to beer. My next post will highlight some of my all time favorites. But, favorites change over time, too.


As with all libations,

enjoyment is part social, part beer, part family, part mood.


And, by the way, any fresh beer is better than any old, stale beer!