Little cultural differences: Talking about booze

1. prosince 2016 v 10:56 | Beronice |  Travels
I love America. I can already say that - and to be precise, actually I love Colorado. It's not too hard to fall in love with this country. But there are times when a girl as me from Middle (East?) Europe wants to say loudly and with thrill three powerful words.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.


The Czech Republic and the United States. You already know that these two countries are separated by the ocean and 5 thousand miles. Basically, they are both on the other sides of the planet Earth. Although one day it happened - me and Bryan found each other on the Tinder mobile app and we've been crazy enough to overcome this huge distance.

Still... Each of us grew up in a different country. Language barrier is something that can be solved easily after some time (and a lot of patience), but there are lots of moments when our life together brings very hilarious, crazy and weird stuff.

When I opened my notebook today and started to write I really wished at least for one beer. Seriously, just a bottle of 90 Shillings and I would be perfectly happy. Which is bringing me to my first topic - booze in the United States.

Why do I want to talk about alcohol? Where is "the romance" of this story? Well, Bryan and I love beer. Especially for me is beer a very big deal. Since I came to Colorado, I felt like I stepped into a gigantic candy shop. The special kind of shop that sells only fluid content.

I still remember my very first "date" with Bryan that happened this June. It was my first day in Colorado, big Mile High City Denver. I already knew about the law "can't drink before 21 age". So when we left Bryan's place, I took with me wallet with Czech ID - if somebody would want to see.

For the start, I just couldn't find myself in beer list. What is this beer? And this one?! How does it taste?! You have to know that Czech folks are very proud of their beers and without a blink of an eye they'll tell you that American beers are just the worst rubbish. Which is totally stupid and dumb, but try to persuade them to a different point of view when they have never ever tried the good stuff. I still have a picture of Bryan's list which he wrote for explaining to me "what to drink" and "what is more like a weasel piss". It's not true that American beers suck. Not at all.

(Just to make you sure what beer Bryan labeled as a weasel piss - it's Coors light!)

When you decide to start your "Colorado Tour de Beer", you'll realize that it's going to be rich, pretty wide and funky adventure ride - and I'm still talking just about Colorado breweries! Colorado has many, many great and very popular breweries which I will freakin' miss after I'll come back to Prague. My beer love story started that very first day in Denver when Bryan took me for a late brunch into City'o'City.

What a luck that I had my Czech ID. What a shame that I took just that thing.

Americans are not different from Czech beer lovers. They drink delicious beers as well - but if you don't have your ID (or in my case a passport!), you can suck up your soft drinks and regret it for the rest of a night. They won't sell you even a used bottle cap.

I was amazed how strictly all waitresses and servers needed to see mine ID almost at every pub and restaurant I stepped into. Czech pubs in comparison totally don't care about your IDs. Seriously, not at all.


That very first day in Denver we wanted to buy some beers so we could enjoy a good drink during watching the final episode of Game of Thrones. I choose one six pack of Vanilla Porter, Bryan took another brand. The guy by the cash machine wanted to take a look at our ID - yep, he needed to see both IDs. When he saw mine, he almost went pale in his face. He took a six pack that I was holding and hid it under the desk. What was wrong? My ID wasn't American. And since I didn't have a driving license, not even my passport with me, he refused to sell me the beer - although he could saw that I'm older that 21 age. He even didn't sell my Vanilla Porter six pack to Bryan, he just sold him a box that Bryan was holding in his own hands. I think this is the best example of how Americans are weird about alcohol. You can see liquor stores everywhere. To buy actual alcohol? It's almost a privilege. But no one cares that in the United States kids can drive huge cars since they are 16 or that you can easily buy a gun. You dare to drink?! Well at least prove that you're old enough!

After this, I've never ever forgotten to take my passport with me. Some wise and not so uptight waitresses would give me a beer even after checking my Czech ID, but I guess it's useless to try it again in some liquor stores.

I have another similar story from grocery shopping. A day before I went shopping, I tried New Belgium Brewing, Avery Fat Wild Ale. Amazing refreshing Ale, it's one of my favorites. So when I saw during a grocery shopping that they sell six packs, I couldn't resist. A small, cute lady was by the cash machine. When she was about to mark on my check Fat Tires, she called her manager. I didn't mind it, I thought that she has a problem with a computer. The manager gave me frowny look.

"This is beer."

I nodded, sure I know this is a beer. And very delicious beer.

"It contains alcohol," he continued and took one bottle from my six pack. "It has more than 6 percents!"

Even when it started to be little uncomfortable, I nodded - yes, I know that.

"Can I see your ID?"

Sure. I was holding my passport whole time in my hand, just waiting to handle it to the cute girl before her manager took over the situation. She was not looking at me, her eyes were fixed all the time on her boss.

"Have you drank this before? Because it's very strong beer!" The crazy manager really tried really hard persuade me to not buying that six-pack. I was nearly about to say something really inappropriate, but I still kept my class. Yes, I already had this beer - and that's the reason why I'm about to drink it again - because it's damn good!

So the beer was finally on my check. I paid and went back home. Another face of American weird relationship with booze.

(My first trip to Odell Brewery, Fort Collins, Colorado.)

I don't want to make a bad impression about my experiences from the States. Americans are weird in many ways and the same you can say about Czech people. But folks from Colorado are very special creatures. They are like a warm blanket, which you can't stop touching and cuddle with. Colorado people are kind, jolly, with an unstoppable smile on their faces. It's maybe by that fresh mountain air. Or because of the legal using of marijuana, which is quite amazing.

Even when you can legally smoke your favorite model of green stuff here in Colorado, the United States still have some laws that little bit surprised me. For example - you actually can't drink in the public spaces. Pubs and restaurants have bordered terraces and gardens which very clearly shows a line where you can consume your booze. It makes sense but many times I went to Denver's downtown and I still saw many drinking people of a street, rough guys and girls with bottles covered in paper bags, sometimes already pretty wasted. Ban of drinking at public always felt for me like a banging your head against a wall - it's quite useless.

Again I went to a dark side of this topic, so let's roll on a new page. Did you see pictures above? That a lot's of beer. Jop, I know and that's just a piece of my photo-beer-history from my iPhone. Dig it all could take ages. But these pictures that you can see here are really special. Few of them are memories from my very first visited brewery in Colorado.

My first visit to Odell Brewery at Fort Collins finally came at the end of September. I adore this brewery - they have an amazing history, they're using productions of local growers and that beer! And their funky designed bottles! I was seriously jumping with happiness when Bryan and Toby took me to see their brewery tour - which has free entrance and tasting of their beer for free as well! My best favorite till now is Easy Street and once already mentioned 90 Shillings Ale. But Odell Brewery has a large portfolio of beers and they also make seasonal specials. During my visit, I tried Jolly Russian, which is very dark Stout with a taste of cocoa, coffee and molasses that had been stored in rum barrels. One glass of Jolly Russian and I was about to fall asleep in the middle of a day. It's dangerously sweet and pretty heavy beer!

My best favorite till now is Easy Street and once already mentioned 90 Shillings Ale. But Odell Brewery has a large portfolio of beers and they also make seasonal specials. During my visit, I tried Jolly Russian, which is very dark stout with a taste of cocoa, coffee and molasses that had been stored in rum barrels. One glass of this delicious beer and I was about to fall asleep in the middle of a day. It's dangerously sweet and pretty heavy stout!

(Odell's Jolly Russian is in the middle - and the other beers? Well, try to guess, because I seriously don't remember. We tried so many kinds that day!)

Odell Brewery is worth to visit especially during summer because of their gorgeous beer garden. Many times they also organize events as live concerts and you can always find there a food truck with some delicious snack.

To visit all interesting breweries in Colorado is actually my goal, but do it for real by myself is over my powers (and my livers are still young and delicate, they can't take everything at once). But if you want to see many breweries at one place, you should just simply visit one of many beer festivals that are hosted in Colorado during the whole year.

I was lucky enough that my buddies in crime - Bryan and Tobes - found out about All Colorado Beer Festival at Colorado Springs at the beginning of November. You paid 40 dollars, got a small cup and went into a hall full of brewery stands. Nothing could stop you from your tasting tour.

Guys. This was the best beer festival tasting I've been since... I can't even remember!


(Yep, I had to have a picture with my beer crush!)

Seriously, I haven't enjoyed a beer festival in the Czech Republic as much as I did in Colorado. Nobody smoked under my nose - you had to leave a hall and go outside to enjoy your future lung cancer. Free samples of snacks, games, beautifully decorated brewery stands and talkative staff. It was dreamy - and I've got just pleasantly tipsy (and thank God, nobody around us was too much wasted so we haven't been witnesses of puking human fountains)!

My first Colorado beer festival experience couldn't be any better. Just thinking about it and looking at my photo gallery makes me thirsty for some more samples! Which is bringing me to my last part of this already pretty long post.

Do you know that the Czech republic has the highest beer consumption "per capita"? Take a look, Wikipedia doesn't lie. What I surprisingly realized during my first visit was that consuming two or three beers in one day makes you in the United States (or let's be more specific, here in Colorado) look like an alcoholic.

When I found out about it for the first time, I seriously felt ashamed. If you go with Czech friends into a pub to grab "one" beer, it's never just one glass. I don't even get tipsy from three bottles of 90 Shillings and I love beer since I could legally drink it - my grandpa was working as chief in a brewery, so it kind of runs in family. Realize that people in Colorado do actually see three bottles of beer as a higher amount of alcohol than "normal people" usually do drink, made me feel self-conscious. How can I resist when there are many amazing breweries around me that I want to try before I'll have to go back to Czechia?!

(If you're not sure what you should see on this picture, it's our precious collection of bottle caps. Yeah, we've been working on that for some time!)

Well, sometimes we have to be stronger than our desires. I'll miss American beers so much back in my country. And I'll enjoy them more next time when I'll come back!


Thank you for reading! This piece took me much longer than I expected thanks to a big amount of work. But all the projects I was working on are almost done so I can spend more time on my writing. If you like this piece, share it with your friends!
You can also watch me on my Instagram and Facebook account! Stay awesome and have a great day!
 

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