I’ve never been much of a beer drinker. I never liked the bitter taste of it. I never liked the aftertaste. I never liked the way the flavor seemed to grow even more bitter the warmer the beer got. I never liked the way beer made me feel all swollen and bloated.
The only time I remember actually enjoying a beer was when I went on a study tour to Turkey when I was in college. A few classmates and I ordered a round of the local Efes Pilsen, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Back home in the U.S., I looked for Efes a few times when I was in liquor stores that had a large selection of imports, but I never had any luck finding it. Other than that, I just never really liked beer, period.
Then, I discovered Boddington’s.
Our first year in Arizona, Steven and I were curious to see if there were any Husker bars near us where we could grab a bite to eat and watch a football game. We found one in downtown Gilbert called the Grainbelt Grillhouse and decided to give it a go.
Upon arriving, we discovered that it was more of a nice sit-down restaurant than your typical sports bar, but we couldn’t resist getting a table and trying the place out. After all, the owners were originally from Nebraska, and we Nebraskans are forever loyal to our neighbors.
The menu was filled with dishes inspired by all the great Midwestern states, and the bar was stocked with a slew of both local and imported wines and beers. Steve has a habit of trying out new beers wherever we go. When we first started dating, I would take a sip here and there, and was pleasantly surprised to find a few I actually liked. That evening, he spied a Boddington’s on the menu and decided to give it a try.
The waitress brought a frosty glass and a tall 16-ounce black and yellow can to the table. She explained that, much like a Guinness, a Boddington’s is best served cold, but not ice cold, and that the pressurized can contains a nitro widget that releases upon opening, filling the liquid inside the can with tiny oxygen bubbles and creating a thick foamy head on the beer when poured. She told Steven to let it stand for a minute before giving it a taste, and then left to put in our food orders.
As we watched the tiny bubbles burst and disappear in Steven’s glass, the beer took on a deeper golden amber color beneath the thick cream-colored head. Steven has always been a fan of Guinness, so he was immediately intrigued with what seemed to be it’s lighter-colored cousin. He took a swig of the Boddington’s, nodded in approval, and then passed it over to me.
That first sip = heaven.
When the waitress returned with our dinner, I ordered a Boddington’s for myself and enjoyed every drop. Where most beers have a slightly bitter taste, Boddington’s is slightly sweet with a hint of honey and deliciously creamy. Some people even describe it as a “vanilla Guinness”. It is smooth with every sip, from the first to the last, and the best part is, I can drink the entire 16-ounces and not feel the slightest bit belchy or bloated. Instead, I just want more.
When we got home, our first task was to find out where we could buy Boddington’s ourselves, since it wasn’t really financially feasible for us to head to the Grainbelt Grillhouse every time we wanted one. (On a side note, the restaurant closed later that year, so it was good that we did our homework instead of relying on them to be our primary supplier). We found a couple different places where we could pick up the 4-pack cans, and all was right with the world.
When we moved to Lincoln, we were afraid that we might not be able to find Boddington’s again. But, lo and behold, we discovered our favorite brew chilling in the beer fridges at the local Hyvee. Sometimes, it really is the little things, you know?
Tonight, Steven and I threw a thick Nebraska Rib Eye on the grill for dinner, and decided to crack open a couple Boddington’s to go with it. Somehow, sharing a beer and a nice juicy steak seemed a fitting accompaniment to watch a little opening day baseball. Let me tell you my friends, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
This 365 Project entry is dedicated to the brilliant people who brought us Boddington’s Pub Ale. Cheers!