Weekly Banjo #8: Why Your “Comfort Zone” Makes You Less Successful

Fair Drinker,

Discovery is at the heart of every great story and memorable experience.  Nobody will tell you about their trip to the supermarket to buy ketchup and boneless chicken breasts unless the story also includes the pink-hatted, jock-strapped man with pink assless chaps who decimated the Redbox machine outside because it stole his money and gave him “Love Actually” instead of “Romy & Michelle”.  Discoveries involving the actual depths of lunacy, absurdity, and chaos are always disturbing…

Yes Officer. That's The Guy.

…but discoveries, while risky, can also be rewarding.  If you insist on having “your” beer by “your” brewer at all times, your journey through the beer universe is going to become monotonous–no matter how much you like Mac & Jack’s.

The fewer beers you help yourself to, the less successful a drinker you become.  Certainly, you become specialized, but there’s no true valor in being the world’s foremost authority on traditionally-brewed pilsener.  Having tried some pilseners that break significantly from said tradition, I can report as your emissary that they are quite delicious, if somewhat off the beaten path.  Thus, the following homage.

I present you with a beer that will likely never win a major award (say the brewers), but that I still remember as remarkable three years after my only tasting:

I Want One Of These Next To My Toothbrush.

I won’t tell you exactly why the judges won’t give Georgetown Brewing’s Roger’s Pilsner the nod (mainly because I don’t know if it’s a secret), but the break Roger Bialous & Manny Chao took from tradition has yielded a beer of true iconoclastic greatness.  Those of you lucky enough to live in Seattle MUST FIND and claim this beer in scads.  Take home gallons and drink heartily.

Then, write me a note about the beer discoveries you make.  Just leave your comfort zone and DO IT.  Beer is the world’s greatest drink, and it endures primarily due to its versatility.  Explore that, and the risks you take will become the stories you tell.

Drink Successfully.


3 responses to “Weekly Banjo #8: Why Your “Comfort Zone” Makes You Less Successful

  1. I recently went back to Guinness. It’d been what seemed like forever since I’d had one. Oh, it was love at first pint all over again.

    Unfortunately, there’s just not a good beer culture here in SoMD. And that’s part of it, isn’t it? The beer culture. Here, in the ONLY place 10oz. cans of Bud are produced and sold, we have exactly ONE microbrew. I must sadly report that it is a valiant yet disappointing experience.

    I need a Rick here; someone with whom I can pal around, experience new beers, and shoot the shit. That’s part of the beer culture. It’s the way guys can bond without the machismo disclaimer of sports or tassels.

    Again, one of fondest memories was my back porch with my buds and a lot of new beers to try. So, my friend, I say we start up a new annual traditon: get together…two guys (or more, I don’t care) on a journey to new locales with the sole intent of 1) discovering new brews, and 2) forging great friendships . . . sounds like Star Trek, without the Klingons.

    What do you say?

  2. While beer culture is a huge part of successful drinking (and a google search confirms that you are not simply whining–sweet Jesus, what the hell do people DO out there), I have a suggestion that may ameliorate the pain of waiting an entire year to drink well:

    Learn how to brew. As a man who inspiringly professed his attachment to fly fishing as a nigh-perfect way to spend the day, I’ll suggest to you that this is a great way to both learn about beer and find a gainful way to spend Sunday. If you are at all interested, I’m certain that I and Bret (OF COURSE) could help you get going.

    I’ll (very slightly) one-up your idea to include the journey with the destination: a trip to the Portland Brew Fest would be lessened if I didn’t stop at the Kettle House in Missoula or Brouwer’s in Seattle first.

    I agree with you. Which shall we do first?

  3. What do we do? We move away. I’ll get with you offline on that one.

    My chiropractor, who is married to my company’s recruiter, is big time into brewing. So we have that in common. He was just talking to be about the Portland Brew Fest.

    I haven’t been to MT in some time and I’m jonsing — or however the hell you spell that. Anyway, what’s you schedule look like? Get with me offline; I have to catch you up on stuff anyway.

    And, I swear, that article coming. My MBA classes end in one week.

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