According to wikipedia, “in mythology and literature,” a QUEST is a “journey towards a goal” and, in literature, “the objects of quests require great exertion on the part of the hero, and the overcoming of many obstacles, typically including much travel.”
Some people’s quests include scaling the highest peaks of the world, or spotting rare species of wildlife. Sixteen hearty folks have a different quest, a beer quest, The Quest For The Holy Grain. A quest to consume 1000 different beers, or Beer Quest 1K .
Founded on December 29, 2003 by Yonan, Wayne and Ken O., the initial mission of the Questor is “to drink and document 1000 different beers in your lifetime.” Aside from the Questors’ documentation of beers, the BeerQuest1K website contains information on beer humor, beer glasses, beer holidays, and an ever-growing compendium of Brewpubs, Beer Bars, Microbreweries, and Retailers visited by the Questors who have reviewed these establishments in approximately 30 states, Washington, DC, and nearly 20 foreign countries. Sort of like this site!
By different we mean different varieties, not just different packaging. If one has, let’s say, a Sam Adams Boston Lager in a can, in a bottle, and on draught, this only counts as one beer. Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, and Sam Adams Boston Ale count as three different beers.
Prospective Questors must consume 50 different documented beers in order to receive Questor status. A sample does not qualify; a serving does. The brand name, style, date and place consumed, and a rating for the beer must be documented.
Seven men have actually completed the Quest, and two have documented close to or over 5000 beers!
Interested in joining The Quest for the Holy Grain? Contact Wayne at the email address found on the club’s website. Submit your log of 50 or more beers, and you are on your way! “Your Quest begins the day you begin your Quest.”
I received official Questor Status in July 2010 when my 50th beer, Sam Adams Boston Brick Red Ale, was consumed. This is rated 3.5 stars on my 0-5 scale, and was enjoyed on July 3, 2010, at Doyle’s Café in Jamaica Plain, MA. Several friends and I went to Doyle’s, the first bar to serve Sam Adams on tap, after the Sam Adams Brewery Tour. What a fitting way to celebrate Independence Day!
Since that time, the current count is 258 or 25.8%. A winter sinus infection prevents me from drinking. Also, with some beers more readily available in six packs, I’ve probably consumed countless hundreds more beers than those documented. Gotta love the variety packs!
Only two beers have received a coveted 5 star rating: Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale and Sam Adams Black Lager. Several have received 4.5 stars including Pike’s XXXX Stout, Alaskan Oatmeal Stout, and Point 2012 Black Ale.
The worst? Don’s Riverside Light (received 0.5 for can, zero for the beer) from the Riverside Casino in Laughlin, NV, Ellis Island IPA from the Ellis Island Casino & Brewery in Las Vegas, and Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic. The first two illustrate that drinking and gambling don’t mix!
The opening paragraph mentions that a quest typically includes much travel. This is true, as two of my other Quests involve a great deal of travel: Drinking a beer in every state, and visiting all 3142 counties and county equivalents (independent cities such as Washington, DC, Baltimore City, St. Louis, Carson City, NV, and the 38 independent cities in Virginia; parishes in Louisiana; and Census Boroughs in Alaska).
And, yes, there is an organization for the latter http://www.extramilerclub.org which has several hundred dedicated road trip loving members. How are those quests going? I can remember having a beer in 40 states or 80% (24 states, DC, and British Columbia are documented on the BeerQuest1K log, the others were visited before I embarked on the Quest), and am currently at 815 (25.94%) counties/county equivalents in all 50 states + DC.
My love of beer and the Quests go hand in hand: while I have some favorite “go to” beers, I always search for a new brand or variety, especially a locally produced or short batch beer, or one not available where I live. In fact, without taking a trip accumulating new counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I may never have had Two Women (New Glarus Brewing Company, 3.25, Onalaska, WI, September 21, 2012). New Glarus products are only sold in the 72 counties that comprise the Badger State. And so far I’ve visited 57 or 79.17% of them. Cheers!