While I've been drinking beer for awhile now, it's only been the last year or so that I've gotten serious about craft beer and have made it a hobby and pursuit. I've probably had the same path as many craft beer aficionados who started in the not-so-crafty 1990s. Moved from the Budweiser-Miller adjunct lagers into imported fare such as Guinness and Newcastle and then into longstanding big-named craft breweries such as Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada. I found my way to Magic Hat and Red Hook, and, for me, local fare such as Clipper City (now Heavy Seas) and, if I could make it to downtown Baltimore, Oliver. When I hit around 30, I stalled, stopped pursuing new beers, finding comfort in a few stalwarts from the past that I liked.
Things changed for me in 2011, just short of my 40th birthday. A visit to the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth, Delaware, re-exposed me to the world of craft beer. Having the Internet handy allowed me to research what I'd missed the last decade and just what was what with all of those crazy beers I was seeing at the liquor store.
For the last eight months, I've kept a journal where I review beers on the measures of appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel, and give each entry a 1-100 score. Every few weeks, I hit a liquor superstore in my general area and stock up on single bottles to try and beers that I've already reviewed that I want to enjoy.
I'm still an amateur at this, but as you can see from my current top 10 list, I've expanded a bit since those early days. As I've become more discriminating about what beers I drink, and operate under the quality over quantity principle, the more fun I'm having. Which is what's really all about--enjoyment!