Contributor Introduction: Tristin Marcks
My journey into craft beer was a bit of a winding one beginning in 2012 with some curiosity over the “fancy” beers in the coolers at my local gas station and my boredom with drinking the same old macrobrews I had been since college. Over time as I visited more craft beer bars, tap houses, and most importantly craft breweries, I found a community that felt like family. This community has some of the most welcoming people I have ever met, and as I became more involved in the community, I got to know many craft beer drinkers that were also homebrewers. I remember sitting in Beers Looking at You in Webster, chatting with some of these homebrewers about beer, life, education, and a myriad of other topics and when it came up that my degree was in Chemistry, I was asked the question “Why the heck don’t you make your own beer?” I have always been a science nerd and I realized this was the perfect outlet to combine my love of science with my love of craft beer.
Here I am 8 years into my journey, and I am in my third year serving as the Vice President for the Bay Area Mashtronauts Homebrew Club. I have gone from a few early batches of decent beer that may have only tasted okay, but certainly gave me an immense sense of pride to winning medals and awards in homebrew competitions. I love homebrewing and how it enriches my life, but most importantly to me is my development of my sensory skills and descriptors so that I can familiarized myself with the myriad of beer styles that exist. I have worked hard to taste and learn, and I have been able to earn the rank of Certified Judge from the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). I love learning about craft beer, the vast range of styles of beer, and how to use my senses to describe beer in all aspects as I drink it.
When using all your senses and focusing on describing each aspect of the beer you are drinking from a sensory perspective, I find it adds a great deal to the overall experience of enjoying that beer. That is a big reason I wanted to be a contributor to Houston Beer Guide. The most worthwhile part of my experiences has been learning to objectively taste a beer and build a large vocabulary to draw from to describe it. It is something that I am passionate about and would love to pass on to the readers who are interested in more in-depth reviews than you typically see on Untapped or Social Media.
I have decided that for my beer review pieces, I will treat these beers as if I were judging each beer as an entrant in a homebrewing competition and use the BJCP scoresheet as a guide to lay out my thoughts. I feel that this will help me to better organize my thoughts on the beer, as well as make the post a little easier to follow.
I always endeavor to continue to learn and grow in my knowledge of craft beer and homebrewing, and luckily that means drinking more beer. Hope you will all drink along with me!