For years, my husband Mark Wollemann drank only Summit beer, a craft beer made in Minnesota. In fact, I can’t remember him drinking any other beer except an occasional Miller High Life, but only when he was hanging out with his firefighter brother in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
But for most of the time we lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mark was a Summit man. I used to tease him about this and would often ask him why he didn’t want to try some other beers. There were so many new craft beers and brews to try! He didn’t budge; he loved his Summit.
This summer that all changed.
When we returned to the U.S. this past summer from teaching at AUBG in Bulgaria, Mark embarked on an experiment (actually a challenge) to try 100 different beers. I enjoyed watching him discover so many new beers, including many from our summer travels around the U.S. as well as to Estonia, Finland and Iceland. Sadly, the summer ended and the “new beer challenge” is a fading memory.
Now that we are back in Bulgaria for another school year, it’s been fun to look back and remember all the places we went and the beers he tasted. I’m mostly a wine drinker, but even I tried a few new beers myself (my favorite discovery was Saison beer, which doesn’t exist in Bulgaria and I’m really missing it right about now).
In the end, Mark’s experiment certainly made it fun to go out this summer for happy hour or dinner (and, yes, sometimes even lunch). Now that we are back in Blagoevgrad, it’s back to Shumensko beer for Mark until we go back to the U.S. for Winter break. Not sure if he’ll go back to Summit EPA, but it doesn’t really matter, because it’s the memories that come with his list that are most precious to me.
Read his story here: