In the US for the first time in the summer of 96. In Cambridge, on the learned side of Boston, and let’s go for lunch I said to my wife. A scan on the internet had suggested a brewpub, Cambridge Brewing, and in we went. Massive plates of enchiladas, beef slathered with cheese, and a flight of tastings, three beers (pale ale, amber, wheaten), to be followed by a pint of the brewery’s Tall Tale Pale Ale, my favourite, and as I wrote blithely in my journal later in the day: ‘a style of beer which seems to be very popular among the micro-brewing fraternity’. And looking at that day 18 years ago I have also written down Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which I seem to remember being more expensive than the local beers — it was a familiar beer and I vaguely recall feeling as if I was cheating by drinking something I already knew. During the trip I also had beers from Rogue, Ipswich, Portsmouth and Harbour Bay breweries according to my journal. My first American craft beers in America and later on in the year my first printed beer article in What’s Brewing. I now wonder if America was the catalyst that made me want to somehow articulate my own thoughts about the world of beer. Sounds familiar.