Whether it be TV series, films, albums or food, I'm apt to revisit my favorites-to play it safe. So, naturally, as a lover of craft beer, I've had more than my fair share of Southern Tier and Great Lakes drafts. The logic-a cost-benefit-like analysis of defying my comfort zone-is frivolous, but I know I'm not the only one to play this game while perusing a bar's draft list.
Fortunately, for those of you who share in my dilemma, Merion Village bar Hal and Al's has our much-needed incentive: The Parsons Challenge. Put simply, the challenge is to try 30 beers in 30 days. The prize: a Hal & Al's T-shirt and that invaluable sensation that comes with being adventurous. All you have to do is tell a bartender you're ready to take the challenge. They'll provide you with a scorecard, with which you'll record, date and score each brew you try. (And who doesn't love being a critic?)
I don't write you as a grizzled veteran of the challenge. I write you as a hopeful. And I think spring is my season. Not to mention, dozens of the region's brewers are currently producing some of their best beers of the year. (Calling all hop heads: Brew Kettle White Rajah just went on tap last week.)
Now, could this mean wedging bar trips into your already-packed schedule? Sure. Could this mean handing over some $150 to Hal & Al's? Quite possibly. (But you can make your trips during Happy Hour, 4 to 8 p.m. daily, when all drafts are sold at half price.) Could this mean going down in Hal & Al's history as someone who was brave enough to try something new? Most definitely.