After nearly 20 years of living in San Diego, I’ve become a bit of a beer geek. And since IPA is as plentiful as the sun, it’s been my go-to for years. No beer is too hoppy or too bitter.

That all changed late in the summer of 2017. We stopped into a local favorite for dinner after a Sunday Funday at The Cove. I ordered a pint of Alpine Duet, a fantastic San Diego IPA. One sip and I knew my taste was ruined. From that day forward all my beer money went to gum and mints to stave off the horrible taste that persisted through each day. But it wasn’t just beer that tasted bad.

Coffee: morning

Water: all day

Beer: night

My whole day now tasted like metallic shit! I read somewhere that chemo often causes the metallic taste and changes one’s tolerance for different acidities. That would explain my newfound love of lemonade and margaritas. It took about 3 months before coffee tasted good again. A few more for water.

It wasn’t until March of 2018 that I regained my taste for beer. And that wasn’t for lack of trying. I’m no quitter, and I kept trying my friends’ beers throughout, but one particular day I had a freshly-tapped Stone Scorpion Bowl while at a coworker’s house doing IT work. It was pure bliss.

My neuro-oncologist thinks my taste issues were a delayed effect of the radiation, rather than the chemo. I’ll never know for sure, but perhaps I’ll contemplate it a bit more over my next Pliny.

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