Friday, August 9, 2013

Dear Beer

Dear Beer,

To put it simply, I love you.

Not so simply, I love you for all the times you remind me of. All the "road trips" with Matt up to Wisconsin to sit on a hill in New Glarus and leaf peep with a Moon Man.

All the afternoons spent giggling with K Furst after work/in the middle of the day/whenever and turning into yarn monsters over our Blind Pigs.

My last seven hour conversation with Zach, who I may never see again, at Geneva Ale House about life, love and moving forward.

Smuggling beers in the Square with K Ho. That first trip to Solemn Oath when we were the only people there and I was knitting a sock while drinking a Yarnbomb for the first (and last) time. All the brewery tours from all the trips these past two years. Beer brings grownups together in the same way coffee shop gatherings did in High School. I was always that coffee shop girl.

We share our stories when we share our beers. 

So, let me tell you a story. Once, not too long ago, a Midwest girl moved to the lovely city of Philadelphia in the Puritan state of Pennsylvania, where liquor stores are government run and beer is only sold in delis or through distribution centers. Sure, you can get a 12-pack of Yeungling Lager (from the Oldest Brewery in America!) for a reasonable price, but that craft beer stuff you're after? $18 for a 6-pack. Philly is really a great place to drink beer, IF you can afford it, and we tried not to.

Moving to California has given me the opportunity to fall in love with beer again. Being right up the highway from Stone Brewing is becoming problematic. I wish I could go back to the glory days of enjoying Corona/Amstel/Heineken Light, but once you go Craft you can't really go back. Because there is constantly something new to try.

I've kind of turned into a monster since we moved here, but, since I don't have any friends here, this time it's considered a form of research. To round out of my first week of living on the West Coast, I signed us up for a Homebrew class at Steinfillers in Long Beach. We've talked about homebrewing for a while now, but living in hotels for 2 years has forced us to put this on hold. And this might be a way to finally meet some like beer-minded people. The class was great and we left with a full beginner's kit and aspirations to make GREAT beer. Someday. For now we will start small and hope for the best.

The day is finally here. After many hopeful false starts (do you know how hard it is to find a decently priced, not faulty 16 qt stock pot?), the last of our supplies is finally set to arrive today. If it's not up to snuff I might just throw it all out the window, so cross your fingers for me. We decided to start out with a partial mash summer ale, which would have been great a few weeks ago, but I've already moved into the GIVE ME ALL THE PUMPKIN BEER stage of the year. I'm trying to resist the urge to "jazz it up," but that probably spells disaster and I've been waiting so long for this.

I'm ready for it. I've got my designated BEER (& Knitting Designs...) notebook full of notes from class and tasting notes from beers we've tried the past few weeks. Yeah, I'm a huge dork, but I want to remember that beautiful Hibiscus/Rose Saison I tried a few days ago. And that whammy of an Imperial Russian Stout. And use them as inspiration as I grow, hopefully, as a homebrewer.

Hers & His
My other half & his stout.
The first beer I tried in Boston
The most inspiring beer I've tried in Cali

Sure, it will be awhile before I can make anything like that stout. Or that Saison. But we all start in the same place. And I can't wait for that first taste.

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