Greetings! Now that we’ve hit 2014, a new year is upon us and with that a whole new round of adventures. And beer festivals. I swear to God, as soon as I the clock struck midnight on Dec 31/Jan 1, my inbox seemingly began to flood with notices about upcoming beer festivals. Many I’ve already been to, one or two that I’d like to check out. More on that another time. With the new year coming, it also presents a new challenge for us – find more beer and write or speak about them, as well as put forward new posts that are both enlightening and entertaining. And wouldn’t you know it, it seems like everyone is having a baby or getting married (or in my case, planning to get married) and their limited time frame is becoming more limited. Speaking of which, I did get a chance to do a brewing with Irv not long ago. It was a clone of Deschutes Black Butte, a porter that ranges anywhere from 93-100 on various beer rating websites. In other words, it’s good stuff. I can’t wait to taste the final product. I’ve been meaning to brew up another batch myself, hopefully soon that will occur in the next few weeks. But I digress.
As I was saying, life has gotten in the way of me being able to present to you the viewer as much as I would like. I just can’t seem to resolve myself to anything less than up to 50 or 60 hours a week in the office. Working overtime as much as I can when it’s available is a necessary evil. Not that I mind doing the extra work, but I also would like to have time to sit back and wax poetic about beer. And drink beer. And brew beer. And at some point drink the beer I brewed. See where I’m going with this?
Over the holidays I had a chance to get my hands on several different beers, many of them in-season brews, that I thought were fantastic. The issue with me is that being on a budget like I am forced to be in has made it a little harder to enjoy the brews I want as much as I want. That’s what happens when you try to take on the behemoth that is a wedding. Thank God I can still drink a cold one every now and again. Otherwise, I’d have lost my mind a long time ago.
Touching on that last thought (drinking on a budget) – Every time I go to the liquor store to re-up on my list of supplies, it seems that I am forced with the same choices. I want to try all new things every time out, and maybe pick up a previous favorite for a second go-around, but often find myself a little tight in the pocket to go big like I’m so known for doing. I have already bought almost everything on the shelf in a particular location, so what am I to do as far finding something new? I tend to hit the Super Buy Rite in downtown Jersey City most often, as it is closest to home. However, there is another one about 30-40 minutes away that offers a whole different group of breweries and their beers and also has a tasting bar where you can sample beers off the tap. You can refill your growler – or if you didn’t carry one in, buy one before filling it – with plenty of choice selections from that tasting bar and enjoy stimulating conversation with the guy working the tap. This option is not available in the Jersey City store, although my sources tell me that work is being done to change that sometime in the near future. We shall see. I guess my point is that I keep my options open – out of necessity – but also realize the limits of those options because I have a singular goal in mind, and that is to pull off this wedding and be a big boy about it.
I hope everyone enjoyed their 2013. It was an interesting year to say the least. But even more so, I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2014 and continues to find craft beer to be as pleasurable an experience as I do. Cheers!