Monday, November 05, 2007

Year of Beer

Starting now-ish (let's say the beginning of November 2007) till the end of October 2008 will forever become known as my "Year of Beer", at least it will be in the annals of my gray-matter-bound biography. It will be known by this rather unimaginative, yet still catchy, moniker because over the next 12 months I'm dedicating my self to beer and beer culture. Basically, this is my excuse to do all the beer related things that I either haven't done in a while (i.e. homebrew) or have always wanted to do, within my limited means of course.

Someday I'll make it to all the Trappist breweries in Belgium and experience the Darwin beer-can regatta in Australia, but that's not going to happen this year. There are plenty of relatively local events that I've never attended. There is the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Hard Liver Barleywine festival in Seattle and the Sasquatch Brew Fest in Eugene just to name a few. Of course, there is one event that every avid beer lover must attend at some point in their lives, and that is the Great American Beer Festival. If all goes well the GABF will be the exclamation point on this experiment.

However, this year is about much more than just drinking a lot of really good beer, it's also about education. I haven't brewed a beer in years, and it's been months since I've reviewed one. I call my self a beer geek, but have never read any of Michael Jackson's books (not that MJ). So, beer reviews will be starting up again (probably at a bi-weekly schedule), I'll be mixing up a batch of homebrew at least every other month and I'll start reading those books I've been letting collect dust on my shelves. I may even take another look at the BJCP study guide.

I have no idea if I can accomplish all the things that I want, but I'm not getting any younger and I have an unprecedented amount of freedom right now that I will probably not experience again. In other words, it's now or never. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how far I get with this project. It's the journey, experiences and camaraderie that is formed when people of dissimilar backgrounds come together to celebrate a similar interest that I'm craving.


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