The more that I read and learn about the current state of our world, the more conflicted I feel about the choice to do what I can to change things from where I am. I have a responsibility to make sure that my two children are fed, clothed, and have a roof over their heads. Because I know better, do I have a more immediate responsibility to make sure that by the time they are raised and on their own the world is a place that I want them to live in?
Fear paralyzes. Anger catalyzes. Hope sustains. Love endures. Compassion enlightens.
I know the answers. I do not have the methods. I am willing to help someone who does.
The last few days have exemplified my favorite type of winter weather…and it is not even officially winter yet!
Bright sunlight. Visible exhalations of breath. Frozen ground mitigating mud. Easy fallen leaf raking abounds!
Now do not get me wrong. Snow is great. Rain is even great some of the time. But I just can’t get enough of that clear and cold!
October-December is my most favoritest time of the beer year. Winter seasonals all up in this motherfucker!!! I stand by my usage of three exclamation points as I am just THAT excited. As anyone who follows me on Untappd knows I have already indulged in my fair share of these delicious delicacies and I just wanted to share some of my recommendations.
1) Jubelale by Deschutes. Over 20 years strong in the game. Consistently delicious and readily available year after year. In addition, I would pay handsomely for prints of the the bottle art that features a new artist every year.
2) Celebration Fresh Hop IPA by Sierra Nevada. My favorite this year so far and in all truthiness, probably my favorite of any Fresh Hop IPA this year including Fort George’s amazing FRESH so it wins big in two of my made up personal categories of things.
3) Brrr! by Widmer Bros. Last year I was flaming mad about how lackluster this was. This year the brothers came back with a vengeance and totally redeemed themselves!
4) Java the Hop by Fort George. A little harder to come by than the first three, this is the perfect pairing of IPA and coffee. It contains enough coffee that it actually affected my night’s sleep. So smooth and tasty. Just over $10 for four pints of greatness. This beer is the perfect companion to any tailgater.
5) Vinter Varmer by Laurelwood Brewing. Probably the third true Winter Warmer ale I tasted in my entire life, this one holds a special place in my heart because of how drunk it got me at a bowling alley one time. Probably a little hard to find for those outside of the Pac NW, but if you come across it, I highly recommend a purchase. Only 6.4% ABV, but complex and malty in the best kind of way.
Looking out of my bedroom window, driving down the asphalt, walking to my children’s school, and the beat goes on. Death and rebirth cycles in full New Jack Swing. Shades of red, orange, and brown abound around my town. A cold wind tickles the remaining leaves on trees looking more and more like scarecrows and skeletons. Slaughter the livestock. Pack the root cellar. Stack the firewood. Patch the roof. Winter comes. That awful harbinger of death. Hark ye, do not despair. New life springs eternal come Vernal Equinox. But steal yourself for that long stark winter. The reaper will come for the old and sick. To keep HIM away sing loudly the songs of the season. Dance deftly the steps of your mothers and fathers. Tap the kegs and quaff the brandy. The Dark Months aren’t as bad as all that.