Greetings drinkers! Been too long. The dog days of summer sapped my blogging strength, but the stirrings of brisk autumn breezes and the promise of (fantasy) gridiron glory have restored my waning potency. So, a few updates:
ITEM! As the resident Johnny Beerseed of Northwest DC, I have introduced my neighbor down the hall to the hobby of homebrewing and helped him get his first batch underway. Not only that, but he has eclipsed me in the equipment area, already having procured TWO kegs and the requisite fittings. Sigh, they grow up so fast...
ITEM! Mrs. Brew Dude and I spent a piece of the long weekend brewing up our first repeat brew: Green Chile Beer. It's a wheat ale base, but we "dry hop" it with 5 skinned and seeded jalapeno peppers. Deee-lish with nachos!
ITEM! Ordered up a fresh batch of ingredients for brews to last well into the winter months. With a pumpkin porter, a nut brown, and a winter wheat on deck, we should have plenty of homebrew to keep us warm.
And, lastly, in order to cross something off the list of 40 Things Every Drunk Should Do, here is the first chapter of my memoir, Grapes, Grains, and Glory: A Life in Booze.
The first taste of beer I can recall was at a barbecue, held by one of my mother's work acquaintances. I was probably 6 or so, since I was still enthralled by action figures and most of my worldview was shaped by gossip under the jungle gym.
The barbecue was one of those potluck affairs that start in the early evening and go later than the hosts probably intended. It was dark by the time the grownups decided that the party should be moved indoors. I had been running around the neighborhood with other kids my age. The instant friendship between male youths discovering their shared love of the Turtles. When we were called back in, I needed to slake my thirst, and a sweaty Solo cup of iced Pepsi was just the ticket.
However, it was not my cup that I had picked up, but a similar looking one belonging to one of the more aged revelers. My deep draft of what was supposed to be sugary goodness was instead bitter and foul. If you have ever opened what you thought was a soda and instead got beer, even as a seasoned drinker, you know the sensation. Beer is best tasted on the top middle of the tongue, but soda likes to be on the sides, for maximum sweetness.
I swallowed out of panic, not knowing what else to do. I realized: I had just ingested an ADULT BEVERAGE meant for GROWNUPS ONLY. The prevailing wisdom of the aforementioned jungle gym was that drinking before your time was not only verboten, but wholly FATAL. Like a switch is flipped when you reach 21 making beer not poisonous.
But who to tell? As afraid as I was of my impending death, I feared the disappointed looks of my parents even more. Not only was I dying, but I had let down my family. No, better to suffer in silence and wither away quietly.
The next few days, I awaited death's cold touch, resigned to my fate. But, miracle of miracles, a whole week passed and I didn't even have a fever. I had done it! I had BEATEN DEATH!
As always, time marched on and my brush with mortality was revealed to simply be tasting a bitter fruit before I was ready, and much less life-threatening than I had been led to believe. And of course, today, I am a Death Dealer, creating my own noxious unguents and passing them around amongst my (of age) peers.
What doesn't kill you, makes you drunker.