World Wide Stout (2014) 18% ABV / 70 IBU
American Imperial / Double Stout
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
I have been blocked. Before BBC15, it was a break that I was taking. Afterwards, it was a sense of pressure. How do I live up to the writing of the other bloggers I read, heard talks from, and met?
Kraft, Co Founder, Technical Director, and fellow author of 365 Brew, wrote a great piece about the visit to Sierra Nevada Mills River. I wanted to write up a complimentary piece from my point of view. I got a rough draft down, but couldn’t get myself to edit it or work on it. Perfectionism set in, and a sense of hopelessness, of despair, took over. I have never been published. I have never written a book. I have such a small readership. (I am very grateful to you, who are reading this.) I found excuse after excuse, as any writer will and does, to not sit down and write.
Here I am now, 9PM on a Tuesday night. I have no plans. I think to myself “You should work on that Sierra Nevada post.” The dreariness begins to set in again. Then a brilliant thought, “Don’t worry about writing the most well crafted, witty, entertaining and educational post ever. Pop open that Dogfish Head that’s been sitting in the mini fridge for these oh so many months and just write about it. You’ve been sitting on that beer for long enough, use your new fancy glass from Craftbeer.com and just fucking enjoy a great beer.”
As I pull the bottle from the mini fridge, I notice the born on date, 01/25/2014. I knew the beer was a least a year old, but not 18 months. My, oh my, what has transpired in that time.
This bottle has been patiently waiting for me. Seeing so many of its brethren come and go. I have stocked and emptied, time and again and this bottle always kept its place in the door. There were times when I thought, “Tonight’s the night.” I would grab it with thumb and forefinger. Cradle it in my hand. Look at it and then put it back. The moment just never seemed right. It was to be a review beer. That was the thought for the first 6 or so months I possessed it. This fact, this desire, began to fade, slowly morphing into the thought that it merely “needs to be consumed for the right reason.” It got to the point that I stopped even noticing it sitting there. My eyes would glance right over it, moving on to the next beer. At times when the fridge was empty, except for this lone bottle, I would see only an empty fridge. The beer became just a piece of the fridge. It lost meaning to me, lost existence. It became nothing more than a forgotten piece of art hanging on the wall or a dusty book on the bookshelf.
This beer has changed in the past 18 months. Though not nearly as much as I have? It has mellowed and the smokiness of the beer is more prominent. Or am I able to pick up on the smoky finish now, and enjoy it, whereas when I first had this beer, (a bottle from the same batch as the current one mind you) I only enjoyed that it was closer to liquor than beer, in alcohol content.
Now I slowly, ever so slowly, sip; enjoying the slight chewy mouthfeel, the subtle heat and the, to my current palate, smoky finish.
I have matured slightly as the beer has matured heartily. I have seen co workers come and go. I have been promoted and transferred in one fell swoop. I have felt the harsh cold of two winters and the same number of rather pleasant summers. I have loved and hurt and loved some more.
I have written thousands upon thousands of words about and inspired by beer. In so doing I only find that I have more and more to learn. My grammar is putrid (case in point). My vocabulary lies somewhere at the atomic level (so small an electron microscope is needed). My ability to put together meaningful metaphors and analogies neighs like a unicorn. But some inner drive and courage, brought on by the beers I sit and drink while typing, push me ever onward.
So with great pleasure I continue sipping on my well aged beer. I will get back to my online grammar class tomorrow, for if I’m not improving I am wasting away. I am relieved that I have gotten back on the horse that is writing. For even if I do it poorly, it’s better than not doing it at all.
To Kraft, Co Founder, You, the reader, and especially this beer; thank you for your patience. All in due time, or in this case the right time.