Friday, October 19, 2012

The Phenomenology of Beer Pt. II: The Lived Experience of Designing Your Own Beer Fest

A note before reading: 
Dear lone reader,
I have tried to enhance your reading experience with hyperlinks. In order to have the ultimate pleasure in your reading experience, I recommend clicking the hyperlinks as you read instead of waiting until the end.

SQRLZ-The Digital Ninja and Bigfoot hunter

What Happens When You Ruin Your Friend's Plans to go Beer Festing?--Design your Own! The Dalton Backyard Beer Fest 2012

This past summer my wife and I decided to return to the homeland of Salt Lake City, Utah to visit my family and friends. Two months prior, I began making arrangements with my friend B...err...Trent (Pseudonyms used to protect the innocent and/or guilty) to go to the happiest place on Earth every first Saturday in June, the Mountain Brewers Annual Beer Fest. Well needless to say the universe works in mysterious ways...

Two weeks before out trip my wife and I found out we were pregnant (hail baby!) so my wife was not so keen on driving up to Idaho Falls and spending the day in the hot Idaho sun watching me sample the finest craft brews in the Western Hemisphere. I had to break the terrible news to B...I mean...Trent to tell him that I couldn't go, and I would visit and party after he got back. However, like Ali to Foreman, in the Rumble in the Jungle, he knocked that idea out...His retort to my bad news: We would have our very own private beer festival known to only a few distinguished ladies and gentlemen..

For the big day, we scoured the Utah State Liquor Store for some high-quality out-of-state brews distributed in the state and the in-state high-octane (for more on this wackiness see this), extreme craft brews and/or barley wines (Note: Unfortunately, Stone Brewing Company and New Belgium could not attend due to Utah's obscene distribution law that won't allow distributors and liquor stores to refrigerate their high-caliber products. Anyway, I digress, then it was off to Salt Lake City's up-and-coming star in the making Epic Brewing Company for some extreme brews that are sublimely crafted. Afterwards, we went to Uintah Brewing Company's brewery/store. salt lake city has an excellent cooperative enterprise between Uintah, Squatters, and Wasatch (This is a model for my thoughts on cooperative private enterprise in America, which is the wave of the future for post-capitalism--but this is another policy paper), which are the classic mainstays of craft brewing in the west and garner attention worldwide. Every time I where my Wasatch Brewing Companies Polygamy Porter T-shirt, I get nods from brewmasters all across the country who are in the know about this a great porter.

Once the trunk of my rental car was stocked full of beer and a special elixir from 5 Wives Vodka, we proceeded to indulge in the tastiness of Utah craft brewing--a tastiness that hearkens to my undergraduate days at my beloved University of Utah and the wonderful beer specials at The Pie Pizzeria

I began our tasting with Belgium Style Ales...I started out with an extreme brew...then a Sam Adam's Blackberry Wit Beer (note-I agree with their rating and think I said so that night. While average or slightly above average, it does have an outstanding nose.)... the night would begin to, children splashing in the swimming pool, Iron Maiden playing on B...Trent's old school early 90's CD player...needless to say the evening went into night, night went into early tubs...shots of  5 wives...good times with great friends...Talks about fatherfood and post-Maryand futures...Time stand still in moments and fast forwards in others...I would say now and then, I wouldn't have wanted to be any other place.

In the morning and my summer and current reflections on the tasting, the overall winner in my opinion is the beer I still have dreams about...was Epic's Brainless on Peaches...

Cheers to Brent, Barb, and Brenna for being true friends--chingu-dul (in Korean)! 

I dedicate this post to Brent for sacrificing the beer fest for this day. Happy 41st!

Post script- This blog post was written using Stone Brewing Companies 16th Anniversary IPA with a small side of  High West's 7000' Vodka... Both I can get at The Wine Source in Baltimore... (Side notes: A nicely hooped IPA with a good lemon for the Vodka--smooth with notes of Quaker Oatmeal--naw I won't link unless they pay

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