There are friends and family of mine that can go years without speaking and just pick up right where they left off. I’m definitely one of those. I don’t need constant updates. In many ways, this makes me a bad or terrible friend and/or relative. In some ways, it makes me the best. I have no expectation, no judgments, I just enjoy what I’m doing when I’m doing it. Sure, I experience a lot of stress and don’t enjoy those parts of my life as much as I could, but fear of stress doesn’t usually prevent me from doing anything.
When it get boiled down from all the bullshit and stress in my life, what I really want to do is brew beer and be a dad. I love my family and they are always first, but beer is my passion.
I’ve been getting a lot of notifications in the past few months of people subscribing to this blog. There is a lot of interesting stuff in here if I’m allowed to say so myself but I’ve been extremely guilty of neglecting this project of mine for the past year. I know if I post something, almost 10,000 people will read it in the first week. That’s from historical data and from current subscription rates. I need to take that audience into consideration more. I can’t walk away from that for years and expect to pick up where we left off. I can do better and will do better.
Since I have now budgeted time to get this back up and running, I thought I would start out by telling you about what has happened in the past year plus of my life, just high level things. I will not do a deep dive on any of these topics because many of them are worth a deeper dive and exploration in future posts.
I closed my brewery
It is sad but true that Handsome Beer Company, the contract brewery based out of Hyattsville Maryland is no longer. The company line is that Handsome was dissolved so the partners could pursue independent projects. And that is true. But those closest to me know the whole truth.
I started a new partnership
That business up above about pursuing new projects? Well that is true, in fact within seconds of the old company dissolving I had a new company that is aimed at opening a highly experimental brewery in Maryland that focuses on mixed fermentation and new ingredients. There will be so much more about that in 2018.
I went to Belgium
My wife and I always said that we would spend out 10th anniversary in Belgium, but we did not. We ended up going a few months before our 11th, which is close enough. WITHOUT KIDS!!! Thanks, mom. To say that this trip was life changing doesn’t do it justice. I left brewery after brewery, bar after bar, museum after museum with a deeper appreciation of a real beer culture. There was a moment when I was in a hop museum in Poperinge…I told my wife that I know nothing about beer. I drove a car across the country to buy beers only available in one bar in the world, I got behind the scenes tours of Cantillon and De La Senne, hanging out with some of the biggest legends in the beer industry….I have a lot to get off my chest about that trip, so I’ll post about it separately.
I started hosting a Beer Podcast
More to the point of me not knowing anything about beer, I am now one of the hosts of the “Milk the Funk – The Podcast” where three hosts invite on an expert in one aspect of the beer industry and we discuss in incredibly high detail their expertise. We speak to beer anthropologists, microbiologists, chemists, and experts in the brewing industry. This project is time consuming but after every conversation I’m left with the feeling…well the knowledge that there is so much more to know about beer than I do now…it is incredible and exciting.
And the rest…
I didn’t want this post to be too long or get too complicated. I wanted to see what it felt like to open the browser and sit down and pound out 700 words. Not as an apology but as a new direction. It is clear to me that I’m undergoing so much change and have in the past year that I don’t know where I belong in this industry but I know I have a place and a role. I will find a way to fill that. I am going to update monthly on my business plans for the new brewery. I’m going to post all of my test batches, collaborations, and homebrew batches for the rest of the life of this blog, I’ve been reading a lot about hops and chemotyping of different species so I’ll talk about that. I’ve expanded my yeast zoo considerably and have purchased new lab equipment for my house.
After almost 20 years going from novice, to writer, to brewer, to whatever I am now….I feel like I’m just getting started.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot