Thursday, August 13, 2009

Every Pitcher Tells A Story

Random Selection

I randomly reached for a glass from the crowded shelf to draw myself a pint of beer from my kegerator. I looked down at the glass tilted under the tap and saw that it was a Manny's Pale Ale glass from Georgetown Beer and a flood of memories came through that made me smile.

I made a couple of friends after moving up to Whidbey Island, Washington awhile back and taught them how to brew. We became good friends and over the year that I lived there we brewed and drank many good beers. We fished the banks of the Sound for salmon and laughed until the middle of the morning around the bonfire in the back of the house.

Later, I remember sampling beers with them at Georgetown brewing in Seattle one warm spring day. We were heading back to the Island after a run to Larry's Brewing Supply in Kent for homebrew ingredients (they wanted to jump right into all-grain brewing) and took advantage of our proximity to Seattle to stop in for some samples. As we entered the brewery, the excitement of the new brewing hobby shone on their faces and they seemed euphoric discussing the prospects of brewing gallons of home made beer.

Manny's Pale Ale is a favorite of mine, a good quality beer that is easy to quaff and doesn't ask for a lot in return. I enjoyed many a pint of this beer at the tavern in Langley where I lived. While at the brewery, I showed my appreciation by purchasing the pint glass before continuing on north where we stopped at the Diamond Knot Brewery in Mukilteo for an IPA while we waited for the ferry to take us home. The end of a satisfying day.

These memories, the connections to the past, caused me to realize the value of this collection of pint glasses that fill the cupboard shelves. Each glass has its own story to tell, along with events that define me as a homebrewer. They remind me of the pleasures of this hobby in a very personal way. I had this beer at this brewery. They validate the seriousness of my homebrew intentions and are milestones in my journey. They take up a lot of room but not without merit.

Over the years, my wife came to understand the importance of these decaled glasses that represent breweries from my travels but she can't fully appreciate them as I do, consequently, they take up residence in a cabinet in the garage with my brewing equipment. They don't qualify for the mundane respect that the juice glasses and tumblers command. It's a pity, but I understand. You really do have to walk a mile in my shoes to fully appreciate the journey.

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