It was one of those days that the new tasks outnumbered the ones checked off my to-do list. Not good. But the sun was shining and by 4:17 the least bashful person in our office at that moment (Betsy our HR Administrator, who’da thought?!) incited the quiet riot that lead to our bar to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Now the gold of Prima Pils sometimes outweighs the blood in my body, I think, but I submitted to the moment and ordered a Donnybrook Stout . It was a great decision as Donnybrook’s cool, dry calm slid down my throat effortlessly, just like scene I was witnessing all around me. As if in some sort of ritual, all of us had more green on than we’d normally wear. A cynic might label the scene ‘lame,’ or at least ‘expected,’ but I felt it was pretty natural enjoyment. Enjoyment of a day, a moment and a beer style. All of these green-clad folk smiling, talking and sipping the same black nectar.
Still seeking some counterpoint to this idyllic scene, I spied Pat, happy with her pint of HopDevil. She told me how HopDevil became the first beer she ever loved. She recounted the awful beers of her youth with Schmidt’s sharp in her mental crosshairs. I bemoaned the fact that my Dad sipped Carling Black Label at family events and Pat perked up, “Oh, Uncle Charlie’s beer!”
We talked further, in mystified musing, of the beloved brother-in-law that will happily enjoy a Victory Lager, only to follow it up with a dozen cans of Coors Light. Why such brand loyalty where there is no true, discernible character? We all have that Uncle Charlie, content in consistency while we craft beer lovers are restless, and just occasionally, disappointed.
But I, too, had adopted the herd mentality that day. Green shirt and black stout, like a uniform. This gave me perspective, and comfort, as I knew that tomorrow evening I’d naturally approach my thirst differently, as I normally do. With no preconceived notions.
Ah, the joys of being awash in the diversity of craft beer! I tell my wife that I have many mistresses, all between 12 and 22 ounces. That pot of cool gold I chased at the end of my workday had turned to black… and I ended up blissfully happy to have had that option and the opportunity to reflect on choices.
Co-Founder and Brewer