Raising a Glass

This weekend at the Brewers Guild Festival, my first official event of this year’s San Diego Beer Week, I was strongly reminded why I love the craft brew community in San Diego. While we lined up for VIP session, we chatted with a trio of gentlemen behind us in line and shared stories of previous fests and the occasional futility of taking tasting notes at festivals.

I mentioned that in reviewing tasting notes from one of the Pizza Port Strong Ale Fests, I found that I’d simply written, “FLAVOR!” to describe one of the beers I’d tried, which was even less helpful than my usual shorthand for a beer that I like (i.e., ♥ ). This turned into the running joke of the day, and for the rest of the festival if they spotted me, they’d hail me with a hearty, “FLAVOR!” We shared tasting notes and recommendations throughout the VIP session (including “FLAVA!!!”) and chatted about various other things, in which I bemoaned that local brewers weren’t using the brilliant beer names I’d suggested.

In my defense, I didn’t mean to insult Stone by suggesting that the brewers of Arrogant Bastard name a beer Hipster Douchebag. I thought it was funny. Alas, they didn’t. Still, if Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey ever gets around to making a beer aged in tequila barrels, I sincerely hope he takes my suggestion and calls it Agave Maria. My best (?) idea was for the Kopi Luwak version of AleSmith Speedway Stout, but alas, it’s already earned the nickname “Weasel Poo.” I think “Civet Doodie” would be a way better name if it ever made it into bottles, but that may just be my punning proclivities. To their extreme credit, my new beer friends said that if they ever opened a brewery, they would hire me to help name their beers.

But this particular San Diego Beer Week is especially awesome for me because I just received word that a short story I wrote called “The Absent Brewer” has been accepted for publication in an anthology. And it’s not just any anthology, it’s A Six Pack of Stories, Story Brewhouse’s inaugural project featuring stories that integrate beer and literature, two of my favorite things. I am thrilled that someone would conceive of such an awesome project to begin with and ecstatic that my story was selected to be part of it. We’re hoping to get the anthology out in time to toast it with Christmas beer, and I’ll keep y’all posted on that.

I have a bottle of Westvleteren 12 hidden in the back of the refrigerator that I planned to open if the story was accepted, but alas, between the 13 varieties of Ballast Point Victory at Sea we enjoyed at Hamilton’s and the Beer Swap my husband attended while I was singing my second concert of the weekend, we figured it would be wise to postpone. And besides, the Westy will keep. There are still hundreds of Beer Week events to go!


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