Four Beers and a Funeral

This is how my weekend started.  With a funeral.  A Funeral for my Son.  A funeral for his Bachelorhood!  Yes, my Son got married this weekend, and the festivities were great.  This kicked it off with a lunch put on by his co-workers.  He is working a summer job in Boise in a Carpenter shop so this lunch came replete with Coffin Table, and of course…

Headstone.  Unfortunately my Son is too young to legally drink in a public place, so there were no beers here, but there were plenty over the weekend!  So after his funeral, I went to the airport to pick up my brother and mother.

Got them at the airport and took them to where else?  My beer store!  That’s right our first stop was Brewforia in Boise.  We had lunch (they had lunch, I had just ate) and selected out several dark heavy beers,  the kind my brother loves, for the weekend…

That night we had our first beer encounter, so for those of you counting, this would be the first beer.  I took my brother to the Owyhee County Rodeo.  It is a great little rodeo in our neck of the woods, and we try to go every year.  Well they kept announcing that their beer garden was open, so we checked it out.  All they sold was Coors and Coors Light!  This didn’t interest Jim, and rightly so.  So we stayed and watched the rodeo.  It was a dry experience.  When we got home that night we consoled ourselves with a good craft beer stout and a nice whiskey out of the bunker.

The next day went much better beer wise.  We were joined in the house by our friends the Miners from Oregon, so there were 12 of us in the house!  What a party!  That afternoon we all went and decorated the venue for the wedding and had the wedding rehearsal.  Then off to our favorite local Mexican Restaurant where they served an outstanding array of Tamales, Chili Rienos, and Enchiladas. With all the fixins of rice, beans, salsa, pico, chips, guacamole, Sour Cream, and salad.  We also had cream puffs for desert that were dressed up with drizzled chocolate and strawberry toppings.  Beer here were all Mexican in origin, but after the rehearsal Dinner we went back to the house and enjoyed a great Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti from Great Divide Brewery in Colorado.  This was an outstanding beer and we split it four ways with me my brother, and the Miners.  They left very impressed that beer could be this way, and vowed to look it up when they returned to their home town.

The next day was Wedding Day and all activity centered around that.   There were 12 showers (not Bridal showers, but actual showers) lots of hair and make up for the ladies, and well showers for the guys.  Everyone put on the monkey suits and headed out.  There were festivities in the air and lots and lots of pictures to be taken.  See the Bride and Groom were only 18 years old (I know, I know) so there was no dinero for a wedding photographer.  My Brother Jim stepped in and did an outstanding job.  Seriously I’m pretty sure he did better than what 90% of paid wedding photographers would have done.  Thanks Jim, I am certain they will appreciate your work for decades to come.

Well the sad tale here has to do with the venue.  See they got married and had their reception at the Eagles Hall.  The Fraternal Order of Eagles might be an absolutely grand organization that does great things for their community and their members, but their beer selection sucks!  I was given two choices for a beer keg.  Bud or Bud Light.  I chose the Bud Light, because that is what the in-laws generally drink, and I knew they would drink it and appreciate it.  But seriously, I know that the distributer that gets them their kegs is also the same distributer that gets Brewforia their kegs.  There was no reason I couldn’t have had a Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams, the only reason was it didn’t fit the Eagles mold of what beer was.  In their eyes Beer is Bud or Bud Light.  So Bud Light it was.

We rounded out the weekend by going to Brewforia Beer Market and doing our first remote podcast with Jim and I actually sitting side by side in the same room.  Firsts all around.  We set up for our podcast, and we showed Rick, the manager of Brewforia what we had brought to share and discuss for the show.  He approved. I then noticed that he had some “Ungettables” displayed on his beer cooler.  This included three bottles of Pliny the Elder.  I know that Jim has been wanting to try the Pliny’s for a long time.  Then Rick announced that he had a bottle, and asked if we wanted to review it on the podcast!  The answer is alway yes to free beer!  And when it is an “ungettable” the answer is “HELL YEAH”.  

We also had a bottle of New Glarus Enigma, their Oak Aged Cherry Lambic which was absolutely wonderful, and a bottle of 2006 Schlafly Barrel Aged Chocolate Stout, and a bottle of excellent home brew from Evan Burke, a regular here at Beer and Whiskey Brothers.  That was an incredible home brewed Belgian Quad that everyone to a person (All beer snobs) absolutely loved and all said they would spend real money for that brew.  Thanks Evan.

As far as the Pliny was concerned I loved it.  It was exceedingly well crafted, strong where it was supposed to be, and smooth where it was supposed to be, and extremely flavorful.  My Brother Jim, not so much.  He felt it didn’t live up to the hype and I’m sure he will be posting about this soon, once he gets back to his home base later this week.

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic visit.  The kids got hitched and I wish them Godspeed in their new life together.  I think they will be very happy and when they are not, I’m sure their love and commitment to one another and the vows that they took before God will help them through.

I can’t wait for the next time we get to be together.  We keep saying we need to get the families together and I think we need to figure out a way to make that happen.  Maybe next year.  But this was a great and memorable visit, and one I’m sure glad happened.

-Don

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17 Comments on “Four Beers and a Funeral”

  1. Rob Crozier
    August 16, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Great story, thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to read about Jim’s review of Pliny as I know a few people were not impressed that tasted it recently and thought that there were beers on par or better on the East coast.

    • Don
      August 16, 2010 at 11:48 am #

      Its, a very good beer. Now I’m not sure it deserves all the accolades it gets, but it is very well crafted. Jim seems to think there are other beers that are better overall, and I would agree. I thought the New Glarus Enigma was a much better brew than the Pliny, but for what it is it is good, very good.

  2. August 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Fun to hang out with you two on Sunday. And thanks for including me in the podcast. Those were some fine brews we got to taste. That 2006 Shlafly Stout was particularly impressive.

    Hope Jim had a good time in Idaho and that you sent him home with a proper flannel shirt! ;^D

    • Don
      August 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

      He didn’t leave with any flannel, but he did get me to pull out my mandles I hadn’t worn for a couple years! Funny the Shlafly was Jim’s least favorite. He was wondering if perhaps it aged too long, and that gave it that olive aroma.

      It was great to hang out with you too Chad. Had a great time, and I hope you made it home alright… :)

      • August 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

        I don’t think I detected as much olive as Jim did. All the other things going on in the Shlafly must have masked that for me. Only noticed it after he mentioned it, actually. But yeah, would have been very interesting to try a fresher version of that beer to see if that was a product of cellaring or not.

        The New Glarus Enigma was absolutely lovely, too. Thanks Jim, for bringing that. It was another ungettable for us in Idaho and a real treat!

        • Don
          August 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

          It is an ungettable for everyone except those that live in Wisconsin. Some things just aren’t worth going back for. I’ll try to pick some more up next time I visit the folks. The Shlafly just seemed to have a bunch of different flavors all crashing into each other. Chocolate, Olive, wood, malt. They were just a big mosh pit in my mouth. Not my thing.

      • August 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

        Agreed. Lots going on. But for me it came together in a singular expression of chocolate covered, rum filled cherries. At least until Jim mentioned olives … O.K. maybe the Shlafly was a little scattered. And maybe that generous pour of Makers 46 made my taster and sniffer a little generous, too! Fun times Don.

        • Don
          August 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

          It was great Chad. Glad we had the opportunity to do that.

  3. Brandon
    August 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Sounds like a great weekend, Don. Always refreshing knowing that a shotgun wasn’t used at the wedding.

    • Don
      August 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      No, everyone was all too willing to “make it happen”. If anything I tried to turn the shotgun around and have him go back up the aisle, but to no avail. Kids…There’s no reasoning with them!

  4. August 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Great stuff Don! Love the coffin! He’s had such a short life!

    That’s some ‘beer garden’ huh???? LOL! Bud AND Bud Lite? Woooooo!

    That’s like the scene in the Blues Brothers where they go to the Country bar and ask what kind of music the patrons enjoy. The owner says something like…

    “Oh, we have both types of music. Country AND Western.”

    • Don
      August 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

      Well we have both kinds of beer’s too, Bud and Bud Light! It was kinda funny, but all the while I knew that there were really good brews at home!

  5. Marvin
    August 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Personally, Pliny doesn’t do it for me. What I have had of it, well, it seemed too astringent for me. But, it could just be me.

    • Don
      August 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

      I didn’t get any astringency at all out of the Elder we had yesterday. It seemed very well done to me. Probably one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had, that said it is far from my top beer ever, and certainly doesn’t live up to the hype.

    • August 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

      I’m with Don on this one. I like Pliny the Elder. Really well crafted and balanced. Is it the best of its style out there? Maybe not. I may also side with Jim on this one. The hype seems to have gone beyond the beer itself. I’m not sure it can ever live up to the level of hype that currently surrounds it.

      • Don
        August 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

        I guess I would say, that’s not the beer’s fault, and you shouldn’t hold the hype against a beer. I’m pretty sure Russian River, Although they may not discourage the hype, didn’t do anything in particular to get it to this level. That is like blaming the Beatles for all the screaming. They didn’t make those girls scream, but they may have enjoyed it to some extent. Pliny is Pliny, and I must say it was a damn fine beer. I truly enjoyed it…a lot. If that makes me a band wagoner so be it, but I think it is wrong to hold hype against flavor.

  6. August 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Agreed. Band wagoning right next to you.

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