I’m typically not one for New Years resolutions, figuring if I didn’t do something in the last twelve months, a moment of guilty reflection isn’t really going to change things.
But this past year’s been a pretty wild one, full of new challenges and new opportunities for both Don and I. As we both have begun adjusting to our new “normal,” it’s a good time to think about priorities and goals for the coming year.
I figured I’d put mine out there for all the world to see, mostly so you guys and girls can make fun of my lazy ass when none of these things happen.
1. Write more B&WB posts
There have been a few factors preventing me from writing B&WB posts on the regular. The main one is that Don drifted away from us here in 2012, having lost his job and now working to open a beer oasis in Nampa, Idaho. His priorities are on target – providing for his family’s future comes first – but this blog has always been a partnership, a place where me and my big bro could connect and share and joyfully snipe at one another. Without Don here, I feel like the whole thing has gone a bit lopsided, that the energy has changed. Hopefully this will soon be fixed, as Don is opening the doors of the Idaho Hop House in the coming weeks and should have a more stable schedule and regular access to a computer. At any rate, I’m going to redouble my efforts to keep the blog chugging along in his absence, because while I miss him being here, I also miss you boys and girls desperately.
2. Visit three breweries
Okay, so I’m aiming a bit low here, but I always have these great intentions of hitting the road and meeting with my favorite brewers face-to-face, and then nothing happens. At the minimum, I need to roll down to Reheboth Beach and check out Dogfish Head, take the family to
Troegs new brewing Mecca Hershey Park, and who knows what else. I know setting the bar at three isn’t very ambitious, but I’d rather feel like an overachiever come 12/31/13 than a slacker who could get his act together enough to visit places that give free samples of beer!
3. Attend GABF
While I have my traveling pants on, let’s look west to Colorado and cross our hearts and hope to fly out to the Great American Beer Festival this year. I almost made it in 2012, but then financial issues (a.k.a replacing my metrosexual Mini Cooper Convertible with a car less likely to kill my little family) put the trip out of reach. Plus I used up a chunk of vacation days helping our mom move from Wisconsin to Michigan with a broken hip (a good time – you should try it!), but if all goes well this year, that shouldn’t be an issue. But then again, she does have two hips. At any rate, it’s time to go back to GABF, as Don and I had a great time when we made it there a couple of years ago.
4. Fire up the brew kettle
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten off my butt to brew a batch of beer (or even bottle the strong ales that have been “carboy aging” in my master bathroom shower for almost two years). Honestly, the weekend are hard; when I’m not running my kids around to events – my son has FIVE basketball games this weekend – I’m trying to carve out enough quiet time to write my weekly Today Show column, which takes me far too long (damn you, research!!). But those excuses aren’t going to get the carboys bubbling, so it’s time to make time. Plus I like brewing when it’s cold outside, so I can use a snowbank to crash my wort. Again, I’m lazy!
5. Support Don is his new endeavor
My brother Don has been working hard to get his new business up off the ground, a bar/restaurant/bottle shop (and possible homebrew emporium) in Nampa, Idaho. Starting a business is a scary proposition, and I want to do everything within my power to help Don’s new place flourish. So far I’ve designed his logo, and he’s told me I’m on the hook for designing business cards as well. I also imagine I’m going to get stuck creating and maintaining his website, as he has the IT skills of an Ursus arctos horribills. Whatever he needs, I’ll provide, along with unsolicited advise and second guesses about all of his decision, because really, what are brothers for?
6. Learn, Learn, Learn
I’ve been so busy writing about beer (and drinking it!) that I’ve taken my foot off of the accelerator when it comes to learning new things about the world’s greatest beverage. That is going to change this year – I intend to read (and not just skim) a few new beer books I have in my queue, and hopefully learn more about the chemistry of beer as I go, a deep and scary subject that will either overwhelm my capacity to give a crap or turn me into an even bigger geek. I might even take some of those fancy Cicerone classes, but I’m on the fence about that one, mostly for reasons of time (which I don’t have a lot of).
So there you have it, six very achievable goals for the coming 12 months. I guess only time will tell about how I do with these, but I’m pretty sure number one and number five are locks, and that number six will happen as well. Number 4 is the loftiest of the bunch, because it requires me to do something I absolutely loathe – bottle my beer!
Anyway, I’m sure a few of these will be pavers on the road to hell, but I’ll do my best to get ‘em done!
Happy New Year everybody – I hope you all have a healthy and hoppy 2013.