Getting Rid of Perfectly Good Craft Beer

As some of you may know, I’ve spent the past week taking care of our mom and helping her move from Wisconsin to Michigan.  She needs hip surgery and is to the point where she can’t really walk, stand or do anything on her own, so I had to stay sharp day and night and be on call to assist her.  This meant very little sleep and NO beer for Yours Truly.

The first part of the week was spent buttoning things up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and while I was a little bummed that I couldn’t pop over to Ray’s Liquor and load up on treats from New Glarus, my mind was on more important things, like making sure my mom didn’t fall and break her other hip.  This wasn’t a leisure trip by any stretch of the imagination. 

But just because I didn’t buy any beer doesn’t mean there weren’t any adult beverages in the house.  The fridge in the garage was full of leftovers from happier times.  There were several Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s that my sisters would sip on the front porch on warm summer nights.  There were a handful of Bells Two Hearted Ale’s that I didn’t have a chance to finish during my last trip out, along with a few New Glarus Spotted Cows I had picked up for my sister Wendi and a six pack of New Glarus Two Women that Don picked up at Ray’s on the recommendation of an employee there. There were four Basque beers that my niece dragged over from France for me to try that I absent mindedly left in the meat drawer.  And there were an assortment of singles from places like Victory, Stone and Rogue, remnants of six packs purchased long ago.

The fridge had to be emptied for the move to Michigan, and I had no idea what to do with the beers.  I couldn’t take them home, as I was traveling with a small carry-on suitcase that was already stuffed with clothes for the week.  I couldn’t take them in the car to Michigan because cargo space was at a premium, and none of our family there is into beer.  I thought about shipping them home, but I had so much on my plate that packing them up and getting them to the UPS store didn’t seem realistic, nor was it fair to leave my mom alone at home so I could ship beer to New Jersey.  I figured they’d have to stay.

I was literally frozen for a moment gazing upon the scene you see above, 20 or more good beers with no place to go.  I couldn’t bear to throw them out – that’d be a total waste.  Instead, I found an old wicker basket we were giving to Goodwill and filled it with the bottles.  They actually fit quite nicely.  And there they sat, in the Goodwill pile, to be left behind and hopefully found by a neighbor or a realtor who would find them a good home.

But that was still too much uncertainty for me, so I offered the assortment of beers to the movers who were loading my mom’s belongings into a semi trailer. The grudgingly accepted them, almost as if they were doing it as a favor to me.  Maybe they saw the look of mild panic in my eyes that the beer would be left without someone to enjoy it.

It’s a silly thing to worry about a handful of good beers going to waste, but I guess it’s in moments like these when we realize just how much we care about craft beer.  Guess I’m an uber nerd!

Have you ever been faced with throwing away perfectly good craft beer?  As always, let us know below.

P.S. – it’s good to be back – I missed you guys and gals quite a bit!

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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19 Comments on “Getting Rid of Perfectly Good Craft Beer”

  1. January 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    At least you had some perspective on the situation. It’s just beer, right? If the movers were the types of movers I have dealt with then they were probably BMC types and turned off by hard lemonade and fancy beers. Who knows, maybe they will enjoy them and you were responsible for converting them to the Good side of beer. So you were a fantastic son and a beer evangelist… bravo.

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks, Matt. I’m hoping I turned someone on to good beer with the offer – bell’s Two Hearted is a pretty good gateway beer…

  2. January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Too bad you didn’t have time to round up the local craft beer community. I’m sure they would have been all too happy to lend a hand and an educated pint or tulip glass.

    As far as wasting perfectly good craft beer, After hauling a couple hundred dollar’s worth every several months to my in-laws, I finally realized that their fridge would always be stocked with Miller or Coors Light so aside from the bottles I poured for myself, they were all wasted.

    I feel your pain.

    @TheAlemonger

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Yeah, you can stock a horse’s fridge, but you can’t make him drink!

  3. Chad
    January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    If they were old they probably weren’t that good anyway. How old was that Bells Two Hearted? Stuff like that loses all its luster after 3 months or so.

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      The Two Hearted was about six months old – not fresh for sure, but still better than many IPA’s out there I bet.

  4. January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Welcome back. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in that situation, but I leave beer behind all the time. I’ll always have enough craft beer, but my hosts might benefit from a beer epiphany after I’ve gone.

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      I like to leave beer behind as well, even if I find it there untouched upon my return. But in this case, there was no “behind” to leave it to, except a goodwill pile, which means it’d wind up getting thrown out, which seemed like an awful fate to me.

  5. January 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    First of all, best of luck to your mother.

    Second, while reading this, I couldn’t help but think of a child describing that their family pet had to “go live on Uncle Jim’s farm” or whatever.

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      We’ve had a few dogs that have “gone to the farm” in the past. My sister even once told her kids that the dog “went for a haircut” and never came back. I guess that’s why they’re all so shaggy!

  6. January 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    First of all, I want to say that you and Don are AWESOME sons and brothers. You both rock. Your mom’s lucky to have you, and vice versa of course. Second, I would have had a freeze-up minute too about the beer. Third, I’ll try to give the movers the benefit of the doubt by supposing they thought you were a move mystery shopper (no alcohol, moving crew, in your personal or work lives, ever, or you’re fired!) And I’m glad you took the time to fill us in here in the bloghood.

    • January 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      You’re right, I could’ve been Undercover Boss!!

  7. tronto
    January 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    My x-mas present evry year to the garbage men is a 12 pack on top the garbage with a bow on it. Next time, do that, they’ll drink it.

  8. January 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Jim,

    I second what Linda said, your mother is a lucky lady.

    Things are a bit different in my family though, my mother would’ve scolded me for not having a beer. 😉 As far as what you had to give away, I wouldn’t have any pangs about just pouring the hard lemonade down the drain, that Basque beer on the other hand…

    My problem with leaving beer is forgetting it. I’ve left several growlers in hotel refrigerators on our road trips.

  9. January 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    1st – good on you for taking care of mom. You’re good kids and make your mom proud. I echo what the others have written so much more ably before me.
    2nd – it’s only beer, good beer, but still only beer.
    3rd – I now have a new saying, “You can lead a mover to a craft beer…”

  10. oliver klosoff
    January 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    I didn’t bother reading, because I got a headache (well I stopped at some town called Wowmytoes-a because it made my head throb), but do you have some Mike’s Hard Lemonade in that pic? That is straight up manly, confident in your hetero-ness kind of “beer”.

    • January 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

      Ha ha – thanks, Oliver. The Mike’s, as it is explained in the post, was purchased and consumed by my sisters. My man card remains intact!

  11. January 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    So many people get caught up with what doesnt matter in life. Sure the beer is precious and awesome, but taking care of your mom is an awesome thing to do. To humble yourself to be on call at all times is definitely not easy (my mom had to do the same thing for my grandmother, and I have never seen her more worn out). So Cheers to you!

    That being said- I wish that i was your mover.

    • January 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks, Jay. Funny you use the word humble – it’s a good one. There was no “me” for that week, only her.

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