A man called police on Wednesday night after he came home from work and spotted an intoxicated woman drinking a beer on the roof of his home. The 28-year-old woman was taken into custody after she refused to get down and leave. The police report said the woman agreed to leave only if the man agreed to give her more beer. ~The Associated Press Fort Pierce, Fla.
This weekend I turned 50 and was extremely lucky to celebrate with many of my friends and family. They must know me well, because I was treated to an amazing array of thoughtful beer-oriented gifts. It was simply a cornucopia of beer — beer tools, beer clothing, and many other great beer accouterments.
So, rather than focus this blog on any particular beer, I wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone that made my birthday so incredibly awesome and filled with the joy of beer. The biggest thank you goes out to my wife, who threw a kicking party and once again brought so many of our friends and family together to celebrate my birthday and our friendship. She is truly amazing!
So here are the beer gifts that I got (The names have not been changed to protect the innocent, although in some cases that is probably warranted). This list can also be used as a guide for gift-giving for birthdays or other special occasions:
The week started with a huge box on my driveway from Adam and Lynne delivered via FedEx. It was a Kegerator! A freaking Kegerator! They have one in their house (remarkably right in their dining room) and seeing it with its fresh-beer has always given me a bit of Kegerator envy. But no longer.
After working through some of the worst directions I've ever seen and requiring emergency assistance from my wife and son, we got it setup and working with a sixtel keg of DogFish 60 Minute IPA. And of course it was delicious. But if that wasn't enough, Adam and Lynne also gave me a complete DogFish ensemble with a tap handle, glasses and more. Awesome, simply awesome.
But there was more, lots more. My daughter Hannah made me an awesome T-shirt with my on it and I wore it two straight days. My younger son Sam and his girlfriend Laurel, then came home from college with a huge growler from Victory Brewing filled with Storm King Stout. And to top it off, my son Jake, a professional glass artist, made me a handblown golden chalice to drink my beer from.
And so it went ... My brother Alan and his family drove in from Massachusetts and gave me 4 beautiful tap handles for the Kegerator, AJ and Shari brought big bombers of Belgian's and Brian and Sarah big bombers from the Brooklyn Brewery, Howard and Eileen drove down from Connecticut and combined two of my favorite things; the Mets and beer with a beautiful engraved Mets mug and a Mets bottle opener, Tom gave me a great book on cooling with beer that I cant wait to try out, Jake's girlfriend Tia, gave me a cook book on Tasting Beer that I started reading last night, and my parents (both thoughtful and tolerant) gave me Garrett Oliver's Beer Encyclopedia and a cool beer sign that says how to order a beer in something like 25 languages (an important and ever useful bit of knowledge, right up there with Donde esta el bano? and Donde esta la cerveza fria?).
But incredibly there was still more ... Ervin and Jill called to wish me a hoppy birthday from the Bear Republic Brewery in northern California where they were sampling some very tasty brews (if you haven't tried Racer 5, it is delicious). Susan and Mark drove down from Connecticut with six packs of City Steam beer and a cool beer T-shirt. I tried the City Steam Blonde on Blonde Pale yesterday in my golden chalice and it was delicious. Todd came with a nice cold six pack of Dale's Pale Ale and Michael brought a sampler six pack of Flying Dog from his home state of Maryland and a six pack of 1634 Ale, a historical brew celebrating Maryland that sounds really interesting.
And yet, if that wasn't enough (and it wasn't, because I really do like getting gifts despite saying I don't), Joey and Michelle came from Connecticut with a brand new cooler filled with beer and mixers and summer beach toys for our annual family beach vacation to Delaware. Carol gave me a Marlston's Oyster Stout from England brewed with oyster shells. And my very close friends the Liberty's and Baker's gave me a gift card to MarketPlace Liquors, a place that has a beer wall and cooler that is as close to heaven on earth as there can be.
And for the piece-de-resistance, Mindy who is one of my oldest friends (I've known her along time, not that she is old chronologically-good cover, right?), brought me 5 packages of fresh sausage to go along with my beer. Astoundingly thoughtful!
There were also loads of cool beer-themed cards to convey birthday wishes and so many close friends and family to share a beer with regardless of what birthday gift they brought.
Hopefully I didn't leave any beer-gifts out, but it doesn't matter because I would have traded all of them to simply spend the day with all of my great friends and family (except the Kegerator, beer samplers, books, T-shirts, mugs, gift card, golden chalice, growler....).