Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Slaking the Soul's thirst.....

I feel that annual rebirth beginning. This magical time in northwestern Montana. This, after months of the clouds lowering, the temperatures skid-skittering, the light, the sky, the ground, all becoming the mono-palette of blue-gray. This wonderful time of the clouds thinning and breaking! The temperatures easing (a little), and the sun refilling the hope bucket! This is when the payoff begins. Nevermind the Snowbirds, flittering south when the first omens of the Montana winter begin (can't blame 'em, might do it to if I could. Naw, I wouldn't). This is when we "year rounders" start getting paid back for stickin' it out through the Montana winter. The fantastic dichotomy of the sun-filled, blue sky. The Mission mountains wearing a fresh coating of powder sugar, while basking in the evening light of alpine glow. This is when you can feel everything coming back to full. We know it's not Goldentime (summer) yet, but at least we're out of the grays. I always forget how many color are hidden or gone in the winter. Mono-palette: sky-is-cloud-is-mountain-is-ground-is-lake-is-air... Whew, not sure if it's getting harder to take, year after year, or if this year just hit me harder. That's the thing about the Montana winters: it's not the physical manifestations of the season, it's the mental game. Keeping some sort of light bright and hot inside your core. I do love it when the temperature free falls and the snow comes down so hard it swallows all sound. But the long term bleakness also erodes something. It gets hard to remember the days of long light in the summer, the never-ending cycle of mowing the lawn, harvesting cherrys, raspberrys, peaches, cherrys again, more raspberries. There's the full payoff. If you haven't spent a round year in state, I invite you to try one. Makes the colorful months that much sweeter when harvested!
'til next time,
your humble brewer

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Flu Sucks!

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile. As of late, I've been sidelined and bed-(couch)ridden with the flu. Sucks royal! What an amazing equalizer. It started earlier this week with a subtle round of body aches and this cough, cough, cough! By Wednesday night, the velvet hammer came down hard! It is now Saturday afternoon and I'm starting to crawl out of the hole! I went outside on our back deck earlier today and sat and just smelled the air. Wonderful. After over two days of flu-induced seclusion in the bedroom and living room, I didn't realize how stuffy they were.
Well, I feel like I lost two days in the brewhouse with a full schedule. So, I'm hoping this next week I can get back into the saddle and get some bottling done and brew some batches!

I'm looking for ideas for a new specialty brew. Keep in mind that we won't be brewing any highly hopped beers due to the hop crises. But, I would love to get imput from our customers (and also find out if anybody is reading this).

Speaking of the hop crises, one bright spot is firming up. Boston Brewing, a.k.a. Sam Adams, a.k.a. Jim Koch has offered up their excess hop inventories to the U.S. craft brewing community at their cost, NOT MARKET COST!!! Quite the show of commaradarie and community! Would be nice if some of the bigger players would do the same but there are those who claim this "crises" has been caused by the biggest players in the brewing world. War of attrition, cut the supply lines and watch your enemys whither and die!

Okay, back to bed.........

Saturday, February 2, 2008


On the eve of Super Bowl XLII (that's 42 for those of us who went to public schools!), the question is asked: "WHO WANTS IT MORE?" Really? That's the best tagline the mega-marketers could come up with? "WHO WANTS IT MORE?"!?!
Well, I guess I shouldn't be too hard on them, maybe they spent all their mental budget coming up with a football carrying a football!!! As you can probably guess, I'm more that a little disappointed at the apparent lack of creativity here. The Super Bowl is one of the (if not "THE") marketing, hyped, spit-and-polished events of the year! Multi-millions spent for scant seconds of airtime. This year the average 30-second spot will cost $2.7 MILLION! There are 63 spots that are already SOLD! By my math (remember: public schools), this is $170.1 MILLION DOLLARS!!!! This does not include the pre-game and post-game ad revenues. Toss that onto the pile and you get $275 MILLION DOLLARS FOR ONE AFTERNOON OF PROGRAMMING!!!!
-If there are small children reading this, please visit pbskids.com now.-
WHAT THE F*%#!!!!???!!!?
That's almost one dollar to EVERY CITIZEN in the United States! WOW! I had no idea before I started to write this blog. As my Father-In-Law would say, "Umbleevble!"
I know, "This kind of money wouldn't be spent if it didn't work." Maybe that's what gets me the most: I wish this type of "megalomaniac marketing" didn't work on us, the citizenry. I'm sure there are some good points, but they escape me right now. Maybe what it's really about is I'm jealous, sour-grapes.
At any rate, the show will go on. Christine has made her way to Tucson, Arizona to enjoy the spectacle with her dad and two of her sisters. As you probably know, she is a New York Football Giants fan like few others. She drove from Polson to the Spokane airport in a driving blizzard, over the passes, tailgating snow plows and sand trucks, swerving around jack-knifed semis! All for her beloved Giants! I guess I admire that kind of passion.

The brewery tasting room will be open this Sunday for business. So please make your way down and get your fair share of our beer. You can still enjoy 48 ounces on premise, you can buy as much as you want to take out as long as the containers stay closed until you get off the property! So remember, if you've had your three and you're burping as you walk out the door, that's an open container!

Again, in the interest of domestic harmony,

Sing with me! "Plaxico, Plaxico, Eli ta Plaxico" Repeat!