I am surprisingly emotional this morning. I am so proud of myself and my family. We are separating into 3 groups: mother, father, children (with grandparents), and each doing fabulous things. We would not be doing any of these events, if we were not able to turn a life altering diagnosis into something positive and beautiful. I think the reason I'm so emotional about this weekend is that to me it is a metaphor for how well my family has managed Linden's cancer. Nobody wants their child to be diagnosed with leukemia, but even at the very beginning of this adventure, I said to the executive director of YANA, "I don't know about Linden's life, but if the cancer goes away and never comes back, and she is left with no mark, my life is better for this." I got a stand up high 5 for that, and I've committed my life to honouring that high 5. The RNB is the vehicle for that commitment. Linden's cancer has gone away, to the best of our ability to detect, and there is a 90% chance it will not come back.
My parents have been such a great support and help through this, and they have taken Max and Linden to a charitable gala dinner where Linden will have her hair and makeup done and she will be one of 10 runway models in a stunning gown. Pretty cool for a 7 year old girl. My wife is hosting a women's retreat this weekend that she has been planning for months. Our life events have inspired her to become an event planner and this is her first planned event. I'm hoping that we can make our Wonder Twin powers activate in the form of many fabulous future charitable RNB beer related events. It's fabulous if your wife's career and your hobby can complement each other. I'm leaving later today for a Luxury Home Brewer's Retreat in Colorado with some of the best professional brewers in America. For what the event offers, it is very well priced, but it is not within the budget of most home brewers, and I wouldn't be going if I weren't powered by a higher purpose. I'm sure the RNB beers will only be better for the experience.
These 5 days hold so much potential for me and my family, that I'm nervous to let my expectations get too high. I've come up with so many fabulous lines about this situation, one of my favourite is, "If you apply great pressure to a piece of coal, it either crumbles or turns to diamond." My family is dazzling like a diamond this weekend and I'm just so proud of them.
I can't get no (beer) satisfaction. It's a problem with being a beer geek. Your expectations are very high, and you are not easily satisfied. What to most would be a really good beer, falls flat to your beer geek expectations. Where is the simple joy in drinking a beer? Every beer is poured carefully into the correct beer glass. Assessed for head retention, colour, smelled for hints of stone fruit, bread and esoteric esters. Then the liquid hits the tongue, to be assessed for mouthfeel, qualities of flavour. Is that a little DMS I detect? Oh God, DMS. What a failure. And the whole experience is critiqued and dissected.
Why? It's just beer damnit. Here's a good bit of advice, happiness is not found at the bottom of a beer glass. Nothing really bad is happening in my life right now, just a lot of every day shit. But I feel that if I can just find that perfect beer, I'd be happier. I've had some really good beers lately, but I'm still not satisfied. An OK beer becomes a disaster of epic proportions. A good beer is meh, and a great beer, kinda holds the bastards at bay for a period of time. WTF? It's just beer.
I understand Mick Jagger more and more each day. He can't be a man 'cause he doesn't drink the same type of beer as me. Take a breath. Toast your friends. It's just beer.
I keep telling myself that, but I don't really believe it. It's not just beer damnit. It's so much more than that.
It's a curse I think.
Brewing beer is fun. Drinking beer is fun. Selling beer for charity is fun, but trying to organize value added charity events can be stressful. I can get a big head, and when a lot of people who know me say lots of nice things about the beer and what I'm doing, my head can get even bigger. It's been slow to build upon early success and expand out of my little pond into the bigger ocean. It's kinda like dating. When he/she calls you at first, you're all breathless and excited that he/she even noticed you. Then a relationship starts and you get pissed off because he/she hasn't phoned you in a while and your expectations are all distorted and it isn't fun any more. I still have high hopes for the Royston Nano Brewery, but beer wasn't more stress than fun for a while. My plans for beer blitzkrieg just didn't materialize. So I will work on creating a good solid foundation upon which to branch. Some new plans may be unfolding, but they are still at the "hey, let's talk stage."
There are a lot of enthusiastic beer brewers out there, and enthusiasm and attention to detail is really all you need to brew great beer. One of the 3 expressed goals of the RNB is to change the common usage of the term, "Nano Brewery" to mean a small scale brewery that raises money for charity. Back in the old days, every town had a church, a butcher, a baker and a brewer. The brewery would be a focal point for fun, and community involvement. In this age of FB posts, Instagram and online gratification replacing actual face to face human contact, I'm hoping to bring some of that old fashioned human contact back to society. To bring beer down to a local level. Beer is heavy. It shouldn't have to travel far to be consumed. I'd love to see a network of little nano breweries brewing great beer across the land, and each one supporting some local community improvement project. There is no reason why everyone couldn't be drinking a beer that has a positive social, community impact, each and every pint. People like to drink beer, people like to brew beer, people like to help and support their local community. Put it all together, make beer a vehicle for social improvement. Hop hippies. Watch for us.