Sometimes my head gets heavy with the weights of the world. I wanted to write a nice, light, thank-you blog to the members of the A-Frame Brewing Co. team for their efforts this Movember. I started out by listing the days of note in November and got locked in when I hit the 11th hour of the 11th day. What started as a paragraph addressing Veterans and their sacrifice and my gratitude turned into 900 words on the terrible twin specters of PTSD and Depression that can too often befall our returning men and women. It was eloquent and segued nicely into Movember and how mental illness is one of the main issues the Foundation tries to tackle and, as a stand-alone piece, I thought it was a pretty solid bit of writing. But mostly what it made me feel was sad. So I filed it under NSFBB and started over. What I guess I WILL say before moving on is, “Hey Veterans! You are loved and we will never forget your sacrifice. Thank you.”
Let’s find our way back to the end of Movember via some personal introspection on my part. I’m not sure what this thing is that I’m doing here. It’s a beer blog where beer is barely ever analyzed. It has an Instagram arm where my primary concern is not the photos (generally of poor composition) but the comments (which I write with relish: unfazed by the fact almost no-one reads them during their rolling scroll to the bottom). And then there’s the Facebook page, which suffers third-wheel status as I dance lustily with the other two.
What I’m getting at is, while I’m not sure what I’m doing, I am doing something. I’ve carved out some sort platform where I can blather about beer and share my thoughts about what I think is pertinent or funny or cool within the craft community and people (some people) generally seem to enjoy it. This platform has ever so slightly elevated, almost to the height of a soapbox. Curiously enough, I find I can clamber atop it, call out into the abyss and (here’s the crazy part) get a reply. One could use this slippery soapbox for good or for ill, I suppose, and I was fortunate enough to be steered toward the light by Jeff, at A-Frame, who thought this platform might be able to support a cause. Funnily enough, it did, and no one was more surprised than me. It felt quite cool to work benevolently towards something greater than yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the bulk of my beer blogs fall under the umbrella of “entertainment” and will continue to do so. That is, to my way of thinking, a good thing and a necessity and I hold humour and levity in high regard. In these trying times one needs a certain amount of giggle or guffaw to keep the Creeping Bleak at bay. I often tell myself that, to… you know… justify trying to be funny in unfunny times. But this was different. Helping A-Frame get the word out about the Movember Foundation and helping raise funds for the fight has been invigorating and satisfying in a way I might not have felt before. And I guess I have this platform to thank for that. But more than that, I have YOU to thank. You, the reader. You the Instagrammer. You the Facebooker and yes, you the listener (three podcast episodes up on iTunes, baby!). You answered my call and were generous with your words and with your pocketbook and I am moved and amazed in equal measure. So thank you.
And to my fellow teammates, and everyone out on the front lines walkin’ the walk and talkin’ the talk, a big thanks goes out to y’all as well! We had ourselves a final shindig back at the brewery on December first. We had pizza and we had pints and we had a shared experience that transcended the norm (or at least my version of normal) because we were merry and congratulatory due to a collective push for a good cause. The party was pretty awesome, I wish you were there and maybe next time you will be. Jeff congratulated the troops, Andrew (A-Frame’s brewer) walked those of us that were interested thru the equipment while expounding on the brewing process (which my Dad absolutely loved, so thanks again Andrew!) Oh, and we also had Marilyn from Voila Mobile Barber come and shave these nasty things off the faces of those of us who wanted to get romantic with their partners again! Not to get too personal, but it was a looooooong month. Here are some pics…
For pictures of the whole team in various states of moustachioed madness, go to our page on the Movember site (right here). While you’re there, take a look around at some of the great things being accomplished with the money being raised. And after that, why not drop a couple doubloons in the old donation bucket? Just because November’s over don’t mean Movember’s over. Heck, I just got another 20.00 donation today!
In closing, I’d just like to say “thanks” again to Jeff, for asking if I’d like to join the fight. I hope I helped, I think I did. And if you’re interested in having this tall, dorky dude back again next year I’d be happy to oblige.
For right now though, I think I need to take off my A-Frame hat and show some love to some of the other breweries rockin’ it right in my back yard. There’s a lot of loveliness to be found in this Sea to Sky Town, y’all should come up (or down) and see for yourselves. Play safe everybody, and let that Stout just sit for a bit before you sip from it.