Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

I've never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving the holiday. I mean turkey is all right as a meal and football is OK as a sport, but they're not my favorites. I prefer steak and baseball, frankly. Still, I like the idea of pausing once a year to look back and try to appreciate all the good things that have happened to you.

If Ben Franklin is correct and "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," it stands to reason we should be especially thankful for beer. Indeed, the realization that beer is a divine benediction upon mankind leads to the inevitable question: What Would Jesus Brew? After all, his first miracle was transforming water into beer. Yes, I know the standard text says wine, but I'm referring to the little-known Gospel of Bill. [If you'd like to have your very own WWJB T-shirt, check out]

So let's think about what I as a beer drinker have to be thankful for in the last year.

First, I'm thankful that St. Elias Brewery finally opened. I stopped by there last Friday, on my way home from work to give Zach a bottle of my homebrewed Mild to try. While there I tried his brand-new Belgian Blonde, a beautifully clear ale with I'd guess 7 or 8% ABV, a bit reminiscent of Duvel. Also on tap were the Williwaw IPA, Puddle Jumper Pale Ale, Even Keel Kolsch, the Farmer's Friend, an Irish Stout, and the Half Moon White. I'm thankful to have such a good brewpub in my locale, not to mention on my way home.

Second, I'm thankful that the other local brewers, Frank at Kassik's and Doug at Kenai River, keep turning out such exceptional beers. From Doug's Winter Warlock and Single Hop IPAs to Frank's award-winning Caribou Kilt Strong Scotch, I'm truly grateful for the wide array of excellent local brews I have to choose from. I'm especially thankful that the Caribou Kilt goes back on sale again tomorrow. Hint, hint...

Third, I'm thankful to be living in the great state of Alaska, where when it come to beer--like in so many other arenas -- we punch far above our weight. Alaskan, Midnight Sun, Sleeping Lady, Moose's Tooth, Glacier Brewhouse, Silver Gulch, not to mention Homer Brewing Company and the others here on the Kenai already mentioned above-- as Alaskans, we're truly fortunate to have more than our share of world-class breweries to choose from. I'd suggest we thank these folks the best way possible, by buying as much of their brew as we can manage.

Finally, I'm grateful for having family and friends to share my love of beer with and the good health required to be able to enjoy this wonderful beverage. I hope each of you may be equally blessed. So let's raise our glasses together, giving thanks for what's past and in the hope that the future will be even better for us all.

Until next time, Cheers!

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