Breweries "Visited"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You Say It's Your Birthday? It's My Birthday Too...

Beer #143 Affligem Blond / Brouwerij Affligem, Opwijk, Belgium

Very important day today - huge, important of things have happened on May 1 throughout history.  I'll stick with the main ones, in no particular order:
1. The fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta was founded in 1848, although it took until 1888 until a chapter showed up at Penn State, where it remains the oldest (and best, but I'm biased) fraternity on campus.
2. A little mutual fund company named Vanguard was born in 1975.  I heard they're a pretty cool bunch of people, even if they're not so little any more.
3. I was born.

Yes, the earth has completed another revolution around the sun, and here we are again.  My birthday.  I've definitely hit the age where birthdays become less of a big deal.  I mean, compared to the huge milestones at 16, 18, and 21, birthdays recently completely pale in comparative excitement.  I remember counting down the days to my birthday when I was a kid, and now it's more of a "oh, it's my birthday next week.  Where did April go?" sort of reaction.  However, I did get some ice cream cake at work and plenty of well-wishes along the way, so it was definitely a good day.  Hopefully I get many, many more birthdays after this one!

In the past year, I lost a number of people who meant a lot to me, in wildly different ways.  My mother-in-law Louise, Joe Paterno, and most recently, my dog Flash.  Next year won't be nearly as good without them all around, but I'll always carry fond memories of each forever.  As long as I'm being sappy, I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment and list a few things I'm thankful for:

1. A wonderful group of friends, some who I've known since back when birthdays were exciting, some I've only met recently.  You're all very special to me, and my only complaint is that I don't get to spend enough time with all of you.  So call me, let's do something.
2. A great family filled with kind, loving, people. You guys are the best!
3. A great group of colleagues at work.  I really enjoy my job, and working with people you like really helps make liking your job much easier.
4. My health.  Relatively speaking, I'm doing okay for someone of my incredibly advanced age.  After taking too much time off, I am hereby going on record that I will once again run a 24 hour ultra-marathon in 2013.  Book it.
5. People who read this blog.  I get it isn't the most interesting corner of the internet, but it's our corner of the internet and we appreciate you stopping by!
5. My wife and co-blogger, Marci.  She's the smartest, funniest, most beautiful and wonderful person I know, and I can't imagine what she sees in a spaz like me.

Tonight's brew is the Affligem Blond, a strong pale ale which came on draft at TJ's.  It poured a pale gold in the glass with a thin head, and gave off aromas of yeast, malt, and spice.  It's a very tasty beer, with notes of caramel, biscuit, a little spice, and light citrus.  Checks in at a respectable 6.7% ABV, and is definitely worth your time.

In operation since 1935, this brewery was originally Brouwerij de Smedt, until Beer Giant Heineken purchased it in 1996 and renamed it Brouwerij Affligem.  They still produce on site, so it still counts as craft beer in my book, despite their corporate overlords.

Thing to Think About Today:
In the spirit of birthdays, let's stop and think about the greatest movie ever made about birthdays, Sixteen Candles.  Another legendary John Hughes film from the 80's, this film tells the story of a girl who's family forgot her birthday - and hilarity (in the form of the Donger) ensues.  This one is both touching and hysterical.  Two Anthony Michael Hall movie references in less than a week?  Oh, INDEED.  It's my birthday, and my gift to you are these two clips.

Dong, Grandpa is talking to you!!  AUTO MOBILE?

A happy birthday to all, and to all a good night.

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