Breweries "Visited"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running Towards, Not Away

Beer #493 Session Black / Full Sail Brewing Company, Hood River, OR
Previously from this brewery: Session Lager, Session Black , and Session Lager

As a kid growing up, my friends and I would play basketball for hours on end in the summer.  Show up at Beech Street playground early, run games all day, take a break to get a drink (Gatorade used to make an iced tea flavor back in the day, and it was glorious), then get back and get another game going until darkness called 'next' and sent us all home for the night.  It was a constant of my teenage years, and it was a place where I was truly happy.

I bring this up for two reasons; one trivial, the other important.

One, I'm playing two basketball games tonight due to my spring league and summer league schedules overlapping.  When I saw this, I immediately realized I haven't played two meaningful games where score is kept and referees call fouls in one day in a very, very long time.

Two, because I've been struggling to put my emotions regarding the tragedy of yesterday's Boston Marathon attack into words.  I think about how much joy and satisfaction I get from participating in sports, most notably running and basketball.  When I first saw a doubleheader on my calendar, I thought back to the feeling of being a kid and playing the game I love all damn day.  The tragedy of yesterday changed my perspective.  Now I've been thinking about races I've run, how many friends I've supported from the sidelines, how many people whose lives are forever damaged from simply just cheering on runners.  They were just fucking waiting with anticipation for loved ones to finish doing something that brought them joy.  I can't even fathom the pain of those families touched by the explosions

An event like the Boston Marathon is a cause for celebration; there's a reason why so many people line the race course and gather at the finish line.  Sporting events can and do bring out the best in people: the struggle to achieve, the will to compete, the satisfaction of hard work, the brotherhood among competitors, the elation of finishing strong, the sense of accomplishment from doing something others can't or won't try, the desire to get out and do it all over again.  I hope the terrorist actions of yesterday don't dampen that spirit.  I hope sports continues to be a way for people to band together, to find common ground, to heal, to move forward.

Do I feel like an idiot doing something as silly as a beer review today, when so many are hurting and working to restore order to the world?  I do, but the world keeps turning.  As much as we grieve and wonder what terrible force in the world allows this to happen, we keep on with our lives, marching forward.  We get up, we get dressed, and we go about our business - proof positive that no matter what evil lurks in the world, the good people won't stop living their lives.

Today you get a review of Session Black from Full Sail Brewing.  In the glass, it's a bright, clear mahogany (as clear as mahogany can be, I guess) color, with a thin head.  There's a lightly toasted malt aroma, and the taste is malt sweetness, with some very mild hop bitterness.  At a mere 5.4% ABV, you get a good flavor without the wallop of a higher ABV beer.  Not a bad summer option for those who are malt fans.
That looks inviting, doesn't it?
Another beer that arrived in a less than 12oz bottle!  No offense, but I think you learn this trick on your first day of MBA class: slightly smaller packaging + same price = greater profit, as you're putting less product in each package.  I sincerely hope this isn't a profitability scheme the rest of the craft beer world notices....

Thing to Think About Today:
Rather than a silly song or something about sailing, I think I'd like to once again remind everyone that a great way to ensure hospitals and trauma centers have the ability to deal with both unfortunate events and routine operations is to donate blood.  If you're one of the 37% of Americans who are physically able to give, the world desperately needs you to donate, and donate as frequently as you can.  To find an American Red Cross blood drive near you, visit:

While keeping the victims of tragedy in your thoughts and prayers is important, it's far more important to actually do something tangible.  Please give blood.

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