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In the beginning - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
In the beginning
In 1989, I visited London for the first time. Still rather disappointed at being told that a year or even a semester abroad was just not going to be possible, I opted instead to visit a friend who had gotten into a program at Kings College, and then others who were scattered about Britain. The six weeks I had there have provided me with some of my favorite stories.

Truth be known, I was something of a naive git, and shy as well. In spite of it, I managed to make a few friends while I was there, including a young Scot named Elisa. For some reason, E delighted in poking fun at my American-ness. She was never particularly cruel about it, she simply had a knack for cutting through all of the bullshit and challenging my preconceptions.

I forget if it was the first or the second night that we met where we were sitting in a pub and she said something to the effect of "I bet you don't even know what real beer tastes like." She was right. The only beer I had been exposed to was pale, tasteless, mass-produced swill and I just didn't understand the appeal. E ordered pints of the house Bitters and proceeded to educate. She taught me the lore about beer as food, how most every town had its own brewery, and most mysterious of all, how the Bitters we were drinking was very much alive. I was entranced, so much so that I fell in love right there. (I'll let you figure out whether my feelings were for the beer or the woman on your own.)

More than anything else, this discussion shaped my time there. My travels were between pubs, with cathedrals and castles and museums just stops along the way. It was the fascination of the local pint that inspired the aimless trek through the Western Highlands, the mystery of the house brew that had me walking through Cornwall. Here was a living history that I could taste. It was brilliant.

All of this is by way of saying that I've decided to try my hand at an English Bitters tomorrow. It fits with my production schedule (I need to bottle and rack tomorrow as well), and I think it's time to give it a go. The Steam Beer is ready for crack, and those of you who come will be gifted with bottles of First Snow Old Ale for to drink or to have.

Per usual, noonish at the House of Twelve Maples, earlier if you want breakfast. Bring whatever.
8 comments or Leave a comment
thedeadfisharmy From: thedeadfisharmy Date: January 3rd, 2004 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm dyin' here! *cough cough splutter*

Well, actually, even if I wasn't being professionally upset about my health, I would have had a previous engagement to go hang out with my brother, now that he's in town. But still, I formally issue a statement of regret for not being able to see the bitters in action.
komos From: komos Date: January 4th, 2004 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Bummer... If it's any consolation, there will certainly be others much like it. Even better, when time has worked its magic, there will be bitters for drinking and another project in the works.

Hope you feel better.
hieeee From: hieeee Date: January 4th, 2004 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)

wishin' and hopin'

i wish i could come.
i hope your day is filled with wonderful things, peter.
what a wonderful name.
be safe and have loads of fun.
komos From: komos Date: January 5th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
As it turns out, the day was pretty quiet, most likely because I didn't let people know until the last minute. We did get some stuff done, but very little went according to plan.
schmi From: schmi Date: January 6th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good story. :)
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2004 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I have a few yarns to spin, though I do wish that there were many, many more. In my fantasy world, there are grand adventures with unexpected twists and turns, but I've largely been too much of a homebody to experience them.

Eventually, I will get to the bottom of it. ;)
canonfire From: canonfire Date: April 19th, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love that story. And to think I got to hear it at FK!

You must venture out from the Shire more often.
komos From: komos Date: April 19th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you asked the right question...
8 comments or Leave a comment