Earlier this month, I talked about North Carolina’s Black Friday Beer Festival, organized by Sean “Pop the Cap” Wilson as a positive alternative to the dark consumerism of Black Friday.
It was a brilliant idea, but no longer in North Carolina, it looked tough to attend. I resolved to have my own, as I think more people should live this way. A few quietly consumed stellar beers among friends in the afternoon seems better than grown adults fighting over trendy toys in Wal-Mart at 4am–any day of the week. I think that Sean’s brainchild should become not only an annual event, but a nationwide event.
Due to obligations and whatnot, I wasn’t able to pull together even the most rudimentary “festival.” Instead, I picked two of my favorite beers and shared them with my wife and brother-in-law, Matt. Unlike the “official” festival, mine certainly did not benefit charity, we played no poker and I didn’t get a massage. Next year, I’ll try to do Sean a higher level of justice and get a crew assembled.
Of course a schwarzbier seemed most appropriate, but I didn’t have one lying around, nor a handy place to get one. A perusal of my cellar revealed my last bottles of Duck-Rabbit’s Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout and Dogfish Head’s Immort Ale.
The Rabid Duck represented black with determination and pride. It was indeed black. And Roasty and intense. Packed with malt, hops and a sneaky alcohol presence, this espresso-like libation never ceases to make me smile. A great beer.
The Immort Ale represented depth, something that most Black Friday scramblers lack. With juniper berries, vanilla and maple, this oaked beauty never ceases to amaze me. I wish it were in more plentiful supply, and I wish I could afford to drink it on a daily basis. But then I’d become desensitized to it’s amazingness, refrain from being thankful and stop appreciating it.
How wonderful it is that some of these hardcore beers make us work to get them. Thank goodness they’re hard to find. Savor them like your family and friends. A life approached with purpose can be enriched beyond belief. Take this next year to figure out next Thanksgiving and what it can mean to you, and then live like everyday’s Thanksgiving. Then, don’t shop next Black Friday. Join Sean, wherever you are, and drink beer instead.