OR Bi-polar Brewer Syndrome
You know the feeling: acute pain, agonizing disappointment, and sudden loss followed by excitement, elation and a smile stretched from ear to ear.
It’s triggered by that pssshhhh sound of a keg that’s just kicked. Aaarrrggghh!!! That beer is gone. The sweat of my brow measured finite. History recorded. Poo!
But then…Yipeee! I’ve got a new keg ready to go! Out with the porter; in with the dubbel! How exciting! I’ve been dying to get this beer on! My brow sweated for this one, as well.
You know you’ve felt it, and there are worse afflictions to have than Bi-polar Brewer. It happens with draft system owners more than bottlers. When you have bottles running low, you know when you get to the last one. You’ve seen it coming. You know it when you pick up the last. Popping the cap doesn’t cause a cry of pain, just a matter-of-fact well, here’s the last one.
Even though you can lift that keg to gauge your stock, and you know it’s low, it’s still a surprise when that keg kicks. Sorta like when a loved one dies after battling an illness. You know it’s coming, but still, when they pass, the reality of it is shocking. Now, I don’t mean to say that a keg running dry is akin to the death of a friend or family member. Just take the flippin’ metaphor for what it is.
There is, of course, a time for everything. And we’re now talking a time for change: I’ve been driving through my Bramling Cross Porter for quite some time, and now it’s time for my Ceremony Abbey Ale. I don’t think I’ve every really talked about this porter, so in remembrance, I should mention that this was not my Number One Porter recipe. I stumbled across some Bramling Cross hops a while back, and snatched them up knowing that I’d wanted to try them since reading a description that mentioned lemony and black currant notes. Though I’d looked variously over the years, I didn’t find them easy to track down.
So I hopped this porter (which is what I was thirsty for, and was scheduled to brew) more than I normally do to push the hop profile enough to peak through this otherwise roast-leaning beer. I can’t say as I noticed black currant, but I could see a lemony character peaking through, an interesting nuance to this beer. But not the porter I want to drink every day.
Kinda like when you have an employee that’s a good worker, but a pain in the ass to deal with. Maybe they talk too much or don’t shower everyday. But they’re really good at their job. And finally, they move on. You know you have to replace them, but you’re glad about it. That’s the reality of how I feel about this dead soldier.
Will I use these hops again? Yes, in a different beer.
For now, rest in peace, Bramling Cross Porter. I need your keg for my Jennings Farm Mild a little later today. While I sip on Ceremony.