Back in the spring, we had such high hopes for a garden and our newly-acquired slow pace of rural living. Then we screwed that up by opening a restaurant.
But, we did manage a minor harvest with our hand-off, weeds-on strategy. This weekend, we put together a delicious meal from some of the tidbits we grew and harvested together. With a brisk, determined wind harkening what we know to be on the horizon, winter, a hearty potato soup really warmed the belly.
What warmed the soul was doing it together. Growing potatoes, onions, carrots. Harvesting. Chopping. Sauteeing. Simmering. It’s got me looking forward to Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. But really. This was a Thanksgiving, of sorts. Like any day can be, if one’s paying attention.
But what beer? I’ve been holding onto a bottle of Capital Brewery’s Autumnal Fire for just the right moment. For two reasons, today was the day. One, it is a chilly autumn day. Two, I spent my day laying tile for the wood stove we’re installing to use fire to heat our home. Nothing like a doppelbock to warm chilled bones. Deeply malty, this one did the job.
As a nightcap, it seemed I needed a homebrewed libation to keep with the sweat-of-my-brow/warm-the-soul theme. I went for my Double Barrel Dubbel, the barrel-aged version of my Ceremony Abbey Ale.
This guy jumps out of the bottle with extreme carbonation, but with a goblet close at hand, I caught it and poured slowly to form a huge, fluffy head topping a lovely, dark reddish-brown. Dry, with nuanced malt character, the bourbon- and cabernet sauvignon soaked oak chips handed over a wonderful dimension. A red wine drinker would love this beer.
And so would someone like me, just a beer enthusiast seeking brewvana. Today, I found it.