I have long lurked in the back alleys of the Internet, skulking by this blog from time to time in order to fellowship transitively with fellow beer aficionados. Having been, many moons ago, extended an invitation to join the fray, I have heretofore chosen to remain in the shadows.
Well my friends, no longer. And thus, I feel an introduction is in order.
I have decided to write primarily out of my great and abiding affection for this blog's eponymous founder. I write also out of a sense of duty, our histories of beer being so closely interwoven that my continued silence would somehow start subtly unraveling the thread. And like all writers I scribble in part out of vanity - the desire to set fleeting thoughts of questionable importance to a somewhat less impermanent medium.
Beyond friendship, I have several other connections to this blog. Like Mrs. A-G I too cut my beer drinking teeth on the fabled late nineties high school favorite - Icehouse. Perhaps more significantly, like Mr. A-G I once picked up and was enchanted by Garrett Oliver's The Brewmaster's Table. I found, however, that it was not his passion for beer sommeliership that ultimately captured my attention. It was instead his devotion to the very craft of brewing. The jazz-like combination of ingredients. The science of proportions. The centuries of tradition, almost lost to industrialized America before the Depression Era necessity revived the small independent brewer.
I am thus little concerned with how a beer will taste to the denizens of the modern day foie gras speakeasies of lower Chicago who order a glass to accompany their $40 salad garnished with the force-fed liver of an unfortunate waterfowl. Instead, I relish the pleasure of a cold pint poured on the back porch of a rental house in eastern Goochland county, guzzled with the satisfaction of knowing that there's no cable, no air conditioning, beans and rice for dinner and a pair of $10 mixed six-packs in the refrigerator. It is in that spirit that I hope to review a few of my favorite things on this blog.
In the next issue: A philosphy of beer, and an inaugural review. Until Then.