I feel like I have finally hit the cross road I have felt coming on for quite some time now. At the time of this writing I have the Murphy’s wheat waiting to be transferred and am thinking ahead to the tequila wheat I originally planned to brew. But really, how do you describe your state of mind so that others who are not you understand what is going on inside? It is this odd feeling that everything I have been working toward over the past few years is suddenly just around the corner.
I spent a few minutes today talking to my friend Jessica, who recently started brewing. She brewed her second beer recently and we discussed some of what she encountered and what went into the recipe (I picked on her a bit cause she went with a kit again instead of stepping out on faith with one of the recipes I set up for her). There was a look in her eyes when she spoke of the fermentation starting on this beer (she missed it on her first beer). I remember that feeling, I still get it everytime I brew. Its a sensation of birth and transformation, knowing that it was your hand that guided the process.
Randy Mosher speaks of meditations in a glass. It is the times in my life when I view the world and my life from the outside in that I truely understand what he is talking about. I had a couple Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfests before I left work today. Its interesting that it would be something as simple as a pure German beer that would cause my brain to follow the path it is now. Perchance it is a primal need for us to find something that praises the purity of the malt and the hops to ground us and prepare us for moving ahead.
Commercially, breweries compete with each other to have their beers stand out from all the others out there. Packaging and gimmickery and even wacky add campaigns that have nothing to do with the beer itself are used to aid that push. Maybe it is time for us to find a beer that stands perfectly on its own merits, something so pure that its purity is what drives it ahead of the pack.
I am following a path that leads me to chefs like Thomas Keller. What he has done at the French Laundry is to create food that takes the diner back to purist flavor and taste memories. Is it possible to do that with beer? In truth, this is something that needs be done without gimmicks. It must be done in such a way that it is a celebration of the purity of the malt and hops. This my friends is the path I now seek to follow.
Let’s find a pint and ponder the future…