Jumpstart, Beer

Starr Hill Warm Up Winter Ale

Starr Hill Warm Up Winter Ale

Sometimes when it’s late on a Friday or Saturday night and the wife is asleep and Twitter is dull I find myself pondering beer like the good old days of my blogging origins. Each time I get a couple hundred words in and realize I haven’t said anything. This post is worthless. And I don’t even bother to save the Word Doc.

Tonight will in all likelihood be no different. Or will it?

A rerun of Elementary is playing on the iPad next to me on my desk as the clock on my iMac ticks over to read 12:27 AM. Earlier tonight I drank a Winter Ale called Warm Up by Starr Hill. The kind people at Starr Hill gave it to me along with another beer – a chocolate stout that I haven’t drank yet. Whenever I get these beers I feel obliged to think critically about them, like I used to do all the time when blogging about beer was a regular thing for me. I get excited about beer for a few minutes then, like starting up a car with a dying battery, you believe it’s going to work. It feels right; it makes the right sounds. You know though that the battery is dead. And as you keep trying to turn your key in the starter the noise slowly gets duller and duller with each attempt.

I often long for the night I sit here contemplating beer that instead of trying to start up a car with a dead battery that someone brought jumper cables to my rescue. Then I can drive my fictional beer blogging car over to Costco and get a new car battery after waiting in line for 25 minutes since no one ever mans the station at the auto/tire shop. Will it ever happen though? Who knows?

Maybe I don’t need jumper cables. That type of re-ignition might be too much to handle diving back into a topic I feel so lost in now.

– Josh

Unleash the Pumpkin Beers

Beer friends! What’s up?!

I’ve been cranking away at SOB 2.0, oh… wait… you haven’t heard? Earlier this summer I finally purchased shortonbeer.com and I’ve been writing there every single day. It’s not just about beer though. Actually beer only comes up every so often. It’s about me and life and being a creative professional and about anything I feel like writing about.

That’s not why I’m writing this post. I’m writing this post because I’ve had my first pumpkin beer of the year. I fought the season creep and held out to almost a week into September. Pretty good, right?

I’m helping my wife help my friend craft some paper for welcome bags for her wedding next weekend and knew it was time to break my pumpkin beer yearly seal. Since Starr Hill was so gracious to send me their Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter I felt that it’d be right to start with theirs.

Maybe it’s because I had it at the end of the season last year. Maybe it’s because I’m sick of crafting. Maybe it’s because it’s my first sip of pumpkin in months. Maybe it’s because they changed their recipe (I have no clue – I was bad and didn’t read the letter that came with the beer!) But this beer tastes leaps and bounds better than last year’s.

I have no hard-hitting or in depth analysis. I just dig this beer tonight. I’ll probably head into the garage and grab my other one soon. We’ve crafted 17 of the ~80 things we need to make. And we’re pushing close to three hours…

Time for another beer. Time for a pumpkin beer.

Before you go, what’s the first pumpkin beer you had this year?

Tipping Points, Pandora and Imperial Goses

I think a key to having a successful business is getting people hooked so that they don’t look for what you offer in other places. Take Pandora for example. I’ve been using it for what, eight years? It’s probably not the best free streaming music platform out there but I’ve been using it for so long that I probably won’t stop until 1) they piss me off by playing even more than the already absurd amount of commercials or 2) something comes along that blows it completely out of the water. If it’s not broken, why fix it?

(Craft) Breweries face the latter of the problems, at least in my mind. We’re inching closer to a tipping point where it’s virtually impossible for any normal liver to keep up with what’s being produced.

There are breweries in my effing town that I haven’t even been to yet. Revoke my beer blogger card, I don’t care. I cannot keep up with the market. So what do I do when I stand in the VA beer aisle at Total Wine? Four out of five times I grab my tried and trues. I don’t feel like messing with some Imperial Gose. I just want my 60 Minute IPA or Kalamazoo Stout.

What does this mean for (craft) beer? I’m not sure. I’m no expert but I’ve seen enough “trends” to know that we are nearing a point where the market will self correct. And when that happens I’m sure I’ll get bored with my 60 Minute IPA and Kalamazoo Stout and wish someone would brew an Imperial Gose.

Have fun this weekend. Drink what you want. Try something new, maybe.

Can’t Sleep So I’m Writing This Post

Hey! What’s up? I can’t sleep.

It’s Friday night. I’ve had a good day including all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and a trip to Lost Rhino. No complaints here. Still can’t sleep though. So I decided to fire up the MacBook Pro, grab a beer, turn on MLB Network and write a few words.

Moments ago Brian McCann hit a walk-off homerun for the Yankees. I’m not a Yankees fan but funny story. Last year when I was at a Yankees game sitting ridiculously close, I turned to my friend when McCann got up to bat and said, “How is this guy a professional athlete?” McCann promptly hits a homerun that at bat. Fast forward to this year. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to two more Yankees game and McCann homered in both of them. And tonight as soon as I turn on the TV McCann walks off Tampa Bay. Mr. McCann – if you want to keep hitting homeruns I might need to get a cut of your $17,000,000 contract for this season. And I’m sorry for questioning your athletic abilities.

What else is new? Hmm. I paid off my car! My 2010 Toyota Corolla is officially mine. Now about those 120,000+ miles I’ve put on it over the past five and a half years…

Tomorrow I’m headed over to my cousin-in-law’s for 4th of July festivities. I’m bringing a growler of Lost Rhino’s Native Son. It’s my favorite Lost Rhino beer, even beating out the great Ice Breaker. It is made with 100% local ingredients. Kinda sounds like a project my buddy is working on… Speaking of Lost Rhino, has anyone been to the new Lost Rhino Retreat yet? Maybe I should do a quick visit and write-up…

I’ve had a couple ideas floating around in my head in regards to Short On Beer. I really want to get this whole email list/email marketing thing set up on my other site. But I pretty much never do anything over there unless I test it out over here first. Sorry, not sorry. You’re my guinea pig. First, I don’t even know if I can do MailChimp or another email marketing service for a .wordpress.com website. But if I can, I’m fairly certain I’m going to test it out over here. I guess that means I should probably write more… Hmm…

Another idea is to start a new YouTube show. I’m thinking it’d be called “An American Guy Drinking Beer and Learning Japanese.” And it’s pretty much about that. I’m headed back to Japan (!!!!!!!!!!) in a few months and want to speak enough Japanese to get around much better than the last time I went. And I figure the easiest way would be to have fun with it and learn Japanese words around things I like – beer being one of those topics. I’m thinking like a 3-5 minute show, drinking a beer, and talking about a couple Japanese words or phrases that I learned that week. IDK. What do you think?? Crazy? Dumb? Brilliant? I have no idea.

Alright. That’s about all the words I got left in me tonight. Time to finish this beer and force myself to hit the sac.

Leave me some comments!!

That Moment I Changed My Mind on a Brewery

Starr Hill was the butt of many jokes of mine the past couple of years. To me they made so-so beer. I had no problem with them; I just knew I wouldn’t be ordering it out at a bar or buying it at Harris Teeter. You go do you, Starr Hill. I’ll be over here enjoying my “good beer.”

Yeah, I was a jerk. And it made me miss out on Starr Hill’s transformation over the past year or so. I have officially flip-flopped my opinion on them. Hey, if politicians can do this all the time and still get elected then why can’t I? Instead of being this local-ish brewery that I didn’t care for, Starr Hill is quickly becoming a regular contributor to my fridge and bar tabs. This post will cover why and I’ll go into detail on a couple of their newer beers.

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