A Little Craft Beer Depression

I’m not a sad person. I’m oddly optimistic about many things. At least I think so. That’s why I was shocked that in the midst of yet another incredible craft beer-centric night that I was feeling down. Like high school emo and for no reason whatsoever all I want to do is listen to Dashboard down.

Last weekend I took a yearly roadtrip with some friends up to Rehoboth Beach. We had lunch at Franklins Brewery in Hyattsville, hit up 16 Mile in God knows where Delaware then made our way to Rehoboth for a bottleshare and dinner at Dogfish Head.

Maybe an hour into our night at Dogfish I turned to Doug and stated something to the effect of, “Man, is this it? Is this what this whole beer blogging thing is? Have we reached the top?” I clarified that I know there are many, many, many, many more levels of “beer greatness” (ex: just chilling with Garrett Oliver, brewing with monks) out there but at that moment have I reached the attainable top?

I’m not complaining, not in the slightest. It was one of the best nights/weekends I’ve had in a long time. I am fortunate to live a comfortable life full of best night-worthy events but this one was special. After thinking about it though, I was pretty down. A World Wide Stout and countless random 2oz pours of barleywines helped move my sorrows along quickly yet over a week later it still lingers in the back of my mind.

For what it’s worth at the moment I’m on my third 10%+ porter of the night and my beer-writing muscle has atrophied a bit so I have no idea if this makes any sense to anyone but me and maybe Doug.

For the effort I put into beer and beer blogging and learning about beer, I don’t think my “beer life” could get any better. Seriously. I love the friends I’ve made. I enjoy writing a post here every few weeks. I love the respect for beer that I have. I don’t want to take beer more seriously in terms of a profession for the foreseeable future. What the heck else can I ask for? It’s like things are so good that it’s sad the journey is over and you know there is more to the journey but you don’t have the willpower/time/want at this moment to take the next step down the path.

Maybe it’s a bit of craft beer depression. I don’t know. I don’t know what my next step will be. And I think that’s okay. I’ll just take it glass by glass, bottle by bottle, step by step.

***UPDATE 01.28.15!!***

I think I found the next step of my journey which will hopefully break me out of my little funk. I’m going to start working on a second season of Conversations with Beer Bloggers.

More on that in the coming weeks. Woo!! Let me know who you want to see on Season 2!

Recommended Reading:

Beergrimage

Every year fellow beer blogger Bryan Roth and his friend Justin take a roadtrip to Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware affectionately called, “Beergrimage.” This year their wolfpack grew by one – me.

You can find Bryan’s write-up on our adventure here

The Mission

Take a roadtrip from our meeting point in Washington, DC hitting up four breweries on our way to the Atlantic. These breweries are DuClaw Brewing Company, Eastern Shore Brewing, 16 Mile Brewery and lastly Dogfish Head Brewpub. Mission accepted.

**Note: Justin manned up and was our responsible designated driver for the whole trip. Don’t drink and drive.**

DuClaw Brewing Company

We climbed into Justin’s Mazda and left DC around 9:30am making our way up to Bowie, MD to DuClaw Brewing Company. We were those guys knocking on the door to let us in at 10:59am when they open at 11:00am (hey, it was cold out). You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. Here’s what I ordered (from left to right in the picture):

  • Sweet Baby Jesus (of course), which is their famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter
  • Anti-Venom Pale Ale
  • Bad Moon Porter, a Robust Porter on Nitro
  • eXile 7 (X7) Imperial Amber Ale
  • Hellrazer IPA
  • Naked Fish, a Chocolate Raspberry Stout
DuClaw Brewing Flight

DuClaw Brewing Flight

Each was a delicious 4-ounce pour. I can’t complain about any of them. The dark beers were all superb making it really difficult to choose my favorite. You can’t go wrong with Sweet Baby Jesus, Bad Moon Porter or Naked Fish. Their Cuban sandwich was spot on and gigantic especially for only $11.

Outside of DuClaw

Outside of DuClaw — Me (left) and Bryan (right)

Eastern Shore Brewing

With full stomachs and some beer in our systems we headed to our next stop about an hour away in St Michaels, MD – Eastern Shore Brewing. The tasting room looks like a well-lit hunter’s cigar lounge. Comfy chairs and couches surround the wooden walls with animal heads and guns held by deer hooves on them. There was a small L-shaped bar to the right of the entrance where we pulled up at.

Eastern Shore Brewing

Eastern Shore Brewing

Byran and I each got a flight of their 5 beers. The kinda weird, super optimistic bartender explained that they brew based on the season meaning we’re going to get darker beers. Cool – right up my alley, right? Well not so much. We each had a scotch ale, black IPA, amber ale, a porter and the same porter on cask infused with coco nibs. The beers were all very thin-bodied and felt watered-down. They weren’t filled any with off-flavors or a ton of flavor of any kind. Only the cask porter with coco nibs had distinction to it. Too bad. But we weren’t about to let some watered-down beers ruin our trip.

Aside – The brewery is adjacent to a winery AND a distillery. This might make for a fun afternoon if you’re in the area. Just hit up the brewery last and maybe the beer will taste better.

16 Mile Brewery

I wish that I had seen the movie 8 Mile so I could make some joke about how 16 Mile is twice as good as it. I digress.

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