Since we've been brewing a ton of beer, we decided to invite a few strategic project partners over for a tasting. Another major milestone to celebrate at this time was the completion of a much needed garage replacement. The last one was on its last legs and wasn't going to last another winter. We spent weeks planning the party, created a really great invitation, cool swag, designed a nice food menu of items paired with the beer. Food pairings included:

Onion tart (ESB)

Veggie and hummus cups (Cream Ale)

Fish boil (ESB/Pilsner)

Slow cooked Lil Smokies (SMaSH)

Meat and cheese skewer (Rye Ale)

Pecan shortbread bars (Rye Ale)

Pretzels (Any beer) 

Nuts (Any beer)

We even bought a crock pot to make appropriately smothered and slow cooked lol smokies. The garage was decked out with lights and a play list was selected for background music. We love parties and hadn't thrown one since our week at the Boombox. The weather was supposed to be in the 20's, which didn't matter because we had heat! We turned on two electric heaters at 10am so that by party start time at 5pm, the garage would be toasty. For this special event, Steve built a four tap Englewood Brews branded tap tower, complete with teak handles. It was beautiful. Finally, after much anticipation, it was time to set up the food and furniture as guests were to arrive at 5pm. As I went to open the garage, the opener didn't work. I clicked and clicked and nothing. Both the main garage door and the man door were locked and Steve was at his house getting beer ready. Oh no. When he finally arrived at 4.30, we learned the power had been off in the garage. The garage was freezing, nothing was set up and it was 4.45. At 5pm on the dot, guests started arriving. Thank God they wore their Canada Goose jackets. Pictures were taken, beer was poured, music started and chatting began. Soon after, the drink rail (critical!) was installed and food was out. Nothing like a warm Lil Smokie to remove winter's chill!

I was reminded of the best thing about the craft beer community and craft beer drinkers- we're chill. We enjoy each others company. We enjoy good conversation. And mostly, we enjoy a great beer, whatever the setting.