The consumption of a pint of beer is a relatively raucous, transactionary affair. Who doesn’t love to slam down a cold one after a hard day's work? Even sipping a beer on some far-flung, pristine beach has a kind of “fleeting moment” quality to it. You drink your frigid treat until all that’s left in the glass in a bit of lingering Belgian lace, and then it’s on to the next one. Or off for a dip. We treat beer like an infinite commodity, putting them back because there is always another pint in the keg. And if the keg is kicked, there is always another one in the back- just waiting to see the light of day. It’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am relationship. Here’s my cash. Give me a beer. Drink it. Repeat process over and over until we’ve had our fill or pass out on the bar.
And, thus, it should be. After all, beer is the drink of the people. We assume that there will always be another beer, because it fits the character of beer’s essence- stable, reliable, an unmoving rock in the menacing swell of life. I mean, the beauty of beer is that, unlike wine or whiskey, the best beers in the world can be consumed either as a refined, well-to-do experience or enjoyed as an unpretentious supplement to live music or a baseball game.
The delightful irony of the anarchic consumption of a pint of beer is the juxtaposition of the actual, precision brewing of the very same beer in this glass. No two actions could be so closely tied together, yet so different as are the actions of brewing and drinking of a beer.
For all the brutality of polishing off a glass of the cold stuff, the brewing process is a mixture of diligence and patience. When executed properly, it is a graceful ballet- a duet between a brewer and his or her equipment. The perfect marriage between man and machine.
Sure, you might need to put some elbow grease into stirring a thick mash or annihilating a particularly stubborn ring of krausen, but good brewery work is about zen and control. It’s kind of like successfully conducting a screamo band at a pleasant waltz tempo.
When I walk into a brewery, my head enters a different space. The gentle threat of poisonous CO2 gas fills my olfactory system and I can’t help but smile. The high pitched whine of liquid pumps and the grind of a grain mill trucking along never fails to induce a wave of zen throughout my body. The wafting aroma of any “C” hop hitting the boil kettle never ceases to make me feel as if everything is right with the world. You see, there is music in a fermentation tank bubbling away into a bucket of sanitizer.
In the end we need this dyad of dispositions. This is the yin and the yang sitting on either side of a glass of beer. Meticulous, careful work sets the stage for rousing celebrations with friends and family. The soul needs both hard work and hard play. And, the world needs soul made beer.
Co-Founder & Owner
Lodestone Beer LTD