January 4, 2016

The Year in Rewind <<< The Year Ahead >>>>

With the advent of the new year, one anticipates all sorts of change. People seek to restructure, reorganize, and reprioritize. Not me.
I realized midway through my Sunday as I had a 25 minute window in between an Allagash drop-off and a matinee movie that I have not yet read 2004’s revised edition (or original publication) “Mediations for Women who Do Too Much.” I found myself with 25 minutes to spare. Those minutes could have been used to find parking, and get to the theater early enough to grab an orange-spiced tea.  Maybe sit, just sit for ten minutes and do nothing. No- new year, same overbooking.  I dashed down Delaware Ave to Target to grab my pre-ordered  Apple watch. I made it to the Ritz at exactly the start of “Room.”  It all worked out. So no lesson learned on day three of 2016. (Fantastic film- you should see it).

The minute I got home I was working on my 2016 budget, while watching the Broncos/Chargers game and cooking up coconut curry noodles with sausage. I followed up that caloric bomb with another one. Now as I type this I am halfway through a peanut butter mousse pie. I just pinched my thighs, felt the two months of eating and drinking whatever I want in between my thumb and index finger. The holiday damage is done, and I look forward to undoing it.

But instead of dwelling on the blubber right now, I’ll reflect on a year filled with so many wonderful sights and sounds.  Remembering  the sights of a new little nephew Kiran Peace and a new niece Isabella Ann, my God daughter. Remembering  the smiles on the faces of Ladysmith Black Mambazzo performing  at the Kimmel center, the sound of Leo Kottke’s guitar, the energy of Hooray for the Riff Raff, Deer Tick, and Rhett Miller.

I love reflecting on the travels of the year. Eating through a square mile of food carts in Austin, sipping on a Jester King/Crooked Stave collaboration in high country of Texas on my birthday despite a stomach virus. Spending early spring days in the mountains of Brevard drinking the freshest Oskar Blues with my beer buddy Caitlin. Biking 490 miles across Iowa, participating in RAGBRAI with 15,000 other cyclists. We pedaled from Souix City to Davenport. Our days filled with blissful flat stretches of road, lined with cornfields topped with the bluest skies I’ve ever seen, but not without hills that generated unprecedented fear, and made me realize the patience of a loving partner. There were seven trips up to Maine- some for work, some to see some amazing people say “I do.” I learned to never say “no” to an Irishman as I climbed a 57 foot bunker at our brewery’s tank farm. I woke up one September morning on a gorgeous deck overlooking the Casco Bay with a quiet calm I almost forgot existed. I drank and dined my way through Charleston, SC. That was not calm, nor quiet.

Neither were my beer weeks. There were three of them. My territory was reduced this year, saying good bye to Northern Virginia and DC while maintaining Maryland, Delaware, and PA. I learned to get better at juggling. I learned it is okay to say, “No, not right now.”  I said “Yes” enough though, racking up 111 events in 2015.

I participated in three organized runs, including a 10k, 15k, and half marathon. I took a Yoga 101 class for six weeks. I tried to squeeze in fitness where I could, but the last two months were squeezing in more calories.  Looking forward to getting back on track as soon as possible.
I ate well. I had carrot freakouts all over the city from Petruce to Helm.  I declared it the “year of the carrot.” In January, I won my first Chili cook off. The next month I watched several films in preparation of the Oscars. In the fall- I tried to get into football. I succeeded (mostly). I stopped saying that I was voting for Cam Newton and his Panthers and started rooting for them. #Keeppounding.  I showed my nephews what vinyl records were and took William to his first Union game. Thanks Wendy.

In June I was honored to be awarded “Philly Beer Rep of the year” at the Philly Beer Scene awards and then acknowledged for my enthusiasm for the local hospitality industry by Philly Magazine in September.  Allagash White took home Gold for Belgian-wit style at the GABF and Allagash Tripel took home Silver. I was delighted that through my role with Allagash I was able to raise funds for Philadelphia Bike Works and The Sunday Love Project.

As 2016 commences, I am filled with much gratitude for the year before, and even more anticipation for the year ahead.  I am hoping for more sleep, and sneaking in more time for family. I hope to not stress as much I did last year. If I smile half as much as my niece Bella, I will be doing ok. I am excited to introduce new drinkers to White. I look forward to visiting my mom in Arizona in February, hosting the Craft Brewers Conference in Philly this May, and embarking on a hopeful trip to Montreal with my favorite French–Canadian in August.

I hope Donald Trump goes away, I hope the Phillies season doesn’t mirror 2015. I hope I blog a bit more, and bitch a bit less. I wish you all the very best. I hope the world is a safe place for you. I hope you feel love coming at you from all angles.  

Happy New Year.

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