Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Today's Pannier Is Full

First the good things: I made a trip to my favorite beer store in probably the world. The Four Firkins is a little shop owned by a relative newcomer to the beer world, but he's doing very good things for the local beer scene. He takes very good care of his beer, he has lots of good advice and he's a very personable guy. If you live in MSP, hie yourself down there.

I scooped up a Boulevard Smokestack Saison-Brett, among other beers. I feel that Boulevard Saison-Brett is the finest US-brewed interpretation of a Belgian beer out there. Seek it out if you can. Be prepared for strange and wonderful aromas and flavors. "Brett" is short for brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain that give slightly sour, funky flavors to beer. It gets stronger over time and is very distinctive. It's sort of the beer equivalent to blue cheese.

So the pannier was literally full of beer today, which is good.

But it's also figuratively full of not-so-good things. Elden Nelson, of Fat Cyclist blog fame, writes one of the best blogs—hell, best ANYTHING—out there. His wife Susan is struggling with advanced cancer and, despite awe-inspiring effort and force of will, is not likely to recover. Nelson has written with tremendous humor, humility and insight during Susan's illness and has drawn me, my wife and several thousand other people into his life. He seems to be the kind of guy I would like to know, and his pain radiates from his most recent blog entry in waves. This has occupied my thoughts today and I wish for him and his family all kinds of peace and happiness and a hope that their situation resolves with as much grace as possible.

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