Monday, August 1, 2011

The Greatest Thing I Ever Drank

Somehow when you've written a blog for a while you tend to get to know other people around the country with their own blogs. People find you all the time, you exchange a couple of emails and you've got a pretty good contact. That's the way it worked with Nate. Nate was a beer blogger in Ohio and I knew from emailing with him that he had family or something in KC. Then some circumstances changed for him and he found himself moving his family to town (I'll consider wherever the hell he lives part of town, even though I'm pretty sure I've never been there). So almost a year ago, I invited him to Gents so he could meet some beer people in town.
Nate brought some of his homebrew to Gents. I've had good homebrew (John and Ben, I'd write a similar post to this for you guys too) and I've had bad homebrew. Mostly I like homebrew to be something completely different. I don't get clones (I can understand why someone would brew a clone, I would usually just rather drink the original). I thought Nate's homebrew would just be something that was maybe good, but we drink so much great beer at a Gents, sometimes you have to choose your battles and skip over a beer you're not interested in. I almost did that with Nate's beer, but the social convention of me being the one that invited him in the first place kind of forced me to drink his homebrew, a dandelion saison. To be honest, it sounded kind of stupid to me, who eats dandelions? But, it was at least interesting sounding, I figured I could choke down a couple ounces and go on my way to drinking something better.

Well, I didn't drink anything better that night. I'm not sure that I've drank anything better, in any forum, since. At every Gents gathering since "Is Nate coming" is heard from everyone. Nate may be the most popular Gent, because he brings the best stuff, the stuff he brews. Paul A. Ner brings Dogfish Head, Chimpotle brings Surly, JJSKCK brings Pliny the Elder, others bring Three Floyds, doesn't matter, Nate's homebrew is what we most covet and Nate is the most popular among us because of it.

We had a Gents at Boulevard in January where we got to try Chocolate Ale for the first time. I was standing next to Steven Pauwels when Nate walked in and whispered to Pauwels "this guy makes the best beer in KC". To which Steven replied "I know, he brought us a dandelion saison and it was wonderful" (this quote is not verbatim).

You probably know this, and may even be tired of hearing about it, but Nate and his friend Mike have decided to go pro and start their own brewery, Wilderness Brewing. They've incorporated a Kickstarter campaign to help with funding the brewery. Kickstarter allows you to donate to the cause of Wilderness Brewing. With certain levels of donation you get extra stuff from a keychain to having your own beer named after you, to getting to hang out for 3 days, brewing beer and drinking beer with Nate and Mike. You can value those things however you will, but in 20 years after drinking some of the best beer in America, you can say that you helped Nate and Mike start Wilderness Brewing, the best brewery in the land. All you have to do is give a few dollars to the campaign. There are only 3 days left, they need about $15,000 if everyone who reads this today gives $10 then Wilderness Brewing will be in business. That's really all it takes to get some great beer in 2012. Don't do it for Nate and Mike, they get to drink their beer whenever they want, do it for you. Don't have any extra cash to give? Share the Kickstarter page or this post with your pals at work, share it on Facebook, share it on Twitter, share it with your knitting club, email it to your contacts, just share it. Some great beer will be ready for you if we succeed in getting this thing funded.

11 comments:

  1. I don't know, these guys seem like nice young boys but I have SERIOUS misgivings about trying their beer. First, the use of dandelions in a beer is a major no-no. Everyone who is a true brewer, like me, knows that lawn products like grass and dandelions are among the worst ingredients you could ever put in a beer. This leads to my second point, their "brewery"'s name. Wilderness? Seems like they're trying to cash in on the whole "wild", "untamed" and "extreme" brewing that is soooo popular these days. Give me a break! Brewing beer should be about making a consistant product that is very clean and predictable. You certainly won't win an competitions by lucking into an off-the-wall style of beer with dandelions or ragweed in it. That's just absurd! I don't think these guys know what they're in for... but I wish them the best.

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  2. Okay, that's friggin' hilarious.

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  3. The real John enjoys a particular dandelion saison:

    http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/beers/beerProfile.asp?BeerID=58

    The real John also won a gold medal in the National Homebrew Competition with a peach mango imperial IPA.

    Wide of the mark, but I give you high marks for being obsessed with me.

    Incidentally, I am a Wilderness Kickstarter pledger but I think that might change as they obviously keep pretty poor company.

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  5. Now I'm confused...both Johns are logged in under the same profile/account, which best I can tell means:

    A) John 1 is so obsessed with John 2 that he hacked him for full authenticity;

    B) Johns 1 and 2 are both the real John, in the midst of a schizophrenic back-and-forth between self-parodying John and "get it right, loser" John.

    C) John left himself logged in at home and his wife had some fun commenting at his expense.

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  6. D)John 1 logged in under then Name/URL option and entered John as the name and the link to John 2's blogger profile as the url.

    Or John 1 hacked me, in which case he should be having more fun with my gmail account.

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  7. You can tell the above is true as the little square icon thing next to the name is different if logged in via blogger profile (John 2-4) or name/url (John 1).

    The real (logged in through blogger) John has self parodied once or twice.

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  8. You can tell the above is true as the little square icon thing next to the name is different if logged in via blogger profile (John 2-4) or name/url (John 1).

    The real (logged in through blogger) John has self parodied once or twice.


    Ah, that makes sense. The profile link made me suspect self parody at first, but looking back the verbiage doesn't "feel" quite authentic.

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  9. I'd like to taste some Wilderness beer before submitting a pledge. Please advise.

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  10. Gr8tfulTed, you won't have a chance unless you pledge in the next 22 hours. Trust us and throw them a $50 (or what you can justify for being a part of an awesome venture).

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  11. I live in KC, but just got back from the Pacific Northwest. I was inspired by the Oregon Brewers Festival, Deschutes, Full Sail, Laurelwood and all the wonderful beers available there.

    We need a lot more of that in KC.

    Count me in for $100. Perhaps I can meet you gents in one of our town's establishments at some point.

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