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Cheers to my community!

2011 has passed us by and we now venture into 2012. A new year and here on my birthday (I’m an old lady!), I reflect on the many moons of the last year and look forward to the future.

2011 was full of personal growth and community building. The start of the year was turbulent. I learned more about the ugly side of humanity and my trust in people was challenged. But as a result, I was embraced by the absolute lovely side of humanity. I met beautiful people who I now cherish and consider part of my pack. I grew with old friends who encouraged me through a rough time. My community is strengthening, one that is full of positivity, hope, love, and a keen eagerness to make this world a better place.

Beer, too, is about community. It is a central gravity bringing people together. As early as 6000 BC, people were brewing and sharing beer. In Sumarian culture, people prayed and sang to the goddess Ninsaki, passing on the tradition and process of brewing. As cultures evolved, beer (along with its cousin bread) is credited with allowing for the advancement of technology and uniting communities. There was a strong connection between the brewery and the farm, a vital link in health of our society. Grains and hops grown on farms are provided to breweries who in turn produce food for livestock with spent grains and merriment for the farmers with a tasty, fermented beverage.

Somewhere along the line, we may have grown distant from this connection, as big box breweries dominated the American drinking scene and our grocery stores became stocked with foods grown in far away places. But we are human. We have a yearning for community, a general desire to support our neighbors. We now have more local breweries and farms providing for us and strengthening our communities. I am excited for this change towards a more local, community-driven society.

I am not going to make any resolutions for the new year. But I believe 2012 will bring about great positive change and I will continue to be bring enthusiasm and support for my community. I am so grateful to be a part of it at every moment in my life. The hype over 2012 is that the world is coming to an end, but others view it as a time when humanity changes and for the best. I’m just getting started in this world and see no ‘end’ in sight.

So this is my new year toast to my community, to the great friends and family that have supported and loved me. I adore each and every one of you. Thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. And let’s look to the future with renewed optimism and passion.

Cheers!

BJCP Study Guide Part 1

Ok, let’s get started on our BJCP studying! I’m using the Interim Study Guide, and we’ll start from the beginning:

 List three primary purposes of the BJCP as listed on http://www.bjcp.org and in the BJCP Study Guide.

1. to promote beer literacy
2. the appreciation of real beer
3. and to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills

Grid with the 7 principal BJCP Judge Levels, excluding honorary ranks, and the requirements to earn each of them.

BJCP Level/ Minimum Exam Score / Total Experience Points / Minimum Judging Points / GM Service Requirements

Apprentice / less than 60% / none required / none / must remain active
Recognized / 60% / none necessary / none / none
Certified / 70% / 5 / 2.5 / none
National / 80% / 20 / 10 / none
Master / 90% / 40 / 20 / none
Grand Master I / 90% / 100 / 50 / A total of 240 GMSR credits gained through testing and BJCP Committee Positions
Grand Master additional levels / 100 point increments / A total of 240 GMSR credits gained through testing and BJCP Committee Positions
True/False Questions:
answered within study guide

Elk Creek Brewing – Prince’s Porter Tapping

Brewer Tim

A short while ago, Bear and I took a reprieve from our typical weekend activity of training orphaned penguins to rescue shark attack victims.  We procured a designated driver who didn’t mind dodging the horse and buggies or remaining sober enough to dodge them in the dark on the return trip, which also involved that he stay sober.  And put up with us.  And maybe hold the camera if we ask him nicely.  Truly we found a noble individual.  Buy the man a beer!

Our trip deep into the quasi-powered farmlands of Pennsylvania was spurred by an announcement that Elk Creek Aleworks was tapping their Prince’s Porter (a bourbon barrel aged version of their Poe Paddy Porter) and having a PROHIBITION THEMED COSTUME PARTY!! And anyone who knows Bear and me knows that we rock beer and costume parties like they’re the shist. (I should warn you that we are punnaturally funny over here).

Bear is the Hop Devil and Gexx is The Most Interesting Man in the World. We were destined to be beer co-bloggers.

Take Halloween for example:

That’s what I’m talking about.

Look at those shebas!

So Sunday December 4, 2011 us get all dolled up with keen hats and pearls and a little help from the Costume Closet in Sunbury PA and headed out for some fortified giggle water.

While there we learned of a local moonshiner: Prince Farrington who apparently not only had a rather large and complex operation, but had won the hearts and minds of the locals with his rather philanthropic donations to schools and churches.

Christine and Dave are accompanied by some nimble tapdancers!

We hoofed it up with some period appropriate music was provided by Christine  and Dave of Marah, an Americana band from the area who we featured in a previous episode of “Music To Quaff To.”

The Beer of Honor was AMAZING!  I’ve always enjoyed the Poe Paddy Porter as a solid, full porter, and allowing it to age in a Bourbon barrel was an amazing idea.  Rich, sweet, vanilla flavor was imparted with a good boozy (definite whiskey)  background, and it melded well with the PPP.  We’ll get into the beers a bit more win our video, and I would love to thank the brewer, Tim for taking the time to give a great interview back in the brewing room.  So here are some pictures of the participants! If I have any attributions wrong, please let me know.

All the costumes!

Lola and Genghis

Julianne and John

Descendants of Prince Farrington: Dave (Grandson), Melissa (G-Granddaughter), Peter, David (G-G-Grandson), Olivia (G-G-Granddaughter)

Eve and Olivia - the dancers

Bear - I need a name for these people

Bear and Guy holding Guy's books about Prince

Nell of Chicken Tractor rocking her fedora

Nell and Dana

Old words.

Before I joined this blog with the lovely Elizabeth (Gexx), I attempted my own blog with just a couple entries. Check them out: http://brewgal.wordpress.com/

That is all. 

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