Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Homage to Kodi

How does one pay tribute to the Kodi Experience?
After 17 years, three months and change, my best friend and constant canine companion was freed from the physical and started onto his next journey. Kodi came into my life in 1992, a little fur ball with those puppy pin teeth and more energy than one could imagine. But then again, what does one expect from a Border Collie puppy?

I know there are many people who Kodi touched and made quite an impression upon - he wasn't an "ordinary" dog by any stretch. A look into those devilish eyes spoke of depth and intelligence - you knew someone was home.
It is somewhat odd to think he was a part of my life for a third of my existence on this planet. Next to my family, it is the longest relationship I've ever had. And I really feel the word "relationship" here is key, as that implies much more than the usual "man/dog" scenario - aka "just a pet" - Kodi was so much more. He taught me many life lessons: the importance of play, running 'til my tongue drags, belly rubs daily, staring at something long enough will eventually cause something to happen, looking cute will score treats and avoid punishment, and so many others.
My biggest failing with Kodi was never following through on my promise to get him a herd of sheep. I do feel bad about that. He did find, on occasion, other things to wrangle, such as horses and small children. At his prime, he was faster than the wind - I still remember him chasing a deer running through the pasture and being *right on* the deer's hocks as I was screaming at him to stop. Good sport for him!

As a pup, it was imperative for him to be exercised until his tongue was dragging, which usually entailed at least a couple of hours of frisbee tossing. On those days when time or weather didn't allow, he would attempt to recreate some version of fetch inside - no easy feat. And if he didn't get his exercise, he would be bouncing around and off the ceiling. An un-exercised Border Collie is not a pretty sight.
There is a preternatural silence now that he's physically gone. Hard to explain but it's like a solemn quiet that's a blanket covering our living space. Never knew quiet could be so silent!
He fought age to the very end and left us peacefully, eased into eternal slumber. He's buried up on the hill next to the wind generator, overlooking our house and valley below. You know how Border Collies have to keep their eye on things...
I miss him deeply.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Story of BrewFarm Select

Now that BrewFarm Select (aka BFS) is starting to make its way into the market, I thought I'd take a moment to "explain" BFS (no, not in the Harley-Davidson mantra of, "...if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand...") - it's become apparent that coming out with a full-flavored, all-malt craft-brewed golden lager in cans as a "premier" debut of all things BrewFarm was kind of a head-scratcher to many in the craft beer universe.

It's because I'm not targeting you.

The key word here is "targeting" - BFS was conceived and executed to appeal broadly without compromise or being generic. There's plenty of that out there already. But there's really not an easy-drinking, full-flavored lager beer you can bring to football parties or holiday gatherings where it will be accepted and enjoyed by both craft beer drinkers and non-geeks alike. I envision it as a staple in many refrigerators across the region. That go-to beer before or after those triple IPAs, Russian Imperial Stouts and other tastebud rearrangers. There's just not a lot of craft lagers out there that aren't "extreme" or watered down.

An interesting observation after a couple of tastings with people in the industry came from two different people who tried BFS and were professed non-beer drinkers: they were both quite effusive in their surprise at how good BFS tasted. High praise indeed. And I think that reaction and enjoyment will continue to play out as BFS gets out deeper into the marketplace.

Some early reviews:

Trust me, not everyone will embrace/enjoy BrewFarm Select - it's just not possible. I've heard comments like, "tastes like Bud/Miller/Coors..." to which I say, "Have you done a direct blind taste comparison, because if you did, you'd realize there's really not a lot in common other than they're all Pale American Lagers."

And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I've got some very interesting beers cooking in my "Labrewatory" and will begin to unleash them as they become ready. Our upcoming BrewFarm Pre-Solstice Preview Open House on December 13th (details to follow) will allow the public a peek into potential offerings and a chance to check out the Brewery. Stay tuned!