Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Post-Party Oppression

Last post I talked about our party that's taken place the first Friday in December for the last 10 years, but I didn't discuss a newer tradition, the second night. Yes, Saturday has become the beer geek tasting, when I invite people from RateBeer, along with a few of my other beer geeky friends, to hang out and drink some rarer beers (most of which they provide). So we really serve as hosts of a non-stop beer-bash weekend. As usual, this past weekend was amazing in terms of the people who came, and in the quality and quantity of beer.

Regarding the quantity, on Thursday a neighbor came by, apologized for not being able to come on Friday, and handed over a high-quality case of beer. At 5pm the day of the party, a couple came over with three cases of beer (he's the manager of a liquor store), including a case of homebrew. So by the time we were up to two guests, we already had four cases of beer (thank goodness this year I decided not to "prime" the beer fridge). And from then on, people brought six packs or more, much of the beer relegated to sitting on the porch out back, kept chilled by the cold weather. A former co-worker of Kathy's showed up with a growler (half a gallon) of a Chicago brewpub's winter seasonal, along with another dozen bottles of top-notch beers -- I don't think we even got to try any of those on Friday. There was a fair amount of drinking, but even so, lots of beer was never was put out back to cool or refrigerated, as there was no chance it would be consumed. The later guests were all given mixed 6-packs to take home, as were those who came on Saturday night. I left a six pack with the neighbor who'd brought the case. And after giving all those beers away (~3 cases), by Sunday afternoon we were able to fit the remainder of the cold beer into the two refrigerators (I have an under-the-counter beer fridge). Barely. We needed to go grocery shopping, but there's been no place to put any of the perishables.

So I'm condemned to keep drinking through our beers, to clear out space for food. It's a thankless task, one that appears Sisyphean. Today I gave out another couple of six packs to co-workers, now we have room for orange juice. I seem to be fighting a cold, but I must keep drinking. I'm not sure it'll be enough, I think I need help. What does it mean when I've been thanking people for giving my beers a good home?

Incidentally, even once we clear out beer from the fridge, there's still lots more beer in the cupboards, and yesterday, another mixed 12-pack arrived as a make-good from someone who stiffed me a couple of months earlier.

Finally, I'd have to say that my decision last night to attend a beer tasting, despite the gallons waiting for me at home, removes any lingering doubt on the question of whether I'm sane when it comes to beer.