My local brewpub burned down. This was its 20th anniversary. It was the oldest brewery in Door County.

I live a block away and upwind from the fire.
The power just came back on after about six hours without, which also meant no water. Utility workers were called in to turn off the power until they were given the all clear.

Even now that it’s finally out, the soft wind still carries the aroma of charcoal through my window. 

It makes me crave a dark beer.

I reach into the magic fridge and pull out a plum – a bomber of Imperial Cocoa Hefeweizen from Blacklist Artisan Ales of Duluth, Minn.
This beer is so full of good things that your chewing mechanism starts up with each sip. Yes, this is a very chewy beer.

It’s a very, very dark hefeweizen, yet the first thing that crosses my palate is the soft, subtle tart-fruitiness of raspberry, but tamed by dark malts in a manner that seems a master is at work.

The multitudes of flavor – delicious, beautiful, bright raspberry on the bottom, and everything dark consolidated on top, well, yum!

Ironically, on this very same day, the woman I have been seeing for a while now emailed to say that, as a teetotaler, she could no longer abide my drinking.
When we first met back in the early 1990s, she loved to drink, just as much as me. But I moved away and we lost touch, and she went through some things that forced her into rehab.

We reconnected while she was still going through rehab, and beyond. I always liked this woman, and I was glad to see her again, even though she did give me herpes first time around (and, for the record, I haven’t had symptoms in more than two decades, but, still…)

Even though she had dosed me and I knew our relationship was doomed from the start when we took it up again, I really did like her, and, being an eternal optimist, I thought, why not, knowing full well I was going to land on my chin at the end of this.

And I did. 

Oh, well…another day, another heartache.

I just realized I forgot to take a photo of the beer I just had, so I’m going to crack another beer, and photograph that. Does that mean I drink too much?
Maybe my teetotaling ex-girlfriend is right. But, so what? Life is short and so are attachments. I get more done alone. Just have to get used to the concept, again.
You’re not going to believe what the magic fridge just stuck in my hand. It’s a beer called Valley of the Heart’s Delight, one of the Farm to Barrel Series of the Almanac Brewing Co., a sour blonde ale aged in wine barrels with apricots and strawberries.
I get two things from this beer immediately.

1. Girlfriends can only do so much.

2. Tart suite!