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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Stopping to Enjoy the Leaves Change

We still have 22 days until the start of winter, but with November wrapping up, it's hard to keep back thoughts of winter. This fall has blown by without much notice. It's been a busy time with little time to enjoy it. The leaves changed and dropped in the blink of an eye. The mild summer turned frigid with early freezes and frosty winds. Halloween happened with little celebration. November hit and I needed to stop and enjoy the time.

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. Cute costumes, treats, scary movies, and finger foods. But this year I was sick. Half has many children braved the strong winds to trick-or-treat. I traded my pizza and breadsticks for a hot bowl of turkey-squash soup. I dragged myself to a dance party, but didn't get on the floor. The days after, as I got ready to put my decorations away I paused, I needed a do over. I needed scary movies, I needed pizza, and I needed themed beers. I realized the season was passing without a final homebrew. I got a kick in the pants.

I formulated a apple beer similar to my cobbler-esque Autumn Apios Pear Saison, swapping French Saison for the cold-hearty Belgian Strong Ale yeast and adding Caramel Malts to the mix. We moved the operation inside, it was too chilly to fire up the outdoor burner. We had to go old school, you can't use a wort chiller when your hose is full of ice, and started an ice bath. But it still felt like fall to me. We cracked open some Autumn Apios and chatted as the brew came together. We sipped a Black Rye Ale (Fade to Black Volume 5) to warm up as the wort chilled. We ordered pizza and watched scary movies. The Bat is the Halloween favorite. This year we added Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13 to the mix. It was slow moving, but with creepy dolls, shrill screams, and mad women it was just what I wanted. We slowly drained a bottle of O'Fallon's Imperial Pumpkin Ale while we watched. It was spicy and rich. Like Pumking but more mellow.

Keeping up the fall celebration, we had Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. This year we kept the grill off and passed on the turkey. We kept it low key and relaxed. We had breakfast with a beermosa (3 Floyds Apocalypse Cow IPA). We ate homemade blueberry muffins with limoncello blueberry cocktails. We stuffed ourselves with acorn squash stuffed with pork sausage, pearled barley and greens paired with our Thanksgiving cocktail. Dessert was braeburn apple pie with elderflower cider. It was quite enjoyable.

Now we pack up the final fall decorations. The Christmas lights go up. I wrap up my Christmas soaps. We start planning for the winter holiday season. Hopefully the memories of fall will find us in retrospect.

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