Thursday, March 20, 2014

Matt's Burning Rosids and the art of Community

So on March 6th, I had this beer almost pictured here:

It was so delicious I almost forgot to take a picture of it.  I also didn't know what to write about it.  Words just seemed to fail to describe the complexity of this beer.  Every sip was literally a different delicious developed flavor, but everything was in balance as well.  

This beer is the Matt's Burning Rosid's from Stone Brewing.  They brewed it in honor of one of their brewers that died and it was his recipe.  It is a Imperial Cherrywood Smoked Saison--told you it was complex.  Anyway, you should definitely check out the story behind this beer on Stone's website--AFTER you finish reading this post!

Earlier this week it dawned on me what to write about this beer in particular and beer in general.  I was talking with one of my interns, Alyse, who has a passion for coffee.  She is not a mere caffeine addict.  No, she knows techniques and processes to draw out and develop complex flavors in a cup a coffee.  It dawned on me that her feelings about coffee mimic mine about beer.  I have written here before how I would be just fine if beer didn't have alcohol nor calories but could keep the complex flavors.  Also, I have ranted about trends in beer, specifically the Let's-Throw-As-Many-Hops-In-A-Beer-And-Call-It-An-IPA trend where the art is sacrificed for flash.  Furthermore, I believe sharing a pint with friends and family is indeed sacred.  It builds community and bonds of shared experience.  To take those ideas a step further, or rather to explore why beer has this quality let me hypothesize that the care, patience, and skill it takes to brew a quality beer or a kick ass cup of coffee infuse the conversation shared over a glass or a cup.  This infusion deepens the conversation and builds community.  

It's not unlike the communion at church (note the similarity in communion and community), maybe that's why Jesus spawned a radical table ministry.  When we gather around simple things like water, malt, barley, and hops or coffee beans, or bread and wine that have been shown much care and attention, then the bonds between us become more cared for and more intentional.  

In Christianity we speak of God as a Trinity of three in one.  Essentially we say that we know God as a community, not as individuals but in relationship.  Things that bind us in relationship can bind us in God, can cause us to be caught up in the glory and expanse of God.  Therefore in the immortal words of Martin Luther, "I drink this beer to the glory of God."

Go forth my friends and raise a pint (responsibly, of course).