Forgetting is easy.
There are so many people, places and events that fill our lives, the memory-soaked sponge of our brain can become overwhelmingly saturated with worthwhile moments to recall. For me, that means an occasional, often unintentional, mental squeeze that too easily releases aspects of the past down the drain. Out of sight, perhaps out of mind.
Which is part of the reason I moisturize my metaphorical gray matter every year … by literally dehydrating it.
It’s all based around an annual tradition of a “beergrimage,” a trip I make to Dogfish Head’s original brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. What started as a way to explore the roots of my craft beer obsession four years ago has wonderfully turned into an excuse to appreciate the people who help fuel my ever-growing interest.
There is no slight of hand in understanding what the base-level purpose of the trip is about. We are there to eat, drink and be merry.
But as these things tend to do, the incredibly tasty, fermented means to our drunken end provides more than the food on our plate or liquid in our glass.
The beer we drink is part illusion. When revealed, the mirage winds up showing the value of restocking on those forgotten memories pushed out of my brain. Friends – old and new – become closer, nudged together by a shared experience of camaraderie.
At a time when the world of beer enthusiasts is overcome with controversies of copyright infringement, honoring the legacy of peers or naming rights, it feels important to make time for an outing like this.
Because when I squeeze the spongy mess of my brain to recall these memories at a later date, it reinforces what this beer thing is supposed to be about in the first place: fun.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac
(photos courtesy of Oliver Gray and Liz Murphy)