So, here is to new beginnings!  Sept 18, 2012 one day after we sold our townhouse.  Its been a long time coming (or a short time depending on your view of time continuum).  I as usual will ride the fence and say it feels like forever that we've been selling but it is good to sell and be done in 4 weeks.  The guy that bought our place is young.  That is about the only thing I know about him.  I saw him at signing for about 30 minutes and I didn't get much more then that.  He had his grandmother with him and he paid cash.  Both some what rarities in this day in age I would say.  But neither wrong in any fashion.  GOOD FOR HIM!  The hard thing for my family is now we sit and wait (only 11 days but still) across the street with windows that view our old house.

It is a strange feeling.  The first house I sold is about 8 miles away and almost 8 years ago.  I drive by it from time to time and notice the changes.  Most changes have been minor, but some are less minor.  In this case, here we sit with our in-law's front windows over looking our very own "old windows" that we once lived in.  I sit here and see the lights on in the evening.  I see he is working inside painting the walls, cleaning the carpet, basically removing any trace of existence that once was myself and my family.  Try as he might he can not and will not clean up and remove the memories.  What a weird experience in life this is proving to be.  We moved in as a "young couple" with a family on the way; we moved out a well seasoned family with experiences/memories to treasure and more to come around each corner.  It is a right of passage or a passing of the torch if you will to give this house over to a "young man" starting his journey and experiences in a new world.  Of course he will paint the walls, hang new pictures, put new furniture, and otherwise change a place that I have called home for over 7 years; for it is now his home, and my home is yet to be taken over.  Good luck to the new owner, I can only wish him the same best memories and ownership of the town home that I have had in that same place.  Incredible memories were had, hard times were fought, friends were made, and friends were lost... the place I have laid my head for the last 7 years has served me and my family well but it is time to move on; and so we do!  Farewell.

And with that, I think it is time for me to get back to beer.  I've been drinking; that much is clear.  I have had good beers and bad (mostly the later as I am living with the one and only Billy Bags - self proclaimed lover of Busch and Busch lite/Michelob and Michelob light/Budweiser light - but to hell with that damn Miller Lite).  Some good beers has crossed my path, worthy of writing yet time has escaped me to sit down to write.  Not to mention the same laptop that had problems on family vacations has once again reared its ugly head to problems.  Yes, the hinge has broke and the laptop is relativity useless once again.  I've been looking for that one beer; that diamond in the rough; that pearl in its oyster that I thought would be a GREAT beer to break back into blogging and I believe I've found it.  I can with out a doubt say marketing and packaging had EVERYTHING to do with this purchase.  Hats off to Sam Adams for finding a cooler then cool bottle to package this gem in.   Check the bottle in the picture - it comes across as a bottle of rum or aged bourbon more so then a bottle of beer right?  Well, the flavors and experience rank right up there with that of a bourbon or rum.  It does not cross your palette as a regular beer.

I found this beer at Market District in Robinson PA.  It was on a stand by the register.  Nothing was really standing out to me but for some reason; yet this and another version of Sam Adams in a similar bottle crossed my eye.  I decided to purchase this one because:
1.  The bottle was cool (lest it be known this was the number one reason by far)
2.  The name Stony Brook Red struck a chord with my home town (Stony Brook was a town right near my home town, there was a drive in movie theater that I saw Bambi at for the first time in my life at age 6 or 7)
3.  Ale Aged in oak barrels - needs no explanation - if its Oaked I'm in!
4.  On the bottle it reads -  "A unique Belgian Style Red with a Hint of Tart Fruit and Toasted Oak Character"

OK, these were the reasons - of which I attribute all to the the extremely seasoned marketing team Sam Adams has acquired through all their experience.  But, I sit back and poured it tonight to some surprises.  As I opened the bottled I began to worry.  What if I just paid $10 for a bottle of Sam Adams AGAIN that I really just didn't enjoy!  What if this beer comes across skunked/bad/terrible and I for the second time by Sam Adams.  Not so... this beer is UNIQUE.  OH, it isn't a pour in your glass sit back and drink and enjoy beer kind of beer!  NO!  That isn't what I was looking for... and that isn't what I got.  And you will not either!  This beer is unique.  And Spectacular!  It is aged... and experienced!  It is at its best mature.  Is it beer?  YES!  Is it a "beer"?  that is for you to decide.

What do I mean by this?  Well, most people I know that drink beer come to expect certain things.  This is not that beer.  Do not expect the norm!  Most beers have a strong barley malt sweetness... with a very unique hopped backing... and man do they taste GOOD.  Is that this beer - in my opinion Not even CLOSE!  This beer is different. It is funky... it is Strong... it is sweet.  I don't get a HUGE amount of malt!  I don't get really ANY hops in my own experience.  What I get is funk!  What I get is bitter!  I get sour Green Apple in huge volumes!  I get a super huge dry finish.  I get a Flemish style funk going on that I can only attribute to the yeast Sam Adams must have used in their beer.  I would 'liken' this to a more sparkling wine beverage if you want the simple answer.  But the more complex explanation is much deeper.  The color is a dark yet see through cherry red brown.  The head is not very strong.  It has a bit of a head that lingers but only a bit more then what a glass of champagne may have on a glass.  It holds a huge amount carbonation.  Every sip comes across bubbly and large.  On the cover you taste the bitter dark cherry notes and HUGE green apple flavors.  It takes a bit of experience and patience to fight through and find the malty strength this beer holds in the background.  There takes an even stronger will to hunt and search for the earthy and spicy kick of the hops on the back of the tongue but they are all present.  The most pleasing taste to me rounds out this whole beer and makes me appreciate it completely for what it is and that is the layers of oaky goodness through out each sip.   Well done Sam... Well done!

This beer is not for the faint of drinking.  This beer will NOT be enjoyed by all.  But for those of us out there that really find this beer and its complexity unique and enjoyable I say HELL YEA!  Here is to us!  Here is to change!  And here is to a NEW BEGINNING!  In 9 more days I will be in my new place of residence ready to make new memories and new experiences and ready to drink new beers!  Until then... I say Cheers and thanks for following.