OK, so I wrote this a few days back - so tonight I sit here drinking a glass of wine and extremely satisfied with my decision.  I have a lot of things going on in my family life and being the bread winner in the family - well being a parent and person takes sacrifices in life to grow and learn.  And this is my sacrifice.  But the reward I am reaping is much greater.  Anyway - here goes my blurb from a few nights ago:

I sit here tonight with a slightly disappointing thought on my mind.  I should note that I am sitting with a Sea Dog Hazelnut Porter that I got from my wife as my "Beer of the Month Club" gift.  God I love that women.  It is because I love my wife and girls so much so that I bring you the some what sad news tonight.  For some of you, you will not be surprised!  Many said I was crazy and this can't be done.  Others thought, I was foolish and selfish and it shouldn't have been attempted.  Well, what ever you thought, who ever you are, sad or happy, I'm coming to you tonight to inform you that the 2012 Blute 365 Beer Challenge is over.  It will not be completed this year.  I had not completely prepared myself for the journey ahead.  The physical readiness to drink 365 beers in one year.  Nah it will have to wait another year.

It has been a GREAT Journey.  One that I will not easily forget.  It has opened knew doors and passages that I hope to keep open for years to come.  It has already got my foot in the door of the beer industry as I continue to work and brew at the Copper Kettle Brewery in Greenfield, PA.  I have many new and great friends from this journey that I hope to keep for years to come.  I am not going to stop drinking beer in 2012 or the future.  And this blog will transform a bit but hopefully continue (though slowly in the next few weeks for sure).

Let me explain, I have come across a path in this life today that has made me choose.  Do I continue to "challenge" myself which would be for the good of me?  Or do I break the challenge, allowing my girls see that I am a quitter?  I have decided for reasons that revolve mostly around finances and preparation for me and my families' next BIG STEP that it is wiser for me to stop for now.  I have learned a lot.  I have had very generous friends along the way provide many a good beer for me to review.  But financially it is not in the cards for me to continue.  I am folding and stepping away from this table to play another hand in another time.  I know I am making the right reasons so I am not sad.  I know I have chose for the right reasons so I do not care what the nay sayers may say.  I KNOW I will be back to do this challenge again soon and when I do I'll be more prepared.

I just returned home from a work trip where I heard two motivational speakers; Cal Ripken Jr and Neal Peterson.  I assume most know who Cal Ripken Jr is.  Like him or not - he did accomplished something amazing.  I am not here to try to relate my 365 beer challenge to Ripken and his game streak.  Neal is a little less known maybe and I had not been aware of his story till I heard it just yesterday 8/15/2012.  I also am not here to compare my story of drinking 365 beers in one year to Neal and his journey to circle the world alone on a sail boat.  I mention these guys because their words are still ringing in my head.  Cal spoke about a few days where he thought maybe he wouldn't play a specific day and how that would not be good for the industry - and that made me feel like I needed to not quit.  But he also mentioned that you learn each and every day and you do what you need to do to get to the next step.  Neal spoke about learning and preparing all your life.  Sometimes you can gain knowledge from more experienced people to not make their same mistakes but sometimes you also have to make mistakes to learn.  I considered for a moment maybe I was weak if I didn't keep it up.  But I've got a goal - I have a mission.  I am not quitting that mission.  The goal is to find my way into the beer industry and make a living off of it.  Maybe just maybe make a good living off that.  This goal has been started.

I challenged myself to become a better writer this year.  I still need practice here.  I still have many years to learn and possibly even read more to experience more.  But, I have had several strangers that I've never meet come to me and explain to me that they loved my stories.  They loved the history and experiences I brought to them.  I've even had a few that liked the descriptions of my beers and the education that they learned from it.  This has made me stronger and happier.

I have become a better photographer from this mission.  This was yet another goal.  I've learned a few tricks of the trade.  I've dabbled in different settings and even a bit of post processing of pictures.  I'm not great.  I have a long way to go.  But it is definitely a hobby I will not put away and forget about.  Not with the subject matters of my beautiful daughters growing every day.

I have experienced GREAT beer and BAD beer.  I have enjoyed good times with friends.  I have laughed.  And I have made people laugh.  It is because all of these things that I have succeeded this year.  I am not quitting.  I am learning.  I will be back again another year to fight the fight.  Thank you all for stopping by to read what you have.  Understand that the blog site will live on - it just may be updated less frequently the rest of the year.  If I get a GREAT beer or a good story I'll update it.  I have some beers that I have yet to catch up on.  I'll try to post those as I can as well.

Thanks for stopping by and keep up drinking.  Please keep in touch on Facebook and stop back to see i
 


08/24/2012 15:24

I enjoyed your blog and wish you the best of luck next year on your challenge.

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Michael Edleblute
09/09/2012 08:37

Thank u! I look forward to going forward with this challenge again! Please stayed tuned! Thanks for stopping by!

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