Well that was an exciting finish to the year. From when we brewed our first batch of Frontier at Scotts in July and then Prospector in December my schedule started to fill up with a stupid amount of things that needed doing. Launching two beers in 6 months while still working 50hrs a week mixing television shows (still my day job) was a challenge for sure. Not to mention learning all of the little things that make up running a business. But we made it up to December with sanity intact and a great sense of joy in the fact that, we can actually do this! The process works and the little details that I agonize over (water chemistry, PH healthy yeast and the right ingredients) all add up to make beer that Im truly proud of and is increasingly receiving excellent reviews.
Christmas is a crazy time for most but I now fully empathize with hospitality staff for they are the worst hit by the madness. At the very tail end of December our new beer Prospector hit the shelves and that meant I had some very last minute promo work to do. Visiting bars and stores at this time of year is probably not the greatest idea as they are scrambling to keep up anyway, so I do thank all of those who took the time to sit down with me and taste some beer. The overwhelming support was a great end to the year!
A little frazzled and in need of a proper relax my wife and I took off to Bali for 18 days to recoup and reset. It was actually a belated honeymoon, we've been married for five years but never had the time to head away. Indonesia is a great place for a brewer to go on holiday. There is only one major beer available, Bin Tang and its basically Heineken, refreshing enough but plain as a tin can. With no bars or breweries to hunt out the mind can let go of its relentless pursuits and unwind on fruit juice and Nasi Goreng. We did however stumble across this crazy Bali hoople missing half his teeth and making Arak which is a spirit distilled from fermented palm sugar. As you travel through Indonesia you realize that anything can be built form bamboo and this was no exception. The most ghetto pot still Ive ever seen. I wasn't expecting much other than petrol when I tasted it but it was surprisingly clean, there were a load of esters from what I imagine must be an uncontrollable fermentation previously but it was a very clean spirit. I thanked the man and took a bottle which I think I paid $1.50 for.