Time to layout my new project….
Every year, my wife asks me for New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I dread them. Every year, I try to make a resolution that I will come close to achieving. That one resolution typically involves brewing beer. Unfortunately, the hardest part of keeping that resolution is that I don’t like brewing outdoors in the winter. It’s a long process and it can be pretty cold here in Michigan. I do have some options to make the whole thing slightly more enjoyable, but I haven’t gotten around to those upgrades (venting the brewery and installing a CO detector, so I can brew with the garage door close). This winter hasn’t been any different from past winters – I still haven’t upgraded the brewery, so I still haven’t brewed this winter despite my New Year’s resolution to brew once a month.
A Great Combination!
This year, though, I have a motivation. I just finished reading Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records – The Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small and I now want to buy a lot of new Merge albums. Unfortunately, we’re on a budget around here, but I have a plan. Every month, I plan to alot myself enough money to buy a new album from Merge Records, specifically from bands that I haven’t heard (money for brewing is already alotted in our grocery fund because it’s cheaper for me to brew than to buy the beer). I already have a significant number of Merge records, but I’d like to get into some new ones. Right now, Our Noise has me interested in East River Pipe, Lambchop, and M. Ward.
This has led to my “Mashing with Merge” project – a project similar to Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew**, but a little more than just a single brew (I hope). The idea is that I will buy a new Merge album each month and use it to inspire a new brew. The album will inspire the beer style, which will lead to the ingredients and then the brew session. I have a plan of action with regards to how this will play out on this blog, but I don’t want to spill all the beans, so just follow along.
A Sampling of my Merge Catalog – that I plan to expand with the “Mashing with Merge” Project
I do like me some Superchunk!
I don’t have any muscial or artistic talent, but I can make some pretty drinkable beers, and since I’ve seen plenty of Merge bands in concert and even spoke to a couple of the artists, it seems like a beer drinking crowd. I’m hoping that this new project will finally make me able to achieve my first New Year’s resolution since my infamous “become a regular at a local bar” that I achieved in our few years in Minneapolis at The Herkimer.
* – You can check out the brewing section to find out why I called it “Mashing with Merge” (when I finally update it).
** – Oddly enough, we were unable to get Bitches Brew in Michigan because it contained the word “Bitch”….I kid you not.