Occasionally the staff and I get our hands on highly sought after beers that are not distributed in the Grand Rapids market. While we acquire some on our travels, the majority are gifts from generous out-of-state folks who simply seem to want to share the products of their local breweries with us. We consider the windfalls to be community property so we stow them away until the stash grows big enough and then we throw a party.
We threw one this past Saturday. Some of the notable beers we tasted were offerings from Cigar City, Three Floyds and Half Acre. The undisputed star of the show was a bottle of Westvleteren that was sent to us by a former homebrewing customer who now owns a brew pub in Spain. Of course there were other beverages besides the cache of special treats—a keg of New Belgian Shift Pale Lager, some nice single malt scotches and some very tasty small batch bourbons. A few customers caught wind of the get-together and showed up bearing gifts—a few growlers of Big Brew on the Calder Beer City IPA and some other well made homebrews.
As store parties go, this one was quite reserved. There were the usual post party flotsam and jetsam that had to be dealt with but this time there was no loud music coming from the garage at four a.m. and on Sunday morning there were no sleeping bag bundled bodies on the deck. Maybe my employees are all just getting older.