The Beer Odyssey Continues: The Genesis
Every good story is clearly defined; it has a beginning, middle, an end, and features a purposeful protagonist with a sizeable deck stacked against him or her (or in this case them). How he gets to his goal or if he gets there at all is the journey that captivates us and if done well, the trials and tribulations keeps us at the edge of our seats pulling at our emotions as if we were puppets at the end of a marionette’s string. That’s the core of a good story, action and reaction spurred by motivation met by conflict, and for every example of this being done well there’s a half dozen that fell flat on their ass.
On a cool evening in the urban jungle that is Queens, New York with the soothing warmth of inebriation setting in, I grabbed my wife’s notebook and began jotting down ideas, it’s the closet writer in me which thankfully never fully lets me go. Across from me sat Pete in his NY Mets hat, Queens shirt and gray baggy sweat pants, equally inebriated, eager to absorb the ideas laid out before him. His eyes went wide; you could tell the wheels were turning. We were in sync with this vision of the future. Scrawled across the paper with no regard for the uniformity of the lines and in barely legible writing read:
(and a few other things that we will simply leave as ‘coming soon’!)
We bantered back and forth, refined my scribbles and came to a unified conclusion. We have to do this. We’ve been drinking craft beer for well over 10 years. That time has exposed us to a salivating array of alcoholic decadence. Mostly good, a few bad and some phenomenal beers have graced our waiting lips and our quest for craft only intensifies with each soul quenching sip. In a way this was a natural progression for us, we buy beer, we drink beer, and we talk about beer so why not share our passion with the public? That night was the flagship moment of Beer Today Beer Tomorrow, we didn’t have a name, but we had a concept, we weren’t reinventing the wheel but we had an attractive and achievable game plan that could put a shiny new gloss on the wheel.
As our discussions intensified over the coming days, a third man was added, his name’s Darwin, a networking savvy newbie to the world of craft but a fast learner with an insatiable, border line neurotic propensity for obtaining the ‘next big thing on the scene’. The three of us formed a group that started with an Instagram account, our single unified voice to the world. The burdensome reality of day jobs impeded the speed of our plan but the belief and faith in the course of action never wavered. From IG we added a Facebook and Twitter account. Progress was slow and steady until my wife reminded me that Queens beer week was rapidly approaching. Our love for all things Queens is well documented and we all knew we had to make our presence felt. Our first Facebook blog touched on our Queens Beer week outings, here’s an excerpt:
Queens beer week - If you didn’t make it, you really missed out on some Queens dopeness on such a vast scale. Here are some of the stand outs in no particular order, starting with Singlecut Beersmiths Softly Spoken Magic Spells an American Double/ Imperial IPA that is remarkably smooth for its 8.5% ABV. Aromatic and delicious, a stellar effort that has become synonymous with SingleCut and dare I say even rivals our personal favorite from the brewery, bon bon 2x tnt iipa, a must try if you haven’t had it. Softly spoken has a murky golden coloring with notes of tropical fruit, and without a doubt a highly enjoyable beer.
Another one of our favorite breweries, Rockaway Brewing Co. never disappoints and their Hawaiian Pizza IPA is more of what we have come to love about them. A 6.6% ABV, with tropical fruit notes and a nice herbal finish, this tasty brew belongs on your beer list.
ICONYC Brewery’s Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale, is pitch black and showcases malty and roasted notes. Delightfully hoppy and very drinkable. We certainly are eager to taste more from this up and coming brewery.
LIC Beer Project’s Patersbier, which is a Belgian-style Blonde ale, that is quite smooth coming in at a 5.5% ABV. Slight fruitiness on the nose, with some spicy grass-like notes as it hits the tongue. This ale would bring a smile to any Monks face.
From there we were flying high, we drank, we networked, we mingled, got some great pics and drank some more but we didn’t have an official blog, or a website or a podcast. Our regular weekly meetings were getting harder to make, work, family life and personal ‘stuff’ seemed to always be getting in the way. But, as my mom says, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I encapsulate that to mean perseverance is paramount.
We regrouped and righted the ship; we maximized the free time we had and we created a budget, came up with an equipment list and researched building websites. We were back on course! Around that time my wife suggested another event, the annual NYC Craft Beer Festival. This time it was just me, Pete and excessive consumption. A good time with some very good beers and although the potential is there it was not quite the event that we had imagined, it was void of the flare that we had hoped we’d encounter. We did, however, run into our friends at Montauk Brewery. Shout out to Montauk!
Shortly thereafter we ordered our equipment. When it came in, we were ecstatic, it all finally started to seem real. From there the Hopster reached out to us and invited us to his homebrew festival at Beer Closet in LIC, which you can read about here.
Just as momentum was surging upwards we yet again hit a stumbling block, free time was a premium, life is life, and it’s both a beautiful joy and a demanding sacrifice all at once. We couldn’t get our shit together to find time to meet regularly and as we all know time waits for no man. We kept active on our social accounts but the big steps still eluded us: The Podcast and the Website.
And then, as if like a light switch it all clicked. Pete and I cleared time on the schedule and put in hours upon hours for the website, which is still a work in progress, and then finally came the Hopster’s Homebrew festival. The band did a no show and we were tasked with podcasting for close to 3 hours. The event was a success, we rocked! Fast forward a few weeks and now we have 3 blogs and our 3rd podcast episode is being released!
This is not a perfect story, nor is it complete not yet anyway. Our Odyssey is in its infancy. I wish I could say there was a lot of Hollywood glamour and special effects associated with the rise of BTBT, but alas, ours is the tale of a grass roots independent film on a shoe string budget looking to meld a love for craft beer with a counter culture flair. But make no mistake, our young adventure has been fraught with danger and the Holy Grail still eludes us, and as we strive to move forward we hope that one day we will never be forgotten.
To quote a line from Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ – “I’ve got miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep”.
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