Happy Birthday Steve!February 12, 2013
As we cruised around the aisles of New Beer on Saturday in preparation for the Nobler Gathering, I stumbled upon a 4-pack of some serious nostalgia. I’ll never forget the day my freshman year in college when I opened up a gift from my older brother Steve and came across one singular bottle of beer. My immediate reaction was, as you could imagine it, rooted in a bit of confusion. Of course, these were the days of 30-racks and beer pong tables where the thought of 1 singular beer worthy of shipment didn’t exactly register. But then I looked a bit closer at this Samichlaus and there it was, 14% ABV.
At the time, Steve was attending Ithaca College and besides having some great local beer of their own, they also had a number of great distributors. Steve told me this Samichlaus was a seriously intense brew meant to be enjoyed on a cold winter day. And being the good listener I was, I waited until the perfect moment to crack that sucker up. Sitting on the futon of a suite mate, with the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers DVD spinning and cranking through our Best Buy speakers, it was then, I took my first sip of beer reality. But let’s fast forward past the really embarrassing drunkenness that ensued leaving me sleeping through the second half of the movie, and get to the real point…I consider myself damn lucky to have an older brother like Steve. That Samichlaus was just one of many examples of Steve’s quiet and subtle direction he’s provided as a role model. It may sound silly to distill this perspective down to a 14% ABV beer, but it’s true. I think my passion for quality without pretension in my booze started on that day to some capacity. Who knows, maybe there wouldn’t even be the Nobler Experiment without that Samichlaus.
And the reality is, the older we get, the more I appreciate what he means to me (and our little bro Joseph). As I’ve already mentioned on the blog, I had one of the more memorable trips of my life spending the Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans as Steve worked his ass-off for NFL films. But it wasn’t until Steve made it to our seats of the Super Dome that the weekend really took on some meaning. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any Samichlaus on tap for me to show my appreciation, but hopefully my Budweiser and Jambalaya offering worked as a placeholder.
Happy Birthday Steve!