Seasonal Affected Disorder

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I don’t feel so great. It’s possible that I have the beginnings of a cold or the flu, but I suspect that I’m just suffering through the intense stage of ennui that hits just before a midlife crisis. I’m not really sure what a guy like me does for a midlife crisis. I still like my wife and kids, so I don’t think I’ll go out and get a girlfriend. Getting a motorcycle seems so cliche. Maybe a career change? Maybe I’ll quit the fast paced, stressful life of adventure/beer freelance writing and become a potter. Blow my kids’ college fund on a really expensive kiln.

You see, that’s funny because my kids don’t have a college fund. See previous comment about my career as a freelance adventure/beer writer. 

I don’t know. There’s a good chance that my general malaise has nothing to do with an impending mid-life crisis and everything to do with this weird weather that’s putting a damper on my ski season. Call it a new form of Seasonal Affected Disorder (or just SAD for short). Typically, that’s when you get a little bummed out during the winter because the days are so short and you’re not getting enough sunshine. But I’m getting bummed out because any decent snow storm is quickly followed by rain and 60-degree weather.

It’s as if we’re getting all four seasons in a single week. Every damn week. We start off with a couple of days of intense cold, then there’s some spring like rain and we finish off with some high 60s and sunshine. It’s completely schizophrenic, and it’s wreaking havoc on poor little Breckenwolf.

Also, I can’t settle in to a mood or rhythm. Sigh. Do I pull out the mountain bike or the skis? Do I wear flip flops or winter boots? Do I drink a summer saison or a winter stout!

Really, this weather has made the concept of seasonal beers totally irrelevant. It’s gonna be in the high 60s this weekend—I’m supposed to drink a barrel aged stout that’s spiced with cinnamon in that kind of weather? So I’ve decided to skip the seasonals and go after hoppy beers that work no matter what the weatherman has in store for me. Enter Boojum Brewing Company, out of Waynesville, N.C., which has two killer hop-forward beers, the Reward Pale Ale and Hop Fiend IPA.

Reward is a solid pale that manages to walk that tightrope between malty and hoppy that all great pales walk, but Hop Fiend is my favorite of the two beers, at least in the current, fragile state that I’m in. It’s an appropriately named beer that’s all about the hops. Boojum, which is a Native American word that means “Chacos foot tan,” throws heaps of Mosaic, Simcoe and Citra hops into the kettle and then, seemingly just wafts the malt near the beer during the brewing process. Forget balance, this beer is weighted heavily on the side of hops, giving you a palate-scorching raid of fruit and pine that’s swept away by a bitterness almost as strong as my feelings toward our current ski season.

Sigh.

It’s the right beer for me right now. Who knows what I’ll be drinking next week, when there might be a blizzard. Or the neighborhood pool might open. It’s hard to tell. 

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