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8 weeks…

8 weeks from yesterday I will set down upon American soil for the duration of what will likely prove to be a difficult and painstaking experiment in passion and dream fulfillment... and I can't help but wonder why we hold onto some dreams and allow others to fade... how it is that some dreams manifest our entire being, become our identity, our ontology - simultaneously limiting and freeing us all at once.  What would this Danish experience have become without Hill Farmstead?  

I gave my resignation more than a week ago and am now undergoing the process of preparing Nørrebro for my departure.  This includes a great deal of hand bottling, writing/documentation of processes, and training/questioning of what is to follow.  The highlight for me will be tasting the North Bridge Extreme Extreme (not a typo) in three or four weeks.  

Just Eight Weeks...

I spent most of yesterday in some sort of wilderness/deer garden/park 30+ minutes or so outside of the city. A picnic and a nap in the sun atop a hill beneath a grove of beautiful beech trees.  I felt at peace, once again.  Home amidst nature.  As if all of the chaos within me is unleashed within the city - psychological clutter and stress within the pavement  and unfamiliar faces of this unique culture... I feel more alone in the city, surrounded by a million strangers, than I do in the woods.  It will be beneficial to return to my own sanctuary.  A walk in the woods and chirping birds, a sunset over Barr Hill, and hay fields in August are meditative bliss...

I have also booked the tickets for Peter Sonne (my former assistant brewer and now the owner of Halsnæs Bryghus) and Kristoffer Wolff (brewer at Herslev Bryghus) to come to Boston/Vermont for 10 days during the time of the Backwoods Brewdown.  They actually arrive in the US two days before I do.  Alex will pick me up at the airport on Sunday night, and hopefully we'll meet Peter and Kristoffer that evening (in Burlington?) or the next day.  I'll be surrounded by a half dozen friends for an entire week, 200 friends by the following weekend... and then emptiness. And the weight and responsibility of preparing my brewery.  As all things contain their opposite, I can't deny that my fear/anxiety currently outweighs my excitement.

The fermenters have arrived and have been unloaded.  I've signed on to attend the Kennett Square Beer Festival in Pennsylvania on October 10th - I'll bring along some one offs - like a 2 year old Flemish Red, Fresh/Wet Hopped IPA, Smoked Sour Wheat beer (loosely based on a Lichtenhainer - a suggestion by Loren (aka Venom)) - 50% home smoked malt, fermented with Brettanomyces and conditioned with Lacto).  And a saison, of course... 

On another note, today Kasper and my new inter/assistant Simon and I hand bottled 1300 bottles of the Niepoort (Port) Barrel SEVEN Russian Imperial Stout.  All bottle conditioned in 375ml champagne Grand Cru bottles (think Russian River and Lost Abbey).  Tomorrow we'll be bottling the Bordeaux Barrel SEVEN, Wednesday we'll brew the North Bridge (NEX) and Thursday/Friday we'll brew a double batch of Skargaards Porter.  Busy week, indeed! But it feels great to take these beers out of their temporary home and commence their entry to the marketplace so that other folks can appreciate consuming them as much as I've enjoyed producing them... and... waiting... for... them...  Next week we'll try and bottle the Oud Bruin (Funky Viking) and also blend the Saison Vermont with more of the 2 year old Drie Fonteinen and bottle it off... Busy weeks ahead! And I'm glad that I'm not doing it all alone.  Hopefully some of these bottles will find their way to VT for the Brewdown...

Reader Comments (3)

Hey Shaun,

We didn't get to talk much in Boston, but I had no idea you were leaving Norrebro and heading back stateside. Best wishes on the dream. I'll keep my eye on the blog. Maybe we'll see each other again and have some time to chat...think you'll be at GABF? We are thinking about a Citizens of the World party out there, and you (and your beer) would be most welcome!

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Dinges

I am the editor of Haverford College's alumni magazine. It just happens I am going to be up in Burlington in early May overseeing the printing of the mag. and I'd love to come interview you for a story about the new brewery.

I don't have an exact date yet, but it looks like I'll be there between May 1 and May 3.

Let me know.

Eils Lotozo
Haverford College

March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEils

Hello could I use some of the insight from this blog if I reference you with a link back to your site?

May 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDion Mcnicoll
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