The summer solstice. The longest day of the year.
It’s also my wedding anniversary. Three years. I think we can now officially say we’re out of the “newlywed” stage. After what we’ve been through during that time, though, I definitely feel like we’ve earned experience far beyond that.
These last two years have been a gauntlet of experiences that have tested our marriage and faith. And the battle is far from over. From these trials, though, we’ve grown closer — stronger — and for that I am grateful. It’s like hops in a beer. IPAs are the best example, where the bitterness is most prominent. Most people don’t appreciate a good IPA because of it, or do because they think it makes them edgy or more experienced. But balance comes in all things. Good use of hops can make itself present in any beer without being overpowering. Some take that first sip, that hint of bitterness, and refuse to continue. You, however, I encourage to continue.
Enter Real Ale Brewing’s Pinsetter. An amber with sweet fruity notes and a subtle hop bitterness. I paired it with Italian: gnocchi and sausage in a vodka creme sauce.
Our night was much like the beer. It started off sweet and hopeful. Unassuming and plain by comparison of such a momentous occasion. Each sip revealed the bitterness beneath the sweet greeting. It, too, was unassuming. Subtle. As the last swig was taken, all fruitful flavor was gone. All that remained was lukewarm and bitter.
We had a fight this evening. Marriage is tough. Loss makes it harder.
I wish we would never fight; that it could be sweet, or all tart tangy like a gose or berlinner-weisse. But sometimes you need more hops. You need that bitterness…sometimes it’s complex and helps to pull out hidden flavors, like citrus or woods. That bitterness isn’t always bad. In fact, it can give us a better appreciation for the variety of flavors in, well…life.
Save Pinsetter for deep conversations about life, or to discuss something important with a loved one or close friend. Italian food optional.