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Monday, January 07, 2008

A Fortieth-Birthday Beer?

In a couple weeks (less than, actually), I turn forty. This fact always fails to impress those who have passed forty, and particularly those on the golden side of 50, 60, 70, etc. (my dad, 77, is especially insufferable). But let us not underestimate what it means for those who have already begun to endure the Hair Rebellion*: we ain't no spring chickens. Youth is spent. Under no circumstances can I be confused for a young hipster. The last time I was carded is some years in my rear-view mirror. (Good news: the age at which I have to produce ID to get a senior discount is yet years in my future!)

I realized that my youth was gone a few years back when I realized that I had, to the eyes of the undergrads at the college where I work, turned into a specter. I became not quite invisible--they still dodge around me when we're on a collision course--but something like a bush or a trash bin. Turning forty merely puts the period to the end of the sentence.

However, I grieve none of this. In compensation for my lack of youth, I have the gathering wisdom of age. Example: 21-year-olds get drunk on crappy beer. But at the ripe old age of 40, I know better. I plan to christen my ruby anniversary with something a little more rare. But what? It's not a choice I should or will take lightly. I imagine it should have some or all these characteristics: rare, aged, strong, intense.

So, what do you suggest? Got any leads?

*Falling off the places you want it, growing on places you don't want it, and getting gray on all the places.


  1. When's your b-day, Jeff? I'm the 3rd, sounds like a fellow Aquarian ...

    I celebrated mine last year at Concordia, and it was great. Heck, I may do it again this year!


  2. Does it have to be beer?

    For my 40th, I found a bottle of Armagnac distilled in the year I was born. It was tasty. Couldn't afford the single-malts from that year :-(.

    A 40-year-old port is another idea.

  3. Hey, I turned 40 this year too! To celebrate, I did what I do for my birthday every year: invite 20 or so friends and open copious amounts of Belgian beers (especially holiday editions). With that many people, you can pour smallish tastes of each one and none goes to waste.

  4. Suds Sister, that idea crossed my mind, too. Maybe I'll ask everyone to bring their fave exotic beers and we can knock ourselves out.

  5. I usually try to avoid palate-killers for this kind of session (leave those saisons and farmhouse ales for another time).

    For my birthday this year, we went through maybe two cases of 750 ml bottles and maybe two recycling bins worth of 12-16 oz. bottles. I still have a leftover case of Belgians in the garage that I have been tucking into since then!