Websites and blogs that are theme specific such as Thank Heaven for Beer can often come across as abstract, in the sense that they appear separated from reality.  Day after day articles are posted, pictures go up, and comments are exchanged, all with a singular topic in mind; but how often are the personal lives of the interlocutors considered?

I intentionally try to keep my article somewhat ambiguous to my personal life.  It seems that our society is increasingly shunning privacy.  We’ve gone from the snail mail standard, to the email standard, to watching your friends’ marriage implode on FaceBook status updates.  While this is cultural shift bugs me from time to time, it does not keep me from participating in such socially integrated sites, I just do so in moderation, just as I do in beer.

This week as I was catching up on some unread articles over at Seen Through A Glass, Lew Bryson’s Beer Blog, I found myself choking up as I read through a very well written and seemingly non-beer related article, Growing Up, in which Lew reminisced over fathering his son, now a senior in high school.  The well written piece made me a even bigger fan of Lew’s site, as it made clear that he 1) was an involved and loving father, and 2) family took priority over beer; and that’s the way it should be.

Lew apologized at the end of the article for the non-beer related content, but to me, no apology was necessary.  If a man keeps his priorities straight, that is beer does not trump family, than in my mind such a rambling is a part of the story of beer in the sense that the all circumstances of a man’s life impact his hobbies and even writing style.

Further, while beer–and alcohol in general–is considered (for legitimate reasons, unfortunately) to be destructive to the nuclear family, it can be the complete opposite.  How many times have you bonded over a beer with a loved one?  Or consider some of the longstanding breweries in Europe that have been handed down from father to son for centuries.

Shortly after reading Lew’s article, my dear seven year old son handed me a folded up piece of paper that inspired this post alongside Lew’s post.  For your viewing pleasure and as an outpouring of fatherly pride, I scanned the paper that showcases Malachi’s burgeoning understanding of English grammar and his love for his pops and time we spend together.

I don’t think I have ever brewed a batch of beer without the assistance of Malachi.  In fact, the other day my sister was visiting while I was brewing beer.  Malachi called from the living room, “Dad!  Are you ready for me to help sparge?”  Confused, my sister asked, “What’s sparging?”  Malachi answered her question not mine.

Malachi is growing up fast.  As I read Lew’s article and realized I had better pay closer attention and store the memories of his journey.  It saddens me as I see his teeth fall out (but it saddens his mother more!) and see realize benchmarks of growing up are passing rapidly, but it thrills me that we can share a passion.  He is an awesome young man, with a big heart, and as a father, I couldn’t be prouder.

The more memories I can make with my children the better.  I don’t want to force any of my hobbies or preferences upon them, but when they organically match up between us so that we can enjoy them together, it makes for one awesome bond and plenty of great memories.

I know I’ve written before about brewing with my son…thanks for letting me show off my son!

Malachi to Dad
It is fun brewing beer together
We have fun
And we can have fun!!!
Love Malachi