I’m geographically challenged. I don’t know how people are born with absolutely NO sense of direction, but I’m proof that you can survive this affliction. Even if I do know where we’re going, you don’t want to rely on me for directions if you’re driving, because I’ll forget to tell you. It’s like the passenger seat automatically disengages the little part of my brain dedicated to navigation. But, sometimes good things come out of missing a turn.
Recently, my friend was driving us somewhere new in my town. True to form, I forgot to say where to go and we wound up detouring through an area near my paternal grandparents’ house that triggered childhood memories. Then, wait, did you see that sign that said ‘Bold City Brewery’? And did that store next to it say ‘Just Brew It’? My friend always wanted to try brewing and Saint Louis made me a fan of microbrews (Square One is a favorite!).
After keeping the store clerk open late answering our questions, we were trying to fit a brewing kit and a large glass carboy into a tiny trunk (the one disadvantage of detours is being ill-prepared). The next day brought the aroma of hops to the kitchen and left us pondering names for breweries and beer labels.
A few evenings later I’m home alone and hear a bang! Luckily, it wasn’t too late or too dark, so I didn’t panic when I couldn’t identify the sound. Later I opened
the pantry door to put something away and saw tiny glass shards and brown liquid all over the floor. A beer bottle had broken. Just slight annoyance while I cleaned it up. A couple of hours later, a BANG! Really, another bottle broken? A little more annoyance now as I clean up the second time. When the third bottle exploded, I was officially perturbed and called my friend to let him know
about it. I found a storage bin just the right size for 45 bottles of beer and counted each time another bottle lost its battle and marveled at how glass shards got out of the container.
The next day, he asked me to release some of the pressure from the remaining bottles. But someone who happened to be with me suggested I could really be hurt. So… I found safety goggles, donned a heavy sweater and garden gloves and before opening bottles with the bin lid protecting my face. The first bottle spewed beer into the air a foot or so. The next, and last, bottle that I tried to
save spewed brown, sticky liquid nearly four feet into the air and onto three
different shelves of pantry contents. Now, I’m worried AND aggravated. I put the lid back on, gingerly carried the bin outside, and placed an old DVR and four bags of mulch on top of it so the sun’s affect wouldn’t force more shards out of the bin.
Turns out, there was some miscommunication about the bottling process. Now, we are a few batches into the new hobby and the beer stays controlled. It actually tastes good and we’re having fun trying different kits.
Sometimes a wrong turn can lead to new hobbies, some interesting moments, and a few laughs. Next time I wind up on a detour, I’ll be certain to keep my eyes open for unexpected benefits!