What's Tony Thinking

I’m Turning Into My Father


I’ve mostly aged out on this, i.e. turning into my father. I think it hits you in your forties — which is pretty far in the rear-view mirror for me by now. But I do remember the sensation. Not so much looking into the mirror and seeing my dad, George. More in photographs. Noticing that I carried myself like he did, that my gestures were his. I was haunted. Or connected.

Now I have two sons who are in their forties. Recently, they asked me to stop by Cloudburst brewpub on Ballard’s Shilshole Avenue and pick up some product for them. When I noticed that one of the brews on tap was called, “I’m Turning Into My Father,” I couldn’t resist. According to the write-up “I’m Turning Into My Father,” isn’t exciting or cool, but it’s good. Which, if you’re lucky, is a good descriptor of you by the time you hit your 40’s.

Here’s the Cloudburst Brewing write-up for their “I’m Turning Into My Father” beer. (By the way, not only are the Cloudburst beers great, they have the best write-ups.)

I’m Turning Into My Father
Dad Beer | 6.9% ABV | 65 IBU
We just want you to know, if you ever need anything, don’t be shy, ok? There are NO rules for this beer. It’s not like a regular dad beer, it’s a COOL dad beer. And ‘tis the season, if you know what we mean! The weather gets colder and wetter, and winter warmers start to hit the shelves. With each passing year, we find ourselves more and more excited to brew, and drink, hoppy red ales. Are they exciting? Not really. Are they cool? Nope. Do we care? Nada. But just like your dad’s favorite brewery slogan: we brew the beer we want to drink – and sell the rest! Bahaha…ok, we’re finished laughing at our own joke. This recipe was blended with multiple crystal malts, hopped with Simcoe, Chinook, Mosaic, and still finishes dry and bitter for the style. It’s burnt breadcrusty and piney and resinousy and roasty. We hope you appreciate and love it for what it is, even if you don’t always agree with it.

I see that I didn’t quite get that right. It is “exciting?” Not really. “Cool?” Nope. “Do we care?” Nada. There’s a time to care, and a time not to care. T. S. Eliot said that, albeit more poetically.

If you’re lucky, the forties is an age by which you’re okay with who you are. You’re a lot less worried than you used to be about what other people think of you.

Or you could be having a mid-life crisis of hurricane level insanity. Either way a pint of red ale is probably a good idea.

So I got a four-pack of pints for each of my sons. And each of them arranged to have a nice outside fire, at their respective homes, to sit around together as we imbibed. This was significant. First, it met the cautions of our pandemic age. An outside social gathering. A small one — two. A grandchild or two joined us every now and again (not for the beer, but for the fire and a chat).

Second, building a nice outside fire is my thing. Big time. Sitting around a fire, a chill in the air — you can’t beat it. So the fact that each of my boys created such a setting for sharing a pint, well that was special. If they weren’t turning into me, which they haven’t, not really, they were doing a dad-thing.

Where am I going with this? Not sure. But my last couple blogs have been long and heavy. So time for one that’s a little shorter, lighter and has no point other than to say, even in pandemic times and as the longest, darkest night approaches, there are reasons for gratitude. Like good beer, a winter’s fire, and having two great sons (and, of course, a wonderful daughter). I’m a lucky man.




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