New Glarus Hop Hearty and How I Know I’m From Wisconsin

 

Cascade and East Kent golding dry hopped, light caramel backbone with soft bitter overtones that linger, smells of hay.

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Currently I’m in the process of house hunting.  Not because I’m going to be moving anytime soon, but I want to be ready when I start looking for keeps.  Right now we live in a condo in a great location, save for the high school across the street, but I don’t want to be here forever and not all my needs are being met.  I have a few specifics in mind as I’m searching through thousands of houses across multiple platforms, and while I’m willing to concede to certain things I dislike in order to make myself seem more flexible, I can’t help but feel like I should follow the sage advice of my younger brother:  If you aren’t 100% in love with it, don’t settle.  You don’t want to regret it. 

Basically, this beer brought up a lot of very specific memories for me, so settle in if you’re planning on reading through to the end.

 

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My younger brother is 21.  He’s engaged to his high school sweetheart.  He’s almost done with his Bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh with a GPA above 3.5.  He’s the refinishing department manager (2nd in command) at our family’s business – an auto body shop that’s been around for over 60 years and counting, and he’s being prepped to take over if our dad ever decides to retire (not likely, considering his dad, the founder of the business, literally worked there until the day before he died).  He owns his 3rd car – a Lexus.  He just bought his first house this past summer and adopted a great dane puppy.  He’s extremely witty and sharp, and knows just when to crack a smart joke or whip out consoling words of wisdom.  He’s everything I could have ever hoped to get from a brother. 

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So when I called my brother up to ask him to review one of the houses I was looking at, he asked me what I liked about it.  And what I didn’t like about it.  “Well, I really don’t understand the trend where master bathrooms have the bathtub in the middle of the room, separating the sinks.  Who wants to take a bath in the middle of the bathroom?  Also, the yard is FAKE grass and half the size I expected it to be.”  “Then don’t put an offer on it.  If you don’t like it 100%, don’t settle.  You shouldn’t have to get used to or change something you don’t like AFTER you spend all that money.  You’ll just regret it.”  I went back through my list of pros, cons, and undecideds and applied them to locations I’d like to live someday in the near future. 

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I grew up with chores.  What adult today didn’t?  I can’t say I enjoy doing most of them to this day, but I do appreciate them, and some I even miss.  Like mowing the lawn.  Both houses I lived in throughout adolescence were on half an acre or more, and our cottage property was 75% grass, 25% edifice.  I did a lot of mowing.  Push mowers were the bane of my existence, but when I was privileged to drive the riding mower, I grabbed a Cherry Pepsi, popped in my headphones, cranked my CD Walkman to the max, and squealed out of the garage with gusto.  This was a mission; one where none of my siblings would bother me for fear of the chore being passed to them, and one where my parents would leave me be, because at least something was getting done.  I learned to drive when I was 10, maybe younger, but don’t tell my mother.  The warm, sweet smell of freshly cut grass drying in the sun mixed with the subtle whiffs of gasoline, the damp cushion of the clippings sticking to my green bare feet, and the renewed sound of the world after the the deafening roar of the engine died.  I could hear the birds warbling and the wind and the lake flies humming in the treetops.  I sighed and the life around me sighed. 

 

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Things I want for my next house:

  • A yard with real grass
  • Lots of windows
  • 2,000+ Sq Ft
  • 3+ bedrooms
  • 2.5+ bathrooms
  • 2+ car garage
  • A large, open kitchen, preferably with a big window behind the sink
  • A view
  • .25 Acres or more
  • A dog

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I want to mow the lawn again and sigh with the sounds of the world.  This time with a good beer.

That’s how I know I’m from Wisconsin.

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