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Happy Birthday Sydney (2)

We just came off a record month for Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. It felt great! It also means that we have a ton of brewing to do as months like April pretty much kick our collective asses. Everyone put an amazing amount of effort forward and it was rewarding to see us sell so much beer. The problem with record months is that they tend to wipe out inventories. At least this past April did.

So for the entire month of May, we have been playing catch up. As such, it’s required an extraordinary amount of hours and in the struggle to get inventories caught up, Sydney’s 2nd Birthday was all of a sudden upon me. You know the part where I have to stop thinking about beer and find cool gifts for my baby girl?

But having a brewer in training at home means birthday gifts take on a whole new dimension. Sydney is now 2 years old and is almost old enough to understand what is going on. She will certainly understand next year that when mention the word birthday, she can expect all kinds of new and very cool things. I heard Charlie Papazian is putting the finishing touches on “The Joy of Homebrewing for Toddlers.”

This year, Maureen and I decided that we wanted to get Sydney her very own kitchen. I have zero problems with this part of the equation. After all, if she chooses not to be a brewer than maybe she’ll entertain the culinary art and follow in the footsteps of Chef Vince. Dad’s are allowed to dream you know.

Being the instructor and Brewing father that I am, I wanted to get Sydney a really kick ass kitchen. I mean even normal kids can have the standard “My First Kitchen.” Yet, what I was looking for was the Deluxe “My First Beer Enthusiasts Kitchen.” I started with some phone calls to local toy stores.

Me: “Hello, I am looking to see if you have a toy in stock?”

Them: “Sure! Do you know what it’s called?”

Me: Yes, I have a few items. First, do you have any Brewer’s First Kegorators? I am really interested in the 4 tap model with Nitrogen faucet and if possible, I’d like to upgrade to the model with the Beer Engine?”

Them: “Sir? Have you been drinking?”

Me: “That’s Duuh dot com. It’s something I try and do each day.

Them: “I’m not sure I understand!”

Me: “Well, I own a brewery.” What else do you need to know?

Them: “Thanks for the clarification sir. I’m still unsure about this “My first Kegorator you asked for.”

Me: What’s not to understand? I have a brewer in training. She NEEDS this toy. Screw Barney unless of course, he looks like Issac from the Love Boat and knows how to properly slow pour a Guinness.

Them: “Sir, you do realize that we monitor these calls for Quality Assurance?”

Me: “CRAP! That’s right, I told her mom I would take care of the My First Line Cleaning Tank too so that the beers would be of the highest quality. Any chance you have one of those in stock?”

Them: “Sir, have you been drinking?”

Me: “Need I remind you it’s people like you that drive me to drink?”

Them: “Tell your daughter Happy Birthday. Sorry we weren’t of more assistance.”

Me: “You’re too kind.”

We had to buy a plain old ordinary my first kitchen. Sorry Sydney. Daddy tried to get you a better model. So it came time to put it together. I went to the fridge (the adult sized food one) and pulled out a beer. At least some refreshment would help me simmer down from my letdown. I pulled the “My First Kitchen” from its box and began laying out parts on the floor.

One of the boxes had all of the accessories in it. Excited about the possibilities, I tore into the bag looking for miniature cans of Malt Extract, Barley and hops. NOTHING, Nada, Zip! It was obvious that my wife and I had neglected to purchase a properly stocked My First Kitchen. It was lacking all sorts of essential toys for the Homebrewer in Sydney. I picked up the phone and called the local homebrew store.

Me: “Listen, I know this is going to sound crazy but I’m looking for a Junior Homebrew Kit for my 2 year old daughter.”

Them: “Well sir, the government states you must be 21 to consume alcohol but they only require you to be 18 to make it…. Did you say she’s 2?”

Me: “Yeah, you got a problem with that? She loves Malt Liquor and has a penchant for Old Viscosity.”

Them: “Sir, I think I am supposed to take down your number and call child protective services now!”

Me: “So, you don’t have a kit for preschool aged brewers?”

Them: “Sir, we don’t even have one for High School Aged children although it’s not illegal to sell these supplies to 18 year old students. Not that I have mind you.

Me: “DAMN! This is going to be harder than I thought.”

I found myself working through the details of My First Kitchen and I was able to successfully complete the building with nary a problem. Except of course that I just rendered my daughters first kitchen complete and there wasn’t enough beer in it for my liking. I started looking at the cabinets imaging the cupboards loaded with lambics, Barleywine and Stouts. Sydney would dig that. Trust me. She really would.

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