On Disappointment

Inspiration for this particular blog struck at yet another strange time.  If you’ve been reading for a little while now, then you know
I work as both as both a teacher and restaurant employee.  One of the most rough things about doing two jobs, aside from going from one to the other, is that I end up missing a lot of sporting events I want to see.  I work Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights.  At some points during the football season there were football games on every night I work.  Now we are in the hockey playoff season.  I would consider hockey the greatest sport in all of professional sports.  I know that doesn’t put me in the majority, but I kind of like it that way.  Last night I was working at the restaurant and checking on the hockey scores.  My team is the Washington Capitals, and they are almost famous for leading to disappointment.  Early in the first we were already down one to nothing.  I was already thinking here we go again.  This immediately had me wondering why.  Why did I automatically assume we were going to lose before the game was even ten minutes old? It was right there that my idea came to me.  There are times when I allow disappointment to shape the way I think.

Immediately I was able to compare this concept to the beer world.  A week or two ago I did my blog on the top 5 breweries I look for.  I wanted to give props to the breweries I love.  Ultimately I really wanted to do a follow-up on the breweries I really am not in to.  Somehow I couldn’t really bring myself to title a blog “Breweries I don’t like”.  These guys are doing my dream job, so how can I make fun of them for doing exactly what I wish I was doing.  Then I realized, it isn’t that I hate or don’t like them, instead I allow disappointment to run my decisions on these different breweries.  When I started trying different craft breweries I wanted to try everything, but I quickly found that craft doesn’t necessarily mean great.  After trying a few of their beers, I was turned off enough to where I just stay away from the things they do.  Maybe they make a beer I would love now and then, but I won’t buy them because the earlier disappointment doesn’t allow it.

I have tried multiple times to get into Clown Shoes Brewing co.  I actually did have one of their beers I liked first, but I have had a couple of others since then that I was really pretty disappointed in.  I’m sure there are others out there that love their beers, but I have found they just don’t tend to create things that I love.  I really wanted to like their Lubrication, but I ultimately just wasn’t pleased with it.  My local beer store has gotten a few things in since then that have really peaked my interest; however, I have passed them up because I don’t have faith.  Unfortunately, I’m finding that Dogfish Head is joining Clown Shoes on my list of breweries that are affected by my disappointment.  I love them for so many things but, as of late, they have been delving into the experimental zone so much.  Just this past week I received an email from my local beer store telling me of their limited supply of Dogfish’s collaboration with Google: Urkontinent.  I almost emailed right away to put it on hold, but I held back because of some other disappointments I’ve had lately.  I don’t want to keep buying experimental beers I’ll hate.  Maybe someone will post that it’s amazing, but my disappointment, and wallet, kept me from purchasing it.

I have, however, found that you can also find some really great brews by giving breweries a second chance.  One of the first beers I tried from Smuttynose Brewing Co was the maibock.  It was highly rated on Beer Advocate, so I thought we had a real winner on our hands.  Ultimately, I was really unhappy with the beer.  I wasn’t sure why it was so highly rated, and I was really disappointed that I didn’t like it.  It kept me from going back to them for a little bit, but I ultimately found that it is actually a great brewery.  Their robust porter and S’muttonator are some of my favorite beers I’ve had from them.  Had I stayed disappointed enough to never go back to them, I wouldn’t have ever known about some of their more amazing beers.  So, it’s also a good idea to keep in mind that some breweries deserve a second chance for sure.

The Capitals are far beyond their second or third chances, but I seem to give them chance after chance.  I will say they have stopped getting so much of my money like they used to get.  I attended a few of those playoff games in past seasons when they lost, but I still get my hopes up every year.  They still have the opportunity to prove to me they deserved another chance this year, but the disappointment they’ve brought this year definitely keeps my expectations lower. If you didn’t know, they did lose that game last night.  They were winning until they gave up a goal with 7 seconds left in the game. Disappointment yet again! So just like the Capitals, what breweries do you keep going back to despite the disappointment, and what breweries have you given up on?

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