Well, as spurred by Matt, Joanie, Tripp and others, I took a trip after work today and dropped $24.00 plus tax grabbing myself the ingredients for an English Nut-Brown Ale from The Weekend Brewer. I really won't have time to brew it up until Saturday morning, but if there's no interference from Life I should be able to get it in the fermenter comfortably before my 4:30 Impromptu practice.
I do this because the making of beer is one of the few activities I have that is purely and unabashedly fulfilling. It's a sensory carnival right here in my apartment, it plugs me into the life dramas of billions of tiny yeasts as caregiver, it commits me to a few weeks of attention and continuity, and evidently I don't suck at it. :-)
I also dropped by the December meeting of the James River Homebrewers club, and made about twenty friends in the space of two hours down at Richmond's Legend Brewery. I was offered tastes of no fewer than four homebrews (a strawberry mead, a smoked porter, a spiced ale and a Belgian Red faux-lambic ale), and was fed samples of cookies, casserole, bread and (no kidding) tiramisu that were all cooked substituting beer for an ingredient or two, beer-cooked cuisine having been tonight's topic.