The neigh­bourly thing to brew

The Packet (Clarenville) - - FRONT PAGE - Steve Bartlett The Deep End Steve Bartlett is an ed­i­tor with SaltWire Net­work. He dives into the Deep End Mon­days to es­cape re­al­ity and light beer. Reach him via email at steve.bartlett@ thetele­gram.com.

Adam (his real name) is on the phone and sound­ing a Code Red.

“Steve,” he says, “your beer is ex­plod­ing!”

Adam is my neigh­bour and “beero” (beer + hero = beero).

He brews his own and used to drive a beer truck for a liv­ing.

He helped ful­fil a frothy fan­tasy of mine a few months ago when I bought a stout mix and we brewed it.

Well, he did all the work. I had the ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and dif­fi­cult task of tast­ing beer he had al­ready made.

But with his pan­icked call, it ap­pears the froth of his labour that mem­o­rable night was in se­ri­ous jeop­ardy.

So I race to his place and dis­cover a few beer have gone off in his base­ment. “Noooooo!”

Adam has al­ready cleaned up the mess.

“What do you want to do,” he asks.

“Cry,” I feel like say­ing.

But I re­ally don’t know what to do with, or about, ex­plod­ing beer.

Should we let it sit longer or dump it?

What if they start burst­ing dur­ing trans­port and glass flies ev­ery­where?

Or should we try sell­ing them on Ki­jiji or to his brother-in-law Jason?

Re­gard­less, Adam needs to get them out of his base­ment, which now smells like a univer­sity dorm on Satur­day morn­ing.

He ad­vises against trans­fer­ring them to my house be­cause they could ex­plode around my chil­dren.

For the sake of un­in­jured kids and mar­riages, he’s right.

So he carts the beer to his shed un­til we can find out if they’re sal­vage­able.

As a test, I bring one home and gen­tly place it in the small fridge to chill.

I shut the fridge door, and within sec­onds, BOOM! It ex­plodes.

Uh-oh!

The inside of the re­frig­er­a­tor is cov­ered with thick, sticky stout.

“What hap­pened?” my wife would ask.

“North Korea was do­ing more test­ing,” I would of­fer.

But, thank­fully, my wife is up­stairs and does not hear the det­o­na­tion.

So I kneel down and lick the beer off the inside of the fridge. It’s was delic ... OK, that dog­like ac­tion is un­true.

It’s ac­tu­ally fac­tual though that I clean it up, and move on to look for a new Bri­tish crime drama on Net­flix.

Then, sum­mer and va­ca­tions hit full stride, and I spend months search­ing for the per­fect swim­ming hole and tasti­est ice cream. Oh, the sac­ri­fices you make for your kids.

I have not talked with Adam all sum­mer.

But one last night week, on my way to a func­tion, I spot him in the dis­tance mow­ing an­other neigh­bour’s lawn.

“Shoot!” I say to my­self. “The beer!”

I had to­tally for­got­ten about it, and hope it hasn’t caused too much de­struc­tion in his shed, which thank­fully, ap­pears to be still stand­ing.

I need to go see Adam, apol­o­gize for not be­ing in touch sooner, and if needed, of­fer to help to dis­arm his outbuilding.

Hope­fully he’s not too up­set, and he never had a big mess to clean up since we last talked or he doesn’t feel I’ve taken ad­van­tage of him.

What­ever is brew­ing, I’ll just have to grin and beer it.

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