I normally write horror. Perhaps that’s why my other two “most memorable” beer stories were slightly darker tales rather than uplifting ones.
But it does seem to be a part of the human conscious experience. People typically remember things from negative events and trauma far more than from positive ones.
Take the following example as possible evidence of this.
Quickly answer the following:
Where were you, or what do you remember about:
- September 11, 2001?
- When Princess Diana died in the car crash?
- The day that the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded?
- The day that John F. Kennedy was shot?
- When Barrack Obama was elected as President?
- When the Berlin Wall finally fell?
- When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon?
- The day Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream” speech?
I tried to pick a few newer moments and a mix of positive and negative ones. Chances are more likely that you have stronger memories associated with the first four negative events than the second four positive ones. (That is, is you were alive for them – I wasn’t around for the JFK or the Martin Luther King memories, but they are massive moments for the generation before mine — and I was just a couple of months old when Neil Armstrong uttered those famous words from the moon, so wasn’t conscious enough to remember that time). But I think you get the point: Those dark, disturbing and horrific events run quite deep in our memories.
Like I said, I write horror. I tell ghost stories. People tend to find it easier to focus on the macabre and the chilling; and when I’m writing both fiction and non-fiction narrative arcs, that’s something I am constantly aware of.
But THIS particular story is a positive one.
As I have already raved about in one of our “cool label” posts, one of the most memorable beers I’ve had is Nightmare on Mill Street.
But what I haven’t shared is my first memorable taste of that beer.
It was September of 2013. My buddy Pierre and I had just finished spending a day with our families at the Locke Street Festival in Hamilton. Our kids wanted to continue to hang out together, so we decided the kids would go for a swim at our place in Hamilton and then would head over to Burlington to have a BBQ at Pierre’s.
Given that I was trying to work my way into shape by running and Pierre was avidly pursuing cross-fit, we decided it might be fun if, while everyone else drove from Hamilton to Burlington, Pierre and I ran the way.
The route was a little over 14K, and neither one of us had ever run that far. We were used to running 5K races (mostly the Warrior Dash extreme obstacle races), and I had only ever done 10K a couple of times.
It took us a little over two hours to run, and it was a fantastic experience. Seeing the sights of spots that I had mostly only ever driven past was wonderful. Even today, when I drive parts of that same route I can’t help but remember what it was like when I was slowly running through the same setting.
The run was fun, and it was memorable. I’m not one to enjoy running with another person, but the conversation while we ran along with taking turns being the “hard ass” to just keep running was motivating.
But then again, getting to the end and knowing there was a nice cooler filled with beer waiting for us was even more fun (and perhaps more motivating). That’s when I enjoyed A Nightmare on Mill Street. The combination of the memorable run with a good friend and the solid and delightful and refreshing taste of a great beer make this my third most memorable beer.