Every once in awhile when working at a brewery, you drink a little beer. Shocking, right? In an effort to avoid anyone feeling left out, we generally do this together as a staff. You might say we are a collection of like minded individuals sharing a passion.
You might also say we are the island of misfit toys.
Your mileage may vary and the truth like in most cases probably lies somewhere in the middle. These “quality control” sessions typically begin with a small toast should anyone feel the desire. For years, mine was always a simple two word declaration:
Followed by a sip, a slam, or a shotgun.
Friendship, because it is one of the best things we have in life. Plus, with a staff as small as ours we are closer to friends & family than we are to co-workers. Satan, because duh… I mean do any of us really worship Satan? Yes, actually! However, in this case it’s more of a state of mind and a reminder to be Metal (basically a synonym for “cool” in the Metal community, which if you’ve never set foot in a production brewery is the music you are most likely to be serenaded with).
It was a good toast. Never in a million years did I think I would ever change it. Then the Universe decided to serve us all up an unexpected and severe gut punch. About a year ago Hops & Grain, the beer community, the cities of Austin & Salt Lake City, and the world at large lost an exemplary human being and dear friend Peder Pedersen. Many of us still have the wind knocked out of us and since that day my little toast has gained a word:
“Friendship. Satan. Peder.”
Peder was someone who exemplified Friendship, Satan, and was about the most effortlessly Metal dude you would be lucky to meet. I am lucky and all of us who knew him remain so. We might of lost him, but at least we got to have him in our lives at all. That is what hurts the most and always will. I miss my friend. Good and true friends are hard to find and Peder was a bright light in a world that can often seem insurmountably dark.
I know many of us are overcome with the sadness of almost a year having passed without him. Even worse, the prospect of another year without him beginning. Remember you are probably not far from someone feeling the same way. Remember to lean on each other. Remember to tell your best stories and laugh and cry. Remember that we all have a little of that Peder light inside of us to be nurtured and shared. Remember he is in there talking if you listen close. Probably saying something like “oooh GIRL” right after you take a sip of some shit beer at a dive bar or crush one of the tee box. Remember this is how we keep him with us forever, brightening up the place when we need a light. Remember all the important stuff, whatever it may be for you, and at the very least always remember:
Friendship. Satan. Peder.
October 18, 2018