Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blessing of the Maibock 2012 (Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN)

Hanging in our office is a print by Minnesota artist Terrance Fogarty.  It's #1 of 100 prints of the Blessing of the Maibock 2009 and matches the one that sits in the far corner of the bar by the Washington Street window.

Gloria and I were sitting at Town Hall for a now forgotten event (possibly anniversary week) and the bartender Andy asked if we wanted a raffle ticket because not many had been sold yet.  In theory, our odds of winning would be good.  So, we bought two tickets for a now forgotten fundraising cause, never thinking we would never win.

I didn't attend the 2009 blessing; as a result, sadly, I'm not among those partaking in the toast.  I recognize several of the patrons in the print and very much enjoy having my "local" sitting above my head when I drink beer at home.  However, not making the 2009 event has given me a weird mental complex and feel that I should attend future blessings as an atonement for my sin, a sin I'm continually reminded of by the print above my head.  Adding to my spiritual crisis is that maibock isn't a favorite style; however, Town Hall's version is one that I like to drink--especially since it's free during the blessing.

Fast forward to 2012 and I make it to the blessing with beer drinking buddy Ian.  Rev. Aron Kramer officiated the blessing with a helper (I'm sure there's a proper name I don't know) who was filling the place with extremely pleasant incense (sandlewood?).  After a reading from Gilgamesh, we engaged in a litany.  Responsive reading, as it was known in my church, was always one of my favorite parts.  Since childhood,  I've imagined the voice of God to be the multifaceted drone of a congregation.   In this one, we all intoned "Good Lord, Deliver Us" to the reverend's statements.

Preparing the incense
for the blessing.  
A few of my favorites from the bulletin:

"From wasting money on thin beer, and time in thinner conversation."

"From thinking beer has made us clever when we've only begun to sound stupid."

"From the foolishness of not having designated someone to bring us safely home other than you."

Because free beer and the blessing fills the bar, Ian and I sit outside on the patio in spite of the chilly evening and three friends from two different worlds of my life appear  from the wasteland and sit down.  Free beer turned into true communion and conversation and dinner at the Blue Nile--a blessing from the miracle known as beer.

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