Well, I guess if three of us getting together can be called a summit, then so be it. Quality trumped the lack of quantity, however, and we had a great time.
Unfortunately, trying to round up six people at holiday time is like herding cats. Absent: Muddy Mo came up sick today; Bull had family obligations to deal with; I'm still not convinced that Wes actually exists; and, despite my pursuit of a meeting with her for a year and a half now, Beergirl and I are apparently cursed to never have a beer together. She ended up having a funeral to deal with today, and what the hell are you gonna do about that? (Sara, please tell your hubby I am so sorry.) Man, we have rotten luck getting together. Oh well, maybe next summer.
Present: me, Bad Ben, and the newcomer to our group, Oregon Amy. Plus Ben's wife Vickie (sp?) and Amy's husband John, who homebrews. We settled in to a fun evening of talking about beer (natch), brewing (mostly between John and Ben, as I still haven't taking the brewing plunge) and running (Ben, when he's not brewing or drinking, is an ultramarathoner).
Additionally, we were joined by Mags (my designated driver, among other things), the beer-loving Jarigues, and Mags' and Erin's high school friend Wanda.
Our meeting place again was 75th Street Brewery, which I can't recommend highly enough. What a great little place. Located in southern KC, they have tasty food (although I must mock them for their menu item of "Tex-Mex Fondue" — what we Texans would call "queso"), and even tastier beer.
The Christmas ale was nice, albeit not what I expected. I was thinking malty and heavy, but instead got spicy. Their IPA was quite fine — the hops were restrained, just the right balanced note, a refreshing change from how over-the-top some IPAs can be. The stout was a silky-smooth nitro number which the wife particularly approved of. They had something called a "wheat wine," a variation on barleywine, which was a bit sour for my taste, as was their bourbon barrel brown — not bad, but more than I could handle for a whole glass.
I capped off the evening by distributing bottles of Saint Arnold Christmas Ale and Real Ale Fireman's Four, which I hope my Texas beer-deprived KC friends will enjoy.
Okay guys, I've given up hope that we can actually get all of us together at once, but maybe I can see more than half of you next summer? I'm already planning a trip for mid-June.
In the picture, l-r: John, Oregon Amy, me, Bad Ben, Vickie.
(Okay, I'm ready for some of you guys to come visit me in Austin now!)