14461640_130225224422This morning I had to do something that I really hated to do. It’s not something that I do very often, though I should probably do it more regularly than I do.

I, Seth Treptow, threw away…an old pair of underwear.

It’s nothing I’m particularly proud of.

I don’t know when this particular pair of underwear came into my life, but it had probably in rotation for several years. It was never the fanciest of pairs. Just your standard cotton boxer briefs. You know, the ones that come in a four pack from Hanes. Far from elegant, but more than capable of getting the job done. During its time of service, it had performed incredibly admirably, always without fail. It supported my junk and absorbed my funk with the best of them. And for that, I am extremely appreciative.

mormonunderwearBut over the last few cycles of wearing, I have noticed that this pair, which I will affectionately refer to henceforth as “Old Blue,” had become increasingly holy. And by holy, I don’t mean religious…not like those super sexy undergarments the Mormons sport. No. I mean that Old Blue was getting tattered and worn beyond the point of functional usefulness.

And so, when Old Blue’s turn in the rotation came up again this morning, he and I had to have a serious conversation. The following talk did not actually take place…verbally anyways. In my heart though, the words were spoken loud and clear.

Me: Hey old friend. Got another day left in you?

Old Blue: I don’t know Seth. The spirit is willing…but the cotton is weary. I think it’s time I hang it up. Undergarmenting is a young fabric’s game and I’m feeling too old to carry on any further.

Me: Blue…say it’s not so.

Old Blue: I’m done. It’s time for me to shuffle off this mortal coil and head off to the great underwear drawer in the sky.

Me: I’m sorry buddy. I’m so sorry it’s come to this.

Old Blue: We had some good times. Remember those when you think of me!

Me: You know I will! Good bye old friend!

Old Blue: Farewell!

And with that imaginary conversation brought to a close, I tossed Old Blue into the trash. As I walked away, I could feel the tug on my heart strings. I could have been mistaken, but I could have sworn that I heard “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas was being played somewhere off in the distance.

Old Blue was gone…never to be worn again.

That’s when the guilt kicked in.

I was okay with putting him down, as his time had come. I just felt bad about how it was done. Tossing him in the trash seemed so anti-climactic. His disposal was incredibly disproportionate to his years of faithful service. But what more could have been done?

squirrel_underpantsI know…I sound like a crazy person. Bemoaning having to throw out my undies. What a nut-job!

You may be right. I may be crazyBut it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.

They might not be the most vogue of topics, but underwear serve an incredible function within our lives. Sure, you can make do without them…but why would you?

I’ve tried the commando thing once or twice…and for the life of me I have no idea why anyone would want to make that part of their lifestyle. Why forego the comfort and support? Why wouldn’t you want that?

I often ask myself the same questions about beer.

Beer is an amazing substance. It has an incredible ability to enhance the life of its drinker in a way that few other things truly can.

It’s an art. Make no doubt about it…good beer is an art. The brewer of that beer has carefully and painstakingly made every effort to bring his or her vision to life in that glass. They had an idea, and they used their version of brushes, paints and canvas to create the masterpiece that sits before you. Appreciating that art, and learning to comprehend the nuances that make each beer its own unique piece of art, makes you a more interesting and knowledgeable person. Why wouldn’t you want that?

It makes you feel good. Obviously, the inclusion of alcohol helps, but beer transcends this and takes it to another level. The combination of sweetness from the malt and bitterness from the hops is like nothing else. Throw in a few other ingredients and add some bubbliness…and beer becomes a playground for your taste buds. Good beer makes you happy to be drinking it long before the alcohol kicks in. I find that just looking at my beer makes me happy. The delicate head of foam. The slow rise of bubbles. The lace left on the side of the glass as you progress through a pint. It’s a fun experience! Why wouldn’t you want that?

It shows that you care. Brewers of craft beer are modern artisans. They have devoted their lives to bringing their hopes and dreams into fruition. They have dared to be legendary, and have take those epic steps that far too few people do today. They have thrown risk to the wind, and are doing all they can to create the best darn beverage that they can. Regardless of how many breweries are in operation, or how many beers are on the shelves, the brewer of that respective beer is a vanguard. By drinking that beer, you are supporting them and their vision. That’s something to be proud of. It’s human nature to cheer for the underdog, and want the upstart to succeed. Supporting that craft brewer, shows that you too care about the little guy. Just like Old Blue, you are providing needed support…which in turn makes that brewer feel good and proud of what they do. Why wouldn’t you want that?

We should want things in our lives that make us feel good. Craft beer is one of those things. Life is too short to settle for less.

So tonight, when I raise my glass to Old Blue, you better believe that glass will be filled with deliciously smooth craft beer. Old Blue would want nothing less.