Day 18: Outer Spaced

Day 18: Karben4 Brewing Outer Spaced – New England Style Imperial IPA 9.2% ABV

Karben4 Brewing Outer Spaced – New England Style Imperial IPA 9.2% ABV

One of the things I greatly enjoy about Karben4 is their obvious effort to not take themselves too seriously. Don’t get me wrong, it is clear that they care deeply about making great beer, it is also clear that they want to have fun and crack jokes while doing it. Their fanciful bottle art and ridiculous beer names, like Rainbow Unicorn or Dragon Flute, are evidence of this fact. I’m sure that I would get along fine with the staff at most breweries , but the people that make up Karben4 just seem like they would be a really good time. 

We kick off our ultimate week of Beer Advent with Outer Spaced, a New England Style Imperial IPA. Now, you might be wondering, what differentiates a New England Style IPA(NEIPA) from the litany of IPA variations brewed these days? NEIPAs are characterized by fruit being introduced during the brewing process and large dry hop additions that add to a hazy body. This particular varietal is flavored with passion fruit and peach, both of which are present in the aroma along with other tropical fruits, like guava, and floral notes from the hops. The pour is a hazy, straw colored yellow with a good amount of foam. Since this is an imperial, you will definitely taste the malt, followed by a slight bitter citrus flavor that is balanced out by the floral hop flavors. The medium body mouthfeel adds to the flavor and makes this an incredibly drinkable beer, especially one this high in ABV. 



Advent Reflection

Scripture: Micah 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

I’m sharing this reflection tonight from ‘The Advent Project‘, because I greatly resonate with the sentiment of ‘small towns’! I spent my high school years in a small town (shout out to the Davis area participants), and they were some amazing years with amazing experiences. My parents still live in that pocket of NW Illinois and my family loves to visit in order to ‘escape’ the city. I loved the way that the writer of tonight’s reflection focused on the importance of Bethlehem, yet the reality of it being such a small, insignificant town. Milwaukee feels that way sometimes too. It’s the smaller, industrial city 75+ miles north of the great and wonderful city of Chicago where everything just seems better (except their sports teams!…Zing!).

Wherever you are, or whatever town/city/suburb you live in…know that ‘God is with us – Immanuel’ and He often uses the things of this world that we see as insignificant to make a powerful impact. Tonight’s reading reminds us of that!

Grace and Peace, robert

“Big things happen in small towns. We forget that. Entertainment and news media can give the impression that excitement, glamor, and wealth only come amid towering concrete-and-steel buildings laced with glutted, blaring traffic and elbow-to-elbow crowds. There are songs about all that — suggesting an enduring magic downtown; but it’s mostly fiction. The truth is that most of the real action in cities happens when outsiders crowd in for big events — stadium sports, concerts, parades, protests. People come, then they go.

A 2018 Pew Center study shows the vast majority of people in the U.S. live in small towns and suburban areas (places with about 100,000 residents). In years past, before the notion of suburbs grew in the mid-1800s, most in the U.S. lived in tiny towns connected by narrow roads.

Bethlehem was a town like that. Ancient census records suggest that at the time Jesus was born, there might have been between 300 and 1,400 people living there, depending on events.

Bethlehem was a six mile walk from Jerusalem — roughly a two-hour trip. And like many small towns, it had a momentous history. It was the city where David, King of Israel, was born and where the prophet Samuel anointed him as God’s chosen leader. Boaz and Ruth had lived there, and trudging the rocky soil around it, the boy David had tended sheep. Its name can be translated “house of bread,” and Bethlehem was known for some of the purest water in the region.

Our Scripture passage is like a tender word to a neglected child. “And you Bethlehem” it begins, then mentions size and comparisons. There were bigger towns and cities from which God could have brought us a Savior. But God loves confounding common sense and expectation — our “we’ve always done it that way” mindset.

The Apostle Paul had to remind the church at Corinth about this. When they first believed in Jesus, not many of them were wise, not many were influential, not many of noble birth. God’s approach, he said, was to choose “the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised — the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him” (1 Cor. 1:27-29).

There is a certain power in the remoteness and solitude of small, far-flung cities and towns; introspection and soul-searching are somehow easier there, particularly if one has just escaped the noise and sidewalk fictions of a metropolis.

The eyes of the Christ from Bethlehem, grip ours with a look that is both somber and expectant, beckoning us to come near, to come away to the stillness where He can speak and where we can hear all He has to say.

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