Monday, September 18, 2006

A Potable Potlatch...

Whether you're a local brewer who is into biking or a local biker who enjoys brewing, it's time to blow the dust off the saddle and get a batch on the burner in preparation for the first annual Bootlegger's Bliss, or Bee Bee, as it's affectionately (and alliteratively) called by the two of us who came up with the idea one night at a favorite watering hole.

So, what is the idea?

Distilled to its essence, it's "wort meets dirt," a natural convergence of two passions whose union is long overdue: mountain biking and homebrewing. The basic idea is similar to the classic punk bike enduro, but with a twist or two: participants will submit a sampling of their very best homebrew to be shared by all other participants at some time or times during the course of a planned offroad ride. The Bee Bee is NOT a competition in the usual sense, though there will be a competitive element in the mix; rather, it's a social phenomenon, an indulgent appeal to all the senses designed to bring together fans of two diverse (though arguably complementary) activities in a way that may not have been done before. The goal, if one can be said to exist outside of the titular bliss, is to broaden the appeal of both mountain biking and homebrewing.

That's all for now, just a heads-up to get busy with the brew kettle. More details will be announced soon on this blog and on Fatboy Deluxe, but the event will take place in November. So stayed tuned...

POSTCRIPT: Okay, a little more for those who care to peek beneath the surface. The Bee Bee is loosely based on the North American Indian concept of the 'potlatch,' a festival or otherwise socially-significant system of non-monetary exchange in which gifts are given that create an obligation on the recipient's part to "one-up" the gift received with a counter gift of greater "value" (in French, the terms are préstation and contre-préstation). It is a system that harkens back to pre-market times when the value of goods was not measured in dollars and cents, but in the care and craftsmanship embodied in them and in the goods for which they could be exchanged. The Bee Bee encourages participants to show up with their best work, with the idea that they will be tasting the best work of others.

More on the underlying philosophy later. In the meantime, for those interested in the potlatch concept, I direct you to Marcel Mauss' seminal work The Gift.

7 comments:

Hjalti said...

What a cool idea. Pity for those of us who don't brew though.

DT said...

It's never to late to learn and you may still be able to get in...I'll have more details soon.

iconoclasst said...

Hjalti, you have no excuse, my friend. You can brew-on-premises here; it's in your neck o' the woods.

Da' Square Wheelman, said...

And the potlatch is a great legacy, by way of France, of the Situationists. They were a big inspiration for the Critical Massers (http://bicycle-diaries.blogspot.com/2006/09/to-point-from-which-one-started.html)

I've enjoyed you blog. Will be putting in my blog's blog list (http://bicycle-diaries.blogspot.com)
Would be honored if you do the same.
gk

iconoclasst said...

No problem, your blog looks interesting.

Bicyle diaries, eh? Lemme guess...you call your bike La Poderosa III, right?

The Instigator said...

Cool idea. If I send you a bomber of my latest homebrew, will you send me one of yours in return? Mine is a highly hopped American Pale Ale using Simcoe and Cascade hops, then dry hopped with Cascade....6.5% by volume.

iconoclasst said...

Sounds like a good mix of hops. Simcoe is the shit, to be sure.

A swap would be nice; gotta get together my Chocolate Cherry Stout first, though.

Guess CO is a bit far to come for a little one-day gathering, even if it is a first, eh?