Get your brew on. The Third Annual Bootlegger's Bliss will be launched upon an unsuspecting and largely uncaring world on SATYRDAY, NOVEMBER 1st. Information on registration and other event details will be posted soon.
In the meantime, and for the benefit of those unfamiliar with this mid-Atlantic rolla-puh-brewza, I've resurrected below the official Maniblissto from a past post. For a broader understanding of the Bliss, go here.
The history of all hitherto existing cycling events is the history of competitive struggles. Not so with the Bliss.
The Bootlegger's Bliss is a social event, designed to bring together people who share (or are simply curious about) two seemingly disparate passions: homebrewing and mountain biking.
The Bliss is not a race. It does not suffer elitist competition. There are no medals, no podiums, no bragging rights, no prizes. No one's "in it to win it," as the dreadful cliché goes. No one trains for the Bliss. There are no "winners." Or—more precisely—everyone is a winner.
The Bliss is not a drinking contest. It does not suffer wanton drunkenness. It is a tasting, and if you don't know the difference between a tasting and a drinking contest, the Bliss is not for you.
The Bliss is about fun for fun's sake. It is the arrowhead forged in the smithy of the soul, honed in secret, dipped in curare, then trained on the heart of the ogre Boordumb. The lifeblood of the Bliss is participation. There are no spectators; everyone is equally a "criminal" and delights in it. Everyone rides, everyone tastes. Participants are encouraged to front their very best brew, in keeping with the concept of the potlatch, whereby prestige is gained not by amassing coveted property like some plutocratic piggy, but by giving it away.
Leave your money at home. The Bliss is not about commerce—quite the opposite, actually. Aside from the homebrew and homecooking you're asked to bring and share, the Bliss is a free event, generously and officially sponsored by Absolutely No One®. That's the point. From a philosophical perspective, the Bliss was conceived as a small step outside of commerce—a tick in the matted hide of mass-production—and as an appreciation of highly personal craftwork against the backdrop of some sweet singletrack. It's a celebration of use value, that immeasurable quality that fills the soul with a sort of natural, ineffable satisfaction too seldom felt in the cold void, the funereal absence, the blanched banality that clings to exchange value like stench to carrion.
As Raoul Vaneigem put it, "We have a world of pleasures to win, and nothing to lose but boredom."
On a marginally related noted, who the hell knew? Sweet home, my ass.
Oh, and from the makers of Hedonism comes Hoptimus Prime. This double IPA from PA's Legacy Brewing Company is strong, sturdy, and deeply satisfying. A heavy lupulin payload (as the name suggests) produces a strong, grapefruit-rind bitterness through which the malt sweetness barely musters a trickle. If my buds don't decieve me, there's more than a smattering of Simcoe in the mix. Try you some.