Sunday, January 3, 2016

I seem to have changed islands

When a year goes by with nary an update, where does one begin?

In the middle, I suppose. 

So, hello from the middle of Japan. I report tonight from Not-Quite-Nagoya, where me and the wife and the baby toddler have taken up residence at a spacious house that was once home to the wife's grandfather.

To get here, a decision had to be made to leave Hokkaido and for me to leave my job with North Island Beer. We moved to Hokkaido with no long-term plan, but definitely no immediate plans to return to the main island. I was enjoying my gig working for a brewery, with a clear path toward brewing myself eventually if I wanted to go down it.

But of course all manner of factors appear. And decisions must be made. We had a baby, and the idea of living closer to family was appealing. And the house. Her grandfather, no longer residing here, gave us the OK to move in. We thought it over and made the call. Be close to family. Live in a house with a garden and a yard and an small army of resident spiders. Let the baby run and shout and hide packets of soup curry seasoning (looking forward to finding this one some years down the road ...).

Grandfather has since passed away. His house lives on, and now we're here, guests, pretty much, but at least invited ones. Our part of the bargain is we'll clean up, and I'm sorry I haven't been as productive as the wife on this front. The house has made a huge turnaround, thanks to the work of my wife and her parents and other friends who chipped in. When the weather turns we'll get some kegs and fire up the grill and we'll remember to be thankful. And to use bug spray.

Every day I see the photos from Hokkaido. The full-on winter, the tightly-knit group of hardcore craft beer fans. That little brewery in Ebetsu, that little bar near the fish market. Of course I miss it all.

But here we are, in a house, near family, with a beer and a job and this blog, which I promise to update at least once per year. 


New job! You can find me most nights near Otagawa station on the Meitestsu line, working at the Oregon Beer Geeks bar and bottle shop. Come by, drop me a line, grab a pint or a beer to go. As I get to know my surroundings, be they beer related or otherwise, I'll try to actually keep this blog alive notes from the road. See the About page for links to the bar's official web offerings.

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