So, here is a little story that I would like to share from my weekend.
Saturday, I went to a tag sale unexpectedly. (For those who are unaware, this is basically an estate garage sale, where either a professional or a family member come in, take what they want, and put a price tag on everything else in the house.) You were apparently a doctor, according to whoever was the person taking my money. Someone had already taken your equipment, but I saw the bottles. Much to my surprise, there were about 30 22oz bottles, with a price of $4 for all them. Sure, they were a little dusty, but only had the simple Avery large mailing labels you print out yourself and super simple to remove, I decided I could use them.
I brought the boxes to the man in charge. He said, "You know, he made his own stuff, we tried to open it, but it just ended up spewing everywhere on us, you can have the 10 full bottles for another dollar if you'd like, you know, just to dump it and do with the bottles as you wish. Besides, when we tasted it, it was very disgusting, I think he used too much yeast or something."
I realized that this guy did not know that you need to refrigerate home brew that is bottle conditioned to allow the carbonation to diffuse without jumping out at you. But, I'm not going to correct someone who was convinced that too much yeast had been added as well as already concluding it was undrinkable. I accepted his offer. I wasn't going to pour out this man's brew. No brew deserves that unless there is a real problem with it.
However, a problem, since I had to be out all day, I had no cooler, and I was far from home. I could not keep these brews cool. It was 95 out, and between my intermittent stops, I knew the temperature would rise above 120 degrees in the car. I realized the risk of my car being covered in beer, but I figured it was worth it to drink your last brew.
I finally got home after my long day out, no explosions, whew. I placed the still full beers in an empty room temp cooler, just to keep them contained, just in case. Of course, not 2 minutes after I get home, I hear an explosion. Only the one bottle was harmed. I waited the rest of the night for things to cool off.
Later that night, I placed one in the fridge. The majority of them just labeled "Beer", no idea, no direction of what to expect. Tonight, after approximately 2 days in the fridge, I cracked it open. It poured a crystal clear amber, slight hop aroma. It was phenomenal. Perfectly carbonated, hops there but not biting, a gentle sweetness with a clean yeast profile. Solid Amber Ale (I assume).
I wish I knew anything about this besides what I can glean from my own tastes. I also wish that you could have enjoyed this with more people. I know nothing about you, but you made good beer. This one is for you, wherever you may be.
I guess the moral of the story is that we never know when our time will come, enjoy your brews, and enjoy them with friends and family. Your beer can and will outlive you. Not to mention, educate someone in case of your untimely demise how to drink your brew, in your memory, in your honor.
I feel slightly guilty, but at least he has one more person in this world who is not mourning him in death, but appreciating his life.