After wrestling my way out of the traffic on 94E, I got myself to the suburb of White Bear Lake where I could enjoy a cold beer at Big Wood Brewery. The taproom is located off the charming main street, past a small garden, and through an enormous–you guessed it–wood door.
Warmed by the soft golden light of hardwood tables, and cozied by the low ceilings, Big Wood is a place I could easily hunker down and ride out a winter storm. I tested this theory out with a Fine IPA (ABV 6.5%, IBU 75), which the brewers notes describe as “a hop lover’s dream IPA”.
I solicited my advice from Carson, a beertender who also happens to be the assistant brewer. He conferred with the head brewer, who was sitting at the bar, to eventually offer me this: “The best way to end a day at work is with a beer in your hand.”
While it’s easy for a brewer to say we should all cap off the work day with a beer, I can still follow his logic. Drinking a beer requires pause; one must sit on a barstool–and perhaps have a conversation– in order to enjoy a beer. You cannot rush from the work of your career to the work of your domestic life; first, you must enjoy a pint or two. This forced presence is oftentimes required of us if we ever wish to slow down and live out the work-hard, play-hard philosophy.
While my job might not be to drink beer, I can always raise a glass to a pint after a hard day’s work.