This has been a pretty big year for me both professionally and personally. As 2011 winds down I would like to touch on some of the highlights.
Isaac Andrew is highlight number one. This is the first baby that I have been able to spend a lot of time with. As a teacher I always had summers off. Our first three kids were born in either January or February, making them four to five months old by the time the summer came around. We never did the daycare thing, but being able to be home with Isaac right from the start has been a special experience. Babies are amazing. They develop the same way, from the squirming to the squawking. It is fun to see our children's personalities form even as little ones. With Isaac, I feel that he was the first baby that I was really prepared to be a father to. With our other three children, I did a lot of grasping at straws. I don't know. Maybe I am still doing that, it just feels like parental acumen now due to repetition.
2011 was also the year that I began my sabbatical from teaching. Over the past several months I have immersed myself in helping to launch Cranker's Brewery. As part of that, I spent two days a week for three months at Arbor Brewing Company. I learned so much and made great friends. Bill, Mike, Dave, and Brian were all very good to me and made working there not just a great professional experience, but a tremendous personal one as well. Special thanks goes out to Bill, as he is the person that I will always think of as my guide into professional brewing.
The end of 2011 also brought about some great plans for 2012. Bill and I will be brewing our collaboration beer: End of the World IPA, hopefully in December of that year. We are gunning for a big, dry, red IPA that explodes with hoppy goodness. Kevin, Lou, and I will be knocking out #TGBBR in January. We are really excited about it and there will be lots of blogging that comes forth from it. It remains a secret for now, but I will not be lacking in content later. Of course there is Cranker's Brewery to look forward to in 2012. We are shooting for a March opening and things are really coming together. The second half of the brewhouse will be delivered in mid January and Jim and Co. just picked up the bottling line.
In closing, I would like to thank all of those who have supported us over the past year, and those that have been following my blog and twitter feed (@adammmills). In the coming year, if you get a chance to stop in to the brewery or get my beer in bottles, please contact me and let me know what you think! Until then...
Drink good beer with good people!