A few years ago (probably at the zenith of my BA activity), I got involved in a growler exchange BIF (Beer It Forward) called "Growlin' at the Moon." The premise of this particular BIF was to gather a geographically diverse group of fellow BAs and have each participant send a growler of fresh beer to another participant from a different state. The ultimate goal is to share fresh beer with someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to acquire said beer unless he or she drove to the state (or in many cases, the actual brewery!) in which the beer was brewed. Pretty cool idea, eh?
The other cool thing about this growler exchange is that each cycle follows the phases of the moon. The cycle begins at the start of the moon cycle, and each participant has until the end of that cycle (or the beginning of the next moon cycle) to purchase, package and ship the growler to his or her "target". It really is a lot of fun, and you never know when your growler will land on your doorstep, or where from where it will be traveling.
So I recently decided to re-enlist in Growlin' at the Moon after a short hiatus in "beer trading," and I was pleased to find a box from Illinois sitting on my doorstep last Thursday afternoon! I shared the growler (Bear Claw Wheat Wine from Flossmoor Station, brewed with maple syrup and Weihenstephan yeast) with Brewslut, Dan and Kristen on Super Bowl Sunday, and it was quite delicious. I won't bore you with the details of the beer, but if you are interested, you can check out my BA review by clicking here.
In addition to sending a growler, it is also customary to include a few "extras," such as bottles, glassware or other brewery swag. I was delighted to find two 22oz. bombers from Half Acre Brewing - Big Hug Imperial Stout and Double Dare IPA, both of which I've never had before. Additionally, there was a 12oz. bottle of Three Floyd's Zombie Dust (an amazing Pale Ale that Brewslut brought back after her last trek to Great Taste of the Midwest), a tiny bottle of a homebrewed Barrel-aged Stout (hysterically named "Cupping the Bals") and a Flossmoor Station pint glass. Wow! A very nice haul, indeed!
As for my target, I sent a growler of Selin's Grove's Stealth Tripel as well as a bottle of Troegenator and Philadelphia Brewing Co. Joe Coffee Porter. I'm looking forward to the next cycle, and will report on what I send as well as what I receive. Cheers!