OK, in and of itself, drinking a beer isn't a big thing. I mean, I drink beer; not exceptionally frequently these days, but often enough that it isn't a big thing. Just to be drinking a beer, that is.
This particular beer, though, is the last of four I brought home with me from Dunedin, New Zealand. Emerson's Old 95, an old English ale brew. Seven percent alcohol by volume, and any of the American's who may read this will recognize that makes it Beer, rather than beer. It proved one of the oddest things to me, traveling to New Zealand (I'd already learned from Good Authority that the Kiwi's took their Beer seriously) to see various well-known American brands of beer imported. It seemed... odd. Why import something that frankly, I consider to be useful as cooking beer, at best?
Right, maybe to cook with. And maybe I'm too much of a beer snob.
But I did see people drinking it.
Anyway, back to this particular beer. I bought four half-liter bottles when we were in Dunedin. Emerson's isn't the big Name brewery; I simply like their better than the big Name. Bought these on September 12. (If you're interested, see my entry here for why that's pertinent). Split two of them with a friend who fixed up my Ford 8N tractor while we were away on holiday. Easy to do with a half-liter bottle. Split the other one with another friend.
This one I set aside, telling myself it was for a special occasion. After all, I'd traveled half-way around the world to buy it. So it sat on the shelf in the kitchen for three years and three months. Bottle got a bit dusty, just like bottles in the wine cellar, eh? In fact, I'd probably forgotten for a while that I hadn't opened it yet; noticed the cap on it right after Thanksgiving this year.
Drank it tonight. Not on New Year's Day, nor on New Year's Eve. Not special enough. On the day after.
Raised it in toast to my sister, Cathy. Happy Birthday, Cathy. Raised it in toast to the memory of my Father and Father-in-Law, for today would be their birthday's as well. Now, that's special.