Today’s song is a song that reminds you of last summer.
“Going Out In Style” – Dropkick Murphy’s
Early in June last year we lost a good friend unexpectedly. He was 33. Massive heart attack. He was found by his cleaning lady 24-48 hours after his death. Calls and text messages went out like lightening and we all converged on Homefield Grill (the beginning of all of our friendships) to drink all the Orval and float a keg of Dogfish Head 120 in his honor. From there we adjoined to The Brass Tap where more friends and family were met.
He was the GM of one of our favorite restaurants. He started the Brewery / Theater we frequent almost weekly (at least for a beer). He held Beer 101 classes and hosted a monthly beer dinner. We’d bring him beer from all over during our travels. He was a treasure individual. We were all rocked. Driving out to his funeral Scott played this song repeatedly as we thought it was more than fitting for Walt. Many tears were shed for many months. I will never forget the sound of his father sobbing in the church. His infamous beer hoard was divvied out amongst friends and family, some of it going up for a charity auction to benefit local animal shelters and pints for prostates. Some of it to our beer fridges.
A large memorial was held at Flix Brewhouse for Walt with friends speaking and family speaking and a montage of music and beer. More tears were shed. A large beer dinner was held at Flix a month later with each course a tribute to food and beer that Walt loved. We all cried through our meals as we laughed at stories and pictures of Walt as a kid dressed up in all his short ass glory – 80s style.
The final beer dinner was held for Walt in August 2013. It was solemn affair with a new chef and a new beer master. The old chef had left. The pain was too palpable. Things settled down until December when we approached the 6 month mark. “Walt Beers” in storage were brought out and more tears were shed at a small gathering.
To this day his pictures remain up at Flix Brewhouse. As Flix Brewhouses go up across the country they will feature many Flix signature beers. One of which is the Saison de Walt. A beer brewed in honor of the man who started it all. As the anniversary of his death approaches Flix is featuring special Saisons in tribute. I am sure more tears will be shed on June 4th.
Thanks to Walt I learned about beer and Texas Bourbon and expanded my palate. Thanks to Walt I now have an extended family of beer lovers that get together periodically to sample beers and small plates. Wherever he is now, I’m sure he’s hanging with some amazing folks and drinking some amazing beers. Until we meet again, Shortie. I raise a toast (or many to you). We love and miss you everyday.