Podman has swung into retirement mode quite nicely. One of his new hobbies is homebrewing. I had some old equipment that I passed on and actually use to teach community ed classes in this rewarding art. Because we are a green deer camp, it was decided to keg some homebrew, both for the excellent taste and the fact that we wouldn't have to haul empty bottles, lots of empty bottles, out when we broke camp on Sunday. During a trip to the big city for a wedding, Pod had purchased what he thought were the proper connectors to tap a Cornelius keg and I brought up a dual stage regulator and a big CO2 cylinder. The ceremonial tapping of the keg was Friday night before the season opened, just as the traditional burrito supper was being prepared, and we discovered that he had been sold the wrong fittings.
Panic might be a strong word but there was certainly angst and some fairly radical and invasive methods being proposed to get the 5 gallons of beer out of the keg. Tension was reduced with a judicious mixture of Early Times bourbon, Bushmills Irish whisky, a fine Malbec, and various assorted bottled beers. The problem remained however, so a plan of action was formulated. No one was leaving camp for anything on opening weekend but on Monday I sucked it up, got in the car, and drove to a hill about 5 miles away and fired up the cellphone. Cars and phones are usually avoided religiously during this week but drastic action was called for in a crisis such as this. I called Midwest Supplies and explained our plight.
The guy from Midwest was extremely helpful. When he asked about internet ordering I explained my situation. I'm sitting on a hill with one bar cell phone coverage in the northern Wisconsin wilds with a credit card and the pressure of thirsty deer hunters on my back. As you can see from the image, it was a very scenic spot and I could gaze across the lake at the north shore, but I was on a mission. He said he got it and explained that we had been sold the ball connector when we needed the pin connectory, which I had realized immediately, to my horror, on Friday. The pin connectors were in stock and he was pretty sure they could ship that day. We arranged to FedX overnite to the home of the BearWhisperer, who had to head back to town to work and coach basketball, but would return to camp Wednesday evening. I gave the fellow at Midwest my card number, shut down the phone, and headed back to camp with fingers crossed.
The BearWhisperer showed up Wednesday evening. No one gave him a second glance but eyes were instantly drawn to the box in his hand. We (actually it was me, I guess) tore it open, checked out the contents, and immediately hooked things up and tapped the keg. It was sublime. I'd like to report that we all had a tap beer or two and then saved the rest for the folks that were coming back on Friday morning but the excitement of tap beer at camp and overcoming adversity was just too great. We actually did save some but it was a one finger keg lift by the time the rest of the crew reported.
Not only did Midwest send us the right stuff when they said they were going to, they also threw in a couple extra parts they thought we might need. The note, reproduced above, said,"....you can pay us next time you are in the store or just bring them back". We did need one of the parts so it was excellent analysis, critical thinking, and superb customer service on the part of Midwest Supplies. We doff our blaze orange caps to the crew at Midwest Supplies and thank them for their excellent work in providing the key that unlocked five gallons of excellent homebrewed IPA for the Reefer Creek Hunt Club. Your strong work is appreciated.