Confirmation – Bees and Beer are Linked

So, how did I arrive at this epiphany? I am certainly one data point. I started brewing beer around 1991 and became a beekeeper 6 years ago. Ok, not a strong link, but I have more that I would like to offer up.

I have a prolific 8 frame hive, already has 3 supers, in the backyard of some friends, Mike an awesome beer brewer and his wife Annette loves his Chocolate Porter. Synergistic relationship I am certain. The beer fridge, with two beers always on tap, is less than 25 feet away from the hive. There has to to bee and beer intersection in the respective auras influencing honey production and quality beers brewed here! A stronger link don’t you agree?

Well, here is the confirmation! A few weeks ago I put out feelers for an apiary location closer to the house to host a few of my hives. Out of the blue came an offer…..just 2 miles outside my parameters but close enough. Several acres, with a nice tall berm that is above the flooding that plagues our area, a pond and…….next to 100 acres of Tallow Tree – the biggest nectar source for SE Texas beekeepers. First move was a swarm that had moved into a newly built top bar hive in my backyard.

The small top bar in place. Room left for two more hives. I have two Langstroth hives that we’re not doing as well as I wanted out at Berry farm just begging to be moved closer. Today I gathered them up and hauled them over to the new and closer location.

I  have a 10 frame and an 8 frames Lang that were picked up Ready to go. They are loaded on the rack and they were set, opened and bees flying by 8:30 AM. Confirmation of the indisputable link between bees and beer happened at approximately 8:45 AM CST. My Goo friend John and I were packing the truck up when Terry, the property owner, asked if we wanted some homemade wine. It was red and sweet so we declined but mentioned beer is preferable. Terry turned and indicated that we should follow him.

There was a nice “Speak Easy” style door off the garage leading the BREWERY. – Yes a brewery…. 5 gallon style brewery, all electric, set up for all grain brewing. Sweet set up…..over to the right was the bar and a double tap. A lager on one, yes he truly brews and lagers his beer, and a nice Bock. John and I behaved ourselves as we had duties but we did sample and agree the Bees and Beer are joined at the hip.

Do you need anymore proof?

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Strange Noises at 3:30 In the Morning

Friday night in the Decker house was very pleasant. Our youngest son, Joe had just graduated High School and was on a six day trip to Mexico with family friends. Joe is off to Texas A&M in the fall so we are having a peak at the “empty nest” that many of our acquaintances have told us about. I won’t go into any details but I think it will be very, very enjoyable. You can’t wipe the smile off of my face…”nuff said”.

Back to the strange noises! My son is allowing us to bond and baby sit his dog…..hmmmm. She really is a sweet dog! At 3:30 this morning, this normally very quiet dog starts barking loud and with purpose. So, out of bed I stumble and look out the window where she is focusing her barking efforts. I flip on the backyard light and nothing. I thought initially that it may have been a raccoon or some other critter. I didn’t see anything but she was glancing out the window and toward the garage. Seemed a little odd but dogs will be dogs and their hearing is so acute….who know what was stirring her up.

Kathy quizzed me about what was stirring Sierra up and I told her that I was clueless. She said. “I know that, but what was she barking at?” The comment almost went over my head but standing nearly 6’3″ it bounced off of my forehead and registered as a little slam! Being the forgiving type I let it go.

I attempted to fall asleep but my mind was racing now. I thought I heard some voices, quiet but insistent, coming from the backyard. I tried to focus a little harder and the words began to take shape. The words I heard were like, “Oh, it so cold in here. Please takes us out of this cold place!”

That didn’t make a lot of sense, maybe I was dreaming! Then it as like I was hearing, “take me in your hand and enjoy me!” I perked up a little at that point! Then I figured it out when I heard, “We are waiting for you. We are cold and ready to be sampled!”

I grinned, I knew that the fridge, not really the fridge but those cold beers so lovingly placed in there this past week were calling to me. Much like the Sirens luring the sailors in Greek mythology! I put some wax in my ears and vowed to wait!

My friend John came by about an hour ago and I told him the story about the sounds emanating from my fridge. What a great friend! I had promised to leave the fridge alone at my daughter’s request but he stepped up to intervene and investigate for me. Thanks John.

The voices were real and while he was here we liberated a few of those crying out for our attention.

A suite of the liberated posing before some of Elephant Garlic I picked today.

A suite of the liberated posing before some of Elephant Garlic I picked today.

A Greek Tragedy....the beers were packed tightly into the fridge. As I tried to liberate one next to this bolted, landed on its head and leaked profusely. I was able to save a good portion of the contents! Insert smiley face here!

A Greek Tragedy….the beers were packed tightly into the fridge. As I tried to liberate one next to this one….it bolted, landed on its head and leaked profusely. I was able to save a good portion of the contents! Insert smiley face here!

Those of you that drink good beers, don’t bash me too harshly. In my younger days I drank a lot of Coors before I knew better. It was cheap and easy to get! I remember a trip where Mike Rossi and I loaded up a couple of cases of Coors, $ 5.25 per case and drove south to pick-up Steve Murphy, one of our good buds that had moved to Palos Verdes Peninsula near Torrance Beach. I wonder if they both still remember the panic when that guy in the Gorilla costume tried to get into the car with us….or at least that’s how I remember the incident.

Last but not least…..Ashleigh and Ben, please forgive us for we have sinned and opened the fridge before the appointed time. (John did it!) Give me my penance! They really needed our intercession!

Heading towards a great Father’s Day!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly,


Proofreading and Editing provided by Lisa Decker




Father’s Day Friend – This Why we Have True Friends

If you have been following my last two beer blog posts you know that I am facing a dilemma concerning my restricted bounty, likely some good IPA’s, hidden in my fridge out in the garage. As my friend John, also a hop-head, says….I am conflicted! In fact, as good friends always do for their “Buds”( commonly translated as “Mates” in other English speaking countries) who are in trouble, he has offered up what I think is a reasonable solution….Here is what John thinks, amazing words of wisdom!;

Dear Bishop,

I sense you are conflicted about this scheduling issue/restriction and as a loyal friend want to offer a proposal, just to help out my bud.  We all have different perspectives and perceive our challenges in different ways.  In this case I see the note on the paper plate and question how it should really be interpreted…..I question if the note truly applies to everyone or just you?  Consider this….what if you “sensed”  there were a technical problem with the compressor or the condenser coil and you expressed concern about the internal temperature… If you had any such concern, certainly if Ashleigh were available she would ignore the “do not open” sign if she needed to check the inside, or Kathy would have permission to take a look. 

Perhaps for a small sampling of the loot I could help out and open the mini fridge “for you” to check and make sure that everything is OK….. Or perhaps, as the prior owner, I could be missing a special brew that perhaps had been left in said mini fridge before you acquired it !!! ( which by the way I thought was for Joe ???)  

Just a thought….. Oh and I can offer said services and would be available this afternoon or tomorrow during the day if you are really worried about that thermostat.

Just being a concerned friend,

John “

You know, many times gut feelings are amazingly accurate! I “sense” that the integrity of the gift in my little fridge are at risk of succumbing to this brutal heat wave engulfing my external fridge tucked away in a non-air conditioned garage. I have John’s number and I will not spare any expense to ensure the safety of the cargo my daughter Ashleigh and her co-conspirator, eldest son Ben, have placed in what they felt was a safe environment. I will place a service call with John and post our findings later…. Yes I am willing to offer remuneration ( I learn something every day, this word, remuneration has always been used by me in speech as renumeration!, an indication of why I took bone-head English my first quarter at UCLA) – sorry Ash, had to err on the safe side of the issue.

My friend John, a true hop-head and an even truer friend! He isn't the hop-head with the hop-head hat. John is the hop-head without the hop-head hat!

My friend John, a true hop-head and an even truer friend! He isn’t the hop-head with the hop-head hat. John is the hop-head without the hop-head hat!

PS – John truly is the prior owner of the mini-fridge in question, es la verdad! Joe will probably use it in his dorm in the fall. Which means that I may need to “upsize” hmmmmmm! Sounds good to me.


Drink Local and Drink Responsibly