Sunday, March 25, 2007

Gravity Head likely to begin two weeks earlier in 2008.

At the conclusion of Gravity Head 2007's third weekend, only one full "wave" of kegs remain on site to be tapped, with another three in transit.

That’s unusually fast by past standards, especially when one considers that these days we receive more multiple kegs of small capacity sizes, and more standard-sized half-barrels and 50-liter kegs overall.

It all adds up to more gravity beers being consumed more quickly by greater numbers of enthusiasts, but now that the weather is warming, consumption of these big beers will begin to slow. Perhaps it’s time for a reconsideration of the annual calendar.

Gravity Head originated on a lark in 1999, intended as an impromptu celebration of the completion of our project to install a walk-in cooler and 12 new draft lines. The first Gravity Head kicked off on April 29, but since few of beers poured in 1999 would pass muster as "gravity" beers today, warmer temperatures didn't seem to matter.

It was only later that Gravity Head became the law onto itself that so dominates the first quarter of each year, and although there have been exceptions borne of necessity, we’ve generally looked to early March as the best time to stage Gravity Head. It’s a crazy month by any consideration, with St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA basketball tournament also drawing crowds, and the festive atmosphere generated by these events in concert with Gravity Head is much fun, and obviously good for business.

At some point, and joyfully, gravity began to spiral. It used to be that we’d have perhaps 20 to 30 kegs of listed Gravity Head beers, but now upwards of 60 are ordered, and more if multiples are counted. This had had the effect of extending Gravity Head’s springtime shelf life, to an extent that in 2006, with an earlier starting date in February, it took until late April for all the beers to be consumed.

Without initiating another global warming debate, it remains that warmer weather has been arriving earlier, and as noted above, warm weather has a slowing effect on gravity consumption -- that, and also the usual onset of gravity fatigue …

Combining all these factors, I’m considering moving Gravity Head 2008 – the 10th edition – forward two weeks into late February, as was the case in 2006 during co-owner Kate’s pregnancy. The move would have Gravity Head starting on Friday, February 29, 2008.

Your thoughts are solicited. Good or bad? Conflicts you’re aware might occur? Let me know using the usual avenues, and thanks for patronizing NABC.

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