#3.01 | Newborn
A surprise, and a mouthful of humility
The baby looked big in the last two ultrasounds of the pregnancy. He was on track to be about 10 pounds. The doctors and nurses downplayed it — there's a margin of error of two pounds, and he’ll probably be more like eight, they said.
They were right. Partially.
Augie David Lawrence LaForme was born in late July and topped the scales at a whopping 11 pounds and 7 ounces, and 22 inches long. News of his birth traveled around the hospital, where nurses from faraway departments swung by the nursery to get a look at the Big Baby.
They say he's the size of a 3-month-old. He eats like one, too. I'm considering cashing in my retirement savings to keep him fed.
In short: For sale: Newborn clothes, never worn.
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Seasons don’t much matter in Florida, but this summer brought in a season of change. In the spare moments that Keeley and I weren’t preparing for Augie’s birth, we were imagining what he might be like — his personality, his features, his size.
I borrowed a few of those moments to design and create a beer that’s perfectly crafted to my palate.
Newborn is dry, light, low in alcohol, bitter and effervescent. It features a rustic blend of grains, led by Niagara Malt pilsner malt that I carried down to Florida from my Western New York home; one type of hop — the daughter of my favorite noble variety and an American classic; and yeast that comes from a Trappist monastery in Belgium.
My son and this beer have already offered a humbling array of lessons. Augie came into the world in an unexpected way and wowed his doctors and parents alike with his size. We’re grateful that he’s happy and healthy, even as we navigate a less predictable schedule together as we tend to his newborn needs.
Likewise, this beer has proven to be unpredictable. A number of bottles were oxidized for reasons I still can’t sort out. But the good ones … they’re perfect.
Some days I feel like I went looking for change and got more than I bargained for. And that’s perfect, too.
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