The Twelve Days of Trump

Beer flight

In the United States’ 241 years of existence, there’s never been anything like the last 12 days. (Full disclosure: I’m not a Trump fan.) On Sunday I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized how I’m going to make it through the next 1,449 days, or four years. It came with the first sip of an understated and brilliantly transparent pilsner. Beer, I realized, has been the answer all along.

It’s not just drinking beer that will keep me going. It’s brewing it, talking about it, attending beer events. In short, everything beer related. I came home and starting jotting notes that turned into my Twelve Days of Trump Beer Diary.

Friday morning, January 20: I watch the first hours of the Inauguration—the swearing in, Trump’s speech, Obama’s stone face whenever the camera cuts to him. Afterwards, I open the garage door and set up to brew while four workmen at our house for the day come and go. John, our homebrewing neighbor, pops in at various points. The people, the smoked malt I’m somewhat hesitantly using for the first time and our new Grainfather system, used for the third time, get my focus. When the red rye brew is finally in the carboy that evening, I barely remember the inauguration.

Saturday morning, January 21: I travel 75 miles with six neighbors to the San Jose Women’s March. Surrounded by 25,000 marchers, the reality of Trump’s presidency once again weighs on me, but a late lunch and a round of beers at Original Gravity Public House leave all of us in a better mood for the ride home.

San Jose, California Women's March, January 21, 2017

San Jose, California, January 21, 2017 in the midst of the Women’s March

Sunday evening, January 22: My husband Hugo leaves on a business trip. I eat dinner alone, watching the evening news and getting discouraged.

Thursday evening, January 26: Five evenings of solo dinners and news filled with executive orders and their fallout. Tonight, as Mexican President Peña Nieto threatens to cancel his trip to Washington, D.C., I pull out a California common brewed by neighbor Danny and settle in to watch Jeopardy. I begin to see a pattern. A half hour of beer and shouting answers at Alex Trebek is becoming my 45 antidote.

Friday evening, January 27: Hugo returns. I take him and several bottles of our pale ale to a meetup at the local homebrew supply shop. I spend over an hour in the company of a dozen homebrewers and politics never comes up. The cider, mead, honey beer, IPAs and a stout infused with Mexican chocolate, chili peppers and cinnamon are more interesting.

Saturday evening, January 28: After a day of binge watching the developments of the #MuslimBan impact, Hugo pulls me away for an episode of Shark Tank and an IPA that John the homebrewer brought over.

Sunday afternoon, January 29: On a gorgeous afternoon, Hugo and I get out for a walk which takes us by the patio at Alvarado Street Brewery. There we run into Brandon, once a mere part-timer at the homebrew shop and now a brewer at the legendary Russian River. While we’re talking, Chris Nelson and Merideth Canham-Nelson, aka the Beer Geeks, come by. The walk is put on hold in favor of a beer with friends. This is the point where I take that first sip of pilsner and realize the full extent of my beer-as-Trump-antidote.

Monday afternoon, January 30: Hugo and I bottle that red rye which finished fermenting sometime during his trip. I taste an uncarbonated sample and decide I’m going to have a hard time getting through a full five gallons of smoked beer—but finishing off those bottles will be better for me than obsessing over the latest executive orders.

Preparing to bottle on Monday

Preparing to bottle on Monday

Tuesday afternoon, January 31: After a morning of following whether Senate confirmation hearings are happening or being blocked, I sit down to work on this post. In the evening, I will attend a meeting of Indivisible, a newly forming loose network of grass roots groups that could become a progressive version of the tea party. Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure I’ll need a beer when I get home tonight.


  1. <3 Love this – and I'm absolutely inspired. Thank you!

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