When I was young, and searching for something I’d lost, my mom would suggest that I stop looking for it. “It is only when you stop that you’ll realize where it is,” she’d say. Most of the time she was right. My glasses, books or keys would suddenly show up somewhere obvious as soon as I stopped turning over couch cushions in panic.
When I went looking for Oxbow Brewing Company’s birthday ale – known as Freestyle #30 – I somehow forgot that piece of advice. Knowing that it had been released in March for co-founder and head brewer Tim Adam’s 30th birthday, I was now looking for something that it was possible I wouldn’t find. It didn’t look good. Slow to hear about it, by the time I knew to start looking, it was already mostly too late. Traces of #30’s tantalized me wherever I went. I saw curled fliers from release parties long past, saw hours old and days old Untappd check-ins, spied it’s name on beer lists with ink barely dry from the strikethrough, faded characters in chalk – all of which declaring that I’d come a day, an hour, or a minute too late to try it.
So after a long day at work and after I’d given up looking, I stopped in to the Lion’s Pride in Brunswick to console myself with – for me, at least – the best Belgian Frites in New England. When I lifted my head to look above the beautiful glass tap handles to the beer list, there it was: Freestyle #30.