The Incident of the Beer Still in the Night Time pt. 1

Here’s what I remember:

Spoiler alert, no one dies in this one.

Ira, my dad’s dad, made his own beer. One day, he and a friend realized they only had one jug of beer left.

The family was living in the gas station at the crossroads in Sonora, where 31W crosses 84. Ira managed the station for years, and the family lived in the back. The beer still was in a closet, and jugs (picture those cream and brown colored jugs) lined the shelves around it.

So, Ira and friend realized they had one jug of beer left. Anxious, they got to making more. When they were done, the shelves were once again lined with capped jugs of beer.

That night the family was awoken by explosions coming from the closet. Once they realized there wasn’t gunfire and the gas station was fine, they watched the closet door with horrified curiosity. Beer started seeping out from the bottom of the door.

They had capped the jugs too soon and the jugs had exploded from the pressure.

Things finally settled. Ira opened the closet door.

There was one unbroken jug remaining, the very same they had started with.

Here’s what’s next:

I imagine the family cowering together on a bed in the corner as the explosions went on. I imagine the one remaining jug sitting in the middle of the shelf, clearly visible when the light from the main room shone into the closet. I can smell the yeast.

The gas station is gone now. It hadn’t been a gas station since before I was born, but it had lives as other things – various little stores. I have a few other incomplete memories of stories taking place there. I have part of the beer still.

Does my aunt remember this? Was she still home when it happened?

How do you make beer at home? Is “beer still” even the right language?

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