It is named for several reasons... it is an ale
, not a lager
. The letter X has traditionally been used in beer to denote a strong beer -- brewers would put one or more Xs on barrels to signify their strength, i.e., X, XX, XXX, etc. It is an homage to the tradition of adding an X to the end of the name of UNIX-based operating systems, i.e., Ultrix, AIX, Xenix, Linux, MacOS X, etc. (I'm a proud computer nerd). But the real reason for its name is to memorialize my nephew, Alex.
In 2012, at the beginning of work on this brewery, Alex chose to end his life at the age of 20. I made this beer to remember him, as a beer that can both be enjoyed now but, like we wish Alex could, to get even better with age. We cellar a portion of each annual batch of this beer to enjoy over the years. We look forward to tasting it for many years to come and to see how it changes.
We are not a close family and I lived on the other side of the country during most of his life so, admittedly, I hardly knew Alex. I held him as a baby, saw him at family occasions and a couple times during his last years. Despite our distance, his death greatly affected me. I still think about him almost every day trying to understand how pessimistic he must've felt about life. I can't begin to imagine how his parents, sister and friends feel.
Depression and suicide has affected Gay's family as well. Her aunt ended her life, leaving her son and siblings behind to live with the pain that suicide causes.
One reason this brewery is named Optimism is because of Alex and one of our missions is to confront and battle pessimism, especially this ultimate act of pessimism. 100% of the profits for Ale X are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If you have suggestions for other ways the profits can help prevent suicide, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you have suicidal thoughts, it is Depression, your brain is telling you things that are not true. It can be cured. Choosing suicide only passes your suffering to those who love you. As bad as things seem right now, realize that this means the future can only be brighter. You deserve to be happy and to be optimistic about the future and that is very possible. Please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
If you know of anyone who is struggling with Depression please make them know how important they are to you and help them get the help they need. Suicide is very preventable.
All of this may not be something you want to think or talk about, but we believe that keeping Depression and mental health issues a secret is part of the problem. Treating and accepting mental health issues as seriously as physical health issues and talking openly about them is the first step in the solution. If you are not struggling with Depression and do not know of anyone who is, you are lucky; be thankful and please enjoy this beer with the hope and optimism that we put into making it.
A strong sipping beer. Your last beer of the night. A beer to drink with desserts or have with strong cheeses
If you like...
The hops balance the residual sweetness and create a long-lasting flavor on the palate. It’s made with a combination of American and European malt and hops and an English yeast to give it a slight fruit flavor to balance the caramel flavor, think candied apple.