God bless Pearl Jam. If you have read any of my blogs before, you probably know that I am hopelessly stuck in my college days of the 90’s. Sure, I like some of the new stuff, Record Company, Shaky Graves, The Head and Heart. But, who can rock your ass off like Eddie and the boys?

When I’m looking for inspiration I often look to music. Most people wouldn’t know this, but I have a drum set in the brewery that I like to whale on from time to time. I guess they are like my own little form of playing hooky…that is for about 20 minutes at a time.

I was never much of a rebel in high school. I never played hooky – too much of a nerd I guess. I was afraid I would miss something that I needed to know. Yes, you can laugh at me now. I have always been an overachiever, you might say. But that builds up and has, at times in my life, resulted in some long periods of playing hooky instead of just skipping a day here or there. There was the time that I went three weeks without showering. I ran, swam and drank beer, in that order, every day for three weeks and that was it. It was awesome. When I decided to leave my Ph.D. program I bought a grill and two Bobby Flay books and all I did was walk my dog, drink beer and become a mother f’ing grilling ninja, in that order, every day for a month straight.

As you get older, the responsibilities of life pour on. A career, a house, a family – it’s harder to play hooky without consequences because you have so many responsibilities.

Living in Colorado, and having a commute that points my car west, it’s hard some days for your mind not to wander to those beautiful mountains with thoughts of aimlessly roaming, like a dog that’s escaped the yard and is exploring the neighborhood. Roaming off, leaving the city behind for a day, and finding an adventure.

When Renegade was developing its new beer, I was having lots of thoughts of playing hooky, of grilling, of swimming…….of roaming. So, I started searching the wise words of 90’s alternative rock to express what I was trying to say with this new beer. That’s right, all the answers to life’s questions can be found in the lyrics of 90’s alternative rock. What should we call this hoppy, citrusy, sessionable beer that we created that would be my sidekick on this adventure. And then, Eddie told me the name…. Free to Roam. In Eddie’s version he is defiantly enduring pain and oppression, pretending he is Free to Roam. But we don’t have to pretend. We are Free to Roam, all of us.

Although difficult, each of us is free to play hooky for a day. It would do us all some good to give ourselves a break once in a while, to give each other a break….to sail on past that exit and head into the mountains and go find that adventure. Free to Roam will hit shelves in about 3 weeks, plenty of time to start thinking about your day of roaming. Take yourself to a mountain, get a massage, watch a movie, but remember to take your six new friends with you. Don’t act like you’ve never snuck beer into a movie theater before. Maybe I’ll celebrate by seeing if I can break my record on consecutive days without a shower…….or maybe I’ll just take my dog to the park and bust out my ninja grilling skills.

– Brian