1- Good bread 2- Good beer
Bread can take on many forms but can usually be boiled down to a couple of key ingredients. A grain (or several), yeast, salt, and water. From Wikipedia, bread is defined as: "Food made of flour, water, and yeast or another leavening agent, mixed together and baked."...uuhhh, is it just me, or is this the worst definition in the history of definitions? This makes my job sound like I'm just throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl, baking it and saying "SHAZAM!! BREAD!" These ingredients can be manipulated in a number of different ways to completely change the end result.
Beer is the same thing. A few key ingredients...malted grain, hops, yeast and water. Let's see what an online dictionary has to say about beer, shall we? "1. An alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops."...WOW! Now that sounds interesting, doesn't it? I take back what I said about the bread definition...this is just a load of poo. Any true enjoyer (yes, I invented a new word) of beer OR bread knows that these components are there and necessary, but are not the things that send chills up your spine or make your eyes roll back in your head. A good sample of either will surely make you do so.
Now, what happens when we wiki Phish? From "Wiki":
"Phish is an American rock band noted for its musical improvisation, extended jams, exploration of music across genres and devoted fan base. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 (with the current line up solidifying in 1985), the band's four members - Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell -- performed together for over 20 years before breaking up in August 2004. They reunited March 2009 at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, and have since resumed performing regularly."
It goes on...WOW! Wikipedia's definition of Phish is longer than the definitions of beer AND bread together!! While it may be longer, it still doesn't do the phenomenon any justice.
I was first introduced to Phish in high school in the early nineties by a friend who's sister would always disappear for weeks on end to a mysterious place called "tour". "Hey, Zach, where's your sister?" "Oh, she's on tour." I would just say OK like I knew what he was talking about, for fear of sounding like an idiot. The same friend played me Phish and I immediately went out and bought the album Rift. My initial reaction was, "Whoa! this is NOT the music I'm used to! No simple chord progressions, little form and yet, it all came together beautifully and ALWAYS put a big smile on my face. I only later learned that Phish and this thing called "tour" were connected and never got to go on aforementioned tour as a youngun. Now I have responsibilities (a child, a wife, A BAKERY!) and tour is a pipe dream. I can still, however, fire up the oven, pop open in ice cold IPA, crank up a good show from the days of yore and dance around my kitchen like an idiot doing my 3 favorite things. Only problem is, these days I get injured while doing so.
So...bread, beer, and Phish all have a few main ingredients to start it all out...but lets be honest, Budweiser is no Lagunita's Hop Stoopid! Freihoffer's is no Placid Baker or Rock Hill (or us, for that matter, thankyouverymuch). And no studio recording of Phish could ever compare to the collective feeling of release when the band goes off to some other worldly place in the middle of a jam and comes back to where they started, sending 20,000 plus people into a phrenzy! That being said...even the studio albums are good so I can't really compare Lawn Boy to Wonder Bread, can I? I suppose this means, that the words of my friend Ian ring true..."Phish always wins".
I'm letting you in on my Phish obsession because I told Britin that if we opened up our shop before the start of summer tour, that we would have to close up at least one weekend so that we can attend one show this year together. Memorial Day weekend, Phish happens to be playing in Bethel, NY AND it's Britin's 40th birthday. Yep, I said 40, as of Saturday, I'll officially be married to an over the hiller. We'll be incorporating each component of the Trinity that weekend: We'll be OPEN Friday the 27th (11-6) so you can get your weekly breads and baked goods, then Britin and I are "Goin' Phishin'" Saturday and Sunday where there's sure to be lots of quality IPAs, and we can get our groove on before the Delmar Farmers Market begins the Saturday after (June 4). I'll be manning the shop while Britin goes to the market every Saturday thereafter.
It all starts when a seed is planted. Whether it's hops, barley, wheat, the high note that Trey hits at the peak of YEM, or the first time you heard a funky Page solo in the song Maze. All of these things can eventually lead you to dance uncontrollably like an idiot in a wild state of euphoria and ultimately collapse on the sofa with your head spinning. There you have it, folks! The holy phreaking trinity from the eyes of a true baker. These things cannot be defined...just like God...or Lady Gaga.
Nick (a.k.a., "Captain Sparky")