Assistant Brewmaster

by Rachel Brumenschenkel (Univ. of Mount Union)

Every Sunday he watches the Browns

lose, but he’s used to it.


“At least the Steelers lost, too,” he yells

at the TV screen with a smug smile.


His hands grasp a cold beer,

an IPA, I’m sure,


or maybe a double IPA, black IPA,

but probably a Great Lakes Commodore Perry.


He tells me I’m his assistant

brewmaster. Sometimes he calls


me “Martin” after Martin Dickie,

a passionate beer-brewing Scottish man


who often appears on our TV

when there isn’t a football game.


It’s a show we watch together.

And now we brew beer together.


I can tell you about the malt and the home-grown hops,

high IBUs, and precise ABVs.


I can emulate my dad’s concentration

when he siphons the brown wort


from carboy to carboy,

but I’m a 19 year-old college girl.


I shouldn’t know this much

about bitter beverages. But I want to


learn from my dad as I replace

his beer with a new, cold Lake Erie Monster,


poured perfectly in his Browns beer glass.

He wears a proud yet somber smile


as he says to me after a sip, “Martin,

don’t date a guy who loves the Steelers.”