DRINK YOUR FATE!

fate_stickerFewer things make me happier than enjoying a good brew with good people.  That’s what craft beer is all about.

In late July, the Crafty Ladies got together for a wonderful night  at the usual meeting spot (Highland Tap & Burger) and hosted one of my favorites, out of Boulder – FATE BREWING COMPANY!

The Crafty Ladies sure get some special treatment from breweries every month.  Breweries tend to bring out the latest, freshest beer available, or rare hard-to find bottles out of a cellar, or as it happened with Fate’s presentation: BOTH! Mike, Jeff and Hannah all  did a fantastic job educating us about their beers and bringing us a round of very special brews to try.

BEER #1

We started off our event with one of my Fate favorites, the Watermelon Kolsch!

watermelon_kolsch

This was the first beer I ever had from Fate’s lineup (now almost 2 years ago) and it is still one of my favorite brews they make!  It was great to see so many of our ladies enjoying this brew as many of them had never had it. (What? I know. They were missing out!) This beer is only available April through August, for now.  If you want to try this beer, and if you do find their 4-packs on the shelves – I’d snag it before it’s gone for the season!

BEER #2

Next up was a brew that I know Jeff is really proud of, and he should be, as it’s a Tequila Barrel Aged Gose. A beer brewed using a triple decoction process,. But, what’s a Gose beer you say?! Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

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More and more breweries have been picking up on barrel aging and making a lot more sour beers. There is a big movement towards sours in the market place, but most breweries are producing these beers using a popular, Brettanomyces yeast. However, Jeff’s Gose beer offers a completely different strategy for brewing something sour, with a regular ale yeast. The “Goze” beer style can be dated all the way back to the 16th century originating out of Goslar, Germany. Gose, so respectfully named, is a top-fermented beer that uses at least 50% malted wheat in it’s grain bill.  It spontaneously fermented without the addition of yeast, and boom! a new style was born.  The end product includes notes of lemon tartness, herbal characteristics and a hint of saltiness.

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Jeff (head brewer) and Mike (owner) spent considerable amount of time in Germany before they opened FATE exploring German beer styles together. I think this beer showcases a bit of their adventure and I like that!  It think it it’s a prime example of Jeff’s ability as a brewer to take an old, original style, and bring it into modern day light, with the complexity  and originality that only Tequila barrel aging could offer. In this case, virgin ARTA Tequila barrels. (Heck yea!) I’ve had the chance to try this beer at different stages throughout the year, and this last time I tried it with the Crafty Ladies, I really felt like the beer was finished!  Beautiful flavors of vanilla, sweet agave and woody oak balanced with a simple, tart wheat mouthfeel.

BEER #3

The third beer we got to try was equally complex and includes ingredients form around the world – Bourbon Barrel Aged Veroandi – Anniversary Ale.

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This beer is also a very old brewing style brought to new light. The Veroandi, a New World Burton Anniversary Ale,  combines New Zealand and Australian hops and two different barrel fermenting programs that are blended back into the beer you’ll taste in the bottle!

This beer was brewed with half Australian and half New Zealand hops. Some of the beer ferments in fresh oak barrels, some in tequila barrels and it gets carefully blended by the brewer to finish in stainless steel.  The downeast hops bring wonderful tropical fruit flavor and aroma to this beer. And among about a handful of others, uses Nelson Sauvin in it’s hop lineup. (Yum!)

BEER #4

Showing off more barrel fermented brews, our next beer was their Bourbon Barrel Aged Atropos.  A sweet and caramely, Imperial IPA, Atropos is the first, ever, bourbon b20140729_194501arrel beer Fate came up with!

Somehow, in the midst of this 90 to 100  IBU brew, I was still able to pick up on hints of coconut, pineapple and sweet caramel flavors. This special beer spends its fermentation time in Breckenridge Bourbon Barrels for about 4-5 months. Not a brew for the shy of heart, but the Crafty Ladies were digging it!

BEER #5

As only Mike could put it, this last beer brings us our final tasting of this “journey of wood” with FATE – Bourbon Barrel Aged Clotho.  (Yes, at this point, the entire room started giggling! ..but we digress!)

This is a Cascadian Dark Ale with hints of coffee, sour cherry’s but is rounded out with a delicate, creamy tartness. This brew went so fast, I couldn’t even get a picture of it!  But, of course I can’t leave you all hangin’ – so I snapped a selfie with the FATE bunch! Ha!

Nic_FATE_crew

Well, this wraps up my last event with the Crafty Ladies and the amazing crew that is behind Fate. I hope you give their beers a try when you see them and if you can, go try the amazing food they have their brewpub, too!  You can check out more info about them, the brews, food and more on their website, HERE! Or visit them at:

FATE BREWING COMPANY

1600 38th St, Boulder, CO 80301

That’s it for now. Oh, and don’t forget….DRINK YOUR FATE!

~Cheers~

 

TONIGHT! Listen Live on 850KOA 7-8pm (MST)

Hey Everyone,

I am super excited to be joining Andy Lindahl to talk about craft beer for a bit on 850KOA as he covers all things Broncos Training Camp!

I’ll help him cover some of the latest news in the craft beer industry while we talk about seasonal brews.  Th

We are full fledged into the summer season so here are just a few summer beers we’ll be talking about:

Apricot-Blonde-Can1.)  Dry Dock Brewing – Apricot Blonde 

5.1% ABV – seasonal brew

Fermented with shiploads of hops!

 

 

 

 

 

st-luplin-bottles

2.) Odell Brewing – St. Lupulin APA

6.5% ABV – seasonal brew

“Dry-hopped” & delicious!

Available May through September.

 

 

 

 

hop syndrome lager_cans3.) Epic Brewing – Hop Syndrome Lager

5% ABV – seasonal brew

2012 and 2013 Silver Medal Session Beer winner at the LA International Beer Competition

 

Andy also wanted me to cover what seasonal beers we might expect for the fall season.  While many fall seasonals have not hit the shelves yet, it doesn’t mean we can’t talk about those darker ambers that we all enjoy as the weather gets colder!  Here are 2 go-to cooler season brews I like to recommend, and enjoy:

sweetgrass_apa1.) Grand Teton Brewing- Sweetgrass APA 

6.% ABV

2009 Gold Medal Winner at GABF

Hopped & dry-hopped with Amarillo & Cascade hops.

 

 

Alaskan-Amber-btl2.) Alaskan Brewing – Amber 

5.3% ABV / Year-round

Rich & malty.

 

 

 

 

———- IN THE NEWS ———- 

stone logoStone Brewing Company announces Production Brewery & Destination Restaurant for Germany -in Berlin!

 

 

 

 

drizlyWant beer delivered right to your door?There’s an APP for that now!

A new Beer Delivery APP!  >> DRIZLY << for iPhone & Android

 

 

 

 

worldly_scholarPink Boots Society has “Worldly Scholar” release with Latitude 33!

A beer dedicated to raising scholarship funds for PBS!!

Hope you all tune in and listen to a fun show!

LINK: 850KOA  7:00-8:00pm MST

 

 

 

PINK BOOTS SOCIETY NEWS

It is with great pleasure that I announce to you my new role with the Pink Boots Society as their INTERNATIONAL & National Chapter Liason!

Jawohl!

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PinkBootsSociety.Org

ABOUT PBS

Pink Boots Society is an international nonprofit and USA tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. We inspire, encourage and empower women beer professionals to advance their careers through education. Our 1,000+ members are the beer industry leaders of tomorrow, and they inspire women consumers to choose beer as their adult beverage of choice.

2014 ANNUAL PINK BOOTS SOCIETY MEETING AT CRAFT BREWERS CONFERENCE

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I recently got the chance to meet and spend some time with PBS founder, Teri Fahrendorf, (who was the recipient of the Brewer’s Association Recognition Award this year) along with  …

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Emily Engdahl (PBS Exec. Director/Dir. of Development) and Denise Ratfield (Stone Brewing / PBS Social Media Committee Chair) at the national meeting during CBC week here in Denver.  I can’t say enough good things about these ladies.  (Big thank you to Emily Engdahl, as without her, you wouldn’t be reading this post!)

There were over 170 female industry members in attendance from all over the nation, and all over the world.  Everyone got some press time, everyone. It enabled the entire room to really feel connected and unite as a tight nit group of ladies that support each other from all ends of the globe.  The short time that we had together in the same room were spent covering annual financials as well as the latest recipients of the PBS Scholarship program.  It was inspiring to see it in action!

I was elated to meet Brewer Jayne from Two Birds Brewing (and also director / head chica of PBS Australia)!  She was in town judging for World Beer Cup and as a PBS member and supporter was volunteering to help out.  (Can’t wait to see you again Jayne – what a blast! )

Here is a photo of all of the lady members who were able to make it to the annual meeting this year!

PBS_Annual_Mtg_2014

 

Stay tuned as I get into the grove of this fantastic group of ladies and their mission to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the industry through education.

Cheers to that!

nicol@pinkbootssociety.org

 

illegal_petes_get_down

1st Annual “Upslope Get Down” Fest!

You all know Upslope.  Well, Spring is upon us and they are ready to shake things up! 

Join me as I help  Upslope host their first annual Upslope Get Down, a FREE music festival with beer and food on Saturday, May 17 from 2:00 pm – midnight. Doors at 1:30 pm.

We’re taking over the back parking lot of the brewery to bring you eight bands on two stages for continuous music all day long with a core lineup of Upslope brews and food by various local food trucks.

 

KICK-BUTT MUSIC LINEUP: 

Headliner : EUFORQUESTRA 

♦  Fox Street  ♦  The Movement  ♦

Good Gravy  ♦  Gipsy Moon  ♦  Rocktin Grove

 Hot Soup  ♦  Rowdy Shadehouse

Upslope Get Down

The event is free and open to the public, but there is a VIP ticket option!!

Enjoy the music, beer and food festival in the comfort of our VIP tent.

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VIP Ticket Includes:

  • Admission to exclusive VIP tent (your very own shade!)
  • Premium viewing of Main Stage
  • All you can drink at the private VIP bar
  • Rare beers exclusive to the VIP bar
  • Souvenir Upslope pint glass
  • Catering
  • Private restrooms
  • A good time and great spot to Get Down!

 

Limited capacity for VIP so grab your tickets online now!

Early Bird VIP Ticket: $65.00     |     Day-of VIP: $90.00

 

Craft Beer in Germany!

Beer in Germany is not new.  Craft beer in Germany, however, is growing a culture all on its own.

I have been keeping up on the growth of craft beer internationally and I found this great TV show that is bringing to light the beauty in pairing craft beer and craft food in Germany.  We call it a “party in our mouth,” they call it a “Geschmack explosion!” (Taste explosion!) The show, is pretty simply titled: Craft-Beer.TV.

Thomas Fraund & Christian Hans Müller are the hosts and in one of their first episodes below, they are in the kitchen and pairing craft beer with slow food! The featured beer is: Bayerisch Nizza Clubbier.

Foto credit: @neubierig

 

Although the name includes one of the two largest, southern states in Germany.  The brand is trying to vear away from being known to brew traditional, German beer styles. What’s neat about this beer is that it was brewed with German wheat malts, but the Germans are crazy about American hops!  There are 3 American hops (Citra, Centennial, Chinnok) and 2 German hops (they don’t want to tell us) and they say they “over-stuffed” the beer with these hops.  The beer is categorized as a wheat pale ale, and in this episode is paired with a risotto, that the chef carefully integrates the beer into, and some delicious looking lamp chops!  You may not know how to speak German, but there are caption overlays for the beer, ABV and original gravity points as well as close ups on the food preparation and serving at the end!

I’m excited for this craft beer revolution in the heartland of Europe, the  origin of the Reinheitsgebot, and that Germans are open to this large, amazing world of craft beer!

[ NOTE: THIS VIDEO IS IN GERMAN. Some English captions are provided).

 

ADDITIONAL INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER NEWS & EVENTS: 

PRESS RELEASE: Brewers Association: International Demand for Craft Beer Surges

INDUSTRY EVENT: 2014 Barcelona Beer Festival 

ONLINE MAGAZINE: Hopfen Helden

BERLIN CENTRIC: Brew Berlin

I will be posting more about craft beer internationally. Stay tuned!

Until next time.

Cheers & Prost!

A look at EPIC Brewing – Denver

This week, I finally got the chance to visit the new Epic Brewing taproom in the RiNo district in Denver thanks to a good friend, John Turk!

Epic Brewing originates out of Salt Lake City, UT, and recently expanded and opened a second production facility, here in the Denver, Colorado.  Epic Brewing has a much larger presence in Utah, where they originate, but I was pretty new to the brand.  Having had only one of their beers in the past, I had a very small and skewed opinion of what I “thought” they might be like.

Upon first arriving, I of course had to find my spot at the bar.  To my delicate surprise, there were 25 available taps to choose from. YAY! …but now I need to chose.  That’s when I just sit back and let instinct take over.  I loove me a good nitro brew and they happened to have a few on tap. The taproom offers samples for just $2, so a first round of nitro tasters it was!

Here’s what I had:
1.) Mid Mountain Mild Ale: 4.9% ABV – smooth, mild and approachable with notes of vanilla & honey.
2.) 825 State Stout: 5.8% ABV – easy drinking stout with notes of chocolate, plenty of coffee and roasted nuts.
3.) Hopulent IPA: 8.5% ABV – big, bold and hoppy with seasonal hop notes. This brew can vary from batch to batch based on the seasonal availability of the hops.
After some well appointed nitro sipping…it was time to get a quick tour of the brewery with John.

 I was first taken back by the sheer feeling of openness and space.  The tap room is a well designed and comfortable 1,400 square feet, but the entire building is about 19,000 total square feet.  (The massive amounts of grains, barrels and kegs have to go somewhere!) The roofline is all exposed and open and really carries a nice, warm glow all around the tap room and brewery.  In fact, the roofline makes their 20 bbl brewhouse and fermenter setup look small!  But then, I am finding out that they don’t really do ‘small’ with their brand.

Brew House / view from the back
Escape to Colorado IPA,   6.2%ABV

The way Epic puts it:

Epic is Utah’s first brewery since prohibition to brew exclusively high alcohol content beer. Epic handcrafts and carefully bottles its unique product in 22-ounce bottles, perfect for sharing or a long savor, solo style.

David Cole and Peter Erickson are the founders and co-owners of Epic Brewing Company. Admittedly, beer geeks, foodies and “Epic” adventure junkies, the three share a passion for making and drinking fine ales and lagers.

And fine ales and lagers they make!  After having their Imperial Red (which they were bottling that day) I finished up with their Escape to Colorado IPA that is brewed with Mosaic and whole leaf Apollo hops. Definitely a hop forward taste profile, but I enjoy that in my IPA.  The hop flavor is gently balanced with a clean, dry malt characteristics.  This beer definitely would qualify as my new go-to “sessionable” IPA.

This photo does no justice to the Epic Taproom in Denver, but I wanted to share it because I wanted you to see the cool lighting accessories they custom built for this location. They are made with real steel, and are shaped to mimic the design of the bottom of a fermenter!  They are big and impressive when you are there in person.  The tap room is about 1,4,00 square feet and offers ample seating not only at the bar, but also with high tops, low top tables and couch-like seating around the large, indoor fireplace.  With 25 beers on tap and a low-key atmosphere…I will definitely be back to try more brews soon!

Until next time,

Cheers!

Ferus Fluxus Launch Party @ The Source

2/17/2014 Denver, CO -Ferus Fluxus is officially hitting the marketplace and has set the beginning of a new collaboration series, lead by the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project!  The beer is a Wild Belgian Pale Ale, and appropriately named ‘Ferus Fluxus’ – meaning “Wild Flow.”  The brew was made using both Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus and fermented in first-use red wine barrels that were hand-picked at Rocky Mountain Barrel Company.

According to the talented folks at Crooked Stave, here is how they describe their vision for this series:

The concept for this series came about after many late night discussions while drinking beers fermented with Saccharomyces, and the curiosity behind what these beers would taste like with Brett. There are so many fantastic beers being brewed all over the country, and the Ferus Fluxus series gives us a good excuse (and opportunity) to collaborate with our friends at other breweries, as well as continue to introduce craft beer drinkers to Brettanomyces.

This first installment is a collaboration with Upslope Brewing Company, out of Boulder, CO, and is being launched tonight at Crooked Stave’s newest tap room, at The Source.  The event starts at 6:00pm (for bottle sales, $10/bottle) and 6:30 (for draft sales).  More details:  >>CLICK HERE<<

John and I were lucky enough to try a can of this epic collaboration on the Colorado Craft Beer Show recently.  >CLICK HERE<< to listen to our podcast.  We started the show with this brew!  Special thanks to Alex Violette, head brewer at Upslope, for joining us and talking about the beer on air.

During the show we talked about the fact that this beer will be available both in cans and in bottles, and how it will be fun to see how the beer ages in cans vs. bottles of the next few years.  I’ll be sure to post releases down the line.

Crooked Stave doesn’t take their series developments lightly.  From what I tasted, this is the beginning of a very wild – and excellent – series!

Until next time,

Cheers & Prost!

 

Ladies Beer Club Events: SPRING 2014

In preparation for Saturday’s Colorado Craft Beer Show, I’ve assembled a few great events that I want to mention.  The groups are lady specific, but the events at the bottom are not!

The Crafty Ladies Beer Club of Denver is a wonderful group of laides who get together to experience and learn more about beer. As a club, it maintains a mission to educate the women in our community about the many craft beers of Colorado and beyond while getting to know each other and having a great time!  How can you beat that? The Crafty Ladies will be featuring Crazy Mountain Brewery as their March host! Two dates for the event are set to help work into everyone’s schedule.

Save the Date: March 11 & 25. Email Katie, at craftyladiesbeerclub@gmail.com to get on the email / invite list!

 

Ales 4 Females is based out of Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, CO.  These female centric tasting events are intended to bring women together for a fun evening of beer education and discussion. Left Hand’s women’s beer club gathers every month to hearing industry guest speakers, sample a variety of beer pairings and develop each member’s palate. Ales 4 FemAles meets the first & third Monday of the month in the Malt Room of the Tasting Room.

A4F - March 10 & March 24  (almost sold out)

A4F - April 7 & April 21 (tickets go on sale this weekend 2/15)

– OTHER GREAT BEER EVENTS –

February 15 – Beer & Art Social w/ Awd Art @ Echo Brewing Company

February 27 – Around The World in 180 Minutes

February 28 – Avery’s 12th Annual Boulder Strong Ale Fest

March 13 – D-Still Craft Spirit + Cocktail Showcase

March 22 – Collaboration Fest

May 3 + 4 – South Denver Beer Fest

June 14 – Great Divide 20th Anniversary Party

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stout!

O’zapft ist!  (It’s tapped!)  The collaboration brew between the Crafty Ladies Beer Club of Denver and Fate Brewing Company of Boulder is finished and awaiting your enjoyment.

This well-balanced, smooth stout offers all the chocolate and coffee flavors of a stout with just a teeny-tiny hint of salt to bring you all the way around before you hit the malty and dark roast mouth feel again with a touch of caramel! The Crafty Ladies did a great job picking another tough variation of a dark brew, and Jeff and the team at Fate really helped us pull it off.  Nicely done!  Here is how Crafty Ladies director, Katie O’Shea describes it:

“So excited by how the stout turned out.  It was really cool to try to impart something different into the beer with the hard and soft pretzels.  The wort was very pretzel-y tasting, and the finished product, not as much, but the subtle saltiness and rich dark chocolate notes from the cocoa nibs really came through.  Definitely an awesome, comforting beer on a cold winter day!”

The beer is available both at Fate Brewing in Boulder, CO, and at the Highland Tap & Burger in Denver – while supplies last!

I recommend you grab a pint while you can and celebrate Stout Month to the fullest!

Tweet me your experience @ThirstyGerman.

Until next time,

Cheers & Prost my friends!

Collaboration Brew Day with Fate Brewing

BOULDER, CO – In December, just the before the holidays, I had the pleasure of brewing a collaboration beer with the Crafty Ladies of Denver and Fate Brewing Company out of Boulder, Colorado.  I knew of Fate, only because of the 17th Annual Brewer’s Rendezvous festival which was held in Salida this past summer.  (A festival, which I highly recommend!)  On that beautiful day in the summer, it was my first taste of one of FATE’s seasonal beers, their Watermelon Kolsch.  Wow.  Crisp, clean, great carbonation (even from the jockey box) but that Watermelon…it was like a jolly rancher kind of watermelon, so juicy!  It wasn’t over-powering, but it completely refreshing.  That being my initial introduction to Fate, when I got the invite from the Crafty Ladies group that we were brewing a collab brew, I knew I wanted in!  As a German girl, how could I pass up brewing with a master brewer that made a Kolsch so darn delicious?  It was Fate or bust.

        

So the group starting brainstorming on what type of beer to brew.  We don’t ever seem to go with any “regular” or plain, blanket-style categories.  Since it was mid-December, we thought maybe a Winter Ale or ESB might be nice, but that was just the beginning of our brainstorm session. Everything from Oatmeal Cookie to Tequila barrel-aged Citrus Wheat was thrown around for consideration.  In the end, we settled on a “chocolate covered pretzel stout”!!  Well. That sounds easy, right?  We certainly love a challenge. Luckily, we were paired with head brew master, Jeff Griffith.

Fate Head Brewer – Jeff Griffith

You know a good head brewer when they don’t shy away from a group of ladies that choose a brew he/she has never done before.  Jeff is certainly skilled.  (and patient!) More on both of those later on in the post. So we get to mashing our special grain….pretzels!   Yup, nothing like an empty bomber bottle and a few home depot buckets to get a brew day started right!  17 bags of them to be exact.  Here are 2 of the Crafty Ladies, smashing away to get our “pretzel grain” to the right consistency.

Bonnie & Lillian

While we were taking turns smashing away, Jeff got Fate’s pilot brew system going for us. (A sweet little 3 BBL system). Here we are starting to mash in all of our grain.  Six grains total, as well as some delicious cocoa powder.

Katie & Amanda

As any professional brewer will tell you, you haven’t “brewed” until you’ve cleaned out the mash tun.  Here we are doing some heavy lifting and cleaning out the mash tun.

A little boiling time and some hop addition and we were on our way to brewing (what we hope) our own stellar, chocolate covered pretzel stout!

Of course, while were killing time waiting for the brew, we got to try the range of Fate Brewing beers! They treated us like royalty.  Everyone got to try every Fate brew style, and with a fresh new taster glass for each one.

  • LAIMAS KÖLSCH STYLE ALE
  • MOIRAI INDIA PALE ALE
  • PARCAE BELGIAN STYLE PALE ALE
  • NORNS ROGGENBIER
  • SUDICE AMERICAN STOUT
  • ATROPOS IMPERIAL IPA (available in bomber. Dee-lish!)
  • Watermelon KÖLSCH Style Ale (only while supplies last. Maybe 3 kegs in Boulder).
  • Ozo Coffee IPA
  • FATE & DENVER ZOO Collaboration Brew - ELEPHAS MAXIMUS CERVESIA (EMC) BELGIAN SAISON  (Beer for a great cause is always good).

Quite the lineup!  It was a terrific experience having lunch at their brewpub and getting to try all of the brews.  Each style was very enjoyable and not a drop was wasted. The consistency for style was great.  A stout looked and felt like a stout; which to me includes a nice mix of smooth malty, roasted, chocolate and coffee notes in a more or less creamy fashion with a long-lasting head of foam. Kolsch across the board, was pin point to style; lighter, drier and crisp (a whole blog post could be devoted to Jeff, and co-owner Mike Lawinski’s travels to Germany to “study” up).  It was this characteristic that ensured me no matter how crazy our beer sounded, we were going to end up with a great brew!

So to wrap up the brew day we got to try the very first sips of our own brew before we left. A delicious young brew that tasted like a malty cup of hot cocoa.  Now, we wait. The launch party will be held at Highland Tap & Burger on February 9th at 3:00pm.  All are welcome!  It’s open to the public and the Tap will be serving up our new “DJ Brunch.”    I will be sure to do a second post after the release of the beer to let you all know how it worked out!

Until then,

Cheers & PROST!