GET STOKED Cory Seals 1 Year Remembrance / TrimTab Brewing Launch Party in Pensacola
I’m not even sure how to write this one. The anniversary of our friend and former employee Cory Seals’ passing away is coming up. As he was one of the most positive-minded people I’ve known, we should do him honor and focus on the good times. So here we go; a quick written wake for a fallen comrade.
He used to invite me over to his place in North Hill to talk beer. Not a bar or at work, his place. He’d go to a store and buy up a bunch of random selections. I never knew what he’d have waiting. Then we’d play a bunch of punk rock and metal on the stereo and chat suds. In the eight years Hopjacks has been open, no employee has ever gone out of their way to learn about beer with me like Cory used to.
Less-entertaining was him showing me pictures of himself in the hospital bed, almost destroyed by a vehicle accident. Strange how I can’t remember if that was the wreck with his band, Glory Of This, while they were coming back from tour or if it was a different accident. Was there another accident? Still… I couldn’t understand why he was quick to show us the damage. “Dude, I almost died! Look at me!” He’d wave the gruesome image on his phone at my face. “I’m lucky to be here!”
He had volunteered to step up and become our general manager back when we used to have an outpost in Mobile, Alabama. After missing his friends, band mates and family too much, he decided the restaurant biz wasn’t for him and I ended up taking his place for 10 months. I got some valuable experience out of my time over there, so I guess by extension I owe it to him everything I learned. In a round-about way, that is.
Eventually, he moved up to Birmingham, Alabama and settled in with Trimtab Brewing Co. as the assistant manager of their taproom. The brewery’s CEO, Harris Stewart, thought of him as a “supremely amazing friend.” Harris told me that Cory used to speak fondly about Hopjacks and Pensacola all of the time.
With that connection between us, once we found out Trimtab’s beer was coming to Pensacola we insisted that the brewery’s launch party would be with us and no one else. Their Pillar To Post is a rye brown ale, a style that I don’t think I’ve ever seen. As Cory was unique as well, I’m choosing this as his liquid spirit animal. Mahogany brown with good head retention and sticky lacing, Pillar exhibits great scents of caramel, toasted nuts and brown sugar. The rye gives a peppery bite that elevates the hop bitterness before getting cooled down by the sweet malt.
Join us tonight at Hopjacks Downtown as we raise a glass in Cory’s honor and try out the brewery of which he loved to be a part. Cheers, my friend.