OK, so, we are one week into the grand 40b40 effort -- the project of a mid-lifetime -- and already we have some impressive feedback. The 40b40 Facebook group has 30 members. About 60 people visited this blog in its first few days. Not a bad start considering not one beer has been drunk yet.
Comments coming in have been broadly positive. About the only critcism was that 40 days was too long for drinking 40 beers. "You should do it in 20", said one supporter.
There has been some discussion of the recommended donation rates, too. I have spent some time working through what exactly is a crap job and what is a good job with several people, but ultimately, it is a self-evaluation. And more importantly, any donation would be welcome, so let's not get hung up on the numbers.
Perhaps the biggest threat to my goal of drinking 40 different Belgian beers is that Belgium itself may fall apart before I finish. The country may indeed hold on, but there are now side bets among 40b40 supporters as to whether I'll complete my quest before or after Belgium has a new government. Well, let's not rush them -- elections were only last June after all.
Speaking of elections, after more than 150 days of difficult negotiations between the parties, the 40b40 project has named its first official Chief Brewmaster. He is Jean-Christophe Hoste, who used a range of personal connections to help formulate the current list of 44 beers from the hundreds this country has to offer. (44 because we've still got four alternates -- we're still working on which beers will be consumed on which dates.) Thanks, JC.
Others have asked, "What can I do to help?" Well, apart from donating and joining me for a drink, you could tell your friends and colleagues. Please send around the link to this 40 Beers at 40 blog or the Facebook group page. The more the merrier.