Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson
recognize February for several reasons each year.
It is the shortest month. Many of us
celebrate the ideal of romantic love each February. Some of us
remember Black history in February. The beginning of the liturgical
season of Lent often, but not always, arrives in February on Ash
Some of us spend a day each February
anticipating the ability of a groundhog to predict the weather.
We have more time to celebrate this year
February than we commonly do. Because this is a leap year, this
February has an extra day.
A leap year, which is also known as an
intercalary year or bissextile year, is a calendar year which
contains an extra day to keep the calendar synchronized with the
astronomical or seasonal year. Calendars which have the same number
of days each year drift over time with respect to the seasonal or
astronomical events they are designed to track.
Our Gregorian calendar is named for Pope
Gregory XIII who introduced it in October, 1582. It is a solar
calendar, with one year being the time it takes the earth to
complete a rotation around the sun.
In the Hebrew calendar, which is a lunar
calendar, a thirteenth lunar month is added seven times every 19
years to keep it from drifting.
Smaller adjustments are occasionally made by
inserting, or intercalating, leap seconds into Coordinated Universal
Time based on variables in the earthís rotation time. Leap seconds
are not introduced on a regular schedule.
In the United States, leap years tend to
coincide with years in which there are presidential elections and
Many of us see leap years tend as a
disruption or inconvenience, even though they give us an extra day.
We forget to add February 29 until we make a mistake. Leap Day can
throw us off until we forget about it for another four years.
I know several people who were born on a
Leap Day. They only get a birthday once every four years or so. Some
of them try to claim to be one fourth their age, while others
celebrate the day before their birthday most years.
Thinking about leap years can cause us to
question some of the most basic parts of our lives. If a year is not
really a year, what else do we believe which is not real? Are there
other assumptions we make which do not reflect how life really
I believe Leap Year, and Leap Days, are
events to be recognized and celebrated. It is almost as if we have
saved up a days worth of time over the last few years and now we get
to spend it.
How will we use our Leap Day this year? Some
fo us will spend it while other s will try to invest it in something
worthwhile. What sorts of returns can we earn on our one extra day
Of course, an excellent way to enjoy Leap
Day this year is by sampling local craft beers. Leap Day this year
happens to be on a Saturday, which lends itself to exploring our
craft beer options. Take the opportunity to visit your local craft
brewery tasting room and ask them for their Leap Year brew.
Home Brewing Company in San
Diego will be celebrating Johnís eleventh birthday with a special
Leap Day beer release.
Nickel Brewing Company
in Julian is also brewing a special Leap Year IPA.
I hope you spend at least part of your extra
Leap Day this year contemplating spiritual life and discovering an
excellent new craft beer.
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life
mentor in Pasadena, California. He is passionate about craft
brewing, listening, and monks and monastic life. Greg has served as
an assistant district attorney and an associate university
professor. Gregís website is StrategicMonk.com and
he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk.
You can email Greg at
he writes a blog for the