A Note Regarding Fetish on the Farm 6.0

Dear Friend of Fetish,

Today at 3:45pm we received pretty bad news from the owners of Hopeland Farm: due to accumulated water damage from the last week or so, coupled with the expected weather of the next two days, coupled with the impact of nearly 100 people and several incredibly heavy delivery trucks, Fetish on the Farm is unable to go forward.

We don’t know if you’re disappointed, but we’ll tell you: we’re gutted.

We began Fetish on the Farm six years ago on a kind of whim as a way to...do something public.  We had been brewing beer and giving it away for awhile, it didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere meaningful, we wanted to celebrate with our friends.  Fetish on the Farm 1 was free, there was no food, there were only 40 attendees, it rained a little, and Aaron’s daughter peed in the backseat of his Prius (yep, really).  Last year, we had over 100 attendees, and Ton-taun, and ten Fetish beers, and food that basically blows the doors off of anything you’ll find at any beer event anywhere. Fetish on the Farm is our Superbowl, it’s how we mark our progress, and at the end of the night -- after everyone has left -- seven or eight of us circle up, we drink a little champagne, we smoke cigars, we stare at the black midnight sky, and we marvel at just how far this ridiculous brewery has taken us.

Which is our way of saying: we’re gutted.

Brass tacks.  Fetish will reimburse you 100% of the cost of your ticket (which should be $50/per), but to be perfectly honest: we aren’t sure how that will work quite yet.  As of right now, we don’t have any of your dollars -- eventbrite has it all.  We’re going to spend a little time figuring out how that money gets back to you, and then we’ll get it back to you soon.  It’s possible it will come back to you through eventbrite; it’s possible we will have to paypal you from our account; it’s possible we’re just going to show up at your house with a crisp $50 bill and a very sincere apology.  For now, we wanted to be sure to communicate directly with you about the change, and apologize, and tell you that we know you are disappointed.

And also that we’re gutted.

With very real apologies for letting you down,




It's The Penultimate Thursday in July As We Know It (and I feel Fine).

Dear Fetishists,

On the final weekend of this college career, Aaron Risser ginned up the courage to talk to the girl. 

Her last name was long and Greek, she was funny and strange, she drank vodka tonics and he drank cheap beer and when he let himself imagine such things he imagined their first apartment, the way they'd argue over money and the way they'd make up after those arguments, the life they’d begin to build together when they left that small college town for parts unknown.  Aaron wasn’t a romantic, in his life Aaron had never been accused of being romantic, but something here was different and he knew it and he suspected she did too. They had taken two classes together, they’d worked in small groups together, twice they spoke on the telephone and both times the conversation veered wildly from homework to exes to favorite vacations.

He wasn’t sure what she felt, but he knew with a clarity he’d never before experienced exactly what he felt.

He did a shot from a plastic handle of cheap vodka, he did a second shot from the same plastic handle, he whispered “Time to get the girl” and made his way from his strange studio apartment across campus to the college-owned club that everyone called, “D Station” even though it was technically named “The Depot”.  Finals were over, there would be no more Saturday night parties until the Fall, couples were pared off behind trees and juniors shouted obscenities across the quad and seniors -- alums! -- sat outside in circles, stunned by the realization that it was all over and that in a matter of days they’d be working stiffs and all the very good and all the bad that had happened on this small New England campus would be reduced to a memory.  It was a night to cheat on girlfriends or boyfriends, to break into professor’s offices, to light piles of nearly anything on fire, to say goodbye to the universe.

D Station was hot, it smelled like sweat, Aaron would forever remember Letters to Cleo was playing when he opened the door and wedged his way through the desperate bulwark of wet flesh, when he saw her the music had changed, something by R.E.M., Aaron touched her shoulder and she turned and smiled and he shouted, “I need to tell you something!” and she shouted “Is it that you’re in love with me!” and he shouted “Yes!” and she shouted “I know!” and he shouted “How?” and she shouted “Because I couldn’t get you off the phone!  You just talked and talked and talked! I wanted the homework -- that was a difficult class, I was going through a tough time personally, you were organized and seemed to know what was going on but everytime you were just about to give me the homework you’d sort of meander down a different conversational pathway and suddenly we’d be -- you’d be -- reminiscing about, like, a girl you wanted to date one time and all I wanted was information, you know?  It was incredibly frustrating! Just tell me what I want so I can move on with my night, you know!”

The night comes back to him like it’s being played through a slide-projector.  In quick, bright flashes. Letters to Cleo. The heat. Cheap beer and sweat. The girl.  He forgets about it for three years, but when it comes back he’s 21 years old with a broken heart and no future to speak of.

Oh!  And: members.  It’s the penultimate Thursday of the Month so -- pick-up is tomorrow from 6:30 - 8:30 pm, and fyi it’s the quarterly pick-up at the brewery.  Buchanan is one of the four beers.

See you tomorrow.




Goodbye, Columbia

Dear Fetishist,

The first time Aaron saw Brenda she asked him to hold her glasses.  Then she stepped out to the edge of the diving board and looked foggily into the pool; it could have been drained, myopic Brenda would never have known it.  She dove beautifully, and a moment later she was swimming back to the side of the pool, her head of short-clipped auburn hair help up, straight ahead of her, as though it were a rose on a long stem.  She glided to the edge and then was beside him.  “Thank you,” she said, her eyes watery though not from the water.  She extended a hand for her glasses but did not put them on until she turned and headed away.  Aaron watched her move off.  Her hands suddenly appeared beside her.  She caught the bottom of her suit between thumb and index finger and flicked what flesh had been showing back where it belonged.  His blood jumped.

That night, before dinner, he called her.

“Who are you calling? His Aunt Gladys asked.

“Some girl I met today.”

“Doris introduced you?”

“Doris wouldn’t introduce me to the guy who drains the pool, Aunt Gladys.”

"Speaking of Doris, she left you a message."

"I doubt it highly," Aaron said.

"She said something about a pick-up."

"When?" Aaron said.

"Tomorrow night.  At the Fridge.  From 6:30 - 8:30pm."

"Will there be beer?"

She shrugged, passed Aaron the phone, wandered off for parts unknown.

A bunch of other stuff happened between Aaron and Brenda, but it's all pretty dirty so we won't tell you about it here.




Where Boys Fear To Tread

Dear Fetishists,

He threw it.  He wasn’t thinking when he did it, he just reached back and let it go.  

Even when he started packing the snowball he both knew and didn’t know what would happen next.  In his life there had always been times like these -- times when he was of his body and not in this world, when consciousness itself would somehow give way to the seduction of dumb movement, when his life was somehow articulated only by sinew and muscle, by call and response, by quickly firing synapses and almost no reflection whatsoever.  His mother would ask him where he’d been, why he was covered in mud, why his clothes were torn, why he smelled like fire, where the day had gone, where he was going next. Through a tight smile, through glassy eyes, she pled for anything that would let her in and he’d only shrug, whisper, “Don’t know,” then march upstairs and pass out fully clothed across the quilt his grandmother made for him before The Fire.

There was a long silence as the snowball cut a line across the evening sky, he could feel himself admiring its searing velocity, its gray winter parabola, and then it loudly struck -- and shattered -- Farmer Johnson’s second floor window.  

“Shit”, Aaron thought.

He wasn’t a rule-breaker per se, he didn’t hate Farmer Johnson as such.  He was just young, strange, uncertain, not particularly careful, not particularly wise.  He heard a voice, an angry voice, Farmer Johnson’s voice, and Aaron took off down toward the meadow.  He slipped the fence, cut down across the Wendell’s, heard — ignored — that damn Rottweiler Luna, hopped over and scraped his knee on the half brick wall behind the Thompsons.  Back then Aaron was all elbows and bones, he chugged hard, he wore wooden shoes to fix his strange feet and his one longer leg, he tripped over the rotten stump in the Thompson’s back yard and lost his backpack and came to a skidding halt at Brandon’s feet.

“What the—“

“Farmer Johnson--”.  

“Is that blood?”

“Farmer John—“

The winter night split in half by the sound of the shotgun.  For half a heartbeat the boys looked each other in the eye -- their mouths tiny black O’s -- then they took off.  They ran as fast as they ever had — over Locust, then Heritage, then Ruby Lane. They turned onto Ember, they doubled-over, slid through a basement window into Mike’s family root cellar.  They coughed until they nearly threw up, they clapped each other on the back, behind a loose cinder block Brandon found a pack of stale Lucky’s, he lit one and offered Aaron one and -- as he always did -- Aaron waved him away wordlessly.

To the light of a naked, snapping 30 watt light bulb they looked at the boxes -- “basement”, and “third floor”, and ‘kitchen”, and “storage”.  Mike had already left for the new neighborhood, the walkie-talkies couldn’t reach him wherever he’d gone, all that was left was this corrugated monument to an empire they had already lost.  He didn’t want to say it, but he did. “Aaron,” Brandon whispered.


“Do you miss him?”

They’d never talked about it.  And now there was no way not to.  Aaron breathed loudly -- his friends always called him a mouth breather -- and then he said, “I was thinking about him last week.”


“I keep….I have this feeling.”

Brandon inhaled, exhaled. There was something like tears welling up in his eyes and so he looked away, turned his head the way that he’d seen men do.  “Please,” he whispered. “Don’t.”

“I...I have this feeling.”


Instead of saying it, Aaron turned toward the small basement window and thought.  About the lunatic trail of destruction he’d already created in this difficult world, about his terrified mother and his disappointed father, about the fact that he was so lonely and he was twelve and all he could imagine was a long future of more cold nights and more perplexing loneliness, a future interrupted only occasionally by nights spent brewing over-priced craft beer.  A future of buzzing neon signs and the death-rattle of naked trees, a Pennsylvania lifetime spent growing the quiet whisper of a moustache across his upper lip, spent lighting piles of anything on fire, spent rising before dawn and wondering how one is meant to pass the terrible thousand or so minutes before night time, before one might lay down and sleep off all of that pain.

Also, it's the penultimate Thursday of the month so there’s a pick-up tonight.  At Tellus 360.  From 6:30 - 8:30pm.

The Finger Story

Dear Fetishists,

The Deadliest Battle in The War of 1812 was the Battle of Raisin River and if you don’t believe us we encourage you to look it up.  WE know stuff.

The Battle was in January, rivers Maumee and Raisin were frozen, Chaos reigned supreme for the Americans because General Hull had been Court Martialed and sentenced to Death, and William Henry Harrison was Unable to convince James Winchester to leave Well and Good enough alone, and Because James Winchester was, well, James Winchester he Odered William Lewis to lead a Raid on the Essex Militia who were Encamped with a group of some 200 Potawatomi.  

How many times must we tell you?  Hubris Benefits no Man.

The Americans won the battle, they fell back, they Celebrated, they were proud.  Pride, boy, I don't know.  They thought, “Indigenous People and Canadians?  Please!”  They thought, “Manifest Destiny?" and then they thought:  "MANIFEST DESTINY!”  They drank.  They Slapped backs.  They reminded themselves of their inherent greatness.  And four days later the British And Indigenous Peoples Forces descended upon those self-same men.  When the battle was complete hundreds were dead, another 500 or so taken prisoner.  

We tell this story first and foremost to remind you that Hubris Benefits no Man.  We tell this story secondly to tell you -- somewhere amidst the smoke and the fear -- a man lost his middle finger.

And that man was James Buchanan.

To celebrate the Loss of James Buchanan’s middle finger 205 years ago -- and also some other stuff too -- we’ve teamed up with the Lancaster Historical Society to release a beer that, you know, celebrates the Loss of James Buchanan’s middle finger.   And other stuff.

We’ll be releasing this beer on Thursday -- it’s an 8%, Madeira Infused, American Stout -- and because we are between we’re going to hold the pick-up at the Brewery (we promised not to do this too often).  We'll be ready for you between 6:30 - 8:30pm, you’ll be getting your usual 4 beers, you’ll be getting the….opportunity to purchase a FoxDuck designed pint glass in order to support the Lancaster Historical Society, you’ll have the opportunity to listen to a 20 minute lecture about Lancaster’s Best American President, and you’ll have the opportunity to taste (and then purchase) the first beer in American History that was brewed with Authentic James Buchanan’s Bones.


She Flicked Us Off And Disappeared And We Never Saw Her Again.

Dear Fetishists,

One of us — we won’t say who — had a grandmother who was a smoker.  She was a grandmother-grandmother, she was a smoker-smoker, she went through +2 soft packs of menthol Salem’s every day, there were mountains of lipstick-ringed cigarettes in every room of the house, she spent most of her days sitting on her couch in Pittsburgh staring blankly out her Large Bay Window and saying things like, “If it snows as much as it did last Winter I hope I just die.”

She'd smoke, she'd stare, she'd curse the weather.

Her husband drank Manhattans by the dozen, he obsessed over crossword puzzles, he loved Notre Dame even though he attended Clarkson, he played golf at Duquesne Country Club three days a week, every Sunday night after dinner he drank one Golden Cadillac in the basement while his bifida-shaped wife smoked and meditated and smoked and meditated.  She'd say things like, “It’s just keeps getting darker" -- which we all took to mean "the-world-as-such" -- then light a forty-third Salem and shuffle off toward one of the two single beds in their dark, damp bedroom.

The final Thanksgiving any of us spent in Pittsburgh she was particularly bothered.  There were new neighbors, neighbors with strange habits, neighbors at whom she’d glare through her glass bay window. The steel mills had just closed and she blamed “the Bolsheviks”.  Reagan was President, she didn’t trust him, she didn’t like his face, she thought that he was a better man than Carter and certainly than Reubin Askew, but still.  The electricity in the house was different, she couldn't get the Home Box Office out of the television, the telephone was listening, the air was too close, the mailman was a damn liar, it was all wrong -- all of it.

Over that particularly strange Thanksgiving dinner she transitioned from silent to furious to ecstatic.  None of us knew her, she said.  She'd wrecked a car when she was fourteen because of the corn whiskey, she said.  At eighteen she'd frenched Ward Bond, she'd stowed away on a steamboat to London, she was seduced on a bus outside of Indianapolis by a man whose initials she only remembered as “N.C” , she made love in a bowling ball manufacturing plant, she'd been on the television twice, for two weeks she was a background singer for Jimmy Durante.  

And/but/also: her two daughters were bounders, her lone grandson was an idiot, and her husband -- who she never really loved -- was just so "common".   

She had two friends in the world.  Herself, and whichever cigarette happened to be in her mouth.  

After she flicked us off, we thought she was shuffling off to bed.  In the morning her husband filled out a crossword puzzle and when we asked where she was he shrugged.  Her bed was made, it was empty.  Six years later we received a curt postcard that read, "Screw you, suckholes.  I’m in Boca.”

This Thanksgiving is the 35th anniversary of her great escape, and to celebrate it we’d like to invite you to the Fridge on Thursday, November 16th between 6:30 - 8:30pm, for an evening of beer distribution and conviviality.  We will supply you with 4 (four) Fetish Brewing Company Beers, and, if you bring us an attractive photograph of Reubin Askew, we will also provide you with 1 (one) bonus free handshake.

With regards,




They Took Away The Only Thing They Could Never Take Away From Us.

Dear Fetishists,

The true story is -- we grew up close to one another.  

Mike and I lived in the cul-de-sac, Brandon behind us, the three of us spent birthdays together, we were Tigers and We-Be-Lo’s in the same pack, when we were nine Brandon invented a game called “Lobster” that we played with chalk and a tennis ball in his driveway and when Brandon won “Lobster” the rest of the day went great and when he lost he’d cry, he’d throw punches and shoes, we’d all be split up and our mothers would have one-word phone calls that went, “Lobster?” and: “Lobster” and: “Right.”

Those nights our parents would say: “Listen to me.  No more Lobster” and over our plastic Radioshack walkie-talkies we’d laugh at them because: you’re an adult.  Listen to yourself.

And also: there’s no way you take away Lobster.

When my parents told me we were leaving the cul-de-sac -- someone was building something called “Wetherburn”!  It’s in a thing called Manheim Township!  New neighbors and new kids to play with!  New afternoons of whiffle ball and bike riding!  Maybe even you kiss a girl there!  Although admittedly No-One Else Is Actually Living There Yet!  Admittedly there isn’t “grass-per-se” or “trees-per-se” yet because We’re Early Adopters and that means we’re on the front edge of something great! -- I locked myself in my bedroom, I wept, I spoke in long and shaken sentences to my Luke Skywalker action figure(1).

Later, over my RadioShack walkie-talkie I heard Brandon’s voice.  First he said, “Come in Big Bag, this is Wombat.  Come in, Big Bag.”  His voice was low, soft.  Then he said, quietly, “I heard the news.”

We’d never lived apart from one another, we hardly had any other friends, we bought our first Zips together, I couldn’t form words.  

Brandon said, “What happens now?”  

And I didn't say anything, and then I said, “No more Lobster” and I wept.  

After, I turned off my plastic RadioShack walkie-talkie, I spent the rest of the night focusing the small red infrared light from my lazer-tag handgun on the “Ski Aspen!” poster my mom gave me for my birthday.  That September I was pushed into a urinal and flushed on my second day at Bucher Elementary, my toughskins soaked to the bone; that same weekend I broke my left hand at Overlook skating rink.  I spent October afternoons laying on the dirt and stones of my backyard, my broken wing folded against my chest -- I’d count the chemtrails crisscrossing the cold evening sky, I’d imagine each a path that might lead me back to my former life, back to Brandon, back to Mike.

The pick-up is tomorrow.  It’s at the Pressroom from 6:30 - 8:30pm.  It’s BYO Toughskins(2)..


Aaron Risser


(1).   He was missing an arm, he was also missing a head, I called him “Adam” because I wanted more than anything to be called Adam.  When I went to Camp Conrad Weiser I introduced myself as ‘Adam” to everyone I met, and then that night my counselor pulled me aside and said that I kept lying about my name he’d lock me in the “kaibo” and that scared me so badly I didn’t poop that entire week.  

(2).   If you wear a pair of toughskins we’ll give you a free bonus handshake.