I was ten years old when my old man celebrated his 40th birthday, and I can remember thinking at the time that 40 seemed pretty old and crusty. I must admit the old man certainly had a lot of selective hearing and selective memory going on back then, which I have now realized is a sign of wisdom and not early dementia or is it???
Well anyhow, my lovely wife is just about to hit the big 4-O. Although she might not be too excited about me telling everyone about it, we always believe in celebrating our successes here at Gladfield and what an achievement it has been for Gabi.
Even though she managed to score herself a pretty amazing kiwi husband (the only bloke capable of taming her) Gabi is quite lucky to be alive to celebrate her 40th. Wild is a pretty good word to describe Gabi in her younger years, born in the jungle on a beef farm in Midwest Brazil Gabi never did things by halves when it came to taking risks. She constantly had her arms in a plaster cast and sling as a kid from pushing the limit in fear factor. Russian roulette was one of her favourite pass times as she grew older, either bareback on a horse, tractor or car of which she managed to write off three before the age of 20 somehow surviving nobody knows how. Gabi has always had a bit of a lead foot when it comes to driving, Ayrton Senna was her childhood hero!
So, we have decided to head back to Brazil to celebrate Gabi’s birthday with all her old friends and family. Now Brazilians don’t do parties by halves over 250 people are showing up for the gig or maybe just to see for their own eyes that Gabi actually survived to 40! I must admit though Gabi was very well known in her hometown of Campo Grande. On my first introduction to Brazil, I couldn’t help but be impressed when she drove me around her city (population of over 750,000) in her dad’s great big GMC pickup truck with no muffler. Every time we stopped at a set of lights, without fail someone would yell out “Gidday Gabi” (oi, tudo bom Gabriella) to her from across the street as if she was Crocodile Dundee coming to town. Everyone knows Gabi, and you can understand why when you meet her, she is so bubbly and friendly her smile and Brazilian sense of humour is quite a delight. No wonder whenever I am out at a brewing function, I am consistently playing second fiddle to our number one squeezebox. Gabi does hugs better than me. It’s a Brazilian thing!
There is just one problem when I go to Brazil, you see I wasn’t exactly flavour of the month for quite some time when I stole Gabi and settled her in New Zealand. And it wasn’t just her family who were decidedly pissed off with her lack of judgement in marrying a gringo. (crazy foreign b…) Apparently, there was a long list of heartbroken Brazilian boyfriends who never quite cut the mustard or as Gabi say’s they were all romance and no passion and lacked a little metal.
Well, you can’t say that about Gladfield. The next generation with Bel, Fred and Trev certainly seem to have inherited plenty of Gabi’s genes and certainly her lead foot, young Trev rolled the go-cart the other day and managed to walk away! You can rest assured Gladfield will continue to grow bigger and stronger with more passion than ever, it is called hybrid vigour!
Gabi, you are bloody amazing and the best thing to happen to me, and not to mention the brewing industry!
Happy 40th birthday love.
PS As I mentioned, we are heading to Brazil for a few days. Don’t worry. We have a very passionate and dedicated team looking after the show and onsite 24/7 while we are away. When you are as passionate as Gabi and I are about making the best malt in the world and making people happy you can guarantee it has rubbed off on all our staff, they will look after you and keep the flywheel turning.
PPS I left out about ten paragraphs of some of the crazy stuff that Gabi has done over the last 40 years, next time you see me I’ll tell you some of it over a beer, it is bloody hilarious and outright dangerous!