Born-and-Raised-Tour

Brewery Tour Showcases Newest Brews

By Risri Elthron

The Green Family Brewery based near the town of Thundermar opened their doors to a private tour, encouraging those in attendance to sample their wares and place orders for their exclusive brews. The Royal Courier was invited along to see the facilities and gained a small interview with the proprietor.

The tour started with a visit to the onsite pub and shop. Visitors to the brewery can purchase various sizes of the Greene Family’s signature brews from by the glass to the keg.

Up next was a visit to the Inn that serves the brewery’s workers and occasional travelers to the area.

The third stop was a visit to the main storage building where industrial sized kegs held the custom brews until needed.

The last stop on the tour was the main distillery where all the Greene Family Brews are made.

Nathaniel Greene, the owner and operator of Greene Family Brewery, gave us an exclusive interview after the tour winded down. Born and raised in the Highlands, Mr. Greene was exposed from a young age to the ways of dwarven brewing. He learned their techniques and put his own spin upon the ancient brewing ways of the Dwarves. “Here at Greene’s we try to strike everyone’s palate. It’s no fun going out to drink with friends and find they don’t have a brew you like.” He has been learning Pandaren brewing methods and has plans to incorporate their style as well into his processes, “we still do have a lot of work to do in the field of Pandaren brews, and maybe some stronger, more potent brews. Though we are progressing nicely.”

Mr. Greene intends to eventually open the brewery to the public on a more permanent basis, “I think that would be my end goal. I would love to see more traffic through Thundermar. The dwarves here are hospitable and kind. The food and drink is wonderful. I think people need to get out of the stuffy city walls and escape. I hope this will one day be a place they can go to, to escape.”

The Greene Family Brewery, located near Thundarmar, is a warm welcoming spot for those traveling through the Highlands and looking for a restful place with good food and great brews. “All are welcomed, the rich, the poor. The guard and the criminal. Yes, here at Greene’s we are all about kindness and consideration, respect and loyalty.“

(Contact Âpollo in game for more information or to request Greene Family Brewery Brews or a tour.)

Ticket Raffle to benefit @isaacfoundation #ProjectOneMillion !!!

Want two (2) tickets to John Mayer’s sold out Hollywood Bowl (October 5th) show for only $30?


On August 1st we will give away two tickets in a random drawing!!!

THE TICKETS:  PROM 2, SEC K2, Row 8, Seats 113 & 114


THE RULES: 

Send $30 (or multiples thereof, for additional chances to win) to us via PayPal*.  The address is fanstreetteam@verizon.net.  Mark it “charity raffle" in the notes, and be sure to check the box marked “send money to family and friends" so that PayPal doesn’t charge us fees for your donation.  (If you forget, and fees are charged, you will be asked to make up the difference.)

All net proceeds (that is, everything above and beyond the original cost of the tickets, which was approximately $188) will be donated to The Isaac Foundation’s “Project One Million" on August 2nd.

In the event that there are not enough participants to cover the tickets’ cost, then the drawing will not take place.  All donations will be refunded via PayPal, and the tickets will go up on StubHub, for sale in the general marketplace.

*Cash or other methods of payment will not be accepted.  This is a “PayPal only" raffle. 

Disclaimer:  We are an informal group of JM fans who came together to support The Isaac Foundation.  We are not John’s official street team. John isn’t involved in our activities in any way, and he does not donate merchandise to us.  All merchandise that we use in our fundraisers is donated by generous John Mayer FANS.

2

levi kekoa is a resident.

        resident | northside | college hockey assistant coach | thirty-seven | male

trigger warnings (mental illness, car accident mention)

past

Levi Kekoa, born Kaimana, has always been a boy of varied interests. Growing up in the house of a fisherman and a painter certainly helped with that little development - Levi’s mother, Aoife, was a painter and photographer while Lani, his father, worked on a fishing tour boat for rich holiday-makers. Born and raised in Wailuku, Maui, Kaimana grew up surrounded by art and the ocean. His father taught him to play guitar at an early age and his mother often set him down with a paint brush in hand to keep her company in her studio.

An only child, Kaimana flourished under the watchful eyes of two attentive parents and a stern but doting grandmother - he spent hours with each of them, both together and apart. Much of his time was spent down at the shore, swimming and later surfing. He struggled a little with making friends thanks to some only child introversion - spending all your time around adults sometimes made it hard to connect with kids your age - but his ocean-antics earned him a few pals and a nickname that stuck - Levi. It was a weird one with no basis other than a girl saying he ‘looked like a Levi’, but it stuck all the same.

When Levi was thirteen he was forced to leave those pals - his family were moving, not only out of Wailuku but out of Hawaii itself. His mother had picked up a job at The Art Institute of Seattle, so they were returning to her hometown. Levi had never left Hawaii before - he and his parents had never had much money between them, so travelling outside of home wasn’t something they got to experience.

Settling down in Seattle was hard for Levi - his introversion returned when he started school, finding it hard to fit in with other kids. He stuck out like a sore thumb at that point - he’d always been tall and now more than ever was it obvious, as a big brown boy in a sea of white kids. His size did come in handy, though - he was quickly shuffled into a few sports teams with coaches hoping to make use of his mass. It took a while for him to find one that fit - his choice was definitely surprising for a kid born in the tropics. But for some reason smacking around a puck on some ice felt right to the kid - hockey was his calling. Going from surfing to skating was a bit of a learning curve, but he managed - he could be surprisingly  graceful when he wanted to be, and Levi was very competitive with himself. When he set his mind to something he had to do it, no matter how hard it was.

Levi began to find his place in Seattle once he was out on the ice - he played hockey through junior high before advancing to a high school team. He did fairly well on the ice, too, earning the captaincy in his junior year and attention from college scouts in his senior. He did so well, in fact, that he earnt himself a scholarship to the University of Washington as a newly minted Huskies team member. The team was fairly successful throughout Levi’s college career - they had an excellent coach, a man who happily took Levi under his wing, offering him numerous pieces of wisdom, both hockey related and otherwise.

When Levi graduated in 2002 he was a little sad to leave his team behind - he got over it, though, as he was snapped up by a real team. It was sort of surreal, going from playing in the college leagues to the NHfreakin’L in what felt like he blink of an eye. Levi was lucky enough to be contracted to the Philadelphia Flyers - a dream come true, in all honesty. The moment contracts were signed he was off, moving to Philly to begin his career.

Levi managed to get two seasons under his belt before things came to a grinding halt. A car accident during the off-season threw a spanner in the works - Levi had been back in Seattle to visit his parents and some friends. He’d been heading back to his parents’ house after a dinner with his college coach when it happened - a car heading in the opposite direction crossed lanes, forcing Levi to swerve. He hit a power line, totalling his car and putting himself in the hospital. He was put through a series of surgeries for his various injuries - he was left with a plate on his shin and screws in one shoulder, a scar splitting his left brow. He was told he was lucky he didn’t lose his eye - all things considered he didn’t feel that lucky.

Recovery was tough - the physical therapy was intense, as was the emotional damage. The moment the doctors told Levi he couldn’t play again, he was ruined. To lose out on his dream so young was heartbreaking - Levi honestly didn’t know what to do with himself. In the end he left The States, moving back to Hawaii - he had to get away from it all. Away from Seattle, away from Hockey. Away from everything. He ended up back in his grandmother’s house, the house he’d grown up in - sleeping in his childhood bedroom definitely felt like a failure on his part.

It took Levi a long time to get back on his feet - he probably wouldn’t have at all if it hadn’t been for his granny’s foot on his head. She was a stern woman, even moreso than Levi’s mother. She pushed her grandson to get on with his life, not to waste it away mopeing. Levi slowly began to get his life back - he started spending time in the ocean again like he had as a kid. For a while he worked at a local surf school, giving lessons to tourists and locals alike. He reconnected with old friends - the kids he’d grown up with, the ones who’d named him Levi in the first place. One of the connections he made was with a girl named Keone - they’d been neighbours growing up and she’d been one of his first friends. She’d recently moved back to Wailuku herself, bringing her girlfriend Nalani with her. After months of rebuilding with late night wines and weekend surfs, Keone and Nalani asked Levi for a very big favour. The pair were looking to have their first child together - Keone was a little older than Levi and Nalani a little younger, and they were ready to settle down. Levi was a little confused as to what they wanted from him at first - once he put things together, though, he was quick to agree. Why would he say no, after all? If he could help his friend he’d be happy.

After several weeks of doctors appointments and uncomfortable clinic visits, things fell into place - Nalani was pregnant. The couple were overjoyed - they were quick to assure Levi that he’d definitely have a place in the child’s life if he wanted one. At first, Levi was unsure of agreeing to that - he’d seen enough soap operas to know things like that could get messy. He eventually agreed, though - he’d always liked the idea of kids. Even if he wasn’t raising the child as his own, it’d be nice to be an uncle.

Healani Martin-Jones was born in the early hours of a September morning in 2006 at the only hospital in Wailuku. It was a quick birth, in the grand scheme of things, easy despite Nalani’s anxiety about it. Levi was present for the birth, there to support both mothers as their child was brought into the world. Levi didn’t expect to be so affected by it - seeing the infant shook him. That was his child - maybe not legally, but biologically that was his daughter. It was a weird, world-reshaping moment for him, one that took him completely by surprise. It was odd, for such a tiny thing to have such a huge impact.

Settling into life as an uncle was easier than expected - the couple lived close by, and Levi would often visit, occasionally bringing along whatever woman he was seeing at the time. He’d graduated from working at the surf school - as much as he enjoyed it, he hadn’t found it all that fulfilling. He’d moved on to another path - a new hobby turned business, as a matter of fact. During his time lurking in his grandmother’s home he’d stumbled upon a handful of books on soap making - the woman had a whole bunch of random books in her shelves that Levi browsed through on occasion. These few books had caught his attention, though - he did more and more research on the subject until he bit the bullet and started. It cost him a little to get it up and running - he took to it naturally, finding pouring and making soap to be relaxing in a way that his other hobbies weren’t. He was quick to begin profiting off them, too - selling them at local markets and to shops in the area. It wasn’t the most fruitful of career moves, but it made him happy.

For several years Levi settled into that rhythm - making soap of all different colours and shapes. Rough hewn dark soaps that looked like pieces of shale, flecked green-grey and black and smelling like sandalwood. Salty pieces of charcoal-based soaps in pure black, fruity floral ones in jewel tones cut to look like gems. Time not spent working or at the beach were often spent with Healani and her mothers - he adored the child, in all honesty. He was ‘uncle Levi’ from the moment she learnt to talk. He made a very good go of being the best uncle he could, showing the kid with love and gifts. He started teaching her guitar as his own father had, once she was old enough to play. Sometimes, though, he felt himself growing resentful - wishing that he was really her dad, that she wasn’t being raised by someone else. He felt awful for habouring that resentment towards Keone and Nalani - they were his closest friends, women who were like the sisters he’d never had. He loved them both, which just made his feelings all the more guilt-inducing. So he stomped them down, ignoring the boil under his skin.

present

It was when he passed thirty-five that he started to feel more than just some background bitterness - he started to feel stuck. There he was, suddenly closer to forty than he was to thirty - fuck, where had the time gone? If you’d asked Levi’s college-self where he would’ve been by his late thirties, he never would’ve guessed this. As much as Levi loved his home and the life he’d built for himself there, he felt like the walls were closing in around him. There he was, hurtling towards forty with nothing really to show for it - no wife, no family. While Healani and her mothers were of course an extended family to him, he didn’t have anyone of his own. The women he occasionally dated were growing fewer and farther in between, their stays growing shorter as the spaces between them grew longer.

It was one night in mid-2016 when Levi got a call - not an unexpected one. He often had phonecalls with family and friends in the states - old hockey buddies, college and school friends. Hell, even his old hockey coach. Levi talked to him frequently, even after all this time - he was like a kind of uncle to Levi at this point, another father figure for him to draw from. They spoke about the man’s team often, about Levi’s former school and hockey, more often than not. It was really the only time Levi ever talked about hockey, outside of a few drunken rambles every now and again.

But this call was different from the others - this call was a request. Levi’s coach was reaching retirement age - while he still had a lot of gas in the tank, he wanted to start taking things easier. He had been looking for an assisstant coach - someone he knew he could trust, and someone he could put forward for the top coaching job when he finally did retire. Levi was the man he came too first - and Levi was the man who accepted. It was a spur of the moment decision - he didn’t stop to think or even consider what would happen or how it’d feel being back. He just said yes.

It took him a few months to leave Hawaii - he had to break the news to both his granny and his friends. Healani took it quite hard - harder than Levi was expecting. The little girl was heartbroken, truth be told. Levi was her only uncle - the only male figure that was a part of her everyday life. He felt terrible about it - he didn’t like seeing anyone cry, much less a child, but it was too late to back out. He knew this was something he wanted to do - needed, even. He missed hockey like a limb. Though he knew it wouldn’t be the same as playing, being back at the ice would have to be better than feeling stuck where he was. He put his soap-making on hold, making sure to stock up the local stores he was supplying before he left, moving back to Seattle.

After over six months back in Seattle, Levi’s starting to feel more at home. His assistant coaching position is going well - he still has enough free time to dabble in soaping again, despite putting it on the backburner. He can’t make as much as he used to, but he still has a little to sell online, supplementing his income. He’s been keeping himself busy so he can’t really stop to think - to dwell on his child back in Hawaii, or all his missed opportunities in the hockey world. He’s gonna keep staying busy, too - he doesn’t want to think about any of that. He’s tired of regret.

personality

Levi is a disgustingly stubborn man. He always has been, even when he was just a shy little kid. If he puts his mind to something he does it, no matter how difficult he finds it. He definitely got that from his father - it’s a trait his mother bemoans frequently. Levi has conquered the shyness that ruled him as a child and a young teen - while he’s still a quiet sort of person, he’s far more easy-going and relaxed. He’s actually fairly confident now. He’ll shoot the shit with anyone about anything, and he’s pretty friendly. He does often hide behind a joking, confident sort of demeanor, though. Levi has a self-loathing streak a mile wide, one he usually chokes down with some shitty dad jokes or by laying on the charm with someone. He takes all his failures to heart - sometimes something he puts his mind to is just something that he can’t do. Those things often haunt him - he takes his failures very personally. Despite his dislike for himself he can be very friendly and forgiving with others - his mother preached kindness to him from birth, something he’s taken very much to heart.

a little more

        ❝ strong and independent? i am neither. i’m just being pushed along by reality whether i like it or not. ❞ - haruki murakami

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John Mayer playing Beyoncé’s XO

Adelaide, Australia, April 15th