Craft beer. I’ve been doing this since the early 1980’s. It started out innocently enough. Cheap beer with pizza after softball games. Wednesday hump days at FX McRory’s drinking imported brews from around the world. Homebrewing.
Pike, Red Hook, Thomas Kemper. Henry’s. It began as a love of beer, and became a love of its people.
Ups and downs. Sellouts, buyouts. Some up front. Others behind the scenes. Scandals. Infidelities. Failed partnerships. An ever-changing landscape.
Then came the life changing decision from wanting to learn about beer, to wanting to learn about the beer industry. Who to follow. What to try next.
Enough. Craft beer exploded. In a good way. Beer marketing changed. It got bigger by getting smaller.
These days, trying to stay current with new brewerys is like going from getting to know everybody in your Language Arts class, to getting to know everybody in your high school, to everybody in your college, workplace, city.
And FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. A new brewery opens here, while a festival is going on, no, two festivals. And four new beer releases and three anniversary parties. And that’s just on a Saturday.
Festivals. It used to be three or four a year. Timed with the seasons. Then it morphed into festivals of a particular style. Cask beer festivals. Scottish Ale festivals. Dark Arts (stouts) festivals. IPA festivals. Belgian festivals. Festivals for worthy causes; neighborhoods, saving wild places and critters, fathers.
Taprooms. In garages. In growlers, crowlers, tasters. Inventing inventions. Fresh hop picking. Beer touring.
It became college all over again. Not so much about all the things you learned, but how much there is out there you will never learn.
Sometimes it just seems like there is too much to know, see, do. And my dog wants me to take him to the park.
Where’s his leash?