What A Year…Thank You.

So today marks a bit of an anniversary.  If you’ve ever read the “about” section along the right hand side of the blog, you know the story.  Some time ago, my girlfriend, a non beer person herself, was tiring of my constant vocalized impressions of whatever good, craft beer I was trying at the moment.  Perhaps because those impressions were followed by attempts to have her try them as well, perhaps by the attempts to at least to discuss them with her.  “Really?  I swear I taste red grapefruit in there somewhere”, for example, met with more than a little eye rolling.  Of course, soon came the warm, loving suggestion that maybe I could start logging my thoughts and impressions on a blog instead.  As in, “You know, hun, maybe there’s someone else out there interested in all this…”.  I resisted at first, but having always enjoyed writing as well, had one of those “what the heck” sort of moments.  I did a little bit of research, looked at other craft beer blogs, and dove in.  I can’t resist the cliché:  I had no idea, truly, what lie ahead.

The first blog post, an attempt to describe two “why” moments – why I had gotten into craft beer and why I had started the blog – was put up on the site one year ago today.  In the year that has passed, I have been overwhelmingly surprised time again and again with good fortunes stemming this blog.  Yes, the traffic to the site has exceeded my wildest expectations.  But more than anything, the blog has given me the opportunity to meet the most incredible folks – from territory representatives and owners of craft breweries to the Brew Masters themselves, to owners and managers at restaurants dedicated to serving craft beer, to the folks at specialty beer stores, on down to other like minded fans of craft beer such as myself.  The thread that links every one of them is instantly apparent when you talk to any one of these people, especially those connected with a brewery.  There is an inner feeling of pride in what’s being carefully and lovingly produced – beer that is a work of craftsmanship, made in the same sort of way a writer might toil over a new book or an artist over a new painting.  There truly is a feeling of camaraderie among them, a sense of work well done that knows no boundaries or lines between breweries.  The pleasure they take in their work is addictive, and refreshing.  And what is turned out by them is a source of deep appreciation by the fans, something to enjoy, and certainly not just “drink”.  You can see all of this, from the Brew Master down to the fan, usually without saying much at all.  It’s often within an instantly recognizable grin – the kind that’s part subtle joy, part ‘we know quite a secret, don’t we?’ slyness,  but one that is all simple, fulfilling, satisfaction.  It’s the kind that says “…wow, did you taste that?  Absolutely amazing”.

So I wanted to post a simple Thank You today.  First, thank you, hun.  That little push has turned into quite a blast, hasn’t it.  Then of course, thank you to anyone who has stopped by the blog already.  I hope you found the content useful, and hope you find a reason to keep coming back – that what’s here continues to be of good use to those moving through the craft beer world, as it’s intended to be, and I hope you’ve found at least a couple things along the way that bring that sense of true appreciation for well crafted beer.  Thank you to the people I’ve met at breweries and at festivals, at shops and stores, and to all the people who I’ve had the great luck to meet and who are spreading the love, as it were, about the world of craft beer.

Later on today, I’ll be cracking open a limited release stout that I will be sharing with friends, and I know I’ll be thinking about many of these people as I look back on this year and forward to the next – all with that grin of absolute, simple satisfaction.


~ by thebeerroad on February 19, 2011.

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