For this holiday, I once again would like to raise a glass or two to the plethora of things in the beer world for which I am grateful.
This year I have to share extra gratitude for being able to write this column each week. In two weeks, I will celebrate the 20th anniversary of doing this. I will write a special column about my memories over the years, but I thought I’d start off this week’s column with a big thank-you to my editors, both the ones who first offered me this column and all the ones who have edited this weekly missive over the years.
I’d also like to thank all the brewers, but most of all, I thank you readers who have been with me for so long. Cheers!
But aside from that upcoming notch in my beer-belly belt, I’d like to also convey my gratitude for living in such a heady time for beer and brewing, especially here in the U.S. The expansion of craft brewing over the past 45 years is mind-boggling. To have such a choice of options, even at the local level, is almost too much. (I said “almost.”) We beer aficionados should take time this holiday to give thanks for the age in which we live.
I mentioned them briefly above, but I’d be remiss not to again give a nod to all the great brewers who have fostered the growth of beer with their expertise, passion and imaginations. Of course, many – if not most – of these folks got their start in homebrewing, the legalization of which, as most of us know, was the floodgate that opened and now has us awash in tasty brews.
Of course, none of this would be possible without farmers, who grow the barley and hops which make up our favorite beers. One of my favorite bumper stickers says, “No farms, no beer,” and that sums it up. So support your local farms, even if they don’t grow hops or barley.
We also should all be grateful for the various beer websites and blogs out there: beeradvocate.com, untapped.com, brewbound.com, and massbrewbros.com are just a few of the notable ones. Each of these offer various takes about beer, and that can only be a good thing.
Last but not least, I’m thankful to live in a world where I can walk into a bar or pub just about anywhere and find someone to have a pint and chat about beer with. I’ve done it here in Massachusetts in any number of venues and I’ve done it in Dublin and Galway, as well as many, many other places.
Beer can bring us together, and that’s something to be grateful for. So raise a glass and give thanks for the good things in your life. Cheers.