This past weekend, Chris and I attended the 3rd annual BevMo! Holiday Beer Fest at Fort Mason in San Francisco. I was supposed to write a blog about the fest, but as Thanksgiving Day approached, I became more introspective and thankful. The fest and giving thanks may seem like two completely different subjects. However, as I started thinking about what I was most thankful for, I realized what made the Holiday Beer Fest so special to me this year.
I could say that I am thankful for the mothers of brewers or for the brewers who make good craft beer. Heck, I could even say I am just plain thankful for having craft beer in my life. But what I am really thankful for is the wonderful craft beer people I know. Starting my craft beer life in the Bay Area, events up there are often like old home week. This year’s Holiday Beer Fest was no exception.
At the fest I clunked plastic cups of Almanac’s latest offering, Autumn 2011 Farmhouse Pale, with friends like Bruce “the Beer Chef” Paton. We first met Bruce close to 20 years ago when Barclay’s was our local and he has been a special person in our life ever since. I also received a big hug and a kiss from Betsey Hensley, beer woman extraordinaire and the wife of Marin Brewing Company brewer, Arne Johnson. She also gave me a bottle of Underberg, something I was especially thankful to have at the end of the festival!
Running my beer crafts table I didn’t have a whole lot of opportunity to walk around the fest and taste beers, so I was grateful to be next to our friend Kevin Clark, brewer at Peter B’s in Monterey. Kevin has done an amazing job revamping Peter B’s line-up and I was all too happy to drink his Sundown Hazelnut Brown for most of the night. I appreciate counting Kevin and his wife Corrie as good friends, as well as Kevin’s contribution to boosting our local beer scene down on the Monterey Peninsula. So I guess, I actually am thanking a brewer for making great craft beer. I’ll stop short of thanking his mother for giving birth to him.
I can think of numerous others who I saw during the fest that helped me realize how grateful I am to be part of the craft beer community, but I don’t want to bore you all with an endless list of thanks reminiscent of an Academy Award acceptance speech.
At the risk of being totally mushy, Chris and I would like to say how much we appreciate all our friends with whom we have shared some very special times and beers with, as well as all thebeergeek.com supporters that we may not know personally. You have all enriched our (beer) life in some way and for that, we thank you. We hope you have a very Hoppy Thanksgiving!
View all the images from the 2011 Holiday Beer Fest…