This past weekend I had the honor of being invited to an amazing event here in the Harrisburg, PA area: the Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share. The official event description is as follows:
The event will allow craft beer enthusiasts to dust off and share rarities from their cellars. If you don’t have any rare beers, feel free to bring a favorite from your fridge to share. It doesn’t have to be a white whale or an uber-expensive corked and caged, hand numbered, limited edition, once-and-done batch. Just bring some good beer to share with everyone! There is no admission cost to enter the event, although you are required to bring beer (typically a few bombers, a growler, or some 12oz. bottles, or any combination of the above).
And that is exactly what it was! There were approximately 100 people present and what seemed like an endless supply of beers for everyone to sample. It was truly beer heaven.
The beers were organized on 3 different tables by style as close as possible. There were also giveaways donated by local distributors and watering holes. I ended up winning a lovely 6 pack of beer from local small-batch brewery Millbock Brewing.
The event has been running for a few years now and was originally created to emulate a similar event in the Philadelphia area. It has been created and organized on Beer Advocate primarily, but because of the growing network available via social media, it has grown in bounds. I found out initially via email, and then reminded by good old word of mouth.
In my opinion, this event is about a lot more than the chance to sample rare beers. It’s about the community of people. You never know who you’re going to see and meet at events like this. There are so many characters throughout our craft beer community that you will never get to meet using one communication path alone.
For example, I would like you to meet a friend I made who is pictured below. We are going to call him Mr. Analog Untappd. Mr. A.U. has every beer he’s ever tried on that clipboard, organized by country of origin and then brewery alphabetically. He takes notes on the backs of pages and then updates his database when he gets home. He says he has over 10,000 entries, and I don’t doubt that at all. He was amazed and enthralled by my use of Untappd to do basically the same task. We took turns recommending beers around the room and had a great time. I never would have met him on Google+, Twitter, or any other method.
In my eyes, the day was a great success. I met so many other people who share my common love of good beer, got to try good beers, and had an awesome time among friends.