Although I have been drinking beer for more years than I care to admit, I am fairly new to ‘craft beer scene’ and only in the past few years did I discover the ‘craft beer community’. However, in year or so of reaching out to connect with those who share a passion for beer, I am constantly amazed and emotionally touched by the spirit of caring and generosity with which craft drinkers seem to conduct themselves. If, as Barney the purple dinosaur says, ”Sharing is Caring,” then craft beer drinkers rank high among the most caring people I know. Never have I seen a group more willing to share.
I spent 15 years as a corporate librarian and quit my job in January to finally pursue my degree in library science (after all, Batgirl was a librarian). Librarians know that information can be power, and I am quite sure it is. The generous and informative nature by which the craft beer community operates and supports their local beer scene and fellow beer drinkers, has allowed many fledgling breweries to flourish and grow.
Craft beer drinkers, don’t just passively drink beer. Instead we enthusiastically take to our blogs and review beers, breweries, and restaurants. We read up on all manner of beer related news stories and repost, retweet, link and share. We connect through sites like Beer Advocate, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Untapped and a million other different resources. We trade. We talk. We share information.
This intricate network of hived information has not only allowed me increase my appreciation and knowledge about beer, but also to connect with almost all of the beers on what I like to call my “wish lust”. Those un-gettable gets that seem so deliciously tantalizing based on their sheer unavailability. Thanks to generous tips from ‘beer friends’ I have been able to try many beer offerings from far off places or hard to acquire bottles, simply by making it known that I was looking. For example, my beer circle allowed me to acquire beers like Cigar City, 3Floyds, and the elusive KBS.
Have a question about a home brew? Ask and you will gladly receive advice. Want to know the best beer spot in a new town? A local is always happy to jump in and share, and might even meet you for a brew. Not only will they share their beer adventures, but their lives, births, and marriages, even a deaths have all been met with a collective celebration or shoulder to cry on (depending on how you felt about the marriage) .
Although our parents warned us never to talk to strangers, it seems to me that the word ‘stranger’ does not exist to this welcoming group of people, only a friend you haven’t met yet. Cheers to all my friends I haven’t met yet.
editor’s note: Batty and I actually met via Google+ and decided to make this blog not just exist, but flourish. Thanks Batty for all that you do, and for writing about this to share with others!