I’ve been home from Boulder and the Beer Bloggers Conference for a couple of days now, trying to adjust to the time difference and being back to reality. (What do you mean I can’t drink beer all day long?)
Everyone has asked me if I had fun, and of course the answer is yes. But I’ve been reflecting on what the weekend meant to me on a deeper level than “fun.” I honestly feel like I’ve found my calling, the passion that has been running deep through me all along: I am a Craft Beer Drinker, and I like hanging out with like-minded people. And I want to continue to be a craft beer evangelist. Going forward, I want to tell the stories of craft brewers, drink a lot of good craft beer, and remember the history of this particular way of making and enjoying beer. The conference helped me to find my focus.
One of the nicest people I met over the course of the weekend was Mariah Calagione, marketing VP of Dogfish Head Beer and wife of founder Sam Calagione. Yes, she’s awesome because she’s a beer babe. But beyond that, we had some things in common: we’re both born East Coast girls, former TV news producers (and that’s a certain kind of crazy), as well as working mothers in marketing and public relations, and social media lovers. (I did not say addicts.)
I’m really looking forward to the premiere of the series Sam will be hosting starting this month on the Discovery Channel, Brew Masters. Mariah told me how the production crew pretty much lived with them for three months over the summer, and how crazy that was at times. But it’s all for the good: to tell their story of craft brewing.
I’ve been doing some remedial reading since I’ve been back, and I really enjoyed and appreciated this article from The New Yorker from a couple of years ago. Not only does it profile Sam, but it also gives a nod to Jack’s New Albion Brewery and quotes one of my favorite beer writers, Maureen Ogle. (I have some news to share: Maureen and I proposed a talk to give at the next Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco in 2011, and it was accepted! More on that as it develops.)
The article mentions Sam’s “pretend band,” (as Mariah told me she refers to his hobby) and she told me he gives a shoutout to New Albion in one of his songs. Any craft brewer who remembers their roots is going to stand strong against the winds of change ahead into the future. And I’ll be there, championing them on. It’s what I was meant to do.