The best thing about beer is not the taste, the aroma, or the appearance. Although those things are incredibly important to the integrity of a beer, they are mostly overlooked by something else way more important. People…the ones who drive the Beer Industry are what really make it what it is today. I was able to meet a few of those people this last Monday in the hope of better understanding what makes up this community of beer lovers.
At Mamie Taylor’s in Chinatown, standing amongst the wall of unique whiskeys and stuffed pheasants were a group of people no larger than 10. I was lucky enough to spend time with these individuals who create that sense of community so cherished within the Beer Industry. The Revelry Group, owners and bartenders of Maime’s, and a few beer enthusiasts were all huddled around albacore tuna sausages and bison burgers. As the food was being inhaled, I noticed an individual, somewhat separated from the group sipping beer, quietly observant of the people before him.
This person, Harley Smith, was the brew master from Longwood Brewery in Nanaimo and I couldn’t have been more excited. Happy enough to sit down for a few tasters, we discussed new projects, challenges of opening a brewery and his history within the industry. The thing most amazing about meeting him was his presence. He was captivating and I hung on to every word he had to say, as did the people over-hearing on the conversation.
After a few pints were consumed, the tuna sausages were gone and the afternoon started to dim into the evening, we all went our separate ways. This might have been the end of the tasting, but within the few hours of being within each other’s company, the sense of togetherness created a small gathering all inspired by the same thing. Beer is something that brings people together in ways our society sometimes forgets. Stories are told, friends are made and a network is built all because of this most fabulous beverage called Beer. Until next tasting, grow, prosper and keep refreshed my friends!
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