I remember what I like to consider my first “real” craft beer as if it were yesterday. It was a sunny day in
I remember what I like to consider my first “real” craft beer as if it were yesterday. It was a sunny day in East Van and I was in my room bawling my eyes out as my car was being repo’d. I had left a soul crushing job, and things were collapsing around me. After the car was gone and I had come out from hiding in the tiny bedroom I was renting and barely getting by with, my roommate says “let’s grab a beer”.
We walked down the street to St.Augustine where I had sampled the menu before but played it quite safe. He decides we just go for whatever had the highest alcohol content on the menu which was The “Captivator Dopplebock by Tree Brewing“. In that first sip The Captivator hit me in a place I didn’t know a beer could hit. It hit me right in the heart. I knew then and there I had missed out on a world of things I hadn’t experienced (and so many great beers I haven’t left my comfort zone for).
Within a few weeks I had moved back in with my parents in Calgary, worked doing freelance design and any extra cash I had was spent at local pubs exploring this amazing new found “friend”. That’s when something happened. Craft Beer lead me to meet the love of my life. Tom and I bonded over our shared excitement for new found breweries popping up in Canada.
We started a beer blog to gain more knowledge and really figure out what’s happening in the industry. The Alberta beer boom was just a twinkle in the eye of future brewers at this point, so we figured our best opportunity to grow would be to move out West (Where is all began for me). The beer scene was incredible, already established in a big way and easy to access! Unfortunately, life had a different idea for us.
Jobs became harder. People became difficult to relate too, and the only thing we knew was something was happening back in Alberta, where a lot of those “idea” breweries were becoming concepts. Although being back in beautiful British Columbia was a dream for me, I knew we had something bigger to explore back home. So back we trekked. Within days of our return, Night Owl by Tool Shed (a collaboration with Phil & Sebastians coffee) was released and we attended the event for it, where we connected with other beer lovers and truely saw a good thing happening.
Craft Beer lead me to connect with people in way I didn’t know possible. Now clients from the hair salon I work at chat me up, ask me for recommendations, and even have brought home brew they have created themselves to the salon for me to “check out”. Craft Beer lead me to make friends with a variety of people. I found a family of passionate people who just love to share their kindness, knowledge, time, and sometimes, their beer too!
Beer to me is no longer about getting messed up. It’s about flavour. It’s about stepping outside your comfort zone. It’s about community. It’s about bonding. It’s about supporting people who have a dream. It’s about supporting the local economy. It’s about helping others succeed! It’s about beating down the conspiracy of what we should like instead of what we do like.
So next time you lift a glass of your personal favourite (probably today on this National Beer day), think back to how craft beer has changed your life. Like what you like, leave what you don’t (but don’t be scared to try it again once in a while) and don’t be scared to try something new. Remember your friends along your journey and toast to the best times! Cheers!