If I had to guess, you probably found this craft beer blog via social media; Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. So you have some knowledge of who I am via those pages – especially Instagram where I have been posting the longest.
Those images and captions tell a lot about the craft beer that I drink and my opinion of it. However, it doesn’t reveal the road that I took to get here. It doesn’t tell my story and what led me down the path towards craft beer and blogging about it. And while my first post gave you a brief insight into how social media has led me to creating this blog, I think the longer story paints a better picture of what beer really means to me.
Early Years, Family and Faith
Don’t get me wrong every childhood has it’s struggles but I can confidently look back fondly at most of mine. I credit this to my family. They prepared me for life in ways that I’m still discovering in my mid 30’s.
When I was young, my parents didn’t drink alcohol. Our family was focused on our faith and that didn’t include alcohol. The strong faith based foundation that my parents gave me has provided me with an endless source of direction for my life. It gives me hope and challenges me to be who I am called to be. As I approached adulthood, my view on drinking changed. I discovered that my Christian faith was about who I am and not tied to following rules. In other words, drinking alcohol was not off limits as long as it was within reason.
Once I had come to terms with the idea that drinking is acceptable; I needed to determine what that meant in real life. While I no longer felt compelled to resist alcohol, I did feel a strong urge to be responsible. And while I am not perfect, I do strive to be responsible in my pursuit of great craft beer.
My Brother and Craft Beer
One way that I started to explore and understand beer was through my brother. He was four years younger than me and involved in new trends like craft beer. He was drinking craft beer years before it was cool. His exploration of beer even included home brewing. At this time, craft beer was an underground movement. There were very few breweries in Cincinnati and only specialty stores sold it. I didn’t realize it at that time but my brother was involved in something that was going to explode in the coming years.
This is where my story takes a turn; on February 14, 2012, my brother died.
That sentence is harsh and I could probably say “passed away” but that doesn’t accurately describe how I feel about it. His death was unexpected and sudden. I will never be my brother; he was much smarter, witty, and interesting than I will ever be – he definitely would have been a better blogger.
Each time I enjoy a new beer; I can’t help but think of him and how much he would love what the craft beer community has become.
It is important to me that I have carried on a hobby that my brother valued. And to make it even better, my Dad, wife, and other family & friends have become craft beer fans too. Family has always been important to me and now we grow closer through craft beer.
So why does this matter to you? Good question! Honestly, it might not matter to you at all.
But I think telling my story is important. I think you telling your story is important.
It helps people connect and understand each other. In a world of social media that diminishes our views into short posts, images or links, it is more important than ever to share our stories.
My challenge to you is to tell your craft beer story; next time you are at a brewery and meet someone new – tell them your story. How did you find craft beer? Did someone help you discover this great community? It is by far the best way to connect.