Farewell 2017 and thanks for all the beer. As I reflect back on my year I can not help but reminisce on all the adventures beer has helped me have. For nostalgia’s sake please allow me a few moments for thanks and to reflect on my year in beer:
January (Chicago, IL): I started the year by kicking off my bachelor party at Revolution Brewing in Chicago. We reveled in the past and looked to the future all while partaking in some of the best craft Chicago has to offer. Not to forget my introduction to the movie: “The Story of Ricky”. A 90s martial arts romp with more gore than the 2000 presidential election.
March (Cusco, Peru): My wife and I meticulously picked three craft beers to serve at our March 25th wedding. We ultimately decided on an IPA, a cream ale, and an amber. Our friends and family used these libations to help celebrate my new family. The latter half of the month was spent sipping brews on the mountains of Peru. After an unreal day of wandering Machu Picchu, I cracked my first bottle of Cusquena, Peru’s finest beer.
July (Portland, OR): If you do not like hiking and beer then you shouldn’t visit Portland Oregon. Hitting the trails in the morning and breweries by night proved to be a great way to celebrate America’s birthday. I am starting to see a trend that west coast folks simply know beer.
October (Maui, HI): When I travel, I always pack a shirt from my alma mater: Southern Illinois University. When I wasn’t lying on the beach or getting lost in the jungle I was working my way through a flight at the incredible Maui Brewing Co. On our last day I went to order when the beertender noticed my SIU shirt. As it turned out he was an alumni and had not seen an SIU shirt on the island in years. We chatted for a while and he bought me a beer on the house, go DAWGS!
December (Urbana, IL): Growing up I couldn’t wait to leave home and go out on my own. Now that I am older, I genuinely miss spending time with my parents. By chance, work had me back in Illinois for a week where my folks still live. My dad and I spent more time together then we had in the past few years combined. We toured Riggs Beer Co (fantastic), sampled his decade-old homebrews (terrible), and continued the neverending “what if” conversation about owning a brewery. It was the most fun I had had in a long time and am fortunate to get the time to enjoy their company.
So that’s a wrap, those are the highlights. The nights playing trivia with my wife, Friday afternoon day beers with my coworkers, and my collection of brewery stickers fill in the blanks. When life’s random events are viewed from the right perspective some meaning can start to form. While a new year is a great time to charge forward it is always best to take a minute and take stock of what has been.