Beer and I have a history. It is not so much a storied history (to anyone but myself), but it is a history that begins with memories of my Dad drinking Special Export at dinner. It continues through my teenage years during which I occasionally helped my Dad homebrew in my family’s kitchen. In my twenties, I attended meetings of the local homebrew club when I could (while I was home from school). I also attended my first beer festival (Schells Bockfest) in my 20s.
Unfortunately, during my early 20s homebrewing and I drifted apart for a few years. Thankfully, we reconnected after I moved to Chicago and opened up the E and E Brewery in my girlfriend’s place.
Soon after moving to Chicago, I began to explore what the city had to offer as far as beer. I also met a few homebrewers in my neighborhood who had formed a homebrew club called Square Kegs (which I joined as soon as I could confirm it was a real club).
In short, my relationship with beer has continued to grow over the years, and last year it took on a new facet:taking field trips for beer. When I type ‘field trip’ I do not mean trips to the local liquor store. Rather, I mean traveling out of town for beer: visiting breweries and going to beer festivals. This year alone, I have gone to my first Dark Lord Day, I have been to Founders twice (once to visit and again for the CBS release), I made it to the 3 Floyds Anniversary Party and there is possibility I will be taking a trip to visit Bells.
My girlfriend thinks I am crazy to put all of this effort, money and time towards such field trips. I understand her perspective, but such trips are a great excuse to travel to places I may have not have visited otherwise. I also believe that time apart from a significant other is a great benefit for the relationship as a whole ('distance makes the heart grow fonder').