I was invited to the Lompoc Holiday Ale preview event, which, as always, is a super cool thing to be invited to. I’ll have a writeup on the beers I sampled on Wednesday but the spoiler alert is: they were interesting and/or good and I had a great time.
I arrived early, perhaps too early, with everyone noticing my entrance; Jerry, the owner of Lompoc, Chris, the PR woman who is responsible for my invite and John Foyston, who is one of the Elder Statesman of beer writing in Oregon.
But here’s the thing about events at the Sidebar; they are jovial and friendly and all around in the spirit of the holidays. Being there felt like the kind of event that kicks off your holiday season. It wasn’t long after I arrived that other people started to wander in and we all started to talk about beer and break up to…talk about beer again. I even had a chance to catch up with the folks at Taphandle, which was awesome and I’m hoping we are able to arrange a beer together soon.
Yet, the whole time I felt a little out of place. I was asked multiple times who I wrote for and that question made my brain go weird. What do you mean who do I write for? I write for me. I write for you.
But that isn’t what they meant, of course. I was even asked if I ever considered ‘monetizing my blog’ which also felt weird. I’m not against making money; hell, I’d be happy to have people pay me for this but I don’t know the first thing about such matters–and truthfully, that isn’t why I’m here. I’m here to talk to you.
It became a little clearer when I was talking to Josh, one of the new brewers at Lompoc. I told him I felt a little out of place and he said ‘You built this thing because you loved it’.
The only thing I could think at that moment was; well, yeah. Why else even bother?
And that’s why I can stand with the people–whose efforts I respect and appreciate–who have become those larger figures in the scene. I’ve spent my time and I can be proud of what I’ve done.
The money matters less than the interaction with people. Getting to hear the stories told in a pub is a reward that is very distinct from a paycheck and I’m fortunate and thankful that I am in a position to go to these events. I just recognize that I’ve earned that position and maybe don’t have too feel so awkward next time.
Plus, I’m thankful for those who have allowed me to be in such a position. Without an audience this would be a very different blog so I appreciate your attention.