Keeping the Faith, Spreading the Word
I've been continuing my beer dinner shenanigans this month, and I don't really need to bore you with the details, but I've noticed an interesting trend the last couple dinners I went to, where I've sat with a table of people who I don't know and aren't in the beer world. I had a great time talking to new people not only about the beer we're drinking together but also the beer scene in New Orleans and Louisiana. It's like doing craft beer outreach on an individual level. I love it! It's like evangelizing, spreading the good news about something I really believe in.
It works well for me, too, because sometimes I get so wrapped up in my beer world and all the minutia that it can get... a little stale, some days? I mean, it's hard to have sustained enthusiasm every moment of every day. But talking to people who are new to the world and excited about learning and exploring more about it, it gives me new energy and hope for the work I do and the scene I try to promote and represent.
It can be a little discouraging some days to hear negativity about... well, everything. I do respect everyone's opinions about beer, regardless of what they are. But the negativity can be wearying, some days. It can make it hard to remember why I do what I do. So having a fresh perspective is invigoration. (Note: I'm not saying that people have to be positive about beers or breweries they don't think are as good as they can or should be, or that I even expect that. Just exploring my own day-to-day feelings that I come across in the course of my work.)
It makes me think about other ways to reach out to new beer drinkers, to add to the craft brewing tent. Maybe a pod cast or ramping up educational sessions with Girls Pint Out? Something to bring some diversity to the pitch-write-repeat cycle that can get insular and lead to me feeling tired and jaded. I don't want to be jaded! I love craft beer! And I love seeing Louisiana's scene grow in its own unique way. It's very exciting and I want to stay excited about it.