Musings for August
A lot has happened in the world in recent weeks, within and outside of the craft beer scene. So here are my thoughts on some of the headline-makers.
The Olympics – Frackin’ awesome. With the notable exception of Men’s Basketball, I love the Games. Track and Field, Soccer, Volleyball, Fencing, Judo… I love them all. I really enjoyed the opening ceremonies (I am a total Kenneth Branagh mark), although I will admit to laughing at some of the tweets I witnessed referencing Lord of the Rings, Les Miserables, and Harry Potter. But the events are truly amazing. Watching what the human body is capable of, the speed, the power, and the grace… it is inspiring and humbling. And with most of the athletes displaying great sportsmanship, poise, and character (with a few notable exceptions) it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.
eBay Banning Beer Sales – Good. I am glad they finally did it. Look, I have no issue with beer trades, collectors, etc. But by allowing the sale on eBay, it created a vulture mentality that came at the detriment to craft beer lovers. You had “mules” essentially, lining up to buy up as much of special releases as possible with the only goal to sell them for lots of money on eBay. And that meant people who were there to buy bottles to actually drink and enjoy themselves did not get any. Technically, you have never been able to sell beer on eBay. Alcohol sales are illegal unless by a licensed retailer. Not to mention the legal issues surrounding the shipping of alcoholic beverages across state lines. That said, people were getting around it by selling the beer for the “collectible bottle – contents have no value”. A load of crap and I am glad they are deciding to enforce it.
Mars Curiosity Landing – What an amazing time we live in. If you have not been paying attention to the mission, or are unaware of the incredible feat of engineering NASA and JPL pulled off this morning, check it out. Science fiction becomes science fact, and it does get much cooler than this. Huge congratulations to the men and women who made it possible, and dared to do something truly extraordinary on another world.
New Tampa Bay Breweries – A few months back, I visited Three Palms Brewing in Brandon, and this past Friday night they poured their first official beer at Willard’s Tap House. Also last week, St. Pete Brewing Company made their announcement of a downtown location, and will hopefully begin construction in early 2013. Back in late July, Barley Mow Brewing tapped their first beer at a grand event that I unfortunately had to miss. I did get to visit them a few weeks before, and they have a great place there. I have had Jay and Colleen’s beers at festivals before, and have loved them all. All in all, Tampa Bay continues to impress and lead Florida’s growth in the craft beer world.
All About Beer Magazine World Beer Festival – It’s coming to St. Petersburg on September 22, and I have been asked to be a featured speaker for both sessions. Yeah, I am pretty excited and honored to be part of this. While I have not decided 100% yet what topic I will be speaking on, I have some good ideas and am really looking forward to it. Also presenting will be Gerard Whalen of Roadtrips for Beer and Beer in Florida, a good friend and quality beer geek in his own right. Tickets are available now, so go get ’em! As I have more information, I will relay it.
Lots of things on the horizon around here, and with summer ending and school starting, chaos is all be guaranteed. But out of chaos comes inspiration, and from inspiration… creativity. So, as always, I shall proceed as the way opens…