We all have our reasons to enjoy a beer every now and then. We all have our preferences on styles, tastes, locations to drink, time of day, etc... The list could go on and on. For me, I love the fact that I am able to teach those that want to learn about beer and watch their eyes light up. However, there is one more reason that tops the aforementioned. The one thing I always hold dear to my heart when I drink a beer is the great times I've had with my father while doing so.
Ever since I've began to explore the beer culture, my father was always confused as to why the heck I was purchasing so many expensive beers that tasted terrible (he once said those exact words to me). Nevertheless, as I was trying all these new beers, my father never refused to take a sip and make the same “Holy-hell, what is that!?!” face every time. I still remember the time I had him try the Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Samuel Adams; he almost lost his lunch and nearly passed out! I laughed so hard that I almost passed out, too. Yet, he still encouraged me to keep learning and exploring.
The best of these times was spent at the Stone Brewing Company Word Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, California. This was the first visit for him and the look on his face was priceless. Sure, I've taken him to breweries before, but none where of this scale or beauty. We ate lunch, took the tour, and enjoyed beers outside in the garden. The conversations we had that day ranged from the all areas in the emotion spectrum. My father was happy, and so was I. What more could I ask for at that instant?
Perhaps that’s why I love Stone Brewing Co. so much and why I hold such strong emotional connection to that place. It wouldn't be out of reach of any of you said that I will be bias towards Stone Brewing Co. because of my experience with it. You know what? I don’t care.
Now that time has passed by from those early days of beer discovery, my father has since become more accepting of the beers I drink. In fact, he has actually acquired a taste for almost any German-style Hefe’s, Bootlegger’s Palomino, Noble Ale Work’s Pistol Whip’d, and even Pliny the Elder to mention a few.
There are many other reasons why I love the beer industry so much. A couple of reasons I have yet to mention because they are not as bright and uplifting as this one, but that’s something I like to keep to myself (only one individual actually knows). Being able to enjoy a beer with him every-so-often is one of the best gifts this industry has ever given me.
Recently, I took my father out on a mini-brew tour. One of out stops was The Bruery. It was an amazing moment when we both had the same vision materialize in our minds the second we took a sip of Salty Weisse: A special moment in time from my childhood. We both said what we were thinking ("¡Yo pimero, Pa!")... Needless to say, we shared a few tears in the tasting room. That's what it's all about, right there!!
I am lucky enough to still have these opportunities to spend time with my father. I need to... Scratch that... I WILL make more time to take my father out to a bar or even in the patio of my home, sit there, enjoy a beer, and just...Talk. I can say with the up-most honesty of my tainted soul that some of the best memories I have of my father have been over a couple of beers.
I cherish these moments. I will miss them when they are gone. Spend time with your friends. Spend time with your family. Enjoy a beer with them. Don’t miss the opportunity while it’s available. It might just bring you closer together, as well.
I don’t say it enough, but I love my “Pops” and I know that he knows that. With watery eyes, I give thanks to the craft beer industry for bringing us even closer together.
|My "Pops" and I at the end of his first brewery tour|
at Stone Brewing Co. (2011)
-Gilbert “Charlie” Perez, Certified Cicerone®
I've been meaning to post this since Father’s Day, yet I was not able to let it be; I am my own worst critic and changes kept coming. Sometimes, you just need to let go and let the world critique...
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