Fresh out of college, my first beer was a Corona. At that time I didn't know the first thing about what beer should even taste like. My friend handed me a lime wedge and said the thing to do was put it in the beer. He demonstrated by dropping the wedge in the bottle, sticking his thumb in the opening, and then turning the bottle upside down so that the beer mixed with the lime. I tried the same thing, forgot that beer was carbonated, and gave it a shake. Beer exploded all over me.
That was my first beer experience, and honestly not much changed for several years after that (aside from avoiding beer explosions). I only drank the occasional beer, and stuck with whatever my friends were drinking at the moment. Right before I got married, I took my groomsmen on a tour of the Coors brewery in Colorado - it was really interesting, but still didn't do much to affect my personal consumption of beer.
As Taproom launched in 2014, my awareness and knowledge of craft beer took off. Along with my staff, I went through some Beer 101 classes and became a Certified Beer Server with the Cicerone Program. I sampled new beers on a daily basis. I began to get a grasp on various styles, the basics of beer brewing, and the general vocabulary surrounding beer. Taproom hosted monthly beer classes. We partnered with local breweries for beer releases and tasting experiences. I tried my hand at homebrewing beer with some friends. I even got to be a guest on the Beer Pop! Podcast, telling hosts Dan and Aaron about my beer journey.
Now, almost 2 years later, I feel a lot more comfortable in the beer world. I can actually carry on a conversation about beer styles, brewing basics, or what my personal preferences have come to be.
And my overall conclusion: Beer is a means to an end. For me, beer holds the same function as coffee does - to bring people together. Yeah, I can geek out on all the brew science, history of styles, or nuances to the flavor palate, but really what I want to do is enjoy a great glass of beer with some friends... and I want others to do the same.
So at Taproom, when day transitions to night, when coffee cups give way to pint glasses, know that the goal is still community.
You might seek out and enjoy that seasonal one-off limited-release from a local brewery, but the real focus is connection with others - shared experiences. We'll always strive to offer up a killer lineup of draft beers from all over. We'll grow in nerdy beer knowledge and tasting. We'll teach and learn, pour and sip. But let's take the journey together.