It’s that time of year where we all take time to sit back and reflect on the last 12 months that have passed us by. It always seems to be January and then you blink and it’s Christmas once again. With 2020 promising to be a big year (getting married, eek!) I wanted to take time to look back at 2019.
As I sit and type this as Ana watches Gavin and Stacey, I can’t help but feel blessed. First and foremost for my incredible and loving family who show us support every single day. But more so for putting up with my (un)healthy craft beer addiction. It’s not easy playing second-fiddle to my phone so thank you, Ana, for standing by me and not frowning too much when I buy even more beer. Also, to the rest of my family for when I always think of beer-related stops when we have a family trip out. Having dad (@nc_redrawn) along for the journey now though is fantastic and I’m lucky to be able to share my beer antics with him and Andrew, my older brother too.
Secondly I want to thank you, whoever you may be, for following me and reading this blog post or following me on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. Since its inception, I cannot believe how successful the blog has been and my Instagram account in particular has grown exponentially since March. I don’t do it for the numbers or plaudits, I do it for the love of craft beer but more so to meet people and share my experience with others in the hope they find a beer they enjoy. Or, on the other hand, stay away from those that may not meet expectations! Thankfully, that is few and far between…
Hop City 2019 was my first festival of the year and what an impression it made. I had just embarked on Instagram when it came around so I knew relatively few people back in April in the beer community. Having volunteered, I met people across the two sessions I was part of including some awesome folks from Northern Monk, the breweries in attendance and Alex (@aghobson) and Terry (@beerwithfeather) from Instagram and Twitter respectively.
From there, I’ve hopped from events, bars, tap rooms and bottle shops meeting folks along the way. Yorkshire Craft Beers opened in Castleford earlier this year and I have since be-friended all the guys who run the shop since their inception. I re-kindled a friendship with a former colleague from VW, Craig (@yorkshirewestworld), and we have shared several beers since including at the Old Grocers in Pontefract; my local micro pub that opened this year.
As mentioned before, my dad recently embarked on his own beer adventure quickly finding his feet on Instagram. I’m sure you’ve heard me bleat on about this before but he was given the opportunity to design a label for Northern Monks Patron’s Project. An excellent job he did too and I sincerely hope that his designing career doesn’t stop there, his talents to be recognised elsewhere. Beer has definitely brought us closer together these last 12 months.
There really are too many moments to mention and I’m genuinely sorry if I have missed anyone or anything from this post. My main sentiment to takeaway; be thankful for those around you. For anyone I have met, spoke with or shared a beer with; thank you. I couldn’t have imagined doing this several years ago and it’s genuinely heart-warming how generous, caring and accepting this community can be. All those conversations and comments across the channels do not go unnoticed.
So let’s look back on 2019 with fond memories and welcome 2020 with open arms. Cheers, folks, let’s make it a good one.