On what is the final day of 2013 and what will be my final post of the year, I wanted to take a quick minute to look back at the year gone by and give a short but (as best I can) heartfelt synopsis of the past 12 months in the life of your friendly neighborhood beer blogger.
Those who know me personally or follow along closely with my online presence know what a year this has been for me, and not necessarily in a good way. For those who don’t know, I was laid off from my job as a reporter early this year and spent the majority of the spring and summer unemployed, applying for jobs week in and week out but always coming up short. I’ll admit, for a while it was kind of like summer vacation. I still busted my ass looking for jobs, but being able to sleep in a bit longer in the mornings and have more free time at home was nice.
That lasted about two weeks before I started to hate it and feel incredibly depressed. Fortunately, after six months of searching and around 80-plus applications, I was fortunate enough to be hired at a job I love and feel insanely lucky to have.
But that time off wasn’t all bad. If anything, it made DBR even stronger as it gave me time to connect and become friends with so many players in the SC beer scene, and gain that trust and teamwork needed to get this news out to you. That’s not meant to be braggadocios. I’ve been so fortunate to meet – and in some cases become friends with – brewers and brewery folks from across the state. It’s run the gamut from finally meeting face-to-face to getting sneak peeks at future breweries and everything in between. In a year, I’ve grown from being just another voice in the crowd to a trusted source for information, and it’s flattering to feel as if I’m a part of this great and growing business. This has been a huge year for SC beer. The Pint Law went into effect, a handful of new breweries opened, current breweries gained an increasing amount of national attention … and I got to experience all of it. How awesome is that?
But above all that, I cannot put into words how humbled, humiliated and truly honored I am to have met each and everyone one of you. Above all the cool experiences I’ve been afforded this year, all the inside jokes and good times with industry folks, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a countless number of the people who make this whole blog thing possible. I may not have always shown it – or been in the right state of mind to express it – but every time this year someone’s approached me to shake my hand and thank me for doing this, my heart’s stopped. I can never thank you enough for all your appreciation, kind words, thanks and so on. When my life was at its lowest point this year, you showed me you thought what I was doing was important. You gave me the push to do more, to try better and to keep this thing going. Saying “You’re the reason I do what I do” is so cliché … but so true.
(Please note: If I’ve had the privilege of meeting you at a festival or event or bar or wherever this year and I came off kind of weird, please know I was an absolute wreck inside the first time we met. Crippling shyness is one of my undying traits at times. Beer certainly helps.)
So to all my friends and readers – old, new, in the business and out of it – thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for … everything.
Cheers to you and to 2014,