How to Get a Job in Craft Beer in 201 Not So Easy Steps

It’s not uncommon to have a bunch of things on your mind.  Some are just so powerful and so bothersome that they just seem to consume your life.  They drag you down and always let you know they are there.  Even when things go right they just seem to keep coming at you.  But I’m persistent or maybe just stubborn.  I keep powering through.  Eventually you do make it past and you can get out of the funk.  And for me I am finally out of it.

For what feels like months I have just not been myself.  I lost my concentration with this site and just couldn’t think of things to write about.  I lost the desire to even do simple things with my friends that I used to love doing.  Work began affecting my personal life in ways that it never should.  I needed change.

So I stopped writing and just thought, not putting anything really down.  I took time off from work but at the same time kept working.  I worked on myself and my situation.  I went into Due South Brewing, where I bar tend one day a week, and started just helping with whatever I could.  I stirred a mash.  I cleaned kegs.  I filled kegs.  I moved them all over a building.  I sanitized fermenters and brites.

I felt two things after those days.  One was a soreness in my body that I haven’t felt in years and the other was pride of a hard, honest days work.  I felt like I contributed towards something.  I contributed towards a product I believe in.  I have felt pride towards my work before but something about this was different.  It felt new and quite good.

That brings me to this past Sunday, sitting at a bar after over lunch.  I find that the hard work, the determination and the never give up attitude finally paid off.  I was offered a job, full time, at Due South Brewing.  Just like that my bummed feelings were gone faster than Penn Jillette on Dancing with the Stars (sorry Penn I do love you).

I thank all of my family, friends and readers for their continued support of me.  You all helped me keep fighting to achieve this goal in my life.  And thanks to Mike and Jodi at Due South for seeing the potential in me.

So what does this all mean for MikeLovesBeer.com?  To be honest, I don’t know.  And I’m okay with that.  I probably will never get as active as I once was but I won’t give this up just yet.  I will try my best to keep bringing you the going ons in South Florida craft beer along with the occasional rant.  I know you love those.

So again thanks all and on to another new chapter in my life.

4 Years of Doing This

I just realized late last week that I was coming up on 4 years of doing this blog.  June 3rd is the official anniversary date as it dates the first actual post.  What a 4 years it has been.

The blog has evolved greatly over this time from mostly beer reviews to including bar reviews.  Then it changed even more with the change in beer scene in South Florida.  I began telling you all about local beer events coming up that I thought you should attend.  I even let my opinion be known very much in depth on a few occasions.

This whole thing has been an experience that I cherish in my life.  As a kid I really enjoyed writing and never in my wildest dreams would I think that I would write on a regular basis and have people read me.  I’ve compiled 793 posts (this being the 794th) in this time.  I’ve been published in a magazine.  I’ve been recognized by other publications.  Again, things I never thought would happen and honestly never really cared.  This was fun to me, as I think the beer community should be.  Those that take things way too seriously need to take a step back and look at exactly what we are doing.  We are drinking beer.

Yes there are those that work in the industry and you might say that you should take your job seriously.  I can agree to a certain point but when the topic is fun you need to be a little more relaxed in those views.  Look at sports figures.  That is their jobs and they play games.  Games that are supposed to be fun.  Once you lose sight of the fact that your job is fun I believe people need to take serious considerations if they are in the right field.

So with that some thanks are in store.  Thank you to my parents for not thinking I was a raging, alcoholic redneck when I started this thing.  I was bringing plenty of beers home, snapping pictures and taking notes on these things as if I were a scientist looking for a cure for cancer.

Thanks to my friend Chris with whom I was doing a good amount of reviews with at the start of this thing.  I still remember a number that we tried and thought were awful that I can now say that I have enjoyed on numerous occasions.

Thanks to Chung and Melinda from Coffee District in Delray Beach as they were the first beer bar that I discovered.  When I searched the internet for places that served these enchanting beverages CD was one of the first to pop up.  While it didn’t look like the typical dingy dive bar I like to patron I quickly grew to love it and still call it my favorite watering hole.

Thanks to Phil for helping me take my obsession with these vices even further into a podcast.  His beer blog helped me really tune into the fun in this community.

Thanks to all my friends and family whom I just can’t list here.  You drive me.  I can’t say whether you drive me towards insanity or towards inspiration sometimes but you all certainly drive me.

Thank you to all the breweries and brewpubs in South Florida for making beers that I can consume to make me forget that I am in South Florida.  Funky Buddha, Due South, Tequesta, Brewzzi, Big Bear, Native, Inlet, Holy Mackerel, Kelly’s — you all are incredible for what you do.

And lastly thank you to you, the readers.  Sometimes I try my best to not care but honestly it brings a smile to my face to know that someone actually reads this blog outside of those that I know personally and finds it helpful.

So here’s to all of you for helping making these 4 years special.  Here’s to a few more.  I know I’ve been taking a break lately but I promise to be back soon.  I’m even thinking about starting to pen something a little longer.  Oh, hints?  With that, thank you again and I leave you with a few of my favorite quotes that I always think of when it comes to beer.

It has been my experience that folks with no vices have few virtues.
- Abraham Lincoln

Cheap booze is a false economy.
- Christopher Hitchens

I feel sorry for those who don’t drink.  When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.
- Frank Sinatra

People say that drunkenness leads to bad ideas. I sometimes think my soberness hinders my great ideas.
- Me (had to throw that in there)

Little Break + Events

I haven’t been the best South Florida beer blogger recently.  I’ve felt dull lately and believe my readers don’t deserve dull.  I try to let you all know about the great craft beer events going on in South Florida but try to make it fun and engaging.  I feel like I have not been that in posts recently.  I feel like I’m just giving you the low down and that’s it.

With that I’m going to take a little break for a bit and refocus.  There has been a lot on my mind and that is taking away from my view on the site.  But fear not.  In the meantime I am updating the events page with a bunch of upcoming events I believe you should know about.  So do keep checking there.

I’ll also still be on Twitter for those of you that follow me and want to chat a bit.

I thank you all for your continued support and readership.  I’ll be back soon and completely rejuvenated.  Cheers!

Day off and needed a beer.

Day off and needed a beer.

Cigar City to Release Homefront IPA this Thursday

Not exactly South Florida news but from a Florida brewery and with a good story attached to it.  This Thursday Cigar City will be releasing their newest creation, Homefront IPA, in their tasting room.  This is an IPA made with spices and aged on maple baseball bats.  Yes you read that right, baseball bats.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s a pictures.

The beer was brewed for Operation Homefront, an organization that provides support to those in our Armed Forces. Hops for Heroes comprises of six breweries in total that brewed a version of this beer for the cause and are releasing them on Thursday as well.  The other participating breweries are Sly Fox (PA), St Arnold (TX), 21st Amendment (CA), Fremont (WA) and Perennial (MO).  Proceeds for the sales go towards Operation Homefront.

A great treat just in time for Memorial Day and for a great cause.  It’s my understanding we won’t see any of this down in South Florida but if you are in the Tampa area or planning on making a trip up there this coming weekend then do pick some up.

Killer lineup tonight from Cigar City, Tequesta and Due South.

Killer lineup tonight from Cigar City, Tequesta and Due South.

Get Your Pub Crawl on This Weekend

As American Craft Beer Week begins to wind down this weekend brings to you a few instances of the well known drinking activity, the pub crawl.  Between tonight and tomorrow there are 3 different pub crawls going on in South Florida.  Here’s the skinny on each.

Friday, May 18th
Clematis Craft Beer Pub Crawl
They will be hitting up all the craft spots of downtown West Palm Beach including World of Beer, Roxy’s, Grease and Gratify. Things start at 7 pm at WOB.

Saturday, May 19th
Boca Raton Pub Crawl
The spots are Funky Buddha, Lion & Eagle Pub, Biergarten and O’Brian’s.  There will be a special bus that you can use for $10 as many time as you like that will take you to each location.  The event is from 4 pm - 7 pm.

Saturday, May 19th
Ales on the Ave Pub Crawl
Delray spots Mellow Mushroom, Park Tavern, Tryst and Coffee District will by your places to be.  Things start at 3 pm at Mellow and goes from there.

So if you want get your crawl on this week any of these would certainly be a good choice.  I unfortunately have to work this weekend but will be stopping by Coffee District Saturday night to have a couple and hang out.  Enjoy!

It was a fun grand opening on Saturday. We worked hard and the sweat stains prove it.

It was a fun grand opening on Saturday. We worked hard and the sweat stains prove it.

Vine & Barley Palm City Opens Today

For years now Vine & Barley in Port St. Lucie has been one of the premier craft beer spots for the Treasure Coast.  Today a second location of the great bar opens in Palm City, Florida.  At 2 pm they officially open the doors for the craft drinkers of Martin County to enjoy some good brews (there is some wine too).

I’m certain that owner Mark Carbone will have a great business here and I will certainly be heading up there in the near future.  I say you should too.

Vine & Barley - Palm City
2951 SW High Meadows Ave.
Palm City, FL 34990
http://www.vineandbarleypalmcity.com/

American Craft Beer Week Kicks Off Today

After a very successful and fun grand opening of Due South on Saturday, American Craft Beer Week officially kicks off today across the states.  And rest easy that there are plenty of events going on throughout South Florida this week for your craft beer drinking cravings.  Be sure to check out my calendar for a number of events in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties this week.

Today’s highlights are sure to include the Tequesta & Cigar City event at Havana Hideout in Lake Worth along with a beer dinner at Tucci’s in Boca Raton.  Do you have any plans that you are definitely going to this week?