I have now gotten to about halfway through “Man Walks into a Pub”. The area I am currently in is roughly just past WWI. I have been reading about the temperance movement in England and how it shaped alcohol consumption and the places we enjoy it in. For that matter how it affected how beer was produced as well. Although actual prohibition did not hit in England, the temperance movement did quite a good job of damaging the brewing landscape.
When we really think about it, prohibition in the US set the advancement in beer and brewing (not to mention the wine industry), back at least 70 years. As much as I want to dislike former President Jimmy Carter, he did manage to allow one of the most important items to impact our country since prohibition; he made homebrewing legal again. This of course set in motion the explosion that is now happening in craft beer.
I look through time at how my life has brought me to the place I am now, and I realize that although I am not yet where I want to be, I am still in the middle of that journey. Of course, the best part of all that is that their is always the next destination on the journey. Wow, where did all that come from? This is something I have had tucked away in my own thoughts for some time anyway. At times I reflect on my life and wonder about the choices I have made. I realize that the choices I made in the past were the right choices for the time. Even though I can see how I might have been at this point much sooner with different choices, I realize that I was not ready to follow those paths back then.
As I write this I can see how the previous trains of thought converge on the same tracks. Perchance if the US had not gone through the dark time of prohibition, we would not have found the brewing renaisance we now enjoy. I can see this in my own life when I had a personal prohibition where I touched not a drop of alcohol for 8 years. When I returned to beer I found a new appreciation for what I had kept from myself. I found that I was able to enjoy a good glass of beer for what it was, instead of what it could do. And in this I have found a new world of flavors in the brews I bring to life and those I find in others handiwork.
I think at that end it is now time to finish this pint …