To My Dearest Craft Beer Specialty Bottle Shop,
It's time I told you how I feel.
I have to admit that when I first moved into the area I was a bit intimidated by how attractive you were with the beer loving folk. How would I ever get you to notice me? Your boasts of 600 beers loomed over the door on my first visit. How would I ever choose just one? You were wayyy out of my league.
Despite my hesitation, you were so friendly from the start. You’ve been that way ever since! I may walk in feeling dejected after a crummy day at work but you always know the right things to say:
"The new one from Garage Project's just come in, wanna try?"
Now this is tough. You're going to hate me but I have a confession to make. I have cheated on you a few times. I'm so sorry, but I feel so much better already by telling you in this love letter. It's just that sometimes I'll be in another suburb, or I'll feel lazy and just pop into the chain liquor store after the routine food shop. I want you to know though, dear craft beer specialty bottle shop, that although the fledgling craft beer scene is bringing awesome craft beers into the mainstream Bottle O's, I feel dirty and ashamed purchasing delicious beers behind your back. This is why I don't look you in the eye when I come crawling back into your arms, as you give me a warm hello as you're stocking up the fridge with cold Reginald IPAs.
Can you please forgive me?
I want you to know that I miss you when I am away. If I’m at an interstate sporting event where they've only got one beer on the tap, I reluctantly purchase two and take my seat. As I wait for the game to start, I scroll through my Instagram and see you've got some fresh new Imperial Stouts from Hawkers Beer in but you've only got limited supply – sometimes you make me so mad!!
But I forgive you because you often set one of those limited supply beers aside for me. You also invite me to special meetings, such as the 4th July beer-tasting event, where you shower my oesophagus with hard-to-come-by special edition beers from far away lands.
People often say that our sense of community is on the wane, due to all these apartments being built, and all these pubs closing down. The new fangled food and liquor home delivery services are hailing the end of community as we know it. I know though that because of you, the desire for actual human interaction is not lost. This makes my heart sing.
One afternoon, I saw you taking care of and entertaining an elderly lady who lives in sheltered accommodation near my house. She swears at the other customers but you pulled up some Peroni slabs for her to sit on whilst she talked away at you as she sipped on her Vodka Cruiser. She just wanted some company and laughed at the banter you exchanged with her.
The other evening, I walked in the moment you and a trio of Irish backpackers were harmonising with Barry Manilow on the sound system. You always pat the dogs that lay by the entrance whilst simultaneously making sure they don't have a bottle of Arrogant Brewing’s ‘Crime’ tucked into their cute doggy jumpers.
I’m more aware of the happenings in my suburb because of you. You remind me of public holidays. You remind me that I’ll have to wait at a different tram stop during the tram works. I know a hell of a lot about craft beer from all around the world because of you. You tell me about the local "characters" that visit you while you’re pointing out the Green Flash Tangerine Soul Style IPA; I am probably one of them.
I was sitting in the park just now admiring the flowers, waiting for beer o'clock and my thoughts turned to you, so I thought I'd leave you with a little poem:
Red IPA’s are red,
The label on a Brewdog Punk IPA is blue.
Purple Haze Raspberry Ale is sweet,
And so are you.
I hope I haven't scared you away. I have a feeling you'll still love me, though, in a small way due to the amount of money I place in your tills. But in a much bigger way, due to the mutual love we have of all things craft beer. We’re a good team.
Lots of love,
The lovely people at Froth have published some of my pieces, some of which you can read here. You can find the latest Froth in all good craft beer establishments.