Monday, June 25, 2012
The Brewing Network: A Club You Can Count On!
This is an open letter to all of those homebrewers out there that not only didn't applaud The Brewing Network Club for winning Club of the Year, but actually booed us as we took the stage. You know who you are ...
I have been a homebrewer for about 15 years, and have been attending the National Homebrewers Conferences for about 10 years now - my first was in LA in 2001, and I've only missed two so far. Each year, when all of you win awards for your beers, the room claps and cheers in support and solidarity. You are so proud of your fellow brewers as they take the stage - throwing up high-fives as they pass your table. It's a heartwarming thing to be a part of. The club taking home the Club of the Year trophy is usually driven to the stage by a thundering round of applause and sometimes a standing ovation. And why not? They've earned it. Whenever I talk to non-beer people about what it's like to attend one of these award banquets I tell them about the love in the room, about the cheers, about the brotherhood of the homebrewing community.
Enter: The Brewing Network. Last year when we won COTY, we got no love from you. No cheers, no high-fives. Just silence with some boos. Ok, fine. It was the first time an internet club had won, and maybe something like that just needed some adjustment time. When we won this year, we got the same treatment - quiet, boos, frowny-faces. This is not the way I had been describing our community for the past 15 years. This is someone elses hobby. Someone elses gassy family. Not mine.
Standing on stage, holding our club award and listening to the silence of 1800 "friends", I realized that our community is not the big ball of love and support we all claim it is. You people out there that were sitting in the dark, glaring at us with hate-filled and blood-shot eyes are ruining homebrewing. So here is my request: Get Out. Just leave. Take your resentment and ship it back home with you so your wife and kids can hate you some more, and leave this to the rest of us that actually love to see our friends win. I was embarrassed for the whole lot of you, to be honest. You are all adults and well, well over 18 years old and yet you still fail to show humility when you lose. Shameful.
The BN Club stands as the only homebrewing resource for a great deal of brewers out there. Just because there is a club near them - if at all - doesn't mean they have to be a part of it. And standing there on stage with my friends, looking out into the crowd, I can't say I blame them for not wanting to share this hobby with you. Just be happy that other people are happy and move on.
After all ... its just beer. Ain't it?
Stay Classy, Homebrewers.