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Beer helps build community -- more than a catchphrase

Stouts and milds and IPAs, oh my! Photo credit: LoveLocalBeer

An artist, an accountant, and a librarian walk into a garage. Sounds like the first line of a questionable joke. But it’s actually the reality of our life as a homebrewing household over the past several weeks.

Background: Because The Husband has had some free time lately, he’s been (home)brewing up a storm: No genre is safe from his fiery burners: Irish stout, farmhouse, cream ale, IPA—all of them have found their way into the kettles and into kegs in the past two months or so. Thankfully he’d also procured a small-ish canner at the end of last year, so he was ready to actually can some beer for the first time, a better option than glass growlers during a time of uncertainty about COVID-19.

He let some neighbors and friends quietly know that we had some carefully handled canned home-brewed beer available for well-sanitized, no-touch pickup at our house.

“No-touch” doesn’t mean “no-interaction,” however: We found that people are so happy to 1) have somewhere to go, even if it’s just down the street, and 2) find something common to talk about as a brief respite from statistics and contagion and awful stories.

So the last couple of weekends, we’ve had lots of driveway/garage visits from those neighbors and friends: the artist and the accountant and the librarian, plus the coder and the banker and the scientist. We’ve been so happy to have them drop by, offer them some homebrew to go (canned/bagged/sanitized), and share a bit of conversation and community even during this time of “keep your distance.” Just a few moments of “feeling normal” since nothing right now feels even vaguely normal.

Not just a catchphrase, then: Beer helps build community. Even during a global pandemic. In a suburban driveway.

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