It has been roughly three months since I’ve written anything on KnoxBeerSnobs. Not long ago I heard a friend, on a conference call, say that it’s okay to say that you’re not okay. Perhaps I’ve been stuck in that “not okay” place. Let’s be honest, this suspended reality is tough, it’s different and in many ways challenging. It’s also been good as I’ve gotten to spend a ton of time around my kids, even if they are just playing around me while I work. It has been awesome to be around for each good morning and good night for months on end now.
We crave community. Perhaps I shouldn’t speak for everyone, but I crave community. However, lately, between long days at my “home office” and “Zoom fatigue” – which is very real – I’ve found myself just feeling done at the end of the day. No texting, very little social media, no screens, just done. Subsequently I haven’t been going to all my favorite places or engaging with them online. Maybe it’s just fatigue. Some have said that we’re going through a mourning of sorts. Who knows, and we’re only a little halfway through this weird ass year.
This weird ass year is throwing our brewer friends a curve ball and we (writing this mostly for me but y’all are getting roped in), need to step up to help them. It’s only been a short spell since our breweries could actually serve beer onsite. Granted, there were restrictions and we get to play masquerade ball every time we walk in the door with our masks on – is that Colonel Jacobs with Miss Ellencourt over there? Scandalous! Oh, no, wait, I have no idea who those people are – the hoop skirt is an interesting choice though. Until at least August 20th, we’re back to “to-go” sales only.
A lot of people, I’m sure, are bent with our health department for shutting the breweries down. That’s fine. I also don’t envy these folks who have to make this call. We have not done a good job of flatting the curve and, as I look at the stats daily both locally, statewide and nationally, we’re not doing a good job of flattening this beast. Steps need to be taken. While washing hands and wearing masks are good, we gotta cut back on gatherings and bars/breweries are the next logical step – even if we were behaving ourselves. A tough call but one I’m hopeful will be a part of putting us on the downward trend.
In the meantime, the power bill is due and grain isn’t free. Our breweries need money coming in the door. I’m asking you to step it up these next few weeks. Let’s go out of our way to buy local and drink local. Let’s show our friends we love ’em – buy cans, crowlers, rinse out that emergency growler rolling around in your trunk and fill it up a few times. Don’t forget this isn’t just breweries but our bars as well, such as The Casual Pint and Bearden Beer Market (although the latter also brews beer – a twofer). Tip, and tip big when you can.
We’ll get through this – whatever this is. We are stronger together and while we can’t gather in large groups right now, we can still show some love. Hopefully showing a little love will make us all feel just a little more okay.