Back when I was starting out in craft beer, I started studying for my cicerone. My dad (I grew up Mormon) told me that I was studying trash. My friend had gotten me terrified about passing my test. Tasty told me that he knew I could pass it.
After I did, he said “I knew you could do it”. He took me under his wing when I started taking notes at Øl after my shifts and challenged me further. Instead of notes of “citrus” he questioned me further.
“But what notes of citrus? Is it Meyer lemon? Is it ruby red grapefruit? There’s a big difference.”
He opened up my world as he opened up my palate. We would talk history about different styles and breweries. We could talk for hours as more friends would inevitably join.
He took me as his plus one to Fieldwork’s first anniversary party. He took me to see and go back stage at Dave Matthews band. He called me up to teach me how to brew. He told me that I could be great in this industry and said I reminded him of people I looked up to. He taught me what craft beer actually is - FAMILY. I texted him on my honeymoon when we visited De La Senne in Brussels and saw a tasty sticker on their fridge. He replied back instantly and talked about his last visit.
He was my cheerleader when I had none. He was my family when I had none.