Winding Down Not My Father’s Beer

It may surprise a lot of folks who know how invested I’ve been in this blog for the last two and a half years, but “Not My Father’s Beer” is sailing into the sunset, a very bright one, actually. Bear with me here and I’ll eventually get to the sunset part.

During the 23 years my husband Hugo brewed for Coors in Golden, Colorado, nobody, me least of all, would have imagined I’d blog weekly about beer. Then we retired and, like half of America, I decided to write a novel. By the way, if you happen to be among the masses yearning to write a novel or anything else, first, read voraciously. Start writing, then take classes, go to conferences, find a good critique group and an even better paid editor—and never stop writing.

As I did those things and learned, I realized that Brad my protagonist needed an interesting career and I needed a knowledgeable go-to source. So Brad became a brewer and Hugo became the source I pestered nonstop. Along the way, I learned a lot about brewing and beer, which was fortunate in a number of ways.

If you want to write a novel, you’ve also got to have a website—a good one—including a blog. As with novel writing, I didn’t jump into blogging about beer. I spent months talking to more knowledgeable sources, writing practice posts and going on long walks while mulling over creative blog names. I came up with a strong contender early on: All About Beer! It was such a great idea that I jogged all the way home and immediately did a Goggle search. That was the day I discovered All About Beer magazine and that Hugo had a subscription and a bunch of back copies. It was also the day I became a regular reader of All About Beer. (Believe it or not, way out here in the west I somehow remained unaware of Not Your Father’s Root Beer until several months after I’d started “Not My Father’s Beer.”)

My novel, when it finally came out, wasn’t exactly the Pliny the Younger of the literary world. I ended up self-publishing and consequently coming to a deeper realization of just how much I dislike self-promotion. But I was having fun with the blog and people were reading it. I was learning a lot and contacting beer people who, out of the kindness of their hearts I suppose, actually answered my emails and phone calls.

From there, so many cool things started to happen. Drinking fresh Trumer Pils with the brewers and brewery administrator Mark Mattson after a private tour of the Berkeley, CA brewery arranged by Mattson is a special memory. I’ll remain forever in awe of Natalie Cilurzo of Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA who took time two weeks before the 2016 Younger release to write out long answers to my emailed questions. And interviewing Jeffery Stuffings amid sample glasses, freshly opened bottles and empty picnic tables at Jester King outside Austin, TX on a Monday (when they’re closed) will always rank as epic.

I went to conferences and workshops and meetings with beer writers and bloggers. I, introvert to the core, walked up to famous beer writers and struck up conversations. Like the makers and sellers of beer, the writers also responded kindly. Many have become Twitter and Facebook friends and even personal friends. Some I’ve shared more beers and meals with at other conferences and on visits to their home cities.

One young blogger in my 2015 tour group at the North Carolina Oskar Blues struck me as so serious and intelligent that I made a point to talk with him later at a social event. He turned out to be Brian Roth who writes regularly for All About Beer and other publications in addition to his blog “This Is Why I’m Drunk.” That evening, he was hanging out with his buddy Oliver Gray, whose eloquent writing in his “Literature and Libation” blog had already left me smitten.

As my passion for craft beer has grown over the years, friends and acquaintances, mostly those who don’t know a whole lot about beer, ask from time to time when I, or Hugo and I, are going to open a brewery. That, of course, isn’t realistic for a lot of reasons, but the idea of taking my growing beer knowledge in a new direction, one that paid, well, that could be done.

In short, I’ve been hired to work in the Monterey taproom of a Bay Area brewery that’s set to open in the next weeks. We’ve agreed that, given my employment, it’s better for me not to blog about this brewery or others.

As “Not My Father’s Beer” heads into that sunset, I’m truly grateful to all of you who have joined me on along the way. And who knows? One day in the not-so-distant future, the sun may rise and you and I will find our bines intertwining in new and unexpected ways. In the meantime, I’ll be pouring a lot of fine brews in Monterey.

Cheers to the future!

To the future!

 

Comments

  1. Here’s to you, Hugo and all that beer!

  2. On to bigger and better things!
    Congrats on your new gig!

  3. How fun! Best wishes, Leslie. I know you’re going to like your job.

    • Leslie Patino says:

      Thanks, Patricia. The book certainly wouldn’t have seen the light of publication without you and Park Place Publications.

  4. Congratulations, Leslie! Although I hate to see “Not My Father’s Beer” walk into the sunset, I know there will always be challenging and rewarding opportunities for you with each sunrise! Cheers to you and your love of experiencing ALL Life has to offer .🍻

    • Leslie Patino says:

      You know, Bonita, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. (For anyone else who sees this, isn’t it great to have old friends who you’ve shared jokes with for decades?)

  5. This is a surprise — I’ve admired the thought and creative effort into this blog. But what an opportunity! Congratulations!

  6. congrats and best of luck on your new adventure!

  7. Steve Zmak says:

    Think of this new job as a sabbatical for new writing ideas. A year from now, you will emerge stronger than ever and ready to write again with fresh ideas. Cool sunset photo of you! Is that glass on a state beach—oh no!

    • Leslie Patino says:

      Boy, I can’t imagine the blog and book without all the help of my wonderful photographer and graphic artist! Leave it to the photographer to notice the glass (glass, no less!) of beer on a CA state beach. We carried it down in a grocery bag and poured it when no one was looking–shhh!

  8. Dave Thomas says:

    All the best to you and Hugo, Leslie!
    I enjoyed reading your blogs.
    Cheers
    Dave

  9. What a perfect gig! We’ll come by to see you and slurp a few…

  10. Marian birrenkott says:

    Hi Leslie, it’s SC Cousin Marian Moon. This is so very interesting and such a fun journey for you and Hugo to be on. I am sending this link to my brother, Sam, who is a huge craft fan. When I think of voracious readers, as you mentioned, I immediately think of my dad and your mom. I don’t think I ever saw either of them without a book within arm’s reach. Good luck and best wishes to you and your family.

    • Leslie Patino says:

      Hi, Marian, and thanks for the sweet words and good wishes. Yes, we certainly come from a family of readers, thank goodness. Take care!

  11. Carol & Dave says:

    Will always remember our time at Hop & Brew School in Yakima together. We have been faithful readers of your blog and enjoyed your beer related travels. Best of luck in your new adventure!

    • Leslie Patino says:

      Thanks so much for you kind words and for reading the blog. Listening to your brewing experiences in Yakima, you two really inspired me to bump up my homebrewing skills.

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