After a certain age we always remember our firsts. Your first kiss which likely led to your first love and ultimately your first heartbreak. You’re over it now and can probably look back and laugh at yourself for being so fragile but nonetheless we look back at it, usually fondly.
My first job in the craft beer industry has been one that I will certainly never forget. Due South Brewing Co, at the time a start up brewery, took a chance on a not so bright eyed and in no way bushy tailed server admin with a passion for craft beer and just a blog and podcast to show for it. Over 5 years at Due South I have learned the up and downs, the lefts and the rights, even the u-turns and going the wrong way down the one way streets of this industry. To put it simply to an outsider, it’s nothing like you imagine.
2017 has been a big year for craft beer, especially the South Florida market. We’ve seen the amount of breweries increase month after month so much that it’s hard to keep track of who is opening and who is celebrating an anniversary. “You’re celebrating your 2 year anniversary you say? Fuck, where has the time gone?”
Along with the increase of breweries there has been a lot of moving and shaking in the industry. So and so left here to head to there and so on and so forth. For some it is an opportunity at advancement. For others a change of scenery. Each time we get a Facebook post of that person thanking their previous employer for everything they learned and the opportunity. You click that Like button or maybe you hold it down a little longer and leave a nice big Heart or maybe the shocked face. You may even be personable and comment “Congratulations!” or simply “Congrats” if you are feeling lazy about writing those extra 6 letters. Don’t worry, I’ve been there.
This brings me to why I’m doing this I suppose. This past Friday marked my last day at Due South Brewing Co after over 5 years. I’m, what we would call here, an OG.
As you may or may not know, I sold my house last month and moved into a quaint little cottage with my girlfriend. This has allowed me to be rid of a major anchor that I felt consumed more of my life than I was comfortable with. I had an itch and I couldn’t reach said itch with the house, so I sold it. With that out of my life and the extra money I was now able to reach that itch. That itch was to travel more.
So with that I will be taking time to travel to places I’ve always wanted to. To see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the smells and tastes the tastes that are out there. First stop, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Where after that? I don’t know yet. Austin? Colorado? Nashville? Asheville? SoCal? We’ll see.
My dad, a wonderful man that I respect to no ends, has always been a planner, maybe even a bit of a worrier. In nearly 35 years of life somethings are bound to rub off on you when you are close with your parents. He has taught me to plan for my future. This has led me to not really taking many risks or being too scared to fly by the seat of my pants sometimes. I’m taking a big step here and while it might scare my dad (hell I’m even a little scared) I’m fairly certain he deep down knows that I’ll be fine and that it’s what makes me happy.
I won’t go on a long award winner list of people I want to thank because those people know who they are. If you taught me anything in this business, if you influenced me or if you pointed me in a direction that you knew I would love then I thank you. From the absolute bottom of my heart.
While I will not be gainfully employed in the craft beer industry for a little bit I remain very much a part of it. I am restarting this blog. Yup, MikeLovesBeer.com but without the beer reviews. More commentaries, thoughts and opinions. Also if you want to see what I’m up to on my trip follow me on Instagram. I can make you jealous or maybe I can give you that push to finding a way to reach you itch.