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Beer, the Social Lubricant
Beer is the ultimate social lubricant. It allows us to loosen up when we indulge with moderation and respect, while it also inspires us to be our true selves. Too many of us go about our daily lives suffocating in our own uptightness, in a constant state of worry, focused on work and not life, being nitpicky and oblivious to the wonderful people and moments that surround us. Too many people never take a break to sit down with a pint of their favorite, to look over at the person next to them and say "hello," to make a connection -- an important connection.
A great example of people caught up in their own little worlds is the Web. We run arguably the largest beer community on the Web, full of people from all walks of life, all hiding behind computers, which empowers them with strengthened personas spawned from the animosity that the Web so often produces. And, although our site is a great tool with which to learn more about beer, its all too easy to fall into its addictive trap of instant gratification or to simply take the entire thing too seriously.
Enter the power of beer ...
On Saturday, January 25, 2003, we were able to rally over 100 BeerAdvocate.com members (BAs) to pull their asses away from the keyboard and gather in celebration of good friends and good beer. We had seven gatherings spread out across two countries and five US states: Addison, TX; Albany, NY; New York City; Boston; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pasadena, CA; and Burton on Trent, England.
Boston was the biggest, with over 60 BAs who met at Redbones BBQ in Somerville; there were so many of us that they opened up the downstairs (Underbones) for us. We connected with the other gatherings via cell phone calls that occurred randomly throughout the day and evening, and eventually crawled to the Burren, Cambridge Commons, Charlies Kitchen, Shays and the Peoples Republic. By the time we hit Shays, there were only two of us, but we crawled once more to keep the spirit alive for our fallen BAs. Wherever BAs dropped from the crawl, they dropped having had a most excellent time and having gotten the chance to meet in person those people with whom they interact on a daily basis. It was truly a magnificent experience to witness and be a part of.
The point? Beer made all of this happen. It was the instigator of the event and the backbone of the night. With much respect for beer, the night went incident-free and the focus was purely on the drink and company at hand. No talk of religion, politics or any of the other shit topics that separate us. We bonded over some beers and it was good. Beer is good.
Respect beer, relax, have fun and connect.
Big thanks to Redbones for accommodating us and dealing with our lust for beer. And look for the next event on April 5, 2003 where BAs across the world will gather again. Not a BA? Go to BeerAdvocate.com and sign up today.
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