Last Friday I just could not shake the feeling that something was off. It wasn’t anything to do with the my little cocoon or the batshit crazy and sad week this country went through.
It was the first time that I really felt the absence of the beer community.
I don’t normally gain energy from being around people. Harsh truth be told, I could live without 45% of this country who think (refuse to have thoughts) in a certain way. And yet, the crowds of people who make the trip to Paso Robles are both fun and fascinating.
The two or three days that I spend at Firestone Walker HQ is like floating on air. I take the tour most years to see how things have changed (always drastically), I find beer to bring back home from their shop, I visit a distillery or winery, enjoy BBQ the night before the fest, get some Negranti Ice Cream and Twisted and Glazed Donuts. My internal battery is charged.
The festival itself, as I have written in the past, is perversely hard to write about. It is so smoothly operated that the only lead some years is how hot it is. You basically just have to write about the beer that you personally drank because there is so much that it is hard to wrap your word arms around it.
I would write up excited posts before driving up the 5 and exhausted post some after driving back down the 101. I don’t know if 2021 will be changed or disrupted by the events of this year but next year, I will return. I need to.
That boost was really missed this year.