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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance – Happy Greater Bangor Beer Week!

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Some may say this is the most wonderful time of the year … and they would be correct. The time has come once again to celebrate that most wonderful of fermented beverage, the elixir that makes us merry and gives men like myself the confidence to dance in public. Yes, we salute you, beer. I’ll spare the Homer Simpson quote and simply move on to my next point.

Go celebrate Beer Week! Go out and have a blast, meet up with friends, try new beers, stay out a little too late and maybe take an “unofficial vacation” day from work because, you know, BEER WEEK! I truly hope that everyone that grabs a Beer Week Passport hits as many events as they can and has a blast at all of them.

But as you are enjoying the revelry and excitement of Beer Week, try and remember that when you buy a local craft beer, there are real people behind that beer that you hold in your hand. Not only the person that made the beer, but the salesperson/representative that made the sale and the delivery driver that lugged the keg into the walk-in. There are lots of great, local people behind the beers that we enjoy and Beer Week should be a celebration of all of them as well!

As someone who is both a craft beer fanboy and a part-owner/operator of a small brewery, I am lucky to be able to experience both sides of the industry. I absolutely love going out to events and meeting with other craft beer enthusiasts and talking about what flavors are in and what’s cool and all that. That will always be fun for me, so anytime you see me out and about, let’s geek out about beer.

I have truly come to appreciate the relationships I have formed with others within the industry. There are well north of 80 breweries in Maine now and I can say that I have met and thoroughly enjoyed meeting employees from just about all of them.

There is a very special breed of person that this industry seems to attract. There is certainly no shortage of creative, hard-working individuals that are clearly driven by more than a desire to make money. From the tasting room employees to the boss in the office on the top floor looking down on the restaurant (yes, that’s you Chris Morley), you’ll find that everyone employed in the Maine beer industry shares one thing in common - passion!

Not only are brewers and brewery employees passionate, they mostly seem to be just plain friendly people. I don’t know if that is a symptom of just enjoying what you do for a living, or perhaps more attributable to the ready supply of alcohol at hand, but its irrefutable; People working in breweries are happy people. Even after a mid-July brew shift when I’m covered in sweat and kettle trub, if you asked me if I’m having fun, I would honestly answer yes. And I am confident you could repeat that experiment at any local brewery under the same conditions and produce the same result.

You’re probably getting sick of this gushfest. “We get it, Tim. You think highly of the people who work in your field.” But please allow me this last observation, one that has been said many times before and that I hope continues to hold true. Brewers are some of the most generous people you’ll ever meet. When I started in this industry four years ago, the amount of stuff I didn’t know was laughable. Everyone I met in the industry was extremely generous with their time and with sharing their knowledge. There is a tendency to hold “industry secrets” close to the vest in some fields, but brewers (for the most part) seem to recognize that there are no real secrets to good beer. This free flow of information has helped foster the burgeoning and creative industry that we see today - and that benefits everyone!

So let Beer Week be a time to celebrate not just the suds, but also the women and men behind the beer! 

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