First Things First
Many might think being a woman in the craft beer world is challenging but try being a craft beer mom and you’ll have a totally different challenge to face. First things first… I do not under any circumstance support nor condone underage drinking but I do support educating them about the truth behind any subject. So with that being said, not only am I a full time mom but I have a full time job too. Did I mention there are only 24 hours in a day? It amazes me to see how well I’m able to fit in a hobby especially a busy one that I love. While I at times I get the looks and stares when I have my kids with me, I will definitely not let that deter me from supporting and visiting my favorite breweries especially since most are family friendly. I never thought my kids would be part of my craft beer journey but they are and I’ve come to see that I’m not the only craft beer mom out there.
My daughter TJ is almost 7 and my son Dominic is 9 but they know a lot about craft beer, maybe even more than some adults. Not because they know what beer tastes like but because they started being curious about my hobby. TJ is definitely a sponge right now, curious about how beer is made, recognizes brewery brands, and knows what styles I like and don’t like. It’s amazing how she remembers the smallest details. Last year my mom took her to buy my birthday gift and when my mom asked her “What should we buy your mom?”
First thing she said was: “There’s not much of what my mom likes around here so, just go to Bevmo but don’t buy the Mexican Pepsi, she hates that stuff.”
I didn’t know if I should be proud or scared, but one thing I did realize was that my kids were definitely part of my beer journey whether I liked it or not. And while she’s curious and inquisitive, and has met many of my craft beer friends including traders and brewers, she will be the first to remind me when my spending is getting out of hand.
My son Dominic is a little different. He calls me “a collector and taster of fine beer” (his words not mine.) Dom likes to provide more of a perspective. Mind you he has never tasted nor had the urge to even ask to taste beer but, he will randomly call me and give suggestions on what type of beers I should try or brew. I think it’s amazing that he will take the time to really think about how beers and food go together even though he has never had a sip of beer. He’s definitely more of a foodie and loves to spend time in the kitchen trying a variety of new foods and often assumes what pairings will work based on his love for food.
I really do have some awesome kids and everyday they amaze me even more. They have their own hobbies and interests but they both show interest in this part of my life and who am I to distance them from it? They are learning so much more than just beer. It allows them to think outside the box and use their creativity. I see those curiosities and interests in my craft beer friend’s children as well. Sometimes I think my kids are too involved. I can’t even take a trip to the Firestone Taproom without them. They love their food and quick service. If I ever go without either one of them and they find out, eventually I have to make a special trip with them the following day just to get their fix but of course each with an iPad in hand. That’s what I love about them though. They have their own personality and never take anyone for granted. Both extremely social. Hmm…wonder where they get that from?
End the Fear Moms
This just shows how impressionable children are. At first, I didn’t like that they started picking up on so many craft-beer-related things but I ended up embracing their curiosity about it instead of hiding it. Like I said, it’s all about educating. I know I can make them part of the experience and journey by just taking them to pick-up my allocations. It’s nice that many more pubs, breweries, and tasting rooms are now “family friendly” and lucky for me my local brewery/taproom is just that. They even have a kids menu which doubles as a coloring page. There’s even free Wi-Fi and with their iPad they can practice their spelling and math! “Ha! Ha! Finish your homework!”
I have many friends who fear the judgmental looks and whispers of others in these fine establishments and this sadden me. I have come a long way in my craft beer movement. I have defied social norms to embrace my own personal journey to adopt a craft beer culture; a culture that I feel is more and more becoming a representation of America. Cities like San Diego, Portland (both of them), Denver, Seattle, Austin, and Chicago have set the wheels in motion and laid the foundation for this movement to flourish and evolve. But, this movement will not survive our generation, if our children do not embrace it as we have. Do not be ashamed of sharing the experience of something you love with your children (Not literally, you know what I mean). Cheers and continue being responsible, loving parents but don’t let fear keep you from enjoying your favorite craft beer.
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