I am also saddened to hear of the passing of a true Hollywood legend and icon in the truest sense of the world. Jane Russell was the epitome of the Hollywood bombshell, and exuded something that the industry has so sorely lacked in recent decades: the ability to be sexy as well as classy.
On the up side of things, the annual Stogies & Stout event at the Dunedin Brewery on Saturday night was fantastic. A great crowd of beer lovers without being cramped, top notch music by Eddie Kirkland, and an excellent selection of beers. I love beer events that allow you to talk with others about the beer. Plenty of open space to move around, good-size pours that allow you to really get a good mouthful, and snack strategically placed about the venue. I want to give big-time recognition to Mike Bryant for organizing one of the best events of the year. It was said repeatedly throughout the night how much people were enjoying the atmosphere. More than one person said "I think I know everyone here..." It certainly felt that way. Even though I met several new friends, at no point did I feel intimidated or unwelcome or like I could not just walk up to anyone and say hello. It was a very welcome and friendly feel.
Some great news on the national craft beer scene as well: the number of American craft breweries has now surpassed 1700! That is amazing growth in a very short time. Much of the credit has to be given to the Brewers Association for the tireless work in promoting craft beer and educating people. And a healthy share must also be heaped upon those who have championed craft beer since before it was cool. The brewers, their business partners, the distributors, the bars and restaurants... these are the people that make it possible for us to enjoy craft beer in so many different ways.
Much more craft beer excitement coming our way in the near future!