Beer, The Pint That Helps Keep People Together:Insights Gained while Studying for Certified Cicerone

Needless to say, due to current world events I am definitely spending a lot more time at home for the good of mankind. Being in quarantine has given me the unique opportunity to start studying for my Cicerone Level 2, so I have begun diving into the study materials. The first book I picked up was Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher and even though I am well into the book there were a couple quotes that have stuck with me from the very first chapter.

Civilization as well as civility thrive where there is a pot of beer. Beer brings people together on common ground, and has been doing so for thousands of years.

It is my belief that squeezing people into cities generates a certain amount of itchy friction, but this can be eased by a social lubricant like beer, served up in that other beloved institution, the tavern, which appeared not long after beer.

Alcoholic beverages have helped civilization stay together in unity practically since nomads settled. The phrase that really hit me the hardest was beer brings people together on common ground. Thinking back on my experience in and out of bars, taverns, and pubs led me to meet an unbelievable wide array of people. Rich or poor, I have been able to sit down and have a drink while exchanging ideas on common ground which have led to some incredible conversations. The tavern may have evolved through the years but its purpose remains the same. Creating a place where people from all walks can come in and just unwind after a long day.

All that being said, it really got me thinking about the unity needed currently as the world struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking about how we still need our five o’clock beer at the end of the day to knock the edge off. More than ever, this virus has put us on common ground in the fact we all need ways to cope with more stress and even loneliness. Sometimes a drink is the perfect remedy to combat the stress of what is currently going on in life at an individual level. We as humans are a social species that craves social interaction with others. One way is to plan a virtual happy hour or bottle share. Let the alcohol release some endorphins and serotonin while catching up with some of your friends – everyone needs this at some point. Every Wednesday Riverbend has an employee happy hour that I am extremely grateful for and even though I am most likely the newest member of the team coming on through this mess, getting to know my team and having people to talk to end the day on a good note makes me feel much closer to the team. Ultimately, it’s creating a space that brings different people on common ground, lets us be social, and unwind with some friends after a day of work.

I will end with one last note, beer has helped create a sense of community ever since the concept of community was created. Riverbend will continue playing its part by sourcing the best local grain, malting that grain the only way we know how, and distributing it to our awesome brewery and distillery partners. All so the consumers can have a way to release and enjoy a drink to help keep people close in this time where communities can be fragile. Now, back to my studies!

— Tyler Adams