9/11 Thoughts from a Beer & Spirits Writer

The bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Twin Towers collapsing on 9/11 and both hurricanes Harvey and Irma provide a sobering (pun intended) reminder that imbibe activities are nothing more than a luxury. Nonetheless, fun activities of any kind, including enjoying fine drinks, is the difference between existing and living. Immortality and seasons of trouble in life are forever in our minds, but a good meal and a wonderful drink can remind us to smile, and inspire us to help others smile, too.

As tens of thousands find shelter in Mexico and the U.S. as a result of earthquakes and hurricanes, and as we remember 9/11 and honor fallen heroes, discussing beer or whiskey may seem almost pointless, if not insensitive. For those struggling to gain clean water in Houston — as is the case for many throughout the world on a daily basis, one might ask, How can fermented drink be deemed worthy of celebrating?

It can. It should

No one should dare think that those struggling should be ignored. Our country should never forget the attacks of 9/11. As well, we should never forget our own national sins such as the Trail of Tears and enslaving human beings.

And we should be cognizant of the fact that bad events can also happen in our personal lives. Doctors provide bad news. Tornadoes strike. Cars crash. Economies tumble. Wars start. People die.

Life, we know, is perilous.

Thus, it’s good to enjoy life when life can be enjoyed. For many of us, that means sitting down to a good IPA, a Wild Farm, some wine or maybe a shot of bourbon. I’m not talking about the excesses found at a college kegger, I’m talking about the pure enjoyment provided by enjoying what’s handed to us by skillful fermenting artisans.

British troops released from a German prison camp 1944 drinking English beer for the first time in four years WW2Beer can make one feel as if life has returned to normal. As noted by English soldiers that left POW camps and finally enjoyed English Ale again, in 1944.

Enjoying one’s life and remaining mindful of suffering in the world doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

One the one hand, we should always care about those in trouble, and we should aware of geopolitical issues, On the other hand, we use those bad times and bad news as reminders of how important it is to enjoy life when possible. And, as we are enjoying it, remember how those people in trouble would love to enjoy life again, not just exist. Imagine leaving a storm shelter and returning to a flooded house. Now imagine a year later sitting in a new place and for the first time enjoying a beer. From a shelter to a patio beer — that’s nice.

We need water. We enjoy beer.

Never forget — never, ever — but also don’t ever stop living, and never stop trying to help others to not just survive, but LIVE.

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