How many times can you say that you are a fan of a company when you don’t even use the product? I think SweetWater Brewery is great. I even like their motto “Don’t float the mainstream”. It is not about being different for the sake of difference, it just always seemed to turn out that way for me. But, it is not the motto that makes me a fan either.
I had seen SweetWater around in the grocery store and knew that it was a home town microbrewery, but hadn’t payed a lot of attention. Then one day we were at what was then our Tuesday night ritual. Trivia at Mellow Mushroom. SweetWater had a promotion selling paper fish to support the Upper Chattahoochee River Keeper. We bought fish and participated in the contest. We won tickets to a brewery tour and party that had the potential to win us a trip to Montana. Thinking about Montana makes me all dreamy, “A River Runs Through It” is one of my favorite Book/Movies. I cross-stitched the closing quote from the book for my father. I love the setting too. I’ve been to Montana for a short visit. Occasionally I apply for ranger or other conservation jobs out there, and would jump at any chance to spend more time there. Russ hasn’t been and so a trip would be a new experience for him, and I just know that he would fall in love too. I’ve bee to a lot of brewery tours, especially for someone who doesn’t drink beer, but the cause was great and the prize one of the best we could think of, so we took our tickets and went to the tour.
The brewery tour was fun, and while I do not drink more than the smallest sample, I have many friends who both love it and consider themselves great connoisseurs. Russ’ favorites are the Blue and the seasonal, Festive Ale. The tour guides are the most laid back I’ve ever seen. I’d like to work for this company, but all the employees share one thing that I lack, an intense love of beer and I’m sure their product is better for it. I drink the occasional Shanty to be social when I am somewhere where people know what that is (lemonade and beer), but that is about it. The party was fun too. The Stonyfield Bus was there promoting the National Outdoor Leadership School and giving out yogurt samples. The River Keeper was presented with a check and the fact that we did not win a trip to Montana was the only thing approaching a downer for the evening.
Strangely, I keep going back. They have music at some brewery tours. Once there were these guys with electric guitars playing beach and surfer music. I was in heaven. I say that I’m there as a designated driver and I do drive, but I’m really just a fan. I didn’t go to the brewery this year, but there is an event I’m considering. They are hosting a clean up October 24th in SweetWater Creek State Park. The clean up will help with storm damage and other things. The park is one of my favorites and I would like to go, but it conflicts with something else. I’m not sure if I will make it, but if it fits in your schedule, I highly recommend it. SweetWater is serious about its beer and serious about its causes.