Lets do it. Lets try to put our finger on the je ne sais quoi, try to define the intangible. Wait, reverse that. Since my first intimate encounter with Sanitas Brewing back in December of 2013, this brewery has worked its talons into my life and many of my close relationships. A former employer and mentor of mine, the great Drew Owen, has taken the sales helm for this Justice League of Brewdom. Is that too bombastic a comparison? Remaining a mentor in my life, Drew has helped connect me to my current career and passion and continues to be a dear friend.
My former colleague and current co-habitant Judah is a tour de force of wisdom and good energy for me. And Sanitas has become this oasis of sorts where I have easy access to these important people in my life, and they offer me a detour into the lives of the strangers around me at the bar. It can be as solitary or social as I want.
It turns out that a lot of the people I meet on this January 31 Annual Chili Cookoff and McDevit Taco Supply trophy awarding ceremony (they’ve won a couple years in a row), a lot of them have similar stories. “My sister helped out at the….. wrote an article for…..old friend bartends here” Same as me. And it grew on them. Same as me.
So how was I going to put my finger on the pulse of this phenomenon. Wrong decision: lend your fountain pen to a tipsy new friend and tell them to write something in your journal. That’s a recipe for a bent nib. I wander through the local chili offerings, swim through the sound of local bluegrass (the Boulder based Hop Pickers provided the soundtrack for the night). This is a perennial scene here at Sanitas; sumptuous local offerings from Verde, McDevit Taco supply, and other mobile eateries; live music wafting form the brew-room or the sunny back porch.
Now for the correct decision: Go to the source. Zach Nichols co-founder, graphic designer, chief of advertising and waxing philosophical lets me in on the secret. “No distractions” he says, “no TV’s,” no excess walls, no reflective surfaces or shiny objects; nothing that may unnecessarily take your focus off of who you came with or who you are leaving with. And its a big space; vaulted ceilings, glass doors and soft light on unpolished steel. Communal tables and an L-shaped bar built into the fringes of this giant living room (just go see it for yourself). Its about trimming the fat off of our daily interactions and rendering it with delicious beer.
At some point you kind of segue past your bartender friend’s introduction. You start acting on a standing assumption that the people around you are interesting and caring and have something to say that you want to hear. “And voila, connection made, and we need not but lubricate the situation.”
Thats the rub.