I don't make resolutions. Haven't since I was a kid, and only did it back then because I was basically told that I had to. Not that I think resolutions are bad; some people thrive on the motivation of a new year to make positive changes, achieve goals, and maintain wellbeing. That's a great thing, and if you have some resolutions this year I wish you all the best.
I've found that I'm not goal-oriented. I've struggled with ambition in my adulthood (I'm sure if I saw a therapist and dug into my past, I'd realize a lifelong trend of unambitiousness, but I digress) especially because a lot of my closest friends work maddeningly hard on projects and goals with very little return beyond passion and experience. I might be afraid of goals, because I've had a lot of struggles and failures in my life, and relying on plans has proved unreliable no matter how thorough. But moreover, I think I just like to go with the flow.
I've buried the lead because I'm really excited about some shit, though. Most of you know that I like beer; a few of you know that I'm fascinated by brewing science and love developing my palate and knowledge about the culture. And, based on that, I've taken some steps to pursue those interests and potentially move toward a career transition.
Firstly, I've gotten involved with the homebrewing community here in Toronto. They're a super welcoming and accepting group, and I'm really excited to start meeting, networking, and just hanging out with some cool like-minded folks.
Second, I'm making professional brewing friends! There's a ton of breweries in Toronto, and I've had the pleasure to live in a fairly trendy neighbourhood for the last couple of years; some of my favourite local beers come from brewers within walking distance, and I hang out in these spots often enough that I'm not just some random patron anymore. I've also started trying to open up more, which is a struggle but it's fun to share passions with people who love things just as much.
Third, I'm continuing my sommelier education; I graduated the first level last summer, and am taking the second level course starting at the end of this month! There's a few other certifications that I'll be looking into as well (cicerone, BJCP). Gettin' those papers, yo.
Lastly, and most exciting, is that I've just enrolled in a two-week crash course in brewing at Siebel Institute in Chicago. It's a wonderful excuse to visit Maeghan, but holy damn I am stoked; Siebel is prestigious as fuck, with many of the educators being some of the biggest and best in American brewing. The course will also make me eligible to pursue every other course they offer, if I am so interested and able in the future.
All that is great without even mentioning the festivals and events I'm attending this year! Toronto's Winter Craft Beer Festival is at the end of this month, which is easily my favourite event in the city. I'm also going to a Chicago beer+coffee event in February, which I am absolutely thrilled about; it's put on by the folks of Good Beer Hunting and celebrates two of my favourite things in the whole world.
Okay, there's an update! I love you guys, and feel like I've done a bit of a poor job maintaining relationships here apart from the too few of you that I text and talk with regularly. All the best to you and yours! <3