In the next two weeks, DGO will celebrate two years of journalistic success and last month celebrated its 100th issue. In the past two years, I have written 98 columns (this is 99!) about beer and drinking and other things however loosely associated with alcohol and Durango. I’ve interviewed brewers and packaging people and accountants. I’ve written about hangover recovery, the necessity of planning for day-drinking, and being a responsible human who drinks alcohol. I’ve written about sports and pizza and brewery cat Instagram accounts, and Netflix and chill. I’ve also written things that I’m very proud of: The in-depth and personal writing about brewery work, the historical explanation of certain styles of beer, and getting to talk to other amazing beer professionals about their craft.
In that spirit, I’ve collected for you here today some of my favorite quotes and pulls from my favorite pieces of First Draughts. Thanks for a wonderful two years, and here’s to 100 more issues!
From ‘Indie brewers are the innovators’:Craft beer is still growing. There’s still a lot of interest from big money. But everything feels flat and there’s a lot of defeatist feelings and vibes happening. Even still, I see a lot of bright spots in the beer community. We’re buckling down on quality and on our relationships with our suppliers. We’re really blowing the doors off of what beer can be and what it can do. I see so much experimentation and innovation happening in the community and that, I think, will continue to push beer as the drink of choice.
From ‘We have other things to drink’:Out of all the possible non-alcoholic liquids that a person can safely consume, water is perhaps the most abundant and necessary. Water is a clear, light to no-bodied, naturally-occurring substance found on Earth and possibly throughout the universe, and is necessary for all known forms of life. Water can naturally be found warm, hot, cold, or it can even be a solid, in the form of crystal water – ice – or a gas, in the form of steam. Most water on earth is salty, but there are abundant sources of “fresh,” or non-salinated, water. Water is so abundant that it regularly falls from the sky.
From ‘When Beer Fatigue Hit’:When I tell people that I work in a brewery, they always say, “Oh man, you must get so much free beer.” And yes, I do. I drink beer at work, I drink beer after work, I drink beer in my sleep. I drink beer so often that I get tired of beer. I get physically exhausted from drinking beer. I call it Beer Fatigue. It’s rare, but it happens from time to time. On a recent trip to Washington D.C. to flip off the White House and attend the Craft Brewers Conference, I might have experienced the most severe case of beer fatigue in my life.
From ‘Weed and craft beer go hand in hand’:Yes, pretty much from Day 1 of my time in Louisiana, I became a criminal. I am in possession of marijuana, and sometimes I buy it ... from a drug dealer! It’s a difficult and strange world, I know; it’s like a bizarro “Twilight Zone” episode or something.
From ‘Pumpkin beer: The scariest thing about Halloween’Right now, as a brewer, I’m thinking, buttery-ness, creamed corn ... wow, those are some serious off flavors! But I assure you, that’s just what pumpkin tastes like: A really shitty beer.
Robbie Wendeborn is the head brewer at Svendæle Brewing in Millerton, New York. He is also a former beer plumber at Ska Brewing.