Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nick of the Northland

When I first started this blog last year, my intention was to make it an outlet for my thoughts about the different craft beers I tried out and nothing else. To me, there was nothing better than coming home from work, sitting down at my desk, cracking open a beer, and writing my thoughts about it.

A few months after my blog started, my job brought me to Duluth. It was when I moved here that I discovered that the craft beer scene in this area had a lot to offer and I tried covering it to the best of my abilities. However with all the writing that I was doing, I still considered it to be a hobby, went about my daily routine and gave it no second thought.

Then earlier this year, Dave Grandmaison from The Duluth Experience contacted me to help promote the North Shore Craft Beer Roundtable, to which I was more than happy to help with since I knew just how vibrant the craft beer scene in Duluth-Superior was. After the first Roundtable event, I drove home with my notebook full of notes sitting in the passenger's seat and was thinking of ways I was going to present my notes in a blog post. It was during this time I was hit with a realization that came out of nowhere: I wanted to make a living in the craft brewing industry.

Back in 2012, during my last semester in Augsburg College, I along with other seniors had to take a Keystone course prior to graduating and the purpose of the class was meant to make us reflect on our college experience as well as our respective career paths we had carved out for ourselves. Now when you take a bunch of graduating seniors and put them in a room once a week for 2-3 hours to talk about their college experience, chances are that their attention span will be like that of a five year old who just drank a can of Mountain Dew.

For all the times we brushed off the lectures, one of the professors talked about finding our personal vocation and how some of us will realize our calling when we least expect it. It took me two years after taking that course to figure out what exactly he meant by that, so perhaps he knew what he was talking about after all.

After this actualization, I began to take myself as a writer seriously. Suddenly my writing was no longer about beer reviews. As I continued to do more promotions for The Duluth Experience, I started conducting interviews with figures in the craft brewing industry. I was even taking time to attend craft beer-related events as well as visiting different breweries that were either well-established or that were just starting out.

Then this past June, I met a gentleman by the name of Lee Witte, who runs along with his partner, Marissa Sauer. I told him about my blog and offered to help promote events that Northland Beer was organizing, of which you have probably seen posts on this past summer.

Recently I was given the opportunity to become a major contributor for Northland Beer as a columnist called Nick of the Northland. It is a position that I am very honored to have and I'm excited to bring my knowledge and expertise to a wider audience. My duties will be mainly covering the craft beer and events in the Upper Midwest, as well as doing special interest posts (i.e. Seasonal recommendations, Q&As, etc.) as well as highlighted beers that I feel should be shared with readers.

Never in a million years would I have guessed that when I first started this blog that it would've taken me here! From all the awesome people I've met to all the fun times that I've had (as well as many more I'll have down the road), I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.

Now before you start getting any ideas, I'm going to get this out of the way right now. This blog isn't going anywhere. I will still be posting on here as usual. After all, it has been good to me and I still feel there is tons of ground to cover both on the local and national level.

Thank you all for your support & remember.....

"Good people drink good beer."

- Hunter S. Thompson


- Nick

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