Thankful for...You!

As previously stated, this (at least I think) will be a bit shorter of an article than most – simply because of the holiday weekend. However, I didn’t want to let the important stuff slide simply because I’ll be traveling all over the southeast US this Thanksgiving week(end).

First things first – for those of you who were either out of town or weren’t able to attend, GrassLands hosted its 2nd Tasting Shindig this past Sunday night. On tap we had Secale Cereale (rye) Saison, LeeRoy the Red Imperial Amber test batches #2 and #3, and keg-hopped batches of Fiery Plains Imperial IPA and First Light Blonde – all those in addition to an awesome slew of tasty dishes – one cooked especially for this event by my buddy Josh C. of CookTheBlog.

Josh is a personal friend of mine and has been increasingly wanting to partner up on some GrassLands' tasting events. He and I connected a few weeks earlier to brainstorm how best to infuse some LeeRoy the Red Imperial Amber into a dish for this event. Josh being a foodie nut, came up with an idea for a blue cheese/apple/mayo dip combo infused with some boiled down LeeRoy to get paired with buffalo shrimp skewers (also breaded with LeeRoy). The result – fantastic. These were gone in less than 30 minutes. Additionally, Saralyn made up some excellent meatballs where LeeRoy was infused into the barbecue sauce - a recipe of her own, secret creation :).

Overall, it was a great event with a turnout of about 35-40 people, give or take. James of Southern Beer Review came with his awesome wife and we squeezed an interview somewhere in between a bunch of innovative (and often intense) conversation being had in and around the five kegs being served. We got some great feedback on our beers and it appears that the GrassHoppers were split evenly right down the middle on which version of LeeRoy the Red they preferred – which is fine by me!

Which gets me to the crux of this short article: As GrassLands gradually heads towards that end start goal sometime in 2014, we realize that we cannot do it without you, my dear readers. Your support will put this thing over the edge. Your input will make these great beers even greater when we finally pour for real. Your encouragement, your excitement, your passion for one of Florida’s next craft breweries makes us confident that this can ultimately become not just a reality, but a successful venture at that.

I am thankful for you all, my dear readers. I’m thankful that the craft beer industry is growing in popularity and complexity. I’m thankful for the creativity you allow me to have when crafting my recipes. I’m thankful for those that have gone above and beyond in our support and promotion since we started to apply a little more pressure to the gas pedal, so to speak. I’m thankful for my family and friends and both their general and strategic support in key areas (too many to name).

And last, but most importantly, I’m thankful for my incredible wife, Saralyn. GrassLands simply wouldn’t and couldn’t be a possibility without her endorsement, without her input, and without her willingness to take a risk and jump into the great unknown that is small business ownership. She’s been my rock throughout this process, and for that I’m ever grateful. I cannot say that enough.

So with that, I’ll leave you to it for the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday week(end). Saralyn and I head first to Alabama and then to Atlanta where the gentlemen (and ladies if they so choose) will be brewin’ up the first experimental batch of Horizon Line IPA! Excited?  So have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my dear readers – because you deserve it.