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Happy Festivus, everyone!

Now, for the “Airing of Grievances”:

• I have a problem with the brands out there who hide who they are, including these folks:  LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK …and many, many more. Be honest. Make a great beer and let consumers know who you are.

• I have a problem with the lazy consumer, who refuses to try anything they haven’t tried before of or says something like, “I don’t like that dark beer” or “I’ll just have a Bud Light.” No one eats the exact same food every day…why would you drink the same beer every day? You won’t like them all, but that’s ok. Give ’em a few more tries. You’ll eventually thank yourself for finding something wonderful!

• I have a problem with distributor who “sits” on a craft brand, unless it’s “on incentive.” If you promise to PARTNER with your brands, please do so.

•I have a problem with bars and taverns with dirty beer lines and glassware, or try to use pint glasses with my 1/2 litre weissbier. Clean beer and proper glassware make the drink.

• I have a problem with bartenders who bring me a frosted glass when I specifically ask for a warm one. It’s a simple request and it’s not “weird.” In fact, the frosted glass IS weird.

• I have a problem with beer stores who stock warm craft six packs sitting under bright lights and cram cold cans of Bud Light in the cooler. Pasteurized macro swill doesn’t spoil. Fresh beer does. Do you also wonder why no one buys your craft beer?

• I have a problem with silly expensive mug clubs in exchange for “$1 off a pint.” I sample all I can, but cannot justify $60-100 per year to places I cannot frequent more than several times per month. Make a couple levels of membership for people who want to show support and those who are truly regulars. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in a T-Shirt or gift either.

• I have a problem with “limited release” beers that draw insane lines or ridiculous resale prices…for a beer. I love beer. No one loves it more than I do, but I’m not going to lose my mind over a single beer that is arguably no “better” than any other quality craft beer. Worse, the hysteria often proves to be very disappointing to your most loyal fans.

• I have a problem with MADD, which has moved beyond “safety and awareness” to persecution of consumers who enjoy alcohol responsibly and are NOT the problem. “Alcohol related” is an entirely misleading statistic, used for political purposes to push an agenda and is not a reflection of tragedies actually caused by alcohol. The people who cause the vast majority of accidents are repeat offenders who are VERY intoxicated. Lowering B.A.C. laws to capture and prosecute more people who are NOT the problem is not making society safer.

Now, for “Feats of Strength”:

• Here’s to craft beer sales growth…cheers!

• Here’s to Michigan craft brewers…cheers!

• Here’s to West Michigan craft brewers…cheers!

• Here’s to beer stores that rotate stock and keep “singles” coolers where one can try lots of different beers without purchasing an entire six pack.

• Here’s to Mark Sellers, Bayern Road Trips, Larry Bell, Laura & SethTony McGeeGreat Lakes Brewing, Steve Sloan, Beer City USA, Angela Würges, collaboration, weissbier, EZ-E, Eddie Glick, Die Königen & Charlie Papizan…cheers!

• My liver…which just turned 102 years old…cheers!

Thanks to all of you for a fun year!

As we near the close of 2012, I seriously want to take a moment to wish you the best, thank you for your comments, emails and feedback and look forward to an even more robust 2013. Enjoy the holidays and celebrate safely, my friends.

Prost! Skol! Cheers! Na zdrowie! Saliente!