The end of the work week is approaching and who can tell?  No brewery outings, no pints of cold craft beer in hand while sidled up to the bar, chatting with friends and colleagues.   This week on Beer Notes, we are highlighting how the New York State Brewers Association’s is coming to the rescue and how you can too.

One outcome of the stay at home orders in place across the country, is an upsurgence of fun ideas and creativity.  Virtual activities are becoming the norm even virtual happy hours.  In New York, virtual happy hours are not taking place on Zoom, but on Facebook.  Anybody can tune in at 6:30 pm to see a featured brewery host the hour.  The host gets to choose what they do during their hour.  There are games, prize giveaways, trivia contests, music, brewery tours and chats with the owners or brewers.  Viewers can send questions during the Live on Facebook Chat, and the hosts will answer these questions. 

You can’t see your friends, but you can see their comments and questions so you know they are there.  It’s fun to have the actual brewers and owners answering your questions. 

There are also Zoom happy hours and dance parties going on.  There are craft beer challenges which inspire and reward viewers for buying local craft beer.  We’ve even heard of virtual craft beer tastings and food pairings each week with a small group of friends on FaceTime.  They communicate with each other in advance as to which beer and foods to purchase.  Then, when it’s time for their virtual gathering, they can talk about the beer and the food pairings with common experience, as if they are in the same room.  The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity and options in this age of virtual social gatherings. 

Here’s to virtual camaraderie among friends aimed at supporting our local craft breweries until we can join each other in the breweries again! 

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