Support Your Local Black-Owned Brewery

by Renee on June 5, 2020

What a year 2020 has turned out to be. COVID-19 kept us inside, and made us appreciate the little things in life, like sharing a beer with friends at the local brewpub. Then yet another death of a black man at the hands of police, and racial tensions boiled over–something that was overdue in this country, quite honestly. Many of those same people who had been sheltering in place left their homes, masks and all, willing to risk their lives to protest this injustice. There are many ways we can try to change the way we address inequality. One small thing we can do is to support black-owned breweries in our region. (This article by Thrillist highlights a few.)

In a recent exchange about race on Facebook, an old white man told a friend of mine to “go back to the kitchen” — now this woman is a lawyer, and journalist, and while she may whip up fantastic meals, he was not praising her ability to make crepes. I understsand that I am a priveleged middle-aged white woman, and if this is the insult we put up with…well, so it goes. But I am just sick of this way of thinking across the board. I am also an adoptee who has no right to my own original birth certificate which every other American owns, and maybe it’s a small thing to you…but to me it is identity. So I know a *tiny* little bit about being marginalized. And I. Am. DONE.

Cheers to change, friends.


Happy Birthday, Jack! Celebrating 75

by Renee on May 11, 2020

JackToday my father, Jack McAuliffe, is 75 years old! Jack was born in Caracas, Venezuela because his father, John McAuliffe, was working in South America to crack codes for the FBI during WWII. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a letter of congratulations to the McAuliffes on the occasion of Jack’s birth. It was an auspicious beginning for Jack, who later lived in suburban Washington, D.C. during his youth. His parents sent him to a Maryland boarding school, where he met my birthmother, Linda. I was born in Washington, D.C. the year after Jack and Linda graduated high school. I was adopted by a loving couple, and while I wouldn’t meet Jack for many more years, when I did, I said I knew that beer was in my blood!

Today Jack is living in a home for U.S. Veterans because of some health challenges he’s had recently. He’s doing well and during this time of COVID-19 quarantine, he misses his friends at the Creekside Tavern in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Since his appearance at the Smithsonian’s opening of the “Brewing a Revolution” exhibit in November, he’s shaved his beard, and has had to stop drinking. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said he’d like vector maps–a nod to his time as a small aircraft pilot. So, that’s what I sent him!

Here in Ohio, things are slowly opening up, though I am not in a hurry to go back to retail establishments. However, tacosI would love for our weather to break so I could at least sit on a patio at a brewery. I had my kids over one particularly nice weekend, and we sat outside and had some Bomba tacos and guac at a socially acceptable distance.

Spring keeps rushing toward summer. The wrens in my front door wreath flew the nest. Mother’s Day came and went. Porter and I continue to hit the trails on a daily basis, between my Zoom meetings and answering work emails. Not sure what summer will bring–it doesn’t look like there will be any concerts on the calendar, but small backyard gatherings may be okay. Meanwhile, it’s still virtual get-togethers for the most part. The Cleveland Craft Beer group on Facebook will host a happy hour this week that I plan to join.

Stay safe and healthy. And cheers to my Dad, the father of craft beer!



The Corona Virus Chronicles…Continued

by Renee on April 11, 2020

We are a month or so into our COVID-19 quarantine, and other than running to the grocery, the liquor store, and getting the occasional take-out, living life at home alone is my new norm. This blog has always been my writing outlet–an occasional letter to the world–mostly about my beer travels and things related to New Albion, but when Paul was sick, I wrote about that here too. So writing about this current world pandemic and how I’m coping seems natural to do. Coping with a beer…yeah, that too.

I’m very glad to have my buddy Porter to keep me company, We have a daily walk on the local trailhead, and thankfully, the weather is starting to break–most days it’s fairly decent out. I’m ready for a real warm-up though.

In Ohio, 2 p.m. means #WineWithDeWine, as our Governor Mike DeWine gives his daily outbreak update at that time. While I’m not usually drinking at that hour, (having started a new job–working from home like most everyone else whose office has been closed down) I do try to tune in. Thanks to early mandates DeWine issued keeping us from gathering in large groups, Ohio appears to be flattening our corona virus curve. Hopefully it won’t be much later than May before we are able to start seeing our friends and loved ones again. Thank goodness for FaceTime, Teams, and Zoom!

On Twitter this week, I noted it was National Beer Day on my @BrewersDaughter feed, and posed, “What are you drinking to celebrate?” Someone tried to shame me for suggesting we celebrate anything with everything that is going on in the world. My reply was that I always seek something to celebrate. It’s not to ignore the suffering we are seeing around us, but to remind us that there is always something to be grateful for in life.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and while there won’t be anyone around my table, I’ll treat myself to a Reese’s peanut butter egg, and I’ll check in on the bird eggs in my front door wreath nest that is now home to a mama wren. It’s a sure sign of continued life…and I’ll take all the good signs I can right now. Cheers to you and yours. Stay healthy and safe.



Life on Lockdown–The Corona Virus Chronicles

March 23, 2020

Well, we are now living in interesting times, as Ohio and much of the country is on Stay at Home orders while COVID-19 runs through our communities. St. Patrick’s Day came and went without the usual celebrations as people were ordered not to gather, but to practice social distancing instead. This is a tough time […]

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