It feels weird to write about beer right now

I have been pretty steady with my Hoppy Boston posts over the last couple years, I usually drop a new post twice a week, typically on Monday and Thursday nights. Last week I did my typical Monday post, and had a headstart on a beer review for Thursday, but I never finished it. The COVID-19 stuff has been on my radar for a while now, in my “real job” I manage a team at a CRO in China and they went completely offline for 3 weeks in January/February when things got bad in Wuhan, so I saw the potential impact early on. The news over the last week of increased cases in Massachusetts, along with the horrifying stories coming out of Northern Italy really drove home the potential of this virus having a major impact in the US, and it has been hard to concentrate on anything else outside of work and my family. It also felt really weird to write a beer review in the days after the WHO declared this virus to be a true pandemic, and the world braced for widespread transmission of this deadly disease.

It has been a crazy week. My kid’s school is closed, my work has gone from suggesting that we work from home to requiring it, and now I am trying to figure out how to balance work, parenting and keeping everyone fed and healthy. I am sure many of the people reading this are in a similar place. Hoppy Boston is a small concern in all of this. The website is a hobby, and while I have a blast writing the articles, learning more about beer and interacting with my readers, it will always come behind many other things on my priority list. For a while last week I was considering putting the blog on hiatus, with the intention of bringing it back when things are looking better. I took a month off from Hoppy Boston a few years ago when I lost my job a month after closing on my house and life felt out of control, and it was a nice respite, I could do it again.

Ultimately I decided to keep writing the blog. Most of us are stuck at home, sports are all canceled, and we can all use a little entertainment and (online) discussion. I hope Hoppy Boston can be a very small part of that. I also know that small breweries are going to struggle with these shutdowns. The industry was already facing tight margins and crazy competition, losing income from taprooms and draft lines for a month (or maybe more) could be fatal for many. So I hope my blog can help shine the light on more beers I enjoy and encourage people to keep supporting these breweries in any way they can. The posts will probably be mostly beer reviews, I have a fridge full of beers, but I will probably mix in some other articles of interest as I can. I hope everyone is OK with Hoppy Boston as an occasional distraction from the heavy news in the world. I realize that my opinions on the potential resurgence of black IPA or a review of a haze bomb from a local brewery are pretty meaningless in the big picture, but I hope they can provide a small reprieve from everything that is happening right now. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, enjoying the extra time with their loved ones, and finding ways to enjoy an occasional beer from a local brewery. Hopefully we are all back to visiting breweries and arguing about kids in taprooms and West Coast vs New England IPA soon.

Cheers,

Ryan

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