The craft beer community is home to many unique individuals from engineers to artists. Creative minds with a new found focus to channel their various skills. Many gravitate to craft with the desire to be a part of something different and authentic. The very process of making beer pairs science and creativity and can be found through out the industry if you know how to look for it.
On our East Coast tour of 2012 we were fortunate enough to dip into Lonerider Brewing Company (Raleigh, NC) on a random Friday night. The bar manager, Jackie, was working and despite being the only person working a crowded tasting room she made time to talk to us about our travels, the history of Lonerider beer, and beer in Raleigh.
It turned out Jackie was a matriarch of sorts to a tight knit group of beer enthusiasts in the area. The regularly meet up at a local beer bar after Lonerider’s taproom closes. The gathering is affectionately referred to as “second shift” and lasts until someone determines it is time for “third shift” which involves moving the party to Jackie’s cabin in the woods for a bonfire and lots of laughs.
Without a second thought we were invited to participate in the festivities that night and quickly became part of the crew. A very special honor indeed and one we still look back on with fondness. The group has it’s own customs, jokes, and even glassware.
When you visit the Lonerider taproom you will notice a collection of beer mugs unlike any you will find anywhere else, because each mug is one of a kind and hand etched by Jackie herself. Each etching is done free hand based on the buyer’s request. Many are adorned with the logos of the local sports teams and universities while others are much more unique.
Jackie has been etching glasses ever since the tap room opened and has added a personal touch for those who keep a glass on premise. Which means it’s not just a taproom, it’s their taproom.