I hadn’t heard many good review about the brewery, but it was so close I felt obligated to go. Sure enough I stopped by for a quick beer between events. I couldn’t even go inside because I had brought Ernie with me so I ordered a beer, drank on the patio in manner of 10 minutes, and was on my way. Another brewery in the books.
After you have beer traveled for a while and see that the number of destinations visited gets higher and higher you will be tempted to visit destinations simply to mark add them to your list. As the case above demonstrates, I have been guilty of this multiple times and it is especially present as we near milestones like hitting 100 breweries or having visited a brewery in 30 different states.
It’s natural to get excited about an endeavor that you have put time and money into and well as personal passion. The easiest way to quantify these experiences is to put a number on it. Miles traveled, states visited, breweries drank at, etc. It helps you compare your efforts to others and set goals to which you hope to attain.
The problem is that when you turn the voyage into a number you lose out on the other aspect that got you started beer traveling in the first place. It no longer becomes about the travel. You don’t take time to appreciate the environment and atmosphere. You miss out on conversing with the locals and learning the story behind the business.
When I feel like I’m not enjoying the visits as frequently or feel like I’m rushing through them I think about the reasons I beer travel. To experience a new or local beer in a new place. If I’m not enjoying my time there or am not there long enough to engage someone in a conversation it probably won’t be that memorable even if the beer is good. After all the beer is only half the experience.