Innaugural beer festPublished 3:35pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012
To the editor:
When I heard about a beer festival in the making, I pondered the idea. Now, to ponder implies that one is neither sold nor not sold on something; at best one is ambiguous until one learns more. I learned more.
I learned that a number of the area’s finest citizens were willing to spend extraordinary numbers of hours to plow new ground on behalf of the general good of the town. I learned that the town’s leaders were supportive of the event.
I learned that — once again — the business people of the area were willing to ante up toward making the event another Tryon and Polk County success story, as were plenty of volunteers who will donate their time. I learned that institutions that do not endorse beer drinking nonetheless contributed in-kind, perhaps because the proceeds of the event will benefit the place where we live.
I learned that craft brewing companies are many and that a large percentage are run by small businessmen stretching to become ensconced in the middle class, entrepreneurs who employ a few others and exemplify the American spirit of work that also brings enjoyment into their lives and lives of others.
I learned that an entire industry of craft beer producers has risen up over the past 20 years and that more than 1,300 United States communities embraced beer festivals in 2012. Here, in Polk County and Upstate South Carolina, a beer festival is new and unique. In Europe, many such events have run for 100 or more years.
I learned that beer is not the only thing that draws so many folks together. As the proclamation issued by the Tryon Town Council states, it is the conviviality, the sharing of an afternoon with friends, the jolliness and warmth of the experience.
I learned that the Tryon Downtown Development Association made a good call to originate the Tryon Beer Fest — this Saturday afternoon at the Depot Plaza.
Pondering is a wise first step. Learning erases most doubt. I think many Bulletin readers will one day be happy to tell future generations, “I was at the very first Tryon Beer Fest!”
- Dan Trumble, Tryon