A guy I know, Steve, has been working in the cigar business for ages and, a few years ago, started his own craft cigar company where the corporate ethos is “cigars without compromises”. He’s a great guy and I’m a big fan of his cigars; he makes what he likes, which turns out to be a lot like what I like. 🙂 He’s also active on social media and often posts his no-nonsense opinions regarding The Way Things Ought To Be, which I often find inspirational.
The other day, he posted a thing about how some of his competitors find their niche selling inexpensive cigars or novelty cigars (those of an unusual shape, or a wild mixture of wrapper colors or what have you) and he challenged one of them “if you aren’t making the best cigars in the world, why are you even in the business?” (I’m paraphrasing but the gist is there and I think you get the idea.)
And that got me to thinking: I’m not certain that I make the best beer in the world, and that led me to revisit a bit about why I’m doing things — “in the business” — at all. Turns out that we make pretty darned good beer, so that’s good. A few of my friends who taste-test the experimental batches know that not all of them are great, but there seems to be general agreement that the stuff that gets to the public is darned good. Is it the best in the world? Dunno. I mean, there’s a lot of beer out there! I could enter into a competition, but what would it even mean if someone else told me my beer was the best (or not the best)? It’s certainly the best beer we know how to make, but I’m constantly striving to make better — either to improve on an old recipe or to make a new, better recipe.
Time out. My porter — Pretty Purple Porter (#5) — is, in my opinion, the best beer in the world! Porters & stouts have always been my favorite style, and I specifically evolved PPP to be the most delicious straight-up porter I’ve ever had. It is my favorite beer by design. Is it your favorite beer? Maybe; maybe not. Is it the best beer in the world? I think so. Will it ever sell even 1/10th as much as, say, Guinness? Gadzooks, I hope not! But I like mine better than theirs. So I guess “best” is something of a subjective thing.
But here’s an important thing: ManyFriends Brewing Company is about the friends first. Of course we want to make good beer — we strive to make great beer! — but the focus is on bringing together people from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different upbringings, different kin and ways, bringing them all together in a safe and playful environment to discover that they’re all friends. And while they’re there, they may’s well enjoy a top-notch premium craft beer, amirite?!
And I guess that’s working. We’re still pretty small, but we’ve been developing a tight group of fans and repeat local business. So anyway… Recently, we got the idea to try a batch of our PPP aged on small batch bourbon soaked toasted Hungarian oak and, well, it turned out kind of amazing. So now I have a new favorite porter.
Maybe even the best beer in the world! 🙂
Try it and let me know what you think.
(If you’re local, I just dropped off a keg at Nonno’s. It should be cold & serving very soon!)